Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.
| || |
QUIET SUN: Solar activity is low. NOAA forecasters say the chance of an M-class flare today is no more than 10%. An X-flare is even less likely: less than 1%. No strong flares are in the offing.
AUTUMN LIGHTS: Northern autumn is only days away, and that means aurora season is underway. For reasons researchers don't fully understand, equinoxes are the best times to see Northern Lights--especially around the Arctic Circle. Aurora tour guide Chad Blakley photographed this first sign of autumn from Abisko National Park on Sweden on Sept 14th:
"The auroras were in the sky as soon as the sun went down, and they continued to glow well into the morning," says Blakley. "It was another great night in Abisko."
More autumn lights are in the offing as three solar wind streams are expected to buffet Earth's magnetic field, one after another, between Sept. 18th and 22nd. The long-range forecast includes a 15% chance of severe geomagnetic storms around the Artic Circle. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
PLASMA RAIN: The sun hasn't been flaring much lately, but there's more to solar activity than flares. For instance, on Saturday amateur astronomer Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, CA, witnessed a dynamic episode of "plasma rain" on the sun's western limb. Click on the arrow to set the shower in motion:
The movie, which Buxton assembled from a series of 1 minute exposures taken over a 2 hour period on Sept. 15th, shows Moon-sized "droplets" of plasma swirling and falling along magnetic field lines from the sun's atmosphere to the sun's surface. That's how it rains on the sun.
This storm cloud, aka "prominence", has since rained out. The western limb is clear and sunny again.
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 17, 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 |