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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 359.2 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M5
1851 UT Oct22
24-hr: M5
1851 UT Oct22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2259 UT
Daily Sun: 22 Oct 12
New sunspot 1598 poses a threat for strong M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 75
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Oct 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 22 Oct 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 144 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Oct 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= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.1 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 21 Oct 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Oct 22 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
75 %
75 %
CLASS X
20 %
20 %
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 Oct 22 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Monday, Oct. 22, 2012
What's up in space
 

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

 
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ORIONID METEOR UPDATE: Earth is passing through a broad stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Unlike the displays of previous years, however, the Orionids of 2012 have not put on a very good show. Sky watchers have seen, at most, one to two dozen meteors per hour during the peak activity of Oct. 21-22. The shower may be weak, but it's not over yet. Enthusiasts should remain alert for fast, faint pieces of Halley's Comet in the pre-dawn sky on Monday and Tuesday. [gallery] [meteor radar] [reports]

ACTIVE SUNSPOT : New sunspot AR1598 is crackling with C- and M-class solar flares. One of the explosions, an M9-flare on Oct. 20th, produced a bright flash of extreme UV radiation recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Radiation from the flare sent a wave of ionization rippling through Earth's upper atmosphere, temporarily disturbing the transmission of low-frequency radio signals around Europe and North America. The sunspot has also produced at least one bright CME (movie), but Earth was not in the line of fire.

More flares are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-flares and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

METEOR MAKES LANDFALL: A small asteroid that exploded over the San Francisco Bay Area on Oct. 17th, shaking houses with its sonic boom, might have scattered pieces of itself on the ground. That's the conclusion of Peter Jenniskens of the NASA Ames Research Center. He triangulated data from a pair of meteor surveillance cameras to determine the fireball's trajectory, denoted by the black arrow in the map below:

"The asteroid entered at a [relatively slow] speed of 14 km/s. There's a good chance that a fairly large fraction of this rock survived and fell somewhere around the North Bay," says Jenniskens. "Much more accurate results will follow from a comprehensive study of the video records. Now, we hope that someone recovers a meteorite on the ground."

In the map, red dots represent the surveillance cameras Jenniskens used to calculate the trajectory. The black arrow traces the asteroid's path; 85 km and 39 km are the altitudes of the asteroid at the two ends of the arrow. Jenniskens adds that "39 km is not the end point, but the final bit captured by the San Mateo video camera." The disintegrating asteroid continued beyond the tip of the arrow for a possible landfall somewhere north of San Francisco. Stay tuned for updates on the meteorite hunt.

Note: This was not an Orionid.

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 October 22, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 TD79
Oct 18
7.2 LD
--
60 m
2012 UE
Oct 19
2 LD
--
9 m
2012 TP231
Oct 22
5.8 LD
--
44 m
2012 UF34
Oct 22
2.8 LD
--
47 m
2012 US18
Oct 22
1.6 LD
--
8 m
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2012 UW9
Oct 29
9.4 LD
--
31 m
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.4 km
2010 JK1
Nov 25
9.3 LD
--
56 m
2009 LS
Nov 28
55.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2009 BS5
Dec 11
8.4 LD
--
15 m
4179 Toutatis
Dec 12
18 LD
--
2.7 km
2003 SD220
Dec 23
59.8 LD
--
1.8 km
1998 WT24
Dec 23
69.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 UC20
Dec 29
25.7 LD
--
1.0 km
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
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
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