Love Has Won

WE ARE HERE AS HUMANITY'S TEAM AND MIRRORS OF LOVE. SO TOGETHER WE CAN BRING BACK UNITY AND PEACE TO THIS PLANET, AND RETURN TO OUR NATURAL STATE. 

We Are The First Contact Ground Crew Team, who are preparing to take Humanity Home Into The Light.

Space Weather Update: 12/04/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 12/04/2016

THE MOON APPROACHES MARS: Last night, the crescent Moon passed by Venus. Tonight, it is approaching Mars. Look south after sunset to see the waxing lunar crescent not far from the Red Planet. Sky maps: Dec 3rd4th.

LARGE CORONAL HOLE TURNING TOWARD EARTH: A large hole in the sun's atmosphere has formed and it is turning toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this extreme ultraviolet image of the structure on Dec. 4th:

 

This is a "coronal hole"--a region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up, allowing solar wind to escape.  A stream of solar wind emerging from this coronal hole could reach Earth as early as Dec. 7th and influence the near-space environment of our planet for several days. G1-class geomagnetic storms and high-latitude auroras are possible when the solar wind arrives.

Note: The forecast will improve in the days ahead as the hole rotates into better view, revealing its form and dimensions. Stay tuned!

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

WATCH OUT FOR THE DA VINCI GLOW: If you go outside tonight to witness the meeting of Mars and the crescent Moon, pay special attention to the Moon.  Cradled between the arms of the slender crescent is a display of light and shadow that puzzled sky watchers for thousands of years--until Leonardo da Vinci figured it out. It's the "Da Vinci glow," also known as Earthshine:

 

Jo Smeets of Itteren, the Netherlands, took the picture last night as the Moon was passing Venus en route to Mars. "The Earthshine really popped in this 5 second exposure with my Canon digital camera," says Smeets.

For much of human history, people marveled at the faint image of the full Moon inside the arms of the bright crescent. Where did it come from? No one knew until the 16th century when Leonardo figured it out. He realized that dark lunar terrain was being illuminated by sunlight reflected from Earth.

Visualizing this in the 1500s required a wild kind of imagination. No one had ever been to the Moon and looked "up" at Earth. Most people didn't even know that Earth orbited the sun. Copernicus' sun-centered theory of the solar system wasn't published until 1543, twenty-four years after Leonardo died.


Above: Da Vinci's sketch of Earthshine in 1510 vs. Italian astronomer Riccardo Di Nasso's photo of Earthshine in 2006.

Wild imagination, however, was one thing Leonardo had in abundance. His notebooks are filled with sketches of flying machines, army tanks, scuba gear and other fantastic devices centuries ahead of their time.

In Leonardo's Codex Leicester, circa 1510, there is a page entitled "Of the Moon: No Solid Body is Lighter than Air." He states his belief that the "ghostly glow" is due to sunlight bouncing off Earth's oceans and, in turn, hitting the Moon.  500 years later, we know that Earth's clouds (not oceans) do most of the reflecting; but that is a quibble. Leonardo understood the basics well enough.

Go outside tonight and look to the sky. The Da Vinci Glow is waiting....

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

FLIGHT OF THE SPACE PICKLE: Did you know that cosmic radiation in Earth's atmosphere is increasing?  It's true. These and other findings of the Earth to Sky Calculus ballooning program are funded not by government grants or corporate donations. Instead, we rely on crowdfunding.  Hence, the flight of the space pickle:

 

To raise funds for their ongoing research, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown a payload-full of Christmas pickles to the stratosphere. On Nov. 20th, the glass gherkins ascended to an altitude of 111,900 feet, experiencing temperatures as low as -55 C and cosmic ray dose rates more than 100x Earth normal.

You can have one for your own tree. Price: $49.95.  All proceeds are used to support cutting-edge student research. The space pickle and other edge of space gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Dec. 4, 2016, the network reported 13 fireballs.
(7 sporadics, 4 sigma Hydrids, 2 November omega Orionids)

 

 

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 December 4, 2016 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 XJ

Dec 1

5.1 LD

15 m

2016 XB

Dec 3

13.5 LD

20 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

30 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2016 WH10

Dec 6

5.7 LD

26 m

2016 XE

Dec 7

1.5 LD

10 m

2016 WQ8

Dec 8

5.1 LD

50 m

2016 XA

Dec 12

7.2 LD

28 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 km

2015 BB

Jan 18

13.8 LD

45 m

2002 LS32

Jan 24

53.9 LD

1.0 km

1991 VK

Jan 25

25.2 LD

1.9 km

2000 WN107

Jan 26

62.3 LD

2.8 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 279.3 km/sec
density: 24.3 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1919 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1756 UT Dec04
24-hr: C1 1756 UT Dec04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1900 UTDaily Sun: 04 Dec 16Sunspot AR2615 is crackling with weak B-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 62
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 Dec 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 04 Dec 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 85 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 04 Dec 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.8 nT
Bz: -0.9 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1918 UTCoronal Holes: 04 Dec 16
A large coronal hole is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. Come back to this spot every day to see the "daily daisy" from NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is monitoring the dance of electric-blue around the Antarctic Circle.

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 12-04-2016 16:55:02

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Dec 03 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

10 %

10 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Dec 03 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

20 %

10 %

MINOR

05 %

05 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

30 %

20 %

SEVERE

25 %

15 %

Space Weather Update: 12/03/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 12/03/2016

SATURDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Venus and the Moon are doing it again--putting on a show in the sunset sky. Look for them in the southwest just after sundown. If possible, go outside before the sky fades completely black. For reasons no scientist can explain, these two heavenly bodies are especially beautiful when surrounded by twilight blue. Sky maps: Dec. 2nd3rd.

WATCH OUT FOR THE DA VINCI GLOW: If you go outside tonight to witness the meeting of Venus and the crescent Moon, pay special attention to the Moon.  Cradled between the arms of the slender crescent is a display of light and shadow that puzzled sky watchers for thousands of years--until Leonardo da Vinci figured it out. It's the "Da Vinci glow,"  also known as Earthshine:

 

Richard Sears of Merced, California, took the picture last night. "I was getting ready for the Venus-Moon conjunction," he says.  "The Earthshine was gorgeous."

For much of human history, people marveled at the faint image of the full Moon inside the arms of the crescent. Where did it come from? No one knew until the 16th century when Leonardo figured it out.  He realized that dark lunar terrain was being illuminated by sunlight reflected from Earth.

Visualizing this in the 1500s required a wild kind of imagination. No one had ever been to the Moon and looked "up" at Earth. Most people didn't even know that Earth orbited the sun. Copernicus' sun-centered theory of the solar system wasn't published until 1543, twenty-four years after Leonardo died.


Above: Da Vinci's sketch of Earthshine in 1510 vs. Italian astronomer Riccardo Di Nasso's photo of Earthshine in 2006.

Wild imagination, however, was one thing Leonardo had in abundance. His notebooks are filled with sketches of flying machines, army tanks, scuba gear and other fantastic devices centuries ahead of their time.

In Leonardo's Codex Leicester, circa 1510, there is a page entitled "Of the Moon: No Solid Body is Lighter than Air." He states his belief that the "ghostly glow" is due to sunlight bouncing off Earth's oceans and, in turn, hitting the Moon.  500 years later, we know that Earth's clouds (not oceans) do most of the reflecting; but that is a quibble. Leonardo understood the basics well enough.

Go outside tonight and look to the sky. The Da Vinci Glow is waiting....

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

LARGE CORONAL HOLE TURNING TOWARD EARTH: A large hole in the sun's atmosphere has formed and it is turning toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this extreme ultraviolet image of the structure on Dec. 3rd:

 

This is a "coronal hole"--a region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up, allowing solar wind to escape.  A stream of solar wind emerging from this coronal hole could reach Earth as early as Dec. 7th and influence the near-space environment of our planet for several days. G1-class geomagnetic storms and high-latitude auroras are possible when the solar wind arrives.

Note: The forecast will improve in the days ahead as the hole rotates into better view, revealing its form and dimensions. Stay tuned!

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

COLOR-CHANGING SPACE PENDANT: To raise money for their space weather ballooning program, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown ten temperature sensitive "mood" pendants to the edge of space. You can have one for $39.95. The color-changing pendant comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and certifying that it has been to the stratosphere and back again. Buyers also receive an exclusive video link showing the pendant changing color as it ascends to the stratosphere.

 

In the photo, above, note the reflection of the balloon in the pendant's "space helmet." At the time, the balloon was deep inside the stratosphere where it had expanded to the size of a small house. Moments later the balloon exploded and the pendants parachuted back to Earth, landing in the outskirts of Death Valley National Park.

The research of Earth to Sky Calculus is not supported by government grants or corporate donations. Instead, we are entirely crowd-funded. Proceeds from the sale of items like the Sunburst Mood Pendant go right back into cutting-edge student research. More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Dec. 3, 2016, the network reported 23 fireballs.
(17 sporadics, 3 sigma Hydrids, 1 Geminid, 1 November I Draconid, 1 Puppids-Velid)

 

 

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 December 3, 2016 there were 1742 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

27 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

30 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2016 WH10

Dec 6

5.7 LD

26 m

2016 WQ8

Dec 8

5.1 LD

49 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 km

2015 BB

Jan 18

13.8 LD

45 m

2002 LS32

Jan 24

53.9 LD

1.0 km

1991 VK

Jan 25

25.2 LD

1.9 km

2000 WN107

Jan 26

62.3 LD

2.8 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 316.4 km/sec
density: 9.2 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1804 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1800 UT Dec03
24-hr: B2 1800 UT Dec03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1800 UTDaily Sun: 03 Dec 16All of these sunspots are stable and quiet. Solar flares are unlikely this weekend. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 59
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Dec 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 03 Dec 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 84 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 03 Dec 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.8 nT
Bz: -1.6 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1803 UTCoronal Holes: 03 Dec 16
A large coronal hole is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. Come back to this spot every day to see the "daily daisy" from NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is monitoring the dance of electric-blue around the Antarctic Circle.

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 12-03-2016 16:55:02

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Dec 02 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

10 %

10 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Dec 02 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

10 %

20 %

MINOR

01 %

05 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

20 %

30 %

SEVERE

10 %

25 %

Space Weather Update: 12/02/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 12/02/2016

SUNSET SKY SHOW: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look southwest.  You'll find Venus and the crescent Moon beaming side by side through the deepening twilight. Try to catch them before the sky fades completely black. For reasons no scientist can explain, these two heavenly bodies are especially beautiful when surrounded by twilight blue. [sky map]

WATCH OUT FOR THE DA VINCI GLOW: If you go outside tonight to witness the meeting of Venus and the crescent Moon, pay special attention to the Moon.  Cradled between the arms of the slender crescent is a display of light and shadow that puzzled sky watchers for thousands of years--until Leonardo Da Vinci figured it out. It's the "Da Vinci glow,"  also known as Earthshine:

 

Richard Sears of Merced, California, took the picture last night. "I was getting ready for the Venus-Moon conjunction," he says.  "The Earthshine was gorgeous."

For much of human history, people marveled at the faint image of the full Moon inside the arms of the crescent. Where did it come from? No one knew until the 16th century when Leonardo figured it out.  He realized that dark lunar terrain was being illuminated by sunlight reflected from Earth.

Visualizing this in the 1500s required a wild kind of imagination. No one had ever been to the Moon and looked "up" at Earth. Most people didn't even know that Earth orbited the sun. Copernicus' sun-centered theory of the solar system wasn't published until 1543, twenty-four years after Leonardo died.


Above: Da Vinci's sketch of Earthshine in 1510 vs. Italian astronomer Riccardo Di Nasso's photo of Earthshine in 2006.

Wild imagination, however, was one thing Leonardo had in abundance. His notebooks are filled with sketches of flying machines, army tanks, scuba gear and other fantastic devices centuries ahead of their time.

In Leonardo's Codex Leicester, circa 1510, there is a page entitled "Of the Moon: No Solid Body is Lighter than Air." He states his belief that the "ghostly glow" is due to sunlight bouncing off Earth's oceans and, in turn, hitting the Moon.  500 years later, we know that Earth's clouds (not oceans) do most of the reflecting; but that is a quibble. Leonardo understood the basics well enough.

Go outside tonight and look to the sky. The Da Vinci Glow is waiting....

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

REFLECTION RAINBOW: Spaceweather.com reader Chris Erikson was driving to work yesterday when he saw something strange. It was a rainy day on the Columbia River Gorge near the Oregon-Washington border, and a beautiful double rainbow arced across the sky. Suddenly, as passed the riverbank, another rainbow cut across the double 'bow. "I've never seen such a thing before," says Erikson, who snapped this picture through the front windshield:

 

This is called a "reflection rainbow."  To understand where it comes from, remember how normal rainbows form: Sunlight bounces in and out of falling raindrops. Those raindrops act like tiny prisms, spreading sunbeams into their constituent colors. Reflection rainbows form in the same way, except the source of light is not the sun; it's the reflection of the sun from a body of water. 

"The sun must have been reflecting from the Columbia River, which was only 200 feet to my left," says Erikson. "Here's a map showing where I was."

Rainbows come in a variety of forms. The reflection rainbow Erikson photographed is just one of many you can see if you are alert for the unusual. Start looking here.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

BUY A TICKET TO THE EDGE OF SPACE: Christmas shopping for a young scientist? Consider this: For the holiday season only, we're reducing the cost of payload space on Earth to Sky Calculus balloons from $500 to only $299.95. Buy an edge of space gift certificate before Dec. 25th and your student can send an experiment, photo, or keepsake item to the stratosphere, completely supported by an Earth to Sky Calculus launch and recovery team.

http://earthtosky.net/product/buy-a-ticket-to-the-edge-of-space-299-95

This is not only a great Christmas gift, but also a good kickstarter for science fair projects. Experiments will be flown and returned along with video footage, GPS tracking, temperature, pressure, altimetry and radiation data.

To take advantage of the discounted rate, payment must be received before Dec. 25th. However, the flight can take place at any time in the next 12 months.

Conditions: No mammals. Plants and non-pathogenic microbes are allowed. Generally speaking, experiments should weigh less than ~300 grams and occupy a volume less than ~64 cubic inches. A Skype brainstorming session is included with each certificate. Dr. Tony Phillips and other members of the Earth to Sky team will chat with students to help them craft an experiment that will work in the harsh environment of the stratosphere.

More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Dec. 2, 2016, the network reported 39 fireballs.
(36 sporadics, 1 Quadrantid, 1 Geminid, 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 December 2, 2016 there were 1742 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WZ8

Nov 30

4.2 LD

9 m

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

27 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

30 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2016 WH10

Dec 6

5.7 LD

26 m

2016 WQ8

Dec 8

5.1 LD

49 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 km

2015 BB

Jan 18

13.8 LD

45 m

2002 LS32

Jan 24

53.9 LD

1.0 km

1991 VK

Jan 25

25.2 LD

1.9 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 319.5 km/sec
density: 4.2 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2248 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1822 UT Dec02
24-hr: B2 1822 UT Dec02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2159 UTDaily Sun: 02 Dec 16Sunspot AR2615 poses a slight threat for M-class solar flares and minor radio blackouts. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 49
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Dec 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 02 Dec 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 85 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 02 Dec 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: -0.8 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2248 UTCoronal Holes: 02 Dec 16
A large coronal hole is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. Come back to this spot every day to see the "daily daisy" from NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is monitoring the dance of electric-blue around the Antarctic Circle.

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 12-01-2016 16:55:04

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Dec 02 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

10 %

10 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Dec 02 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

10 %

20 %

MINOR

01 %

05 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

20 %

30 %

SEVERE

10 %

25 %

Space Weather Update: 12/01/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 12/01/2016

SLIGHT CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters say there is a 20% chance of M-class solar flares on Dec. 1st. The source, sunspot AR2615, is facing Earth so any eruptions would be geoeffective. Likely effects include minor radio blackouts on the sunlit side of our planet. Free: Solar flare alerts.

REFLECTION RAINBOW: Spaceweather.com reader Chris Erikson was driving to work yesterday when he saw something strange. It was a rainy day on the Columbia River Gorge near the Oregon-Washington border, and a beautiful double rainbow arced across the sky. Suddenly, as passed the riverbank, another rainbow cut across the double 'bow. "I've never seen such a thing before," says Erikson, who snapped this picture through the front windshield:

 

This is called a "reflection rainbow."  To understand where it comes from, remember how normal rainbows form: Sunlight bounces in and out of falling raindrops. Those raindrops act like tiny prisms, spreading sunbeams into their constituent colors. Reflection rainbows form in the same way, except the source of light is not the sun; it's the reflection of the sun from a body of water. 

"The sun must have been reflecting from the Columbia River, which was only 200 feet to my left," says Erikson. "Here's a map showing where I was."

Rainbows come in a variety of forms. The reflection rainbow Erikson photographed is just one of many you can see if you are alert for the unusual. Start looking here.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

MESOSPHERIC BORE (IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK): This month, a lot is happening in the mesosphere. The mesosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere above the stratosphere; it is the realm of spritesnoctilucent clouds (NLCs), and airglow. Starting on Nov. 17th, NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted bright noctilucent clouds forming in the mesosphere above Antarctica. Then, in an apparently unrelated development on Nov. 24th, the normal dome of airglow over China split in two. Xiao Shuai photographed the event from Mount Balang in Sichuan:

 

This is called a "mesospheric bore"--and not because it's dull.  A bore is a type of atmospheric wave with deep ripples at its leading edge.  Indeed, you can see the ripples in Shuai's photo separating the zone of airglow from clear sky.

Bores fall into the category of "gravity waves"—so called because gravity acts as the restoring force essential to wave motion. Analogy: Boats in water. When a boat goes tearing across a lake, water in front of the boat is pushed upward. Gravity pulls the water back down again and this sets up a wave.

In this case, instead of water, rarefied air is the medium through which the wave propagates.  The sudden boundary in the airglow layer is probably akin to a hydraulic jump.  But what created the disturbance in the first place?  (What is the 'boat'?) No one knows.

"There may be updates in the coming days as scientists from NASA and the Chinese Academy of Science check data from satellites to learn more about this event," says Jeff Dai, who has been helping Xiao Shuai process and communicate his extraordinary images. "Also, we encourage other photographers from Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India to submit their images of the wave."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

BUY A TICKET TO THE EDGE OF SPACE: Christmas shopping for a young scientist? Consider this: For the holiday season only, we're reducing the cost of payload space on Earth to Sky Calculus balloons from $500 to only $299.95. Buy an edge of space gift certificate before Dec. 25th and your student can send an experiment, photo, or keepsake item to the stratosphere, completely supported by an Earth to Sky Calculus launch and recovery team.

http://earthtosky.net/product/buy-a-ticket-to-the-edge-of-space-299-95

This is not only a great Christmas gift, but also a good kickstarter for science fair projects. Experiments will be flown and returned along with video footage, GPS tracking, temperature, pressure, altimetry and radiation data.

To take advantage of the discounted rate, payment must be received before Dec. 25th. However, the flight can take place at any time in the next 12 months.

Conditions: No mammals. Plants and non-pathogenic microbes are allowed. Generally speaking, experiments should weigh less than ~300 grams and occupy a volume less than ~64 cubic inches. A Skype brainstorming session is included with each certificate. Dr. Tony Phillips and other members of the Earth to Sky team will chat with students to help them craft an experiment that will work in the harsh environment of the stratosphere.

More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Dec. 1, 2016, the network reported 35 fireballs.
(34 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 December 1, 2016 there were 1742 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WL7

Nov 29

11.5 LD

60 m

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

34 m

2016 WZ8

Nov 30

4.2 LD

9 m

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

28 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

30 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2016 WQ8

Dec 8

5.1 LD

49 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 km

2015 BB

Jan 18

13.8 LD

45 m

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

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 368.4 km/sec
density: 7.8 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1929 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1711 UT Dec01
24-hr: B3 1147 UT Dec01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1900 UTDaily Sun: 01 Dec 16Sunspot AR2615 poses a slight threat for M-class solar flares and minor radio blackouts. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 75
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Dec 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 01 Dec 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 86 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 30 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.7 nT
Bz: 2.8 nT north

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1928 UTCoronal Holes: 01 Dec 16
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. Come back to this spot every day to see the "daily daisy" from NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is monitoring the dance of electric-blue around the Antarctic Circle.

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 12-01-2016 16:55:04

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 30 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

20 %

20 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 30 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

10 %

10 %

MINOR

01 %

01 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

15 %

20 %

SEVERE

10 %

10 %

Space Weather Update: 11/30/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 11/30/2016

UNEXPECTED SOLAR FLARE: Yesterday, Nov. 29th at 1723 UT, new sunspot AR2615 surprised forecasters when it suddenly erupted, producing an impulsiveM1-class solar flare.  NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the flash of extreme ultraviolet (UV) radiation:

 

Following months of negligible solar flare activity, the sudden emergence of AR2615 and its subsequent explosion caught forecasters off guard.  A pulse of UV and X-radiation from the explosion ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean: map. This affected the normal propagation of radio waves.  Mariners and ham radio operators may have noticed brief fade-outs and/or unexpected hops at frequencies below ~10 MHz.

A few hours later, it happened again. At 23:38 UT on Nov. 29th, AR2615 produced an M1.2-class flare, causing a short-lived radio blackout over Australia.

This is *not* a major space weather event, but it is a break from the sun's recent deepening quiet. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of additional M-flares on Nov. 30th. Free: Solar flare alerts.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

MESOSPHERIC BORE (IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK): This month, a lot is happening in the mesosphere. The mesosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere above the stratosphere; it is the realm of spritesnoctilucent clouds (NLCs), and airglow. Starting on Nov. 17th, NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted bright noctilucent clouds forming in the mesosphere above Antarctica. Then, in an apparently unrelated development on Nov. 24th, the normal dome of airglow over China split in two. Xiao Shuai photographed the event from Mount Balang in Sichuan:

 

This is called a "mesospheric bore"--and not because it's dull.  A bore is a type of atmospheric wave with deep ripples at its leading edge.  Indeed, you can see the ripples in Shuai's photo separating the zone of airglow from clear sky.

Bores fall into the category of "gravity waves"—so called because gravity acts as the restoring force essential to wave motion. Analogy: Boats in water. When a boat goes tearing across a lake, water in front of the boat is pushed upward. Gravity pulls the water back down again and this sets up a wave.

In this case, instead of water, rarefied air is the medium through which the wave propagates.  The sudden boundary in the airglow layer is probably akin to a hydraulic jump.  But what created the disturbance in the first place?  (What is the 'boat'?) No one knows.

"There may be updates in the coming days as scientists from NASA and the Chinese Academy of Science check data from satellites to learn more about this event," says Jeff Dai, who has been helping Xiao Shuai process and communicate his extraordinary images. "Also, we encourage other photographers from Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India to submit their images of the wave."

BUY A TICKET TO THE EDGE OF SPACE: Christmas shopping for a young scientist? Consider this: For the holiday season only, we're reducing the cost of payload space on Earth to Sky Calculus balloons from $500 to only $299.95. Buy an edge of space gift certificate before Dec. 25th and your student can send an experiment, photo, or keepsake item to the stratosphere, completely supported by an Earth to Sky Calculus launch and recovery team.

http://earthtosky.net/product/buy-a-ticket-to-the-edge-of-space-299-95

This is not only a great Christmas gift, but also a good kickstarter for science fair projects. Experiments will be flown and returned along with video footage, GPS tracking, temperature, pressure, altimetry and radiation data.

To take advantage of the discounted rate, payment must be received before Dec. 25th. However, the flight can take place at any time in the next 12 months.

Conditions: No mammals. Plants and non-pathogenic microbes are allowed. Generally speaking, experiments should weigh less than ~300 grams and occupy a volume less than ~64 cubic inches. A Skype brainstorming session is included with each certificate. Dr. Tony Phillips and other members of the Earth to Sky team will chat with students to help them craft an experiment that will work in the harsh environment of the stratosphere.

More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Nov. 25, 2016, the network reported 30 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 4 Leonids, 1 Quadrantid)

 

 

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 30, 2016 there were 1744 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WL7

Nov 29

11.5 LD

63 m

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

33 m

2016 WZ8

Nov 30

4.1 LD

10 m

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

28 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

30 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2016 WQ8

Dec 8

5.1 LD

49 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 371.1 km/sec
density: 3.6 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1633 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1525 UT Nov30
24-hr: C6 0119 UT Nov30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1600 UTDaily Sun: 30 Nov 16Sunspot AR2615 poses a threat for M-class solar flares and minor radio blackouts. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 43
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Nov 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 30 Nov 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 86 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 30 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.5 nT
Bz: -0.4 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1633 UTCoronal Holes: 30 Nov 16
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. Come back to this spot every day to see the "daily daisy" from NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is monitoring the dance of electric-blue around the Antarctic Circle.

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 11-29-2016 16:55:04

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 29 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

10 %

10 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 29 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

10 %

10 %

MINOR

01 %

01 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

15 %

15 %

SEVERE

10 %

10 %

Space Weather Update: 11/29/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 11/29/2016

AN UPTICK IN SOLAR FLARE ACTIVITY: Two new sunspots are rapidly emerging on the solar disk, and one of them is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. So far the eruptions are minor. However, they do represent a noteable uptick in activity compared to the absolute quiet of recent months. Free: Solar flare alerts.

MESOSPHERIC BORE (IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK): This week, a lot is happening in the mesosphere.  The mesosphere is a layer of Earth's atmosphere above the stratosphere; it is the realm of sprites, noctilucent clouds, and airglow. First, noctilucent clouds formed in the mesosphere above Antarctica.  Then, in an apparently unrelated development, the normal dome of airglow over China split in two. Xiao Shuai photographed the event on Nov. 24th from Mount Balang in Sichuan:

 

This is called a mesospheric bore--and not because it's dull.  A bore is a type of atmospheric wave with deep ripples at its leading edge.  Indeed, you can see the ripples in Shuai's photo separating the zone of airglow from clear sky.

Bores fall into the category of "gravity waves"—so called because gravity acts as the restoring force essential to wave motion. Analogy: Boats in water. When a boat goes tearing across a lake, water in front of the boat is pushed upward. Gravity pulls the water back down again and this sets up a wave.

In this case, instead of water, rarefied air is the medium through which the wave propagates.  The sudden boundary in the airglow layer is probably akin to a hydraulic jump.  But what created the disturbance in the first place?  (What is the 'boat'?) No one knows.

"There may be more updates in the coming days as scientists from NASA and the Chinese Academy of Science check data from satellites to learn more about this event," says Jeff Dai, who has been helping Xiao Shuai process and communicate his extraordinary images.  Stay tuned.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS APPEAR OVER ANTARCTICA: This just in from NASA's AIM spacecraft: The sky above Antarctica is glowing electric blue. A ring of bright noctilucent clouds (NLCs) has formed around the South Pole, shown here in a Nov. 24th image taken by the spacecraft's Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) Instrument:

 

"This season started on Nov. 17th, and is tied with 2013 for the earliest southern hemisphere season in the CIPS data record," says Cora Randall, a member of the AIM science team at the University of Colorado.

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. They form more than 80 km above Earth's surface. Indeed, they are a mixture of Earth and space:  Wisps of summertime water vapor rising from the planet below wrap themselves around meteoroids, forming tiny crystals of ice. Emphasis on summertime; NLCs appear on the eve of summer in both hemispheres.

There is growing evidence that noctilucent clouds are boosted by climate change.  In recent years they have been sighted at lower latitudes than ever before, and they often get started in earlier months as well.

"The early start of the 2016 season was not at all a surprise," says Randall. "The southern hemisphere polar stratospheric winds switched to their summer-like state quite early this year."

Readers, you can monitor developments over Antarctica right here on Spaceweather.com. "Daily daisies" from NASA's AIM spacecraft are automatically posted every 24 hours, showing the dance of electric-blue around the frozen continent.

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery

BUY A TICKET TO THE EDGE OF SPACE: Christmas shopping for a young scientist? Consider this: For the holiday season only, we're reducing the cost of payload space on Earth to Sky Calculus balloons from $500 to only $299.95. Buy an edge of space gift certificate before Dec. 25th and your student can send an experiment, photo, or keepsake item to the stratosphere, completely supported by an Earth to Sky Calculus launch and recovery team.

http://earthtosky.net/product/buy-a-ticket-to-the-edge-of-space-299-95

This is not only a great Christmas gift, but also a good kickstarter for science fair projects. Experiments will be flown and returned along with video footage, GPS tracking, temperature, pressure, altimetry and radiation data.

To take advantage of the discounted rate, payment must be received before Dec. 25th. However, the flight can take place at any time in the next 12 months.

Conditions: No mammals. Plants and non-pathogenic microbes are allowed. Generally speaking, experiments should weigh less than ~300 grams and occupy a volume less than ~64 cubic inches. A Skype brainstorming session is included with each certificate. Dr. Tony Phillips and other members of the Earth to Sky team will chat with students to help them craft an experiment that will work in the harsh environment of the stratosphere.

More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Nov. 25, 2016, the network reported 30 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 4 Leonids, 1 Quadrantid)

 

 

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 29, 2016 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WW7

Nov 26

12.8 LD

19 m

2016 WV7

Nov 26

10.8 LD

16 m

2016 WR8

Nov 26

6.5 LD

14 m

2016 WA8

Nov 27

8.3 LD

48 m

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WL7

Nov 29

11.5 LD

63 m

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

33 m

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

29 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

30 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2016 WQ8

Dec 8

5.1 LD

49 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Solar wind
speed: 412.2 km/sec
density: 3.1 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1853 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
1723 UT Nov29
24-hr: M1 1723 UT Nov29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1800 UTDaily Sun: 29 Nov 16A new and potentially active sunspot is emerging at the circled location. It emitted a C7-class solar flare on Nov. 29th. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 44
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Nov 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 29 Nov 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 83 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 29 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.6 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1853 UTCoronal Holes: 29 Nov 16
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. Come back to this spot every day to see the "daily daisy" from NASA's AIM spacecraft, which is monitoring the dance of electric-blue around the Antarctic Circle.

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 11-29-2016 16:55:04

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 28 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

01 %

01 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 28 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

10 %

10 %

MINOR

01 %

01 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

15 %

15 %

SEVERE

10 %

10 %

Space Weather Update: 11/28/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 11/28/2016

SUBSIDING STORMS: Earth is exiting a stream of high-speed solar wind that caused G1-class geomagnetic storms and Arctic auroras during the long holiday weekend. The light show will probably subside as the solar wind slackens. Browse: aurora gallery.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS APPEAR OVER ANTARCTICA: This just in from NASA's AIM spacecraft: The sky above Antarctica is glowing electric blue. A ring of bright noctilucent clouds (NLCs) has formed around the South Pole, shown here in a Nov. 24th image taken by the spacecraft's Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) Instrument:

 

"This season started on Nov. 17th, and is tied with 2013 for the earliest southern hemisphere season in the CIPS data record," says Cora Randall, a member of the AIM science team at the University of Colorado.

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. They form more than 80 km above Earth's surface. Indeed, they are a mixture of Earth and space:  Wisps of summertime water vapor rising from the planet below wrap themselves around meteoroids, forming tiny crystals of ice. Emphasis on summertime; NLCs appear on the eve of summer in both hemispheres.

There is growing evidence that noctilucent clouds are boosted by climate change.  In recent years they have been sighted at lower latitudes than ever before, and they often get started in earlier months as well.

"The early start of the 2016 season was not at all a surprise," says Randall. "The southern hemisphere polar stratospheric winds switched to their summer-like state quite early this year."

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery

A FAR OUT STOCKING STUFFER: It's out of this world: the Sirius Space Pendant. To raise money for their space weather ballooning program, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown 3 dozen pendants to the edge of space–and you can have one for $69.95. The pendant comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and certifying that it has been to the stratosphere and back again.

 

The pendants flew to the edge of space on Nov. 20, 2016, alongside an array of cosmic radiation sensors. (We're reducing the data now!) After the balloon exploded, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in the snowy San Antonio mountains north of Tonopah, Nevada, where a student team recovered it on Nov. 22nd.

The research of Earth to Sky Calculus is not supported by government grants or corporate donations. Instead, we are entirely crowd-funded. Proceeds from the sale of items like the Sirius Pendant go right back into cutting-edge student research. More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Nov. 25, 2016, the network reported 30 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 4 Leonids, 1 Quadrantid)

 

 

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, 2016 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WW2

Nov 25

0.3 LD

7 m

2016 WU2

Nov 25

1.5 LD

14 m

2016 WV2

Nov 25

6.7 LD

23 m

2016 WG

Nov 25

4.2 LD

94 m

2016 WW7

Nov 26

12.8 LD

19 m

2016 WV7

Nov 26

10.8 LD

16 m

2016 WA8

Nov 27

8.3 LD

49 m

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WL7

Nov 29

11.5 LD

63 m

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

33 m

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

31 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WB8

Dec 5

3.6 LD

29 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 449.0 km/sec
density: 7.5 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1924 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1734 UT Nov28
24-hr: C1 0801 UT Nov28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1900 UTDaily Sun: 28 Nov 16Sunspot AR2612 has a stable magnetic field that poses little threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 31
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Nov 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 28 Nov 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 83 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 28 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.4 nT
Bz: -3.0 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1922 UTCoronal Holes: 28 Nov 16
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. A data processing glitch is temporarily preventing us from showing the latest images from NASA's AIM spacecraft. Stay tuned, though, because we are working on it!

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 11-28-2016 18:21:34

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 27 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

01 %

01 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 27 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

05 %

10 %

MINOR

01 %

01 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

15 %

15 %

SEVERE

10 %

10 %

Space Weather Update: 11/27/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 11/27/2016

SOLAR WIND SPARKS AURORAS: A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, and this is causing G1-class geomagnetic storms around the poles. Arctic observers are reporting bright auroras despite cloudy winter weather. Solar wind speeds are expected to remain high throughout the weekend.Free: Aurora Alerts

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS APPEAR OVER ANTARCTICA: This just in from NASA's AIM spacecraft: The sky above Antarctica is glowing electric blue. A ring of bright noctilucent clouds (NLCs) has formed around the South Pole, shown here in a Nov. 24th image taken by the spacecraft's Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) Instrument:

 

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. They form more than 80 km above Earth's surface. Indeed, they are a mixture of Earth and space:  Wisps of summertime water vapor rising from the planet below wrap themselves around meteoroids, forming tiny crystals of ice. Emphasis on summertime; NLCs appear on the eve of summer in both hemispheres.

There is growing evidence that noctilucent clouds are boosted by climate change.  In recent years they have been sighted at lower latitudes than ever before, and they often get started in earlier months as well.

"This season started on Nov. 17th, and is tied with 2013 for the earliest southern hemisphere season in the CIPS data record," says Cora Randall, a member of the AIM science team at the University of Colorado. "This was not at all a surprise: The southern hemisphere polar stratospheric winds switched to their summer-like state quite early this year."

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery

FALSE AURORAS OVER THE YUKON: Attracted by the promise of the solar wind, Thomas Jacquin of Whitehorse, Canada, went outside to look for the auroras. He saw something completely different. "Not to be mistaken for Northern Lights, these bright colorful stripes are called light pillars," he says.

 

Also known as "false auroras," light pillars are caused by ice crystals in the air which intercept urban lights and spread them into colorful columns. No solar activity is required for the phenomenon. The only ingredients are ice and light pollution.

"The different colors in this picture come from the various color temperatures of our street lights," explains Jacquin. "The warm orange ones come from traditional high pressure sodium lamps whereas the bright white pillars come from new LED lamps. While the new LED technology saves energy, it also increases light pollution and health concerns if the color temperature is not carefully selected. 3000K LEDs (warm yellow) are preferred over 4000K ones (bright white)."

More auroras, false and otherwise, may be found in the realtime photo gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

A FAR OUT STOCKING STUFFER: It's out of this world: the Sirius Space Pendant. To raise money for their space weather ballooning program, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown 3 dozen pendants to the edge of space–and you can have one for $69.95. The pendant comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and certifying that it has been to the stratosphere and back again.

 

The pendants flew to the edge of space on Nov. 20, 2016, alongside an array of cosmic radiation sensors. (We're reducing the data now!) After the balloon exploded, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in the snowy San Antonio mountains north of Tonopah, Nevada, where a student team recovered it on Nov. 22nd.

The research of Earth to Sky Calculus is not supported by government grants or corporate donations. Instead, we are entirely crowd-funded. Proceeds from the sale of items like the Sirius Pendant go right back into cutting-edge student research. More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

 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 Nov. 25, 2016, the network reported 30 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 4 Leonids, 1 Quadrantid)

 

 

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 27, 2016 there were 1740 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WW2

Nov 25

0.3 LD

7 m

2016 WU2

Nov 25

1.5 LD

14 m

2016 WV2

Nov 25

6.7 LD

23 m

2016 WG

Nov 25

4.2 LD

94 m

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WL7

Nov 29

11.5 LD

63 m

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

33 m

2016 WG7

Dec 1

2.6 LD

31 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2016 WD7

Dec 6

4.2 LD

16 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 570.6 km/sec
density: 3.2 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1913 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1402 UT Nov27
24-hr: B3 1402 UT Nov27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1900 UTDaily Sun: 27 Nov 16Sunspot AR2612 has a stable magnetic field that poses little threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 Nov 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 27 Nov 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 27 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.2 nT
Bz: -0.9 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1913 UTCoronal Holes: 27 Nov 16
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Nov. 17th. A data processing glitch is temporarily preventing us from showing the latest images from NASA's AIM spacecraft. Stay tuned, though, because we are working on it!

 

Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, PolarUpdated at: 08-06-2016 16:55:02

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 26 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

01 %

01 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 26 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

20 %

05 %

MINOR

05 %

01 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

20 %

15 %

SEVERE

20 %

10 %

Space Weather Update: 11/26/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 11/26/2016

SOLAR WIND SPARKS BRIGHT AURORAS: A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, and this is causing G1-class geomagnetic storms around the poles. Arctic observers are reporting bright auroras despite cloudy winter weather. Solar wind speeds are expected to remain high throughout the weekend. Free: Aurora Alerts

FALSE AURORAS OVER THE YUKON: Attracted by the solar wind, Thomas Jacquin of Whitehorse, Canada, went outside to look for the auroras. He saw something completely different. "Not to be mistaken for Northern Lights, these bright colorful stripes are called light pillars," he says.

 

Also known as "false auroras," light pillars are caused by ice crystals in the air which intercept urban lights and spread them into colorful columns. No solar activity is required for the phenomenon. The only ingredients are ice and light pollution.

"The different colors in this picture come from the various color temperatures of our street lights," explains Jacquin. "The warm orange ones come from traditional high pressure sodium lamps whereas the bright white pillars come from new LED lamps. While the new LED technology saves energy, it also increases light pollution and health concerns if the color temperature is not carefully selected. 3000K LEDs (warm yellow) are preferred over 4000K ones (bright white)."

More auroras, false and otherwise, may be found in the realtime photo gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

PLANET AIRGLOW: Jeff Dai was camping in the Himalayas on Nov. 18th when he photographed a green light in the sky. But it was not the aurora borealis.  "It was airglow," says Dai, who wrapped his photos of the display into a 'little planet':

 

"This is a 360-degree stereographic projection showing our camp site in Tibet," says Dai.  "In places like this, far from urban lights, the sky is filled with wonders."

Although airglow looks like the aurora borealis, it is not. Auroras are caused by gusts of solar wind. Airglow is caused by chemi-luminescent reactions in Earth's upper atmosphere.  These reactions get started during daylight hours when the atmosphere is bathed in strong UV radiation from the sun.  At night we see the afterglow, colored green by oxygen atoms 90-100 km high or sometimes red by hydroxyl ions 86-87 km high.

"Also unlike auroras, airglow is visible all over the globe," adds Dai. "Though brightest 10-15 degrees above the horizon it fills the sky and may be photographed from dark-sky sites everywhere." Browse the airglow gallery for more examples.

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

A FAR OUT STOCKING STUFFER: It's out of this world: the Sirius Space Pendant. To raise money for their space weather ballooning program, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown 3 dozen pendants to the edge of space–and you can have one for $69.95. The pendant comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and certifying that it has been to the stratosphere and back again.

 

The pendants flew to the edge of space on Nov. 20, 2016, alongside an array of cosmic radiation sensors. (We're reducing the data now!) After the balloon exploded, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in the snowy San Antonio mountains north of Tonopah, Nevada, where a student team recovered it on Nov. 22nd.

The research of Earth to Sky Calculus is not supported by government grants or corporate donations. Instead, we are entirely crowd-funded. Proceeds from the sale of items like the Sirius Pendant go right back into cutting-edge student research. More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

 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 Nov. 25, 2016, the network reported 30 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 4 Leonids, 1 Quadrantid)

 

 

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 26, 2016 there were 1739 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WW2

Nov 25

0.3 LD

7 m

2016 WU2

Nov 25

1.5 LD

14 m

2016 WV2

Nov 25

6.7 LD

23 m

2016 WG

Nov 25

4.2 LD

95 m

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

33 m

2016 WQ3

Dec 1

1.5 LD

8 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 661.3 km/sec
density: 3.3 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2054 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1407 UT Nov26
24-hr: B1 0409 UT Nov26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2000 UTDaily Sun: 26 Nov 16Sunspot AR2612 has a stable magnetic field that poses little threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Nov 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 26 Nov 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 26 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.8 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2053 UTCoronal Holes: 26 Nov 16
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this large coronal hole. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds NASA's AIM spacecraft has suffered an anomaly, and a software patch is required to fix it. As a result, noctilucent cloud images will not return until further notice. AIM science team members are optimistic that the

 

Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, PolarUpdated at: 08-06-2016 16:55:02

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 25 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

01 %

01 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 25 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

40 %

15 %

MINOR

15 %

05 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

20 %

20 %

SEVERE

20 %

10 %

Space Weather Update: 11/25/2016

By Spaceweather.com, 11/25/2016

WHY THE MARS LANDER CRASHED: The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli lander crashed into the surface of Mars last month. A new analysis of telemetry data explains why: A glitch in Schiaparelli's navigation system caused it to think it had landed when, in fact, Schiaparelli was still 3.7 km above the Red Planet's surface. The lander cast away its parachute and turned off its braking thrusters prematurely, resulting in a brutal 'touch down' at 540 km/h. Get the full story from ESA.

SOLAR WIND STORM: Earth is now fully inside a high-speed solar wind stream flowing from a large hole in the sun's atmosphere. Gusts clocking 600+ km/s are causing G1-class geomagnetic storms and bright auroras around the poles. Mia Stålnacke of Kiruna, Sweden, photographed this outburst of green on Nov. 24th:

 

"These were the most intense auroras I've ever seen!" says Stålnacke. "And here in Kiruna I get to see them all the time. The rapidly moving greens and pinks were a real treat."

The solar wind stream responsible for this display is broad and should take several days to cross. Arctic auroras are likely from now until at least Nov. 26th. Free:Aurora Alerts

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

PLANET AIRGLOW: Jeff Dai was camping in the Himalayas on Nov. 18th when he photographed a green light in the sky. But it was not the aurora borealis.  "It was airglow," says Dai, who wrapped his photos of the display into a 'little planet':

 

"This is a 360-degree stereographic projection showing our camp site in Tibet," says Dai.  "In places like this, far from urban lights, the sky is filled with wonders."

Indeed, "the surrounding sky contains many jewels," he points out. "There is Polaris at 12 pm, the bright band of Zodiacal light and M44 at 3 pm, the plane of our Milky Way galaxy at 4:30 pm and 11pm, M31 at 10 pm, and Sirius, the brightest star of all, at 5 pm."

Although airglow looks like the aurora borealis, it is not. Auroras are caused by gusts of solar wind. Airglow is caused by chemi-luminescent reactions in Earth's upper atmosphere.  These reactions get started during daylight hours when the atmosphere is bathed in strong UV radiation from the sun.  At night we see the afterglow, colored green by oxygen atoms 90-100 km high or sometimes red by hydroxyl ions 86-87 km high.

"Also unlike auroras, airglow is visible all over the globe," adds Dai. "Though brightest 10-15 degrees above the horizon it fills the sky and may be photographed from dark-sky sites everywhere." Browse the airglow gallery for more examples.

Realtime Airglow Photo Gallery

A FAR OUT STOCKING STUFFER: It's out of this world: the Sirius Space Pendant. To raise money for their space weather ballooning program, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown 3 dozen pendants to the edge of space–and you can have one for $69.95. The pendant comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and certifying that it has been to the stratosphere and back again.

 

The pendants flew to the edge of space on Nov. 20, 2016, alongside an array of cosmic radiation sensors. (We're reducing the data now!) After the balloon exploded, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing in the snowy San Antonio mountains north of Tonopah, Nevada, where a student team recovered it on Nov. 22nd.

The research of Earth to Sky Calculus is not supported by government grants or corporate donations. Instead, we are entirely crowd-funded. Proceeds from the sale of items like the Sirius Pendant go right back into cutting-edge student research. More edge of space Christmas gifts may be found in the Earth to Sky Store.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

 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 Nov. 25, 2016, the network reported 30 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 4 Leonids, 1 Quadrantid)

 

 

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 25, 2016 there were 1739 potentially hazardous asteroids.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:Asteroid

Date(UT)

Miss Distance

Size

2016 WW2

Nov 25

0.3 LD

7 m

2016 WU2

Nov 25

1.5 LD

14 m

2016 WV2

Nov 25

6.7 LD

23 m

2016 WG

Nov 25

4.2 LD

95 m

5143 Heracles

Nov 28

57.2 LD

2.4 km

2016 WQ

Nov 30

4.5 LD

33 m

2015 YA

Dec 13

9.6 LD

15 m

2015 XX169

Dec 13

7.4 LD

15 m

2015 YQ1

Dec 21

6.2 LD

11 m

2006 BZ7

Dec 22

74.5 LD

1.4 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.

 Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

 

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

 

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 cloudstrigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1#2#3#4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:

 

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

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 data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-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 Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

 

Current Conditions

Solar wind
speed: 647.2 km/sec
density: 2.6 protons/cm3

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2019 UTX-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1430 UT Nov25
24-hr: B2 1238 UT Nov25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2000 UTDaily Sun: 25 Nov 16Sunspot AR2612 has a stable magnetic field that poses little threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Nov 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 25 days (7%) 
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%)

Updated 25 Nov 2016

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 79 sfu

explanation | more data
Updated 25 Nov 2016

Current Auroral Oval:

 

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/OvationPlanetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.5 nT
Bz: -1.2 nT south

more data: ACEDSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2018 UTCoronal Holes: 25 Nov 16
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this large coronal hole. Credit: NASA/SDO.Noctilucent Clouds NASA's AIM spacecraft has suffered an anomaly, and a software patch is required to fix it. As a result, noctilucent cloud images will not return until further notice. AIM science team members are optimistic that the

 

Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, PolarUpdated at: 08-06-2016 16:55:02

SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts

Updated at: 2016 Nov 24 2200 UTC

FLARE

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

CLASS M

01 %

01 %

CLASS X

01 %

01 %

Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: activeminor stormsevere stormUpdated at: 2016 Nov 24 2200 UTCMid-latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

35 %

25 %

MINOR

10 %

10 %

SEVERE

01 %

01 %

High latitudes

0-24 hr

24-48 hr

ACTIVE

15 %

15 %

MINOR

20 %

20 %

SEVERE

20 %

20 %