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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 501.9 km/sec
density: 7.24 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1146 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C4
2307 UT Aug13
24-hr: C6
0731 UT Aug13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2350 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Aug 22
Expand: labels | no labels
Fast-growing sunspot AR3079 is crackling with C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 97
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Aug 2022

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2022 total: 1 day (<1%)
2021 total: 64 days (18%)
2020 total: 208 days (57%)
2019 total: 281 days (77%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 13 Aug 2022


Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 13.59
x1010 W Neutral
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data: gfx, txt
Updated 13 Aug 2022

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 120 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Aug 2022

Cosmic Rays Solar Cycle 25 is beginning, and this is reflected in the number of cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere. Neutron counts from the University of Oulu's Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory show that cosmic rays reaching Earth are slowly declining--a result of the yin-yang relationship between the solar cycle and cosmic rays.

Oulu Neutron Counts

Percentages of the Space Age average:
today: +1.7% Elevated
48-hr change: +1.2%
Max: +11.7% Very High
(12/2009)
Min: -32.1% Very Low (06/1991)
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Aug 2022 @ 1700 UT

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.94 nT
Bz: -1.68 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1146 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Aug 22

Solar wind flowing from this long equatorial coronal hole should reach Earth on August 17-19.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds
Noctilucent cloud season is underway. The clouds are currently spreading as far south as +45N (Oregon).
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated Aug13
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2022 Aug 13 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
25 %
CLASS X
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: 2022 Aug 13 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
05 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
15 %
SEVERE
25 %
05 %
 
Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022
What's up in space
       
 

Never miss another geomagnetic storm. Sign up for Space Weather Alerts and you'll receive a text message when magnetic storms erupt. Aurora your guides and professional astronomers use this service. You can, too!

 

INCREASING CHANCE OF FLARES: Active sunspot AR3079 is crackling with C-class solar flares. This movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows one of the explosions on Aug. 13th happening not far from a dark magnetic filament:

The proximity of the filament may be significant. Repeated nearby flares could destabilize the structure, resulting in a CME-producing explosion.

Meanwhile, activity in the core of AR3079 is intensifying, and an M-flare could be in the offing. Stay tuned. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text

THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER IS UNDERWAY: Today, Aug. 13th, Earth is passing through a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. We won't see as many Perseids as usual because the meteor shower is competing with the nearly-full Moon. Only the brightest Perseids will be visible through the glare. Browse: photo gallery.

This morning, Georg Klingersberger photographed a rainbow-colored Perseid disintegrating over Kobernaußen, Austria:

"At first the Perseids seemed to be asleep," says Klingersberger. "I waited and waited under a bright full Moon seeing only planes and satellites. Then wow! This happened. Amazement and goosebumps."

Realtime Perseid Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter

A NEW FORM OF SPACE WEATHER ON BETELGEUSE: You've heard of a CME, a "coronal mass ejection." They happen all the time. A piece of the sun's tenuous outer atmosphere (corona) blows off and sometimes hits Earth. Something far more terrible has happened to Betegeuse. The red giant star produced an SME, or "surface mass ejection."


Above: An artist's concept of an SME on Betelgeuse. Credit: Elizabeth Wheatley (STScI)

NASA astronomers believe that in 2019 a colossal piece of Betelgeuse's surface blew off the star. The mass of the SME was 400 billion times greater than a CME or several times the mass of Earth's Moon. Data from multiple telescopes, especially Hubble, suggest that a convective plume more than a million miles across bubbled up from deep inside the star, producing shocks and pulsations that blasted a chunk off the surface.

"We've never before seen such a huge mass ejection from the surface of a star," says Andrea Dupree of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who is leading the study. "Something is going on that we don't completely understand."

After it left the star, the SME cooled, forming a dark cloud that famously dimmed Betelgeuse in 2019 and 2020. Even casual sky watchers could look up and see the change. Some astronomers worried that the dimming foreshadowed a supernova explosion. The realization that an SME is responsible has at least temporarily calmed those fears.


Above: A Hubble image of Betelgeuse located in the shoulder of Orion.

Betelgeuse's brightness has since returned to normal, but something strange is still going on. Astronomers have long known that Betelgeuse is a variable star with a 430-day period. Its metronome-like change in brightness has been observed for more than 200 years. As Betelgeuse recovers, however, those pulsations are no longer regular: See the data. Spectra taken by Hubble and the Tillinghast telescope in Arizona imply that years later the surface of Betelgeuse is still bouncing like a plate of gelatin dessert--a testament to the ferocity of the blowout.

Betelgeuse is so large that if it replaced the sun at the center of our solar system, its atmosphere would extend past Jupiter. Dupree used Hubble to resolve hot spots on the star's surface in 1996. This was the first direct image of a star other than the sun.

What's happening now "is a totally new phenomenon that we can observe directly and resolve surface details with Hubble," says Dupree. "We're watching stellar evolution in real time."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter

THE EDGE OF SPACE BUTTERFLY: Are you looking for a far-out gift? Consider the Edge of Space Butterfly. On June 26, 2022, this crystal pendant hitched a ride onboard an Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray research balloon:

You can have it for $172.95. The inner yellow citrine crystal is surrounded by a "spread your wings" lattice of sparkling zirconia. A rich layer of rhodium plating ensures the longevity of the pendant and its 18-inch chain.

The Edge of Space Butterfly makes a great anniversary, Christmas, or birthday gift. It comes with a greeting card showing the pendant in flight and telling the story of its trip to the stratosphere and back again.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter

  All Sky Fireball Network
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 Aug 13, 2022, the network reported 118 fireballs.
(70 Perseids, 46 sporadics, 2 southern delta Aquariids)

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]

  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 13, 2022 there were 2291 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2022 PW1
2022-Aug-08
0.6 LD
8.6
10
2022 OC4
2022-Aug-09
4 LD
7.5
12
2022 PF
2022-Aug-09
4.5 LD
9.6
15
2022 PA1
2022-Aug-10
2.7 LD
16.3
18
2022 PK1
2022-Aug-11
13.6 LD
10.2
33
2015 FF
2022-Aug-12
11.2 LD
9.2
17
2022 PX1
2022-Aug-12
2.8 LD
35.1
125
2022 OT1
2022-Aug-13
12.4 LD
5.8
36
2022 OA4
2022-Aug-14
18.2 LD
7.9
23
2022 PJ1
2022-Aug-16
11 LD
5.9
19
2022 PW
2022-Aug-16
1.4 LD
7.5
30
2022 PC
2022-Aug-18
16.5 LD
4.1
62
2019 AV13
2022-Aug-20
13.8 LD
9.2
135
2020 QW3
2022-Aug-22
14.1 LD
18.1
30
2015 QH3
2022-Aug-22
5.6 LD
7
14
2017 BU
2022-Aug-29
15.8 LD
7
32
2021 CQ5
2022-Sep-01
8.7 LD
13.5
7
2008 RW
2022-Sep-12
17.5 LD
10.2
98
2020 PT4
2022-Sep-15
19.7 LD
10.8
39
2016 HF2
2022-Sep-29
19.2 LD
5.6
21
2018 ER1
2022-Oct-02
14.7 LD
4
27
2018 VG
2022-Oct-05
18.5 LD
6.7
12
2021 TJ10
2022-Oct-06
19.6 LD
8.1
6
2006 SG7
2022-Oct-07
16.7 LD
18.4
93
2013 TJ6
2022-Oct-07
11.7 LD
14.4
32
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

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Almost 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 sensors that detect secondary cosmic rays, a form of radiation from space that can penetrate all the way down to Earth's surface. Our monitoring program has been underway without interruption for 7 years, resulting in a unique dataset of in situ atmospheric measurements.

Latest results (July 2022): Atmospheric radiation is decreasing in 2022. Our latest measurements in July 2022 registered a 6-year low:

What's going on? Ironically, the radiation drop is caused by increasing solar activity. Solar Cycle 25 has roared to life faster than forecasters expected. The sun's strengthening and increasingly tangled magnetic field repels cosmic rays from deep space. In addition, solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays, causing sharp reductions called "Forbush Decreases." The two effects blend together to bring daily radiation levels down.

.Who cares? Cosmic rays are a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. They can alter the chemistry of the atmosphere, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. According to a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan school of public health, crews of aircraft have higher rates of cancer than the general population. The researchers listed cosmic rays, irregular sleep habits, and chemical contaminants as leading risk factors. A number of controversial studies (#1, #2, #3, #4) go even further, linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

Technical notes: 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.

Data points in the graph labeled "Stratospheric Radiation" correspond to the peak of the Regener-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Regener and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

  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.
STEREO
  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.
SolarMonitor.org
  information about sunspots based on the latest NOAA/USAF Active Region Summary
The Aerospace Corporation
  Authoritative predictions of space junk and satellite re-entries
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Live Aurora Webcam
  from Lights over Lapland
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather

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