Spotless Days Current Stretch: 0 days 2023 total: 0 days (0%) 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 28 Nov 2023
Thermosphere Climate Index today: 18.84x1010W Warm Max: 49.4x1010 W Hot (10/1957) Min: 2.05x1010 W Cold (02/2009) explanation | more data:gfx, txt Updated 27 Nov 2023
Cosmic RaysSolar Cycle 25 is intensifying, 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: -4.6% Low 48-hr change: +0.6% Max: +11.7% Very High (12/2009) Min: -32.1% Very Low (06/1991) explanation |more data Updated 28 Nov 2023 @ 0700 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field Btotal: 4.43 nT Bz: 2.83 nT north more data: ACE, DSCOVR Updated: Today at 1146 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Nov 23
Solar wind flowing from this small coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 27-28. Credit: SDO/AIA
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs began on May 26th. The first clouds were detected inside the Arctic Circle by the NOAA 21 satellite. An instrument onboard NOAA 21 (OMPS LP) is able to detect NLCs (also known as "polar mesospheric clouds" or PMCs). For the rest of the season, daily maps from NOAA 21 will be presented here:
Updated: Aug. 29, 2023
Each dot is a detected cloud. As the season progresses, these dots will multiply in number and shift in hue from blue to red as the brightness of the clouds intensifies.
What happened to NASA's AIM spacecraft, which has been monitoring NLCs since 2007? Earlier this year, the spacecraft's battery failed. As a result AIM is offline, perhaps permanently. There may be some hope of a recovery as AIM's orbit precesses into full sunlight in 2024. Until then, we will maintain AIM's iconic "daily daisy," frozen at Feb. 28, 2023, as a show of thanks for years of service and hope for future daisies:
Geomagnetic Storms: Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2023 Nov 28 2200 UTC
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023
What's up in space
This is an AI Free Zone! Text created by ChatGPT and other Large Language Models is spreading rapidly across the Internet. It's well-written, artificial, frequently inaccurate. If you find a mistake on Spaceweather.com, rest assured it was made by a real human being.
MULTIPLE CMEs ARE COMING: At least three CMEs are heading for Earth following a series of magnetic filament eruptions (#1, #2 & #3) earlier this week. Their collective arrival could spark G2-class geomagnetic storms with mid-latitude auroras on Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st. This forecast does not yet take into account a possible CME hurled toward us by today's almost-X class solar flare. Keep reading! Solar flare alerts:SMS Text
ALMOST-X CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot AR3500 erupted on Nov. 28th (1950 UT), producing an M9.8-class solar flare--only percentage points below category X. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast:
A pulse of extreme UV radiation blacked out shortwave radio communications across the South Pacific Ocean and parts of the Americas: map. Mariners and ham radio operators may have noticed loss of signal at frequencies below 20 MHz.
This explosion almost certainly hurled a CME toward Earth. Confirmation awaits fresh data from SOHO coronagraphs. Stay tuned. CME alerts:SMS Text
BLACK FRIDAY AT THE EDGE OF SPACE (EXTENDED): Christmas is coming. Are you looking for a far-out gift? Check out the Earth to Sky Store. It's filled with unique items that have flown to the edge of space onboard cosmic ray research balloons.
Carried aloft by giant helium balloons, these unique gifts have flown above 99.7% of Earth's atmosphere, experiencing space-like blasts of cosmic rays, extreme cold, and a wild ride parachuting back to Earth after the balloon explodes. Even Amazon doesn't carry items this far out.
Don't forget to enter coupon code "SPACEPICKLE" at checkout for a 15% Black Friday discount.
MOONLIGHT VS. AURORAS: Spoiler alert: The auroras won. On Nov. 25th, a G2-class geomagnetic storm sent auroras cascading across Europe. Glare from the nearly full Moon threatened to overwhelm the light show, but... "We could see the auroras despite the strong moonlight," reports Petr Horálek of Záhradné, Slovakia.
"They looked beautifully red," he says.
The display was remarkable not only for its full-Moon intensity, but also for its latitude. Záhradné is in central Europe at +49 degrees north. Normally auroras are restricted to the high fifties and sixties. A similar mid-latitude light show could be in the offing later this week if multiple CMEs arrive as expected. Aurora alerts:SMS Text
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 27, 2023, the network reported 3 fireballs. (2 sporadics, 1 November omega 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]
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 28, 2023 there were 2349 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.
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.
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