http://spaceweather.com/ - Oct 1, 2014 8:01:39 AM - Dec 1, 2004 12:53:58 AM
358.2 4.5 Updated: Today at 1046 UT Updated: Today at: 1000 UT Daily Sun: 01 Oct 14 Sunspots AR2172, AR2173, AR2175, AR2177 and AR2178 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that pose a threat for Updated 01 Oct 2014 Update 01 Oct 2014162 Updated 01 Oct 2014
QUIET WITH A CHANCE OF FLARES: So far this week, solar activity has been low. However, there are five sunspots on the solar disk poised to break the quiet. All of them have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for moderately strong eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of M-class solar flares and a 15% chance of X-flares.
For the 5th day in a row, observers around the Arctic Circle are reporting dynamic auroras. Pilot Brian Whittaker photographed this outburst on Sept. 30th while he was flying 35,000 feet over Hudson Bay, Canada:
"For many hours we watched the sky come alive, often with rapid pulses," Whittaker says. "It was mostly cloudy below, but a fantastic show at 35,000 ft."
(IMF). For days the IMF has been tipping south, slightly, just enough to open a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind leaks in to fuel the auroras.
Conditions favor more auroras tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Oct. 1st. However, a full-fledged storm is not required for Northern Lights at this time of year. The odds of Arctic auroras are, therefore, quite a bit higher than 35%. Monitor the photo gallery
SPACE WEATHER BUOY RECOVERED: It only looks like a lunchbox. Pictured below is a Space Weather Buoy--an insulated capsule containing a cosmic ray detector, video cameras, GPS trackers, and other sensors. On Sept. 28th, it flew 115,000 feet above Earth's surface to check radiation levels in the stratosphere. This picture was taken at the apex of the flight:
In collaboration with Spaceweather.com, the students of have been launching these buoys on a regular basis to study the effect of solar activity on Earth's upper atmosphere. Their latest flight has a sharply defined purpose: to find out if stratospheric radiation is rebounding from a "Forbush Decrease" earlier this month.
The story begins on Sept. 12th when a CME hit Earth head-on, sparking the strongest geomagnetic storm of the year. The students launched a Space Weather Buoy into the storm, expecting to measure an increase in energetic particles. Instead of more, however, they measured less. The CME swept away many of the cosmic rays around Earth and, as a result, radiation levels in the stratosphere dropped. This counterintuitive effect is called a "Forbush Decrease" after the 20th century physicist Scott Forbush who first described it.
Now that the CME is long gone, cosmic radiation levels around Earth should be returning to normal. But are they? The answer lies inside the payload, which a team recovered yesterday from a remote landing site in Death Valley National Park. Stay tuned.
Note: The students wish to thank Sander Geophysics for sponsoring this flight. (Note their logo in the upper right corner of the payload.) Their generous contribution of $500 paid for the helium and other supplies necessary to get this research off the ground.1505
381.2 Updated: Today at 2206 UT 2044 UT Sep30 Updated: Today at: 2200 UT2 5.1 1.4 Updated: Today at 2207 UT Updated at: 2014 Sep 30 2200 UTC
Updated at: 2014 Sep 30 2200 UTC
65 % 55 % 15 % 10 %
25 % 35 % 25 %
SPACE WEATHER BUOY LANDS IN DEATH VALLEY: A space weather buoy launched on Sept. 28th to measure radiation levels in the stratosphere has landed in a remote area of California's Death Valley National Park. Students from are en route to the payload now. Earlier this month a CME swept away many of the cosmic rays that normally surround our planet, causing a drop in stratospheric radiation. The goal of the Sept. 28th flight was to measure the recovery. Has the stratosphere returned to normal? Stay tuned for answers.
CHANCE OF FLARES: There are eight sunspot groups on the Earthside of the sun. Fully half of them pose a threat for strong solar flares. An eruption today could come from any of the circled regions:
AR2175 is the most potent of the quartet. It has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. The other three have "beta-gamma" magnetic fields that pose a threat for lesser albeit still powerful M-flares
Mindful of the multiple flare threats, NOAA forecasters say an eruption today is likely. They estimate a 75% chance of M-flares and a 20% chance of X-flares on Sept. 30th.
367.7 3.8 Updated: Today at 0116 UT C3 2133 UT Sep29 Updated: Today at: 2359 UT3 quiet6.1 4.6 south Updated: Today at 0116 UT Updated at: 2014 Sep 29 2200 UTC Updated at: 2014 Sep 29 2200 UTC
30 % 20 % 05 %
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Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014
On September 30, 2014 there were
18 m 26 m 38 m 8.9 LD 146 m
351.4 5.1 Updated: Today at 2106 UT C2 2100 UT Sep29 Updated: Today at: 2100 UT4 unsettled Kp= 4 unsettled7.0 2.9 north Updated: Today at 2106 UT
EVENING SKY SHOW: When the sun ges down tonight, step outside and look southwest. Mars, Antares and the crescent Moon have lined up to form a near-vertical column of heavenly bodies just above the horizon. Last night, Alan Dyer photographed the trio converging over Cluny, Alberta, Canada:
"It was a beautiful crisp autumn evening for watching the twilight show of the waxing Moon and the pairing of Mars and his rival red star, Antares," says Dyer. " I shot this image as part of a time-lapse sequence overlooking the Bow River in southern Alberta."
As the twilight sky fades to black, pay special attention to the visual appearance of Mars and Antares. They are nearly identical. In Greek, "Antares" means "rival of Mars" or "anti-Mars," so-named because it is about the same brightness and color as the Red Planet. Seeing the two side-by-side as their ruddy light beams through the darkening cobalt sky is a rare pleasure. Sept. 28