Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.
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MARTIAN MARATHON: More than 8 years after landing on the Red Planet, Mars rover Opportunity is still running. Indeed, mission planners say the tireless robot is poised to complete a full marathon--the first ever long-distance race on an alien planet. [full story] [video]
ALMOST X-FLARE : Sunspot complex AR1520-1521 erupted again on July 19th, this time producing an M7-class solar flare that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:
The explosion produced a bright coronal mass ejection: movie. The cloud should miss Earth.
Although the explosion occured on the other side of the sun's western limb, our planet could feel some effects. The blast site is magnetically connected to Earth by backward-spiralling lines of magnetic force. Protons accelerated by the flare are being guided to us by those lines of magnetism, and a mild radiation storm is underway. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.
UPDATE: Amateur astronomers with H-alpha telescopes should train their filtered optics on the sun's SW limb. A magnificent row (or "arcade") of magnetic loops is towering over the limb. Magnetic arcades often form in the aftermath of significant explosions such as the one that occured during the early hours of July 19th.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
SOUTHERN LIGHTS: The geomagnetic storm of July 14-16 was remarkable for the beauty of its auroras in the southern hemisphere. The view was especially good from above:
Astronaut Joe Acaba took the picture from the Interntional Space Station orbiting 400 km above Earth's surface on Saturday, July 14th.
"It was absolutely incredible," says Acaba. "I was working out and in between sets I noticed that we were heading south during a night pass. So I decided my workout could be postponed for a few minutes and I turned out all of the lights in Node 3. Within a couple of minutes, I could not believe what I was seeing. I enjoyed the show for a few minutes [then alerted my crewmates to look].. Even Gennady, with all of his time on orbit, was amazed. Of course I took some obligatory pictures, but then I just sat in the dark, in the peace and quiet of this incredible man made, orbiting laboratory and just looked out the window in awe. What a truly magnificent planet we live on and solar system we live in."
Realtime Aurora 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 July 19, 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 |