You are viewing the page for Aug. 30, 2012
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 403.2 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2316 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2144 UT Aug30
24-hr: M1
1211 UT Aug30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Aug 12
None of these sunspots poses a significant threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 95
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Aug 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 Aug 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 118 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Aug 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: 2.7 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Aug 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Aug 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
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 Aug 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
25 %
15 %
20 %
05 %
Thursday, Aug. 30, 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

BLUE MOON: The full Moon of August 31st is a "Blue Moon," the second full moon in a calendar month. But could the Moon actually turn blue? Today's story from Science@NASA discusses the possibilities. [video]

RADIATION BELT STORM PROBES: Most spacecraft try to avoid the Van Allen Belts, two doughnut-shaped regions around Earth filled with "killer electrons." This morning, NASA launched two heavily-shielded spacecraft directly into the belts. Mark Staples of Little Lake Santa Fe, Florida, photographed the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) lifting off just after 4:05 am EDT:

"I am about 150 miles NW of the launch pad, but I could easily see the bright flame as the Atlas V cleared the trees and clouds," says Staples.

Shortly after launch, the twin probes were successfully released from the rocket's Centaur upper stage, kicking off a two-year mission to study the mysteries of the Van Allen Belts. "I'm very happy to report that we have two happy spacecraft on orbit," says Rick Fitzgerald, RBSP project manager from the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which is managing the mission for NASA.

The two probes now begin a 60-day commissioning period. During the next two months, operators will power up all flight systems and science instruments and deploy long antenna booms, two of which are more than 54 yards long. The Storm Probes are equipped with radio beacons that will rapidly transmit data back to Earth so members of the public can get a nearly-realtime look at conditions inside the belts. Stay tuned.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

IONIZATION WAVES: Magnetic fields snaking around the sun's southeastern limb are crackling with C- and M-class solar flares. Extreme UV pulses from the flares are illuminating Earth's upper atmosphere, causing waves of ionization to ripple around the dayside of our planet. Rob Stammes detected the sudden ionospheric disturbances (SIDs) from his laboratory in Lofoton, Norway:

"The extra ionization altered the propagation of very low frequency radio signals around Northern Europe," explains Stammes. "I detected these changes using my 60 kHz SID receiver."

More ionization waves are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Solar Flare alerts: text, phone.

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 August 30, 2012 there were 1329 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 QH14
Aug 25
3.5 LD
15 m
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
1.0 km
2012 QZ16
Aug 30
7 LD
33 m
2012 QG42
Sep 14
7.4 LD
375 m
2012 QC8
Sep 14
22.7 LD
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
1.3 km
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
1.1 km
2012 QF49
Oct 29
77.6 LD
1.8 km
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
2.4 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
Trade Show Displays
  more links...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.