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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 403.5 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2021 UT Nov15
24-hr: C6
0437 UT Nov15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Nov 12
Sunspot AR1613 is crackling with M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 126
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 Nov 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 14 Nov 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 146 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 14 Nov 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.7 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 15 Nov 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Nov 15 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
05 %
05 %
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 Nov 15 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
30 %
30 %
35 %
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012
What's up in space

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

Metallic pictures of the Sun

CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class solar flares and a 5% chance of X-flares today. The most likely source would be sunspot AR1613, which has an unstable magnetic field. Because AR1613 is directly facing Earth, any eruptions from the active region will almost certainly be geoeffective. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

SOLAR ECLIPSE FOR BREAKFAST: What do you do when the Moon covers the sun just after sunrise? Have a solar eclipse for breakfast! Janne Pyykkö sends these pictures of people "eating" this week's sunrise total eclipse over Queensland, Australia:

Credits: from top-left to bottom-right are Saul Lehtonen (model Johanna Hoffrén), Johanna Hoffrén (model Saul Lehtonen), Ville Nikula (model Mikael Holappa), Anna Snellman (model Otto Snellman).

"Our Finnish group of 45 eclipse chasers, organized by Tähdet ja avaruus magazine, watched the total solar eclipse on Nov. 14th from the dry desert 150 km north-west of Cairns, Australia," explains Pyykkö. "I coordinated a project to catch photos where people are eating the total solar eclipse; there was no strict guidance about the choice of camera or overall arrangements. Quite a few of us took the challenge. Here is a behind-the-scenes shot that describes the idea."

Browse the photo gallery for more images:

Realtime Eclipse Photo Gallery

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: On Nov. 13th and 14th, Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into the United States during a moderately strong (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm. Spotters report naked-eye auroras over Minnesota, Michigan, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Vermont, Connecticut and, just barely, Colorado and Kansas. The storm, which is subsiding now, flared up as Earth passed through the wake of a CME that swept past our planet on Nov. 13th.

Satellite data show that some of the intense auroral bands were located over Northern Europe. Photographer Ole C. Salomonsen sends this picture from Tromsø, Norway:

"Tonight was a spectacular night," says Salomonsen. "This for sure was the strongest auroras so far this season. The magnetograms at the University of Tromsø went bananas! Tromsø is a city of about 70,000, so it has a lot of light pollution; even so, the auroras were clearly visible standing in the middle of the city. It was just sick!"

"Once a year the Arctic cathedral in Tromsø is lit in blue to put focus on diabetes. This was the first night it was lit blue this year, and man was I lucky to get one of the strongest outbreaks I have ever seen just above it. This was just a mindblowing visual and astronomical experience. I came home with almost 500GB of photos."

More auroras could be in tthe offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of strong geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather 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 November 15, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 VQ6
Nov 10
1.8 LD
18 m
2012 VV76
Nov 11
4.4 LD
33 m
2012 VC26
Nov 11
2.3 LD
8 m
2012 UY68
Nov 14
6.7 LD
44 m
2012 VJ38
Nov 14
0.6 LD
9 m
2012 VS76
Nov 16
2.4 LD
17 m
2012 VU76
Nov 16
8.1 LD
31 m
2012 VB26
Nov 17
9.7 LD
34 m
2012 VN76
Nov 20
7.3 LD
13 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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