Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.
| || |
NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID: A relatively large asteroid, just discovered on August 28th, will fly past the Earth-Moon system on Sept 14th only 2.8 million km (7.4 lunar distances) away. 2012 QG42 is about as wide as three football fields and comes to us from just beyond the orbit of Mars. Astronomers who are now monitoring the space rock say it shines about as brightly as a 15th magnitude star. [3D orbit] [ephemeris]
MORE STORMING: Earth's polar magnetic field remains stormy and unsettled after the CME impact of Sept. 3rd. Today began with a moderately strong (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm, which sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Jónína Óskarsdóttir sends this picture of the display from Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland:
"After a long summer with the midnight sun, I'm so happy to see the auroras again," says Óskarsdóttir. "I'm looking forward to all the sleepless nights ahead."
Stay tuned to the aurora gallery for new photos of the storm. Aurora alerts: text, phone.
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
THE SOURCE OF THE ACTION: The ongoing geomagnetic storms were caused, originally, by an eruption on the sun. NASA has just released new high-resolution images of the giant magnetic filament that snapped on August 31st:
Each panel shows the eruption in a different wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. By comparing the colors, which trace different temperatures and densities of solar plasma, researchers can learn more about the dynamics of filaments--and maybe one day to predict when they will erupt.
The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) not-quite-directly toward Earth. A glancing blow from the cloud on Sept. 3rd set in motion the current spate of geomagnetic storms. Solar Flare alerts: text, phone.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]
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 5, 2012 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.
| ||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 |
| ||the underlying science of space weather |