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CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters
estimate a 10% to 15% chance of M-class
solar flares during the next 24 hours. The likely
source would be sunspot AR1575, near the center
of the solar disk. The odds are low, but if a flare
occurs in AR1575, it will be Earth-directed. Solar
flare alerts: text,
EXPLOSION: An active region on the
farside of the sun exploded on Sept. 23rd, hurling
a bright coronal mass ejection over the sun's eastern
at the L1
Lagrange Point, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
(SOHO) recorded the expanding cloud:
The cloud is not heading for Earth.
Nor is any other planet in the line of fire. In
a few days, however, the sun's rotation will turn
the blast site toward Earth. After that, eruptions
could become geoeffective.
You can monitor farside explosions
and track this active region on your smartphone
or iPad: Download the
3D Sun, courtesy of NASA's Heliophysics Division.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
LIGHTS: The onset of northern autumn
means it's aurora
season. For reasons researchers don't fully
understand, equinoxes are the best times to see
Northern Lights. And, right on cue, the Arctic Circle
is glowing. Marianne Bergli sends this picture of
auroras shimmering directly above Storfjord, Norway:
"Last night it was difficult
to select [which part of the sky to photograph].
The auroras were dancing everywhere," says
Bergli. "Eventually I was just lying on my
back looking up. It was absolutely, unbelievable
As the week begins, the solar wind
velocity is low (~350 km/s), but at this time of
year it only takes a gentle gust to ignite bright
auroras around the Arctic Circle. High-latitude
sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.
Aurora alerts: text,
Aurora Photo Gallery
Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003,
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
all the time.
September 24, 2012 there were 1331
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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO
is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather