Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.
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GREAT GEMINIDS: The Geminid meteor shower peaked last night as Earth passed through a stream of dusty debris from rock comet 3200 Phaethon. At maximum, worldwide observers counted more than 120 meteors per hour. The shower is subsiding now, but it's not over yet; elevated rates are expected for another 24 hours as Earth slowly exits 3200 Phaethon's debris stream. [sky map] [meteor radar] [video]
On Dec. 13th, Brian Emfinger photographed an epic Geminid fireball from the crest of Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas:
"Meteor rates were quite high and after midnight or so there was hardly ever more than a few minutes between meteors and several flurries of them at the same time," reports Emfinger. "It was a very impressive display--one of the best meteor showers I've ever seen."
"The highlight of the night was this Geminid fireball. In the picture, above, the meteor is streaking down over the lights of Fort Smith, AR. I was asleep in the car, trying to stay warm, when this happened. A few moments later a friend called (who was another 70 miles to the NE) and asked if I had seen anything because he saw what looked like flashes of lightning to the NW."
Realtime Geminid Photo Gallery
LITTLE PLANET TOTAL ECLIPSE: One month ago today, observers stationed along the cost of Queensland, Australia, witnessed a total eclipse of the sun. Eclipse chaser Dennis Mammana was there, and during the brief minutes of totality he snapped eight panoramic images of his surroundings. Stitching them together, he has created the first-ever "little planet" view of a total eclipse:
"Early in the morning of November 14, 2012, the resort island of Green Island, Australia fell dark as Moon's shadow drifted across its spectacular scenery," he recalls. Take a close look at the full-sized image, he advises. "Above the eclipse shines the planet Venus; on the other side of the scene--behind the trees--appears the bright star Sirius."
Total Eclipse Photo Gallery
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
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 December 14, 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 |