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X-FLARE: New sunspot AR1598 has erupted again. On Oct. 23rd at 0322 UT, Earth orbiting satellites detected a strong X1-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:
Radiation from the flare created waves of ionization in the upper atmosphere over Asia and Australia (the daylit side of Earth) and possibly HF radio blackouts at high latitudes. The blast did not, however, produce a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). No auroras are expected to result from this event.
This is the 4th significant flare from AR1598 since it emerged over the southeastern limb only three days ago. This means more flares are probably in the offing, and they will become increasingly Earth-directed as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.
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ORIONID METEOR UPDATE: Most observers would say that the 2012 Orionid meteor shower was underwhelming. Even during the peak on Oct 21st meteor rates never climbed much above 20 per hour. Sometimes, however, one is enough:
"This was a very bright Orionid fireball," says photographer Maciek Myszkiewicz. "It was brighter than the full Moon."
Orionid meteors are pieces of Halley's Comet, which has left behind a stream of dusty debris in the inner solar system. Earth hits the stream twice a year producing a pair of meteor showers, the eta Aquarids in May and the Orionids in October. According to international meteor counts, Earth is still in the outskirts of the Orionid portion of the stream. Enthusiasts should therefore remain alert for pieces of Halley's Comet in the pre-dawn sky until further notice. [gallery] [video] [meteor radar]
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[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]
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 23, 2012 there were 1340 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 |