Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.
| || |
SCROLL DOWN FOR FIREBALLS: There's something new on Spaceweather.com. Scroll down the page and look for the "All Sky Fireball Network." Every night NASA scans the skies for meteoritic fireballs. Every morning, we'll be presenting their results from the night before. The data include orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and more.
CRACKLING SUNSPOT: Sunspot AR1865 is crackling with C- and M-class solar flares, at least one every few hours. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme UV flash from this M1-flare at 23:36 UT on Oct. 15th:
The UV pulse from this flare caused a minor wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere over the Pacific side of our planet, but otherwise no effects.
Stronger flares could be in the offing. The sunspot has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class eruptions. By crackling, however, the active region might be "blowing off steam" that prevents a really big blast. NOAA forecasters estimate a mere 1% chance of X-class flares in the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
NORTHERN LIGHTS: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 15th @ 10:00 UT, jolting a magnetic field already shaken by a gusty solar wind stream. The combination sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Oskar Pettersson photographed this display above Luleå, Sweden:
"Auroras were covering much of the sky with vivid colors in green, purple and red," says Pettersson. "They were some of the best I've seen this season."
Another CME is approaching Earth. NOAA forecasters expect a weak impact on Oct. 16 with a 30% chance of polar magnetic storms on Oct. 17th. More auroras are possible at high latitudes. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
COLORFUL CONJUNCTION: If you're awake at 5 am, go outside and face east. About halfway up the sky, the red planet Mars and the blue star Regulus are side by side, forming a 1st-magnitude "double star" in the pre-dawn sky. David Marshall photographed the colorful duo on the morning of Oct. 16th from Christ Church, Barbados:
Look carefully to the left of red Mars. The "duo" is actually a trio: Comet ISON is there, too. "Comet ISON, Mars and Regulus are quite a photogenic threesome!" says Marshall.
While Mars and Regulus are easily seen with the unaided eye, Comet ISON requires optics. The comet is far away, near the orbit of Mars, and glows like an 11th magnitude star. Marshall was able to photograph it by stacking 44 one-minute exposures from his Canon 7D digital camera.
Backyard telescopes reveal the comet much faster than a digital camera. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. And while you're there, look up to enjoy the colorful conjunction. It's a nice way to begin the day.
Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery
Realtime Aurora 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 Oct. 16, 2013, the network detected 15 fireballs.
(12 sporadics, 1 chi Taurid, 1 southern Taurid, 1 Orionid)
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]
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 16, 2013 there were 1434 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 |