Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.
| || |
SDO ECLIPSE SEASON: Twice every year, around the time of the equinoxes, Earth can pass directly between the Sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), producing a series of beautiful eclipses from the point of view of the spacecraft. SDO's autumnal eclipse season began today, Sept. 6th, and already there has been a partial blackout of the sun:
During the eclipse, which was centered around 0700 UT, Earth covered about half of the sun. Because these eclipses typically last only a few minutes, there is still plenty of time remaining in the day for SDO to monitor activity on the sun. The observatory won't miss much even with Earth occasionally getting in the way. The ongoing eclipse season will end on Sept. 26th. Between now and then, stay tuned for some rare blackouts.
MAGNETIC UNREST: Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from a pair of CME impacts--a relatively strong blow on Sept 3rd followed by a lesser hit on Sept. 4th. The double strike ignited auroras around the Arctic Circle that are only slowly fading. Olivier Du Tré photographed this apparition over Red Deer, Alberta, on Sept. 5th:
"For the second night this week, the Northern Lights put on an awesome show over Alberta," says Du Tré. "At one point about 65%-70% of the sky above the farmlands to the NE of Calgary were lit up. It was incredible."
NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of strong polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 6th as the reverberations continue. Aurora alerts: text, phone.
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[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 September 6, 2012 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 |