Marianne's Heaven On Earth Aurora Chaser Tours Chasethelighttours.co.uk invites you to join them in their quest to find and photograph the Aurora Borealis. Experience the winter wonderland in the Tromsø Area.
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ERUPTING PROMINENCE: For days, astronomers have been monitoring a gigantic prominence on the sun's southwestern limb. Today, the magnetic structure erupted, hurling a bright CME into space. The CME will not hit Earth. Solar flare alerts: text or voice
THE SOLAR WIND HAS ARRIVED: Arriving one day earlier than expected, a stream of high-speed solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 30th. The onset of the stream sparked a G1-class geomagnetic storm and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Photographer and tour guide Marketa Murray sends this picture from Fairbanks, Alaska:
"Today, we had an honored guest, Dr. Neal Brown, the first director of the Poker Flat Rocket Facility where auroras are studied using sounding rockets. Neal ran the facility from 1971 through 1989," says Murray. "Neal says 'the Northern Lights are a silent symphony.' I photographed him playing the role of conductor."
High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st as Earth moves deeper into the stream of solar wind stream. Aurora alerts: text or voice
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
TWO CMEs, ONE MIGHT BE EARTH-DIRECTED: A pair of CMEs--one bright and one faint--billowed away from the sun on Nov. 29th. Click to view a movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:
The bright CME (pictured above) will miss Earth; it came from an explosion on the far side of the sun and is not heading in our direction. The faint one, which appears later in the movie, could be geoeffective. It appears to be associated with a minor eruption of Earth-facing sunspot AR2459. Stay tuned for further analysis about the possible origin and impact of the faint CME. Solar flare alerts: text or voice
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
MOONLIT AURORAS: For the past few nights, auroras have been difficult to see through the glare of the full Frosty Moon. On Nov. 27th, a splash of green penetrated the moonlight over Iceland:
"The moon lit the icebergs on lake Jökulsárlón in Iceland and made it almost look like daytime," reports photographer Madelon Dielen. "The auroras were there for a few minutes--just enough to give some extra color to this beautiful scene. "
The green could intensify in the nights ahead. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms by Dec. 1st when a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. Aurora alerts: text or voice
Realtime Comet Photo Gallery
Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
Realtime Meteor 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 Nov. 29, 2015, the network reported 7 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]
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 30, 2015 there were 1638 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.
| ||Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere |
These measurements are based on regular space weather balloon flights: learn more.
|Situation Report -- Oct. 30, 2015 ||Stratospheric Radiation (+37o N) |
|Cosmic ray levels are elevated (+6.1% above the Space Age median). The trend is flat. Cosmic ray levels have increased +0% in the past month. |
|Sept. 06: 4.14 uSv/hr (414 uRad/hr) |
|Sept. 12: 4.09 uSv/hr (409 uRad/hr) |
|Sept. 23: 4.12 uSv/hr (412 uRad/hr) |
|Sept. 25: 4.16 uSv/hr (416 uRad/hr) |
|Sept. 27: 4.13 uSv/hr (413 uRad/hr) |
|Oct. 11: 4.02 uSv/hr (402 uRad/hr) |
|Oct. 22: 4.11 uSv/hr (411 uRad/hr) |
Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly "space weather balloons" to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Our measurements show that someone flying back and forth across the continental USA, just once, can absorb as much ionizing radiation as 2 to 5 dental X-rays. Here is the data from our latest flight, Oct. 22nd:
Radiation levels peak at the entrance to the stratosphere in a broad region called the "Pfotzer Maximum." This peak is named after physicist George Pfotzer who discovered it using balloons and Geiger tubes in the 1930s. Radiation levels there are more than 80x sea level.
Note that the bottom of the Pfotzer Maximim is near 55,000 ft. This means that some high-flying aircraft are not far from the zone of maximum radiation. Indeed, according to the Oct 22th measurements, a plane flying at 45,000 feet is exposed to 2.79 uSv/hr. At that rate, a passenger would absorb about one dental X-ray's worth of radiation in about 5 hours.
The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.
| ||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 |
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