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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 434.1 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1943 UT Sep14
24-hr: B3
1323 UT Sep14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2259 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Sep 12
Solar activity is low. None of these sunspots are actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 44
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Sep 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update 12 Sep 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 105 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Sep 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.2 nT
Bz: 2.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 12 Sep 12
A pair of coronal holes is emerging over the sun's eastern limb. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Sep 14 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
15 %
CLASS X
01 %
01 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2012 Sep 14 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
30 %
MINOR
01 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
30 %
SEVERE
05 %
30 %
 
Friday, Sep. 14, 2012
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

 
Own your own meteorite

MYSTERY SPHERES ON MARS: NASA's Mars rover Opportunity, still active after all these years, has just discovered a dense accumulation of puzzling little spheroids in a rock outcrop on the Red Planet. [full story]

ASTEROID FLYBY: Today, an asteroid as wide as three football fields is flying past Earth. At closest approach, 2012 QG42 will be 2.8 million km (7.4 lunar distances) away, so there is no danger of a collision. Nevertheless, it is close enough for backyard astronomers to track using large amateur telescopes; the space rock is glowing like a 14th magnitude star. [movie] [3D orbit] [ephemeris]

ROCKET EXHAUST: The White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico conducted a test of the Patriot interceptor yesterday, producing iridescent rocket exhaust visible as far away as Phoenix AZ, Las Vegas NV, and Salt Lake City UT. David Blanchard photographed the display from Flagstaff, Arizona:

The test proceeded as follows: A Juno rocket was launched from Fort Wingate in Gallup, New Mexico. This served as the target for another missile, the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor, launched shortly thereafter from White Sands. A press release from White Sands confirmed the test and stated that "the
Juno performed as expected."

In a wide-angle view, Blanchard captured the exhaust from both missiles. "The crescent Moon overhead was a beautiful bonus," he says.

As the rockets raced through the high atmosphere, water vapor in their exhaust crystalized to form tiny ice crystals. The crystals diffracted the light from the rising sun to produce the iridescent colors. More images: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7,

JUPITER SWALLOWS AN ASTEROID: Around the world, amateur astronomers have been scanning the cloudtops of Jupiter for signs of debris from an explosion witnessed by Dan Peterson and George Hall on Sept. 10th. So far the cloud layer is blank. "Several observers have now obtained excellent images on the second and third rotations after the fireball, and there is nothing new nor distinctive at the impact site," reports John H. Rogers, director of the Jupiter Section of the British Astronomical Association:

The fireball was probably caused by a small asteroid or comet hitting Jupiter. Apparently, the giant planet swallowed the impactor whole.

When fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter in 1994, each major flash observed by NASA's Galileo spacecraft produced a "bruise," a murky mixture of incinerated comet dust and chemically altered Jovian gas twisting and swirling among the clouds. In July 2009, amateur astromer Anthony Wesley discovered a similar mark thought to be debris from a rogue asteroid crashing into the planet.

So where is the debris this time? Perhaps the impactor was small, packing just enough punch to make a flash, but without leaving much debris. Indeed, studies suggest that Jupiter is frequently struck by relatively small 10-meter-class asteroids. In such cases, minimal debris is to be expected.

Stay tuned for updates in case something surfaces.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  Near Earth Asteroids
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.
On September 14, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 QG42
Sep 14
7.4 LD
--
310 m
2012 QC8
Sep 14
22.7 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 km
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.5 km
2010 JK1
Nov 25
9.3 LD
--
56 m
Notes: LD means "Lunar Distance." 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.
  Essential web links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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