You are viewing the page for May. 19, 2018
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
You entered an invalid date. This is yesterday's edition.
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 368.4 km/sec
density: 6.0 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A2
2129 UT May19
24-hr: A2
2129 UT May19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 19 May 18
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 May 2018

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 5 days
2018 total: 78 days (56%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

Updated 19 May 2018


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 69 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 19 May 2018

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.7 nT
Bz: -1.4 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
Coronal Holes: 19 May 18

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could brush against Earth's magnetic field on May 23rd. Credit: SDO/AIA
Noctilucent Clouds Our connection with NASA's AIM spacecraft has been restored! New images from AIM show that the southern season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) is underway. Come back to this spot every day to see AIM's "daily daisy," which reveals the dance of electric-blue NLCs around the Antarctic Circle..
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-07-2018 17:55:05
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2018 May 19 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
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: 2018 May 19 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
 
Saturday, May. 19, 2018
What's up in space
       
 

All-inclusive Northern Lights trips in Tromsø, Norway. Small groups, big experiences! Highly qualified guides ensure unique and unforgettable adventures with a personal touch. Visit Explore the Arctic

 

NO GEOMAGNETIC STORMS TODAY: NOAA forecasters say the chance of a geomagnetic storm today is no more than 10%. This low value comes as Earth begins to traverse a quiet region of space between streams of solar wind. The next solar wind event is expected on May 23rd when a fast-moving stream could brush against our planet's magnetic field. Free: Aurora Alerts.

IRON-EATING BACTERIA SHOW THEIR COLORS: Ed Kreminski of Ohio is an avid sky watcher, often photographing icy iridescent clouds drifting overhead. On May 12th, he noticed a completely different kind of iridescence--at his feet. "While crossing a hiking bridge along the sandstone cliffs of the Hocking Hills State Park, I came across this colorful scene along the creek's edge," he says. Iron-eating bacteria made the rocks even more colorful than than the sky:

"The rainbow sheen on the rocky shore is caused by a thin film of bacteria that lives off the iron leaching out of the rocks," says Kreminski.

How to bacteria create iridescent rocks? Simple. They coat the rocky surface in a thin layer or film. Light waves reflected by the upper and lower boundaries of a thin film interfere with one another, producing bands of color. The effect is most familiar in soap bubbles and oil slicks, but bacteria can do it too.

"I wonder, will such bacteria ever be found on Mars?" says Kreminski. The Red Planet certainly has plenty of iron. All the more reason to repair Curiosity's busted jackhammer.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

TEXAS-SIZED SPRITES: Technically, summer hasn't started yet in the USA, but summer thunderstorms are already rumbling across the Great Plains, bringing with them strange forms of upper atmospheric lightning. "Sprite season is definitely picking up here in Texas," reports Kevin Palivec, who operates an array of night-sky cameras in the town of Hawley. This week he has photographed a flurry of lightning-like forms including this Gigantic Jet shooting up from a thunderstorm in Oklahoma:


Click to view the full-length video

"The line of storms in Oklahoma was perfectly positioned for me to record these jets leaping over the cloudtops about 300 miles away," says Palivec. "I used a Watec 902h Ultimate black and white camera in a pan tilt weatherproof housing on a 20 foot tower."

Gigantic jets are like sprites on steroids. They are rare and far more powerful than their smaller red cousins. "I've been monitoring the skies here in Texas for 6 years. To date, I've only caught 5 gigantic jets--two of which have been studied in research papers. It is always exciting to see them."

One night later, on May 15th, "another line of storms moved through producing sprites to my north and south!" says Palivec.

Some researchers think that sprites and gigantic jets may be linked to cosmic rays: Subatomic particles from deep space strike the top of Earth's atmosphere, producing secondary electrons that trigger the upward bolts. If this is true, then sprites could multiply in the years ahead as cosmic rays intensify due to the decline of the solar cycle.

Although sprites have been seen for at least a century, most scientists did not believe they existed until after 1989 when sprites were photographed by cameras onboard the space shuttle. Now "sprite chasers" like Palivec routinely photograph sprites from their own homes. Give it a try!

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

A CRYSTAL BALL IN THE STRATOSPHERE: Father's Day is less than a month away. To get ready, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a crystal ball to the stratosphere. Watch the video as the crystal orb travels onboard a giant helium balloon 93,000 feet above Earth's surface, stretching, focusing, and inverting the incredible landscape of the Sierra Nevada mountains behind it:

The students are selling these crystal balls as a fundraiser, and you can have one for $229. The 800 gram sphere contains an embedded model of the Solar System, including the sun, eight planets and their moons. It makes an incredible gift for anyone interested in space. Dad-satisfaction guaranteed.

Each crystal ball comes with a unique gift card showing the item at the edge of space and telling the story of its flight. All proceeds support Earth to Sky Calculus and hands-on STEM research.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All proceeds support hands-on STEM education

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network
Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.

On May. 19, 2018, the network reported 51 fireballs.
(50 sporadics, 1 eta Aquariid)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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 May 19, 2018 there were 1907 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2018 JL1
2018-May-14
7.5 LD
5.7
16
2018 JY
2018-May-14
8.8 LD
10.6
52
2018 KO
2018-May-15
13.8 LD
11.5
22
1999 LK1
2018-May-15
13.3 LD
10
141
2018 JX1
2018-May-15
9.4 LD
7.7
18
2010 WC9
2018-May-15
0.5 LD
12.8
71
2018 JX
2018-May-16
3.9 LD
13
74
2018 KU
2018-May-16
7.6 LD
7.8
19
2018 JC
2018-May-17
17.7 LD
9.3
75
2018 GL1
2018-May-18
14.3 LD
5.2
69
2018 KN
2018-May-19
11 LD
7.5
27
2018 JL2
2018-May-19
10.9 LD
13.5
40
2018 KQ
2018-May-19
8.7 LD
7.7
11
2018 JG1
2018-May-20
5.3 LD
8.3
45
2018 KK
2018-May-21
12.1 LD
9.1
32
2018 KS
2018-May-22
2.1 LD
7.7
9
2018 JK
2018-May-22
16.3 LD
12.5
81
2018 JG2
2018-May-25
18.5 LD
6.9
61
2018 JK3
2018-May-27
19.6 LD
21.8
171
2018 KR
2018-May-28
15.7 LD
4
18
68347
2018-May-29
9.5 LD
13.3
389
2013 LE7
2018-May-31
17.8 LD
1.7
12
2018 EJ4
2018-Jun-10
5.6 LD
6.2
195
2015 DP155
2018-Jun-11
9 LD
4.4
170
2017 YE5
2018-Jun-21
15.6 LD
15.5
513
467309
2018-Jun-23
17.9 LD
14
355
441987
2018-Jun-24
7.3 LD
12.6
178
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 13% since 2015:


Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

  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.
STEREO
  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
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Spaceweather.com welcomes two supporters of science communication: SEO Phoenix AZ and CRAS, the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. Only the best social media jobs in the United States
   
Look no further to find the best Comox Valley Real Estate listings and homes for sale
   
Okanagan Real Estate
   
Buy real active Instagram followers
Guide for best car parts at prettymotors.com
   
Chicago SEO Expert
   
Search Kelowna Real Estate Listings & Homes for Sale easily.
Find help on all Calgary Homes For Sale and Real Estate Listings. Great source for Edmonton Real Estate Listings & Homes For Sale
   
Reviews here can help you to pick up best memory foam mattresses.
  These links help Spaceweather.com stay online. Thank you to our supporters!
  more links...
       
©2017 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.