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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 615.7 km/sec
density: 4.8 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A6
1725 UT Nov10
24-hr: A6
1725 UT Nov10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Nov 17
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 Nov 2017

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 9 days
2017 total: 77 days (24%)
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 10 Nov 2017


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 66 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 10 Nov 2017

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Nov 17

Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this wide northern coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
Noctilucent Clouds Latest images from NASA's AIM spacecraft show that the 2017 northern summer season for noctilucent clouds has finished.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 09-03-2017 01:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2017 Nov 10 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: 2017 Nov 10 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
20 %
MINOR
25 %
05 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
20 %
SEVERE
45 %
20 %
 
Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over Lapland is excited to announce that our Customizable Aurora Adventures are available for immediate booking! Reserve your adventure of a lifetime in Abisko National Park, Sweden today!

 

VENUS-JUPITER CONJUNCTION: Set your alarm for dawn. Venus and Jupiter are about to have a spectacular conjunction in the early morning sky. On Nov. 13th, the two bright planets will converge just ahead of the rising sun only 0.3 degrees apart--so close that you can hide them together behind an outstretched pinky finger. A small telescope will show both planetary disks in the field of view at the same time. That's worth waking up for. Sky maps: Nov. 12, 13, 14.

SOLAR WIND SPARKS AURORAS: For the 4th day in a row, Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from a wide hole in the sun's atmosphere. Last night the action of this gaseous material from our star sparked a veritable explosion of auroras over Narvik, Norway. Photographer Oliver Wright witnessed the display and says "it was the brightest and fastest corona I have seen in my four years as an aurora tour guide."

A "corona" is a form of aurora borealis that seems to rain down on observers from directly overheard. It is widely regarded as the holy grail of aurora watching--a kind of "bucket list" display. The corona over Narvik was moving so fast, it was a bit blurred in Wright's photo even with a lightning-fast 0.25 second exposure. 

"This just goes to show that there are still plenty of opportunities to see amazing auroras despite the fact that we are close to Solar Minimum," says Wright, whose adventures did not end with the light show: "On the way back from the photo shoot, I had to stop for a full grown male moose with antlers to move off the road!"

Around the Arctic Circle, more auroras are in the offing. The solar wind continues to blow faster than 600 km/s, and NOAA forecasters say there is a 50% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Nov. 10th. Free: Aurora Alerts.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SPACE WEATHER BALLOONING OVER MEXICO: For the rest of this week, Spaceweather.com is reporting from Mexico. We're here to launch the first-ever space weather balloon over this country, adding a new low-laltitude outpost to our growing global balloon network:

Our collaborators are Prof. Juan Sumaya of the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de México and a group of his physics students. Together we will launch balloons over Mexico on Nov. 10th and 11th to measure cosmic radiation including X-rays, gamma-rays and neutrons. On Nov.11th, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus will launch an identical payload from the Sierra Nevada mountains near Bishop, California, for comparison.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SOLAR ECLIPSE CRYSTAL PYRAMID: On Aug. 21, 2017, during the Great American Solar Eclipse, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched 11 space weather balloons from the path of totality. The armada of balloons soared into the stratosphere, touching the shadow of the Moon more than 100,000 feet above Earth's surface. As a fundraiser, one of the balloons carried this pyramid, and you can have it for $139.95:

With the sun, Earth, and Moon perfectly aligned, the faces of the 5-sided crystal caught the reflection of the eclipsed sun while wrapped in the space-cold shadow of our planet's gray cratered companion. Watch the video! The payload capsule contained more crystals just like it.

Each pyramid comes with a unique gift card showing the crystal floating at the top of Earth's atmosphere and passing through the Moon's shadow. The interior of the card tells the story of the flight and confirms that this gift has been to the edge of space and back again.

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


  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 Nov. 10, 2017, the network reported 19 fireballs.
(15 sporadics, 3 Northern Taurids, 1 chi Taurid)

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 November 10, 2017 there were 1853 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2017 VE
2017-Nov-04
0.9 LD
14.1
17
2017 UX42
2017-Nov-05
10.5 LD
2.6
7
2017 US7
2017-Nov-05
7.1 LD
8.8
13
2017 UJ7
2017-Nov-05
16.8 LD
13
28
2017 UJ43
2017-Nov-05
4.6 LD
7.3
10
2013 BD74
2017-Nov-06
10.6 LD
9
51
2017 TZ3
2017-Nov-09
10.3 LD
8.7
39
2017 VC
2017-Nov-10
9.9 LD
7.3
87
444584
2017-Nov-17
8.7 LD
14.8
324
2008 WM61
2017-Dec-03
3.8 LD
4.7
16
2015 XX169
2017-Dec-14
9.7 LD
6.3
11
2011 YD29
2017-Dec-19
17.6 LD
7.7
20
2006 XY
2017-Dec-20
6.5 LD
5
56
2017 TS3
2017-Dec-22
18.2 LD
10.2
131
418849
2017-Dec-22
15.3 LD
17.4
257
2015 YQ1
2017-Dec-22
17.3 LD
11.1
9
2017 QL33
2017-Dec-30
13.3 LD
8.2
191
2015 RT1
2018-Jan-02
19.7 LD
9
30
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
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