AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE
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AURORA WATCH: A ~500 km/s solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should be alert for Northern Lights.
latest images: from Jan Koeman of Straumnes, Norway; from Hendro Hioe of Laukvik, Norway
CRACKLING SUNSPOT: During the past 24 hours, sunspot 1110 has increased in size more than 10-fold. A white-light camera onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture during the early hours of Sept. 29th:
Although it is still small compared to behemoth sunspot 1109 right behind it, sunspot 1110 is much more active. Reconnection events in the sunspot's magnetic canopy have produced at least two C-class solar flares since yesterday (SDO movies: #1, #2). The eruptions were brief and did not hurl significant clouds of plasma toward Earth. If the sunspot continues to grow, however, future eruptions could become geoeffective.
SPACE STATION-SUNSPOT CONJUNCTION: Sunspot 1109 is so big, it's hard to miss. Yesterday, the International Space Station (ISS) flew right over it:
"I was lucky," says photographer Jesper Sorensen of Copenhagen, Denmark. "The sky was cloudy, but the clouds parted just 20 seconds before the ISS crossed the sun." He recorded the split-second transit using an 80mm refracting telescope (solar filtered!) and a SKYnyx 2-1M digital camera.
Readers, check Calsky for solar transit predictions. You might be able to record a sunspot conjunction of your own.
Sept. 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000]
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 29, 2010 there were 1145 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 |
| ||from the National Solar Data Analysis Center |