UPCOMING: On Sept. 27th, the Harvest Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, turning the lunar disk a lovely shade of celestial red.Catch it live on the Internet, courtesy of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, Georgia.
For reasons researchers don't fully understand,auroras love equinoxes. At this time of year even a gentle gust of solar wind can spark a bright display. Tomorrow, Sept.23rd, is the northern autumnal equinox. Perfect timing: a CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 23rd. The impact will probably be weak, but on the first night of autumn, weak may be strong enough. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for equinox auroras. And no - there will be no comet impact tomorrow.
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 Sep. 22, 2015, the network reported 19 fireballs so far.
In this diagram of the inner solar system above, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [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 September 23, 2015 there were 1611 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Essential web links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
STEREO 3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics the underlying science of space weather
Columbia Northern High School Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
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