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DrCharbonneau

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http://www.spaceweather.com/

This is just so we have a link toward the top of the forums for this important link. I'll keep adding links, so feel free to place any links for space weather, links to volcanic and USGS sites, etc.

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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/realtime-update.html

Here you can see what's up with the sun at pretty much any given time. This is Project SOlar Heliocentric Observatory (SOHO)

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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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http://spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=alan-friedman-1476_1336341413.jpg

Amateur astronomers as just as important if not more than professional astronomers. AA David Levy discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) comet that impacted on Jupiter. Those impacts answered a lot of questions.

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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th. Because the sunspot is directly facing Earth, everything about the blast was geoeffective. For one thing, it hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) directly toward our planet. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will hit Earth on July 14th around 10:20 UT (+/- 7 hours) and could spark strong geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

The explosion also strobed Earth with a pulse of extreme UV radiation, shown here in a movie recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

 

Another prediction from my list of solar watch dates proves out. So far, I've only missed one and it still occurred, only 10 days earlier than expected.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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M-CLASS FLARE: Newly-emerging sunspot AR1532 unleashed an M2.7-class solar flare on July 27th at approximately 1726 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash:

The explosion does not appear to have produced a substantial CME. Even if it did, Earth is not in the line of fire. This sunspot will, however, become more geoeffective in the days ahead as it slowly turns toward Earth. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts:text, voice.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 29-30 in response to a high-speed solar wind stream buffeting Earth's magnetic field. Even stronger storming could occur on July 31st when a CME associated with yesterday's M6-flare arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras for the next three nights. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

SOLAR ACTIVITY PICKS UP: Sunspot AR1532 is crackling with M-class solar flares. The latest, an M6-class eruption on July 28th (2056 UT), produced a bright flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, shown here in a snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

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Update: Contrary to earlier reports, this explosion did produce a CME and the cloud is heading for Earth. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will reach our planet on July 31st at 1500 UT (+/- 7 hours). Weak to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives. Solar flare alerts:text, voice.

METEOR ACTIVITY: Last night, NASA's All Sky Fireball Network detected 17 Venus-bright meteors. The orbits of the meteoroids, color-coded by velocity, are shown in the diagram below. Earth's location is marked by a red starburst:

The green orbits correspond to Comet 96P/Machholz, source of the annual delta Aquarid meteor shower. Although this is a minor shower, it is fraught with interest. Some researchers believe that 96P/Machholz came from another star system. Every delta Aquarid that disintegrates in the night sky could be depositing material from across the galaxy into Earth's upper atmosphere.

Forecasters expect as many as 15 delta Aquarids per hour when the shower peaks on July 28th and 29th. The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the dark hours before sunrise on Saturday and Sunday when the moon has set and the constellation Aquarius is relatively high in the sky.

Blue orbits correspond mainly to Perseids. The Perseid meteor shower doesn't peak until August 12-13, but Earth is already in the outskirts of the debris zone of the parent comet, 109P/Swift-Tuttle. By mid-August, rates could exceed 100 meteors per hour. The show, in other words, is just getting started.

Got clouds? Try listening to meteor radar echoes on Space Weather Radio.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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MARTIAN TRIANGLE: On the same night Curiosity lands on Mars, a "Martian Triangle" will appear in sunset skies of Earth. The first-magnitude apparition on August 5th gives space fans something to do while they wait for news from the Red Planet. [video] [story]

INCOMING CME, WEAK IMPACT EXPECTED: A coronal mass ejection (CME) produced by Saturday's M6-class flare is heading toward Earth. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud could deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on July 31st around 1500 UT (+/- 7 hours). Click to view the animated forecast track:

This is a slow-moving CME. The cloud's low speed (382 km/s estimated) combined with its glancing trajectory suggests a weak impact is in the offing. Nevertheless, polar geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

The CME will also hit Mercury, probably with greater force. Mercury's planetary magnetic field is only ~10% as strong as Earth's, so Mercury is not well protected from CMEs. When the clouds hit, they can actually scour atoms off Mercury's surface, adding material to Mercury's super-thin atmosphere and comet-like tail.

Not as bad as was thought. Maybe we won't get quite the barrage expected earier.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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SOLAR SLINKY: Solar activity is low this week. Nevertheless, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted something interesting happening on the sun's southwestern limb. Click to view the "solar slinky" in action:

The loops in the movie are made of magnetism, glowing red-hot because they are filled with 80,000 K solar plasma. They move with slinky-action as they are buffeted by winds in the sun's atmosphere and jostled by minor explosions on the stellar surface below. Of course they are much bigger than a terrestrial slinky. The entire Earth could fit through any of the loops with room to spare.


Now THIS is about as cool as hot plasma gets...


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/rt_plots/xray_5m.html

So far the sun's activity has flatlined.

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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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This could be the one that breaks my run of accuracy. While it isn't truly a flare or filament, it is enough of an event to affect us.




CORONAL HOLE: A dark hole in the sun's atmosphere--a "coronal hole"--is turning toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the gaseous chasm, which measures more than 200,000 km from end to end, during the early hours of August 23rd:

Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows the underlying atmosphere to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on August 26-27. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on that date. Aurora alerts: text, phone.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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RADIATION BELT STORM PROBES: Most spacecraft try to avoid the Van Allen Belts, two doughnut-shaped regions around Earth filled with "killer electrons." Yesterday, NASA launched two heavily-shielded spacecraft directly into the belts.The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are on a two-year mission to discover the reasn for the belts' dangerous unpredictability. [full story] [video]

MAGNIFICENT ERUPTION: A filament of magnetism curling around the sun's southeastern limb erupted on August 31st, producing a coronal mass ejection (CME), a C8-class solar flare, and one of the most beautiful movies ever recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

The explosion hurled a CME away from the sun traveling faster than 500 km/s (1.1 million mph). The cloud, shown here, is not heading directly toward Earth, but it could deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on or about September 3rd. This date is preliminary and may be changed in response to more data from coronagraphs on the Solar and Heliophysics Observatory (SOHO). Stay tuned. Solar Flare alerts: text, phone.

BLUE MOON: Tonight's full Moon is the second full Moon this month. According to modern folklore, that makes it a "Blue Moon." Strange but true: Most blue moons look red, pink or gray. On rare occasions, however, the Moon can actually turn blue. A video from NASA explains how.

Richard Sears photographed the waxing full Moon last night from Atwater, California. It was not blue:

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For more pictures of the Moon--red, blue, and otherwise--browse the realtime gallery:


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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SUBSIDING STORM: A geomagnetic storm that began on Sept. 3rd when a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field is fitfully subsiding. The impact at 1200 UT (5 am PDT) induced significant ground currentsin the soil of northern Scandinavia and sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Ole C. Salomonsen photographed the display over Naimakka, Finland, on Sept. 4th:

"There I was standing all alone deep in the Finish forest, just in awe of this display of light above my head," says Salomonsen. "This is just one of many images of spectacular auroras I shot on this wonderful night."

Stay tuned to the aurora gallery for new photos of the storm. Aurora alerts: text, phone.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SUNSPOT AR1564: The next strong flare could be just around the corner. Sunspot AR1564 is growing rapidly and has developed a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class flares. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the active region during the early hours of Sept. 4th:

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NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours. Any eruptions will likely be Earth-directed as the active region is turning toward our planet. Solar Flare alerts: text, phone.




Came pretty close on this. If i recall, this was a difficult one to pinpoint.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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SDO ECLIPSE SEASON: Twice every year, around the time of the equinoxes, Earth can pass directly between the Sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), producing a series of beautiful eclipses from the point of view of the spacecraft. SDO's autumnal eclipse season began yesterday, Sept. 6th, with a partial blackout of the sun:

During the eclipse, which was centered around 0700 UT, Earth covered about half of the sun. Because these eclipses typically last only a few minutes, there is still plenty of time remaining in the day for SDO to monitor activity on the sun. The observatory won't miss much even with Earth occasionally getting in the way. The ongoing eclipse season will end on Sept. 26th. Between now and then, stay tuned for some rare blackouts.

MAGNETIC UNREST: Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from a pair of CME impacts--a relatively strong blow on Sept 3rd followed by a lesser hit on Sept. 4th. The double strike ignited auroras around the Arctic Circle that are only slowly fading. Olivier Du Tré photographed this apparition over Red Deer, Alberta, on Sept. 5th:

"For the second night this week, the Northern Lights put on an awesome show over Alberta," says Du Tré. "At one point about 65%-70% of the sky above the farmlands to the NE of Calgary were lit up. It was incredible."

NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of strong polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 6th as the reverberations continue. Aurora alerts: text, phone.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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SLIGHT CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a slight 20% chance of M-class solar flares from departing sunspot AR1564. Otherwise, solar activity is expected to remain low for the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

JUPITER SWALLOWS AN ASTEROID: Around the world, amateur astronomers have been scanning the cloudtops of Jupiter for signs of debris from an explosion witnessed by Dan Peterson and George Hall on Sept. 10th. So far the cloud layer is blank. "Several observers have now obtained excellent images on the second and third rotations after the fireball, and there is nothing new nor distinctive at the impact site," reports John H. Rogers, director of the Jupiter Section of the British Astronomical Association:

The fireball was probably caused by a small asteroid or comet hitting Jupiter. Apparently, the giant planet swallowed the impactor whole.

When fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 hit Jupiter in 1994, each major flash observed by NASA's Galileo spacecraft produced a "bruise," a murky mixture of incinerated comet dust and chemically altered Jovian gas twisting and swirling among the clouds. In July 2009, amateur astromer Anthony Wesley discovered a similar mark thought to be debris from a rogue asteroid crashing into the planet.

So where is the debris this time? Perhaps the impactor was small, packing just enough punch to make a flash, but without leaving much debris. Indeed, studies suggest that Jupiter is frequently struck by relatively small 10-meter-class asteroids. In such cases, minimal debris is to be expected.

Stay tuned for updates in case something surfaces.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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SLIGHT CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a slight 10% chance of M-class solar flares from departing sunspot AR1564. Otherwise, solar activity is expected to remain low for the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

POLAR LIGHTS: In the Arctic, springtime ended months ago. Nevertheless, butterflies have been sighted. This one appeared last night over Grøtfjord, Norway:

Helge Mortensen took the picture on Sept. 12th. "The auroras were not a strong as some I've seen, but it was still nice to be outside and watch such a beautiful apparition," he says.

This Northern Lepidoptera appeared when a "kink" in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) drifted past Earth, briefly opening a crack in our planet's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in to fuel the display. At the peak of the storm, the Arctic Circle was glowing from Scandinavia to Iceland to Canada.

Earth's polar magnetic field is settling down again, but more Arctic auroras are in the offing, especially on Sept 14-15 when a solar wind stream is expected to reach our planet. Check the gallery for latest images from around the poles.



ALSO!!!

A reminder that Sept 17th is the next predicted date for solar activity that may affect us here.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
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