You are viewing the page for Dec. 7, 2012
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 275.0 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2121 UT Dec07
24-hr: C3
2121 UT Dec07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Dec 12
None of the spots on the Earthside of the sun pose a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 49
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Dec 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update 07 Dec 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 97 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 Dec 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 0
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.2 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 07 Dec 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Dec 07 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2012 Dec 07 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
Friday, Dec. 7, 2012
What's up in space

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

Meteorite jewelry

SLIGHT CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Dec. 7th and 8th in response to a possible glancing blow from a CME. Sky watchers in Scandinavia, Canada, and Alaska should be alert for auroras. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

FILAMENT ERUPTION: A filament of magnetism snaking more than 400,000 km around the sun's southwestern limb became unstable and erupted on Dec. 6th. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the filament flinging a portion of itself into space:

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) detected a cloud of plasma emerging from the blast site; however, Earth does not appear to be in the line of fire.

This event interrupted three days of low solar activity. With no sunspots currently flaring, the quiet appears set to resume. NOAA forecasters estimate a mere 1% chance of strong flares in the next 24 hours.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

JUPITER IN A SPOON: Jupiter is supposed to be a giant planet. Yet on Dec. 3rd, Frankie Lucena of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, found it contained entirely inside a kitchen spoon. "Jupiter is so bright," he says, "that I caught it reflecting from a spoon filled with vegetable oil inside by my cast iron skillet."

Catching Jupiter in a spoon is possible this month because Jupiter is having a close encounter with Earth--the closest until 2021. The giant planet rises in the east at sunset, brighter than any other "star" in the sky, so bright that its reflection can be found in unusual places. For readers who would like to try this at home, Lucena notes that he took the picture using an off-the-shelf digital camera set at ISO 400 for 8 seconds. [sky map]

Bonus physics: What if you did compress Jupiter to the size of a teaspoon? It would become a black hole. The Schwarzschild Radius of Jupiter is approximately 3 meters. Any object squeezed into a space smaller than its Schwarzschild Radius becomes a black hole. Luckily for Lucena, the planet in his kitchen was just a reflection.

Realtime Jupiter Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  Near Earth Asteroids
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 7, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 BS5
Dec 11
8.4 LD
15 m
4179 Toutatis
Dec 12
18 LD
2.7 km
2003 SD220
Dec 23
59.8 LD
1.8 km
1998 WT24
Dec 23
69.2 LD
1.1 km
1999 HA2
Feb 5
58 LD
1.3 km
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
57 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
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.
  Essential web links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
  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
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.