Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.
| || |
CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% to 20% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Dec. 24th in response to a CIR or "corotating interaction region." A CIR is a boundary between fast- and slow-moving streams in the solar wind. Crossing a CIR, as Earth will do on Christmas Eve, can spark magnetic storms and auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
FARSIDE ERUPTION: No strong flares have issued from the sun in weeks, but solar activity might not be as low as it seems. The farside of the sun is increasingly restless. On Dec. 21st, multiple CMEs flew over the edge of the solar disk, and today NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft observed a filament erupting on the farside. The blast site is circled in this extreme ultraviolet image taken on Dec. 23rd at 11:15 UT:
This activity suggests that the long-term forecast could be stormy. In one to two weeks, active regions currently on the farside will turn toward Earth, possibly sending some flares and CMEs our way. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
SOLAR SPACE TELESCOPE SEES EARTH: NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft can now see our home planet in its HI1 telescope. HI stands for "Heliospheric Imager." The telescope is designed to track gusts of solar wind and solar storms all the way from the sun to Earth. This image, captured on Dec. 17th, shows Earth and the edge of the sun's corona in a single snapshot:
Earth is moving into the Heliospheric Imager's field of view because the twin STEREO probes are moving around the farside of the sun, which gives them a better view of the sun-Earth system: diagram. Soon Earth will be visible in STEREO-A's HI1 telescope and eventually in the coronagraphs as well.
The STEREO probes have two wider-field heliospheric imagers, too: HI2-A and HI2-B. Earth has been visible in the HI2 telescopes since launch in 2007, but this is the first time our planet has been visible in either of the HI1 telescopes, which can see regions of space closer to the sun. This development will give researchers a better view of solar storms engulfing Earth and could lead to improvements in space weather forecasting.
Realtime Aurora 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 December 23, 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 |