When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.
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WEAK IMPACT: A weak disturbance in the solar wind swept past Earth on Feb 5th at ~1400 UT. It may have been the long-overdue CME of Jan 31st, finally arriving after five days in transit. The weak impact did not spark a geomagnetic storm. Aurora alerts: text, voice
AS THE SUN TURNS: Carried along by the sun's 27-day rotation, big sunspot AR1967 is turning away from Earth. Ironically this is making the active region even more dangerous. AR1967 is moving toward a location where the sun's spiraling magnetic field is well-connected to our planet and energetic particles can be funneled in our direction. An explosion there could spark a radiation storm around Earth. Click to watch the sun turn:
AR1967 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong eruptions. The past 24 hours has been relatively quiet, but that could be the calm before the storm. NOAA forecasters estimate an 80% chance of M-class solar flares and a 50% chance of X-class solar flares on Feb. 5th.. Solar flare alerts: text, voice
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
MUST-SEE AURORA MOVIE: "We are enjoying one of our best years ever," reports Chad Blakley, an aurora tour guide in Sweden's Abisko National Park. "So far we have seen auroras on 29 out of the 31 nights we have looked. Last night was extra special. The sky exploded in color and I was lucky to capture the phenomenon with several different cameras from multiple angles." Click to view the resulting footage:
"The lights were so powerful that the images became overexposed with a shutter speed of less than one second," he continues. "I can honestly say that this was one of the greatest displays of natural beauty that I have ever seen."
The show is apt to continue tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of geomagnetic storms on Feb. 3-4 when an approaching CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field. Aurora alerts: text, voice
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Realtime Supernova Photo Gallery
Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.
On Feb. 4, 2014, the network reported 6 fireballs.
In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]
On Feb. 3, 2014, the network reported 0 fireballs.
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 February 5, 2014 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 |