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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 372.5 km/sec
density: 11.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
1932 UT Oct31
24-hr: C1
0507 UT Oct31
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 31 Oct 12
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 56
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Oct 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 30 Oct 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Oct 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 13.1 nT
Bz: 6.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Oct 12
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Nov. 3-4. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Oct 31 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 Oct 31 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
45 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
25 %
SEVERE
60 %
25 %
 
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012
What's up in space
 

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

 
Spaceweather Radio is on the air

MINOR CME IMPACT: A minor CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 31st around 1500 UT. Polar geomagnetic storms are possible in the hours ahead. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

HALLOWEEN MOON AND JUPITER: Trick or Treaters, look for the nearly full Moon tonight rising in the east. The bright "star" not far below the ghostly-pale lunar disk is Jupiter.Tomorrow night, the Moon and Jupiter will be even closer together. Sky maps: Oct. 31, Nov. 1.

AMAZING ICE HALO DISPLAY: Yesterday, sky watchers around the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, witnessed something amazing: A complex network of luminous arcs and rings surrounded the afternoon sun. "I've never seen anything quite like it," says eyewitness Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Solar physicist David Hathaway snapped this picture of the display:


Image credit and copyright: David Hathaway/NASA/MSFC

The apparition is almost certainly connected to hurricane Sandy. The core of the storm swept well north of Alabama, but Sandy's outer bands did pass over the area, leaving behind a thin haze of ice crystals in cirrus clouds. Sunlight shining through the crystals produced an unusually rich variety of ice halos.

"By my count, there are two sun dogs, a 22o halo, a parahelic circle, an upper tangent arc, and a parry arc," says Chris Brightwell, who also photographed the display. "It was amazing."

"Very impressive," agreed onlooker Kyle Winkleman. "This was a once-in-a-decade event for our area."

If the display really was a result of Sandy, sky watchers might not have to wait a decade for the next show. Some researchers believe that superstorms will become more common in the years ahead as a result of climate change, creating new things both terrible and beautiful to see overhead. Sky watchers in the storm zone should remain alert for the unusual.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

GROUND-HUGGING RAINBOW: Most rainbows arch up into the sky, but on Oct. 27th, Stefan Elieff of Punta Arenas, Chile, photographed one that seemed to hug the ground:

"Scattered rain clouds were rolling in low over the hills behind the city when this unusually low rainbow appeared," says Elieff.

Although low rainbows are seldom seen, they are actually quite common. They appear whenever raindrops are illuminated by a high-hanging sun. "A rainbow's center and the sun are always on opposite sides of the sky," explains atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "So when the sun is high, the rainbow is low. Indeed, as the sun climbs, the rainbow sinks--sometimes right into the sea."

Look for more atmospheric optics phenomena, rare and otherwise, in the realtime photo gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Comet 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 October 31, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 UK171
Oct 27
7.4 LD
--
55 m
2012 UW9
Oct 29
9.4 LD
--
31 m
2012 UU169
Oct 29
3 LD
--
32 m
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2012 UL171
Nov 3
7.6 LD
--
17 m
2012 UX136
Nov 4
2.7 LD
--
36 m
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.4 km
2012 UV136
Nov 10
5.8 LD
--
33 m
2012 UY68
Nov 14
6.7 LD
--
42 m
2010 JK1
Nov 25
9.3 LD
--
56 m
2009 LS
Nov 28
55.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2009 BS5
Dec 11
8.4 LD
--
15 m
4179 Toutatis
Dec 12
18 LD
--
2.7 km
2003 SD220
Dec 23
59.8 LD
--
1.8 km
1998 WT24
Dec 23
69.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 UC20
Dec 29
25.7 LD
--
1.0 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...
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