You are viewing the page for Dec. 24, 2012
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 324.0 km/sec
density: 5.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2226 UT Dec24
24-hr: C1
1614 UT Dec24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Dec 12
Sunspots 1633 and 1635 have 'beta-gamma magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 90
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 Dec 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update 24 Dec 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 114 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 24 Dec 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Dec 12
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Dec. 27th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Dec 24 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2012 Dec 24 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Monday, Dec. 24, 2012
What's up in space
 

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

 
Meteorite jewelry

PENT-UP ENERGY: Sunspots AR1633 and AR1635 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. Quiet since they appeared days ago, these sunspots nevertheless contain pent-up energy for significant eruptions. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

SUNLIGHT IN A BEER CAN: Last June, astronomers at Philippus Lansbergen Observatory invited members of the public to build their own solargraphs and record the motion of the sun across the sky. "On Dec. 21st, we received more than 50 solargraphs from people all over the Netherlands who collected sunlight in an empty beercan during the last 6 months," reports Jan Koeman. "Here are some results."

A solargraph is a pinhole camera made from a soda or beer can lined with a piece of photographic paper. Using this simple device, the citizen scientists of the Netherlands recorded the daily track of the sun beginning on June 21st, the northern summer solstice, and ending two seasons later on Dec. 21st, the northern winter solstice. High tracks correspond to early summer, low tracks to late autumn. The only gaps are due to clouds and rain. The Netherlands have a reputation for rainy weather, but these solargraphs show the sun was out more often than not.

With winter beginning in the northern hemisphere (and summer in the south), now is the time for a new batch of solargraphs to be deployed. Readers are encouraged to follow directions in the links below.

6-month Solargraph How-to Guides: #1, #2, #3

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

ODD-RADIUS MOON HALOS: Many sky watchers have witnessed a halo around the moon--a ring of light that surrounds the lunar disk at a radius of 22 degrees. The phenomenon is caused by pencil-shaped ice crystals in cirrus clouds that bend moonlight. On Dec. 21st, Harald Edens of Magdalena, New Mexico, witnessed a rare double halo:

"Just after 7 PM local time I noticed a bright 22-degree halo around the moon," says Edens. "It was only when I started photographing that halo when I discovered a rare 9-degree halo inside the 22-degree halo."

The inner 9-degree halo is caused by ice crystals in the shape of pyramids. "Apart from the 9-degree circular halo, an 18-degree and perhaps a 35-degree circular halo were also present at times," he adds. All of these "odd-radius" halos are caused by icy pyramids.

The display quickly became even more varied. Edens saw at least a dozen different kinds of luminous rings and arcs, enumerated in his complete description of the event. "The display was highly transient," he notes. "Not only did the cirrus move fairly swiftly in the sky, but the halos - especially the odd-radius halos - appeared to come and go over the course of just a few minutes." But what a few minutes it was!

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 December 24, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2012 YR1
Dec 19
5.8 LD
22 m
2003 SD220
Dec 23
59.8 LD
1.8 km
1998 WT24
Dec 23
69.2 LD
1.1 km
2012 XM55
Dec 23
3 LD
12 m
2012 YS1
Dec 24
8.1 LD
44 m
2012 XP55
Dec 27
9.1 LD
70 m
1999 HA2
Feb 5
58 LD
1.3 km
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
57 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
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.
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
©2010 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.