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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 350.3 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: X1
2027 UT Nov03
24-hr: X1
2027 UT Nov03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Nov 11
New sunspot 1339 poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 121
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Nov 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 02 Nov 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 154 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Nov 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.6 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 01 Nov 11
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Nov 03 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
75 %
75 %
CLASS X
20 %
20 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2011 Nov 03 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
05 %
SEVERE
10 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
50 %
25 %
MINOR
20 %
10 %
SEVERE
15 %
05 %
 
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

X-FLARE: Earth-orbiting satellites have just detected an X2-class solar flare. The source is huge sunspot AR1339, described below. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

SPACE DOCKING--UPDATE: The unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft docked with China's new space station, the Tiangong 1, on Nov. 2nd. It was the first-ever docking maneuver for China's rapidly growing space program and hailed by authorities as an important milestone. Just before docking, Bryan Murahashi saw the two spacecraft flying together over San Jose, California: "They were easy to see high in the morning sky," he says. The two spacecraft will separate again in mid-November for more maneuvers. Check the Satellite Tracker or your smartphone for local flyby times.

MAGNIFICENT SUNSPOT: One of the largest sunspots in years is rotating over the sun's northeastern limb. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of AR1339 during the early hours of Nov. 3rd:

Measuring some 40,000 km wide and at least twice that in length, the sprawling sunspot group is an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Two or three of the sunspot's dark cores are wider than Earth itself.

Naturally, such a large sunspot has potential for strong flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. One such eruption has already occured: An M4-flare at 2200 UT on Nov. 2nd produced a bright flash of extreme UV radiation (SDO movie) and hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The CME is not heading our way. Future CMEs could have greater effect as AR1339 turns toward Earth in the days ahead. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: November began with a geomagnetic storm. A shock wave in the solar wind swept past Earth during the early hours of Nov 1st, sparking strong magnetic disturbances around the Arctic Circle. Paul Beebe sends this report from Upsala, Canada: "I awoke around 6:30 am and saw auroras out my bedroom window. They were dancing like green flames in the northern sky, with the occasional spike of pink or red barely visible." He quickly dressed and headed to the shores of nearby Lang Lake for this shot:

More auroras are possible on Nov. 4th. A coronal mass ejection (CME) left the sun on Oct. 31st when a solar filament erupted; the cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field this Thursday. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

October 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 3, 2011 there were 1256 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 UX255
Oct 28
0.4 LD
--
15 m
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
--
200 m
2011 UT91
Nov 15
9.9 LD
--
102 m
1994 CK1
Nov 16
68.8 LD
--
1.5 km
1996 FG3
Nov 23
39.5 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 WM7
Dec 9
47.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1999 XP35
Dec 20
77.5 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 YA
Dec 26
2.9 LD
--
80 m
2011 SL102
Dec 28
75.9 LD
--
1.1 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.
  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
Science Central
 
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Trade Show Displays
   
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