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CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-class solar flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. The most likely source is active sunspot AR1598. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.
X-FLARE: Sunspot AR1598 erupted on Oct. 23rd at 0322 UT, producing 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.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
ARCTIC AURORAS: On the North Slope of Alaska, the Beaufort Sea is beginning to freeze as northern winer approaches. Last night, Northern Lights illuminated the phase change:
"I finally caught some auroras over the hardening sea," says photographer Greg Syverson. "This was a 3 second exposure taken with my Canon 5D digital camera set at 3200asa."
There was no geomagnetic storm last night, but because the Beaufort Sea is above the Arctic Circle, auroras can appear there even when Earth's magnetic field is relatively quiet. NOAA forecasters predict a scant 5% chance of geomagnetic storms tonight. Nevertheless, Arctic ice might still be illuminated by Northern Lights. Browse the gallery for updated images from the north:
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 October 24, 2012 there were 1342 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 |