Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.
ON THE MOON: Recently, a small boulder
hit the Moon and exploded with as much energy as
5 tons of TNT. NASA scientists say the explosion
was bright enough to see with the naked eye. [full
WEEKEND CME STRIKES:
Over the weekend, a pair of CMEs hit Earth--one
on May 18th (0100 UT) and another on May 19th (2250
UT). The impacts, especially the first one, rattled
Earth's magnetic field and sparked Northern Lights
visible as far south as Colorado. Some of the brightest
appeared over Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where photographer
Chris Cook took this self-portrait:
"This is the first time since
September 2005 that the lights have been visible
from here," says Cook. " It was a beautiful
display. During the peak, which lasted about 20
minutes, I could see red and pink pillars with my
unaided eye." With only a short exposure, Cook's
camera revealed the true depth of color shown above.
More auroras are possible tonight
as Earth's magnetic field continues to reverberate
from the impacts. NOAA forecasters estimate a 75%
chance of polar geomagnetic storms on May 20th.
Aurora Photo Gallery
WHAT'S IN THE OFFING?
A new sunspot is approaching. For
the past two days it has been crackling with flares
and hurling material over the sun's northeast limb.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed these
glowing magnetic loops marking the spot of an M1-class
explosion during the early hours of May 20th:
The sunspot is on the sun's farside
now, but solar rotation is carrying it in our direction.
It a day or so it will emerge into view over the
sun's eastern limb. Then, forecasters can evaluate
its magnetic field and potential for additional
flares. Stay tuned.
TO SEE THE FARSIDE OF THE SUN: If
you have an iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, mini iPad or iPad2,
you can monitor the farside of the sun. Just download
the 3D Sun app
for a nearly live 360-degree view of our star.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
Comet Photo Gallery
Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003,
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
all the time.
May 20, 2013 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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO
is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather