On October 23rd there will be a partial eclipse of the Sun. Got clouds? No problem. The event will be broadcast live on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center.
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METEORS FROM HALLEY'S COMET: Earth is passing through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on Tuesday, Oct. 21st, with as many as 25 meteors per hour. The best time to look is during the dark hours before local sunrise. [full story] [sky map] [meteor radar]
GROWING CHANCE OF FLARES: Big sunspot AR2192 has grown even bigger, spreading across 1/3rd more solar terrain today than it did yesterday. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the expansion:
The chances of an explosion are growing along with the sunspot. On Oct. 20th, NOAA forecasters boosted the odds of an M-class flare to 60% and an X-flare to 20%. Solar flare alerts: text, voice
Yesterday, the sunspot produced a long-duration X1-flare (movie) and a strong HF radio blackout over Asia and Australia. The next X-flare, if one occurs, will be even more geoeffective as the sunspot turns toward Earth.
If you have a solar telescope, now is a great time to look at the sun. AR2192 looks absolutely spectacular. Snapshots from around the world may be found in the realtime photo gallery.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
EMERALD DYNAMITE: On Oct. 18th, Earth passed through multiple folds in the heliospheric current sheet--a phenomenon known as "solar sector boundary crossings." This sparked a veritable explosion of bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Ole Salomonsen of Tromso, Norway, captured the outburst in this photo, which he calls Emerald Dynamite:
"This is one of many spectacular auroral displays I captured tonight," says Salomonsen. "There were red auroras, green auroras, coronas, fast moving purple bands... It was the most amazing display I have witnessed in a long time."
More auroras are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Oct. 21-22 when Earth is expected to run into a high-speed solar wind stream. Aurora alerts: text, voice
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Realtime Comet Photo Gallery
Realtime Eclipse Photo Gallery
Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.
On Oct. 20, 2014, the network reported 28 fireballs.
(20 sporadics, 8 Orionids)
In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]
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 October 20, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids. 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.
| ||The official U.S. government space weather bureau |
| ||The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena. |
| ||Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever. |
| ||3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory |
| ||Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. |
| ||from the NOAA Space Environment Center |
| ||the underlying science of space weather |