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Out Of This World

Weather Wise Videos

Winter Skywatching

It may be cold outside, but there are still some sights in the night sky this winter that shouldn't be missed, including some amazing line-ups of planets and the Moon, and the elusive Zodiacal Light!

Watch for these amazing planetary conjunctions! Here's when

This Year in Space

There are some awesome events happening in astronomy and space exploration in 2018. Here's a list of the best things going on in space this year.

Super Blue Blood Moon and Falcon Heavy launch kick off amazing year in space!

The Sun and Space Weather

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and NASA/ESA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) monitors the Earth-facing side of the Sun, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, tracking activity on and around the Sun, to provide us with ample warning should solar activity potentially threaten our satellites, spacecraft and astronauts in orbit, and our power grids on the ground.

Above are five different views that SDO regularly delivers - Track sunspots with the HMI Intensitygram (Orange), see dark filaments and prominences with the 304 Angstrom filter (Red), marvel at magnetic 'coronal loops' with the 171 Angstrom filter (Gold), spot solar flares the 94 Angstrom filter (Green), and see the solar corona (the Sun's "atmosphere") with the 193 Angstrom filter (Bronze).

Solar activity can have direct impact on Earth, our people and technology in space, and our power grids and technologies here on the ground, in the form of Space Weather.

You can track space weather from the products below.

See the overall activity around Earth with NOAA's Space Weather Overview, on the left above, including the Planetary K-index, which measures geomagnetic activity (Kp=5 or higher is a geomagnetic storm!). Track Coronal Mass Ejections and the solar wind using the WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction model, on the right above. In the model, Earth is the green dot in both plots, CMEs show up in the top plot as bright arcs of colour, expanding as they move outward from the centre, and the solar wind looks like a brightly coloured 'pinwheel' in the bottom plot.

Check out how far south the auroras may reach in the next 30 minutes with the Aurora Forecast for the northern hemisphere (left). The brighter the colour of the ring, the higher probability of seeing the aurora. Watch solar particles stream from openings in the solar coronal, and track CMEs expanding out from the Sun, using SOHO's latest LASCO C2 closeup view of the solar corona (centre) and the latest LASCO C3 wide-field view of the corona (right). The blank area in the centre of each LASCO image is due to a small disk, positioned at the end of an arm that holds it out in front of the coronagraph instrument, to block the Sun, so that the instrument can see the activity going on around the Sun. The white circle inside the blank disk is the position of the Sun.

All of these images update on a regular basis. Simply refresh the page to load the latest, or click on an image to see more info (opens a new tab).

Global Carbon Dioxide

The Keeling Curve, provided by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, gives the daily reading of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured at the top of Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

The plots above are presented for comparing where CO2 levels are now, compared to just one year ago (top), to show just how much CO2 concentrations have risen over the past six decades (bottom left), and how current CO2 levels compare with natural cycles, going back some 800,000 years (bottom right). Air trapped in ice cores reveals that carbon dioxide levels fluctuated over millennia, between around 170 parts per million to just shy of 300 ppm, and with a long-term average at around 220 ppm.

Currently, due to the burning of fossil fuels, we are nearly at 410 ppm, almost double that long-term average.

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