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QUIET WITH A CHANCE OF FLARES: Solar activity is low. However, sunspots AR2157, AR2158 and AR2164 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for significant eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class flares on Sept. 16th. Aurora alerts: text, voice
INCOMING CME: Another CME is en route to Earth. It was launched in our direction four days ago by the eruption of a magnetic filament near the center of the solar disk. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory shows the Earth-directed CME almost overwhelmed, visually, by a brighter farside CME headed in the opposite direction:
The impact won't be as effective as the double-blow Earth experienced on Sept. 12th, when two CMEs hit in less than 24 hours. Nevertheless, NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 17th when the CME arrives. (Note: Yesterday we wrote that the CME would arrive on Sept. 16th, however, a revised analysis of its speed suggests a later arrival.) High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice
Aurora Photo Gallery
SPACE WEATHER PROBE LAUNCHED: On Sept 12th, while the web site Spaceweather.com was down during the most intense geomagnetic storm of the year, the webmaster shook off the stress by going outside ... and launching a space weather probe. Carried aloft by a helium balloon, the probe was prepared and released by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus just as the planetary K-index hit 7:
Inside the balloon's payload, there was a high-energy radiation sensor, a cryogenic thermometer, multiple GPS altimeters and trackers, and three cameras to record the flight. The launch was the latest in an ongoing series of suborbital balloon flights to measure the effect of stormy space weather on Earth's atmosphere from ground level to the stratosphere. Soon, the group will release an entire year's worth of data of interest to commercial aviation and space tourism.
After a 2.5 hour flight, the payload has parachuted back to Earth and landed in the Inyo Mountains of central California. Update: The payload has been recovered. Stay tuned for images and data.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
Comet Photo Gallery
Every night, a network
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 Sep. 15, 2014, the network reported 16 fireballs.
(13 sporadics, 3 September epsilon Perseids)
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
all the time.
September 16, 2014 there were 1500
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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO
is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather