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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 350.4 km/sec
density: 9.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
2224 UT Dec14
24-hr: C1
1217 UT Dec14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Dec 12
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 77
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Dec 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 13 Dec 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 112 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Dec 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: 9.6 nT
Bz: 3.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 14 Dec 12
Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole should reach Earth on Dec. 16-17. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Dec 14 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
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 Dec 14 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
What's up in space

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

Venus Transit metal posters

GREAT GEMINIDS: The Geminid meteor shower peaked last night as Earth passed through a stream of dusty debris from rock comet 3200 Phaethon. At maximum, worldwide observers counted more than 120 meteors per hour. The shower is subsiding now, but it's not over yet; elevated rates are expected for another 24 hours as Earth slowly exits 3200 Phaethon's debris stream. [sky map] [meteor radar] [video]

On Dec. 13th, Brian Emfinger photographed an epic Geminid fireball from the crest of Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas:

"Meteor rates were quite high and after midnight or so there was hardly ever more than a few minutes between meteors and several flurries of them at the same time," reports Emfinger. "It was a very impressive display--one of the best meteor showers I've ever seen."

"The highlight of the night was this Geminid fireball. In the picture, above, the meteor is streaking down over the lights of Fort Smith, AR. I was asleep in the car, trying to stay warm, when this happened. A few moments later a friend called (who was another 70 miles to the NE) and asked if I had seen anything because he saw what looked like flashes of lightning to the NW."

Realtime Geminid Photo Gallery

LITTLE PLANET TOTAL ECLIPSE: One month ago today, observers stationed along the cost of Queensland, Australia, witnessed a total eclipse of the sun. Eclipse chaser Dennis Mammana was there, and during the brief minutes of totality he snapped eight panoramic images of his surroundings. Stitching them together, he has created the first-ever "little planet" view of a total eclipse:

"Early in the morning of November 14, 2012, the resort island of Green Island, Australia fell dark as Moon's shadow drifted across its spectacular scenery," he recalls. Take a close look at the full-sized image, he advises. "Above the eclipse shines the planet Venus; on the other side of the scene--behind the trees--appears the bright star Sirius."

Total Eclipse Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Space Weather 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 December 14, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 XJ112
Dec 10
2.4 LD
18 m
2012 XE54
Dec 11
0.6 LD
36 m
2012 XL55
Dec 11
4.2 LD
17 m
2009 BS5
Dec 11
8.4 LD
15 m
4179 Toutatis
Dec 12
18 LD
2.7 km
2012 XB112
Dec 14
0.8 LD
5 m
2012 XH112
Dec 15
1.7 LD
17 m
2012 XM16
Dec 16
3.1 LD
31 m
2003 SD220
Dec 23
59.8 LD
1.8 km
1998 WT24
Dec 23
69.2 LD
1.1 km
2012 XM55
Dec 23
3 LD
12 m
2012 XP55
Dec 27
9.1 LD
67 m
1999 HA2
Feb 5
58 LD
1.3 km
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
57 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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