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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 295.2 km/sec
density: 2.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
1600 UT Nov04
24-hr: B9
0255 UT Nov04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1800 UT
Daily Sun: 04 Nov 10
Sunspot 1120 is rapidly fading. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movie: 8 MB mpg
Sunspot number: 18
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Nov 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 45 days (15%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 813 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 03 Nov 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 79 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Nov 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.8 nT
Bz: 1.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 04 Nov 10
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Nov 04 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
15 %
CLASS X
01 %
01 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2010 Nov 04 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010
What's up in space
 

ON SALE NOW: The David H. Levy Comet Hunter -- offering the clearest views of Comet Hartley 2.

 

DISCOVERY POSTPONED: Bad weather in Florida has delayed the launch of space shuttle Discovery one more day. Liftoff is now scheduled for Friday, Nov. 5th, at 3:03 pm EDT. Check the launch blog for updates.

COMET ENCOUNTER UPDATE: This morning, NASA's Deep Impact (EPOXI) probe flew past Comet Hartley 2 only 435 miles from the comet's active nucleus. The spacecraft has since turned its high-gain antenna toward Earth and data are being transmitted to mission control at JPL. Even without processing, the first raw images are spectacular:


The first five close-up images: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

UPDATE: At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, mission scientists discussed their first impressions. The comet has a dumbbell shape, they noted, with rough ends and a smooth middle. Jets come from rough terrain and seem to be correlated with specific topographic features. The middle is covered with some kind of fine dusty material that has collected in a topographic low point.

The images reveal a comet bristling with gaseous jets--even on the comet's nightside where volatile ices are temporarily protected from solar heating. Distinct lines of jets trace the comet's day-night terminator. Researchers again expressed their amazement at Comet Hartley 2's hyperactivity.

Stay tuned for more as the analysis continues.

FARSIDE FLARES--MORE TO COME? An active sunspot is about to emerge over the sun's southeastern horizon. It announced itself yesterday with a C4-class flare that hurled material high above the stellar surface, shown here in a movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:


movie formats: 3.8 MB mpeg, 0.9 MB iPad, 0.3 MB iPhone

Although the explosion happened behind the limb of the sun, it nevertheless yielded enough x-radiation to produce a wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere. Researcher Rob Stammes recorded a sudden ionospheric disturbance (SID) when the wave passed over his lab in Laukvik, Norway. (Learn more about SIDs here.) Without even showing itself, the sunspot is already geoeffective.

The source of this activity appears to be old active region 1112. It crossed the Earth-facing side of the sun back in October, a sunspot dragging a magnificent filament of magnetism behind it. Two weeks later, AR1112 t is coming around for a second pass. Yesterday's eruption may be read as "hello, I'm back." Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.


October 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001]

  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 4, 2010 there were 1157 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 TQ19
Oct 8
9.6 LD
18
37 m
2010 TS19
Oct 10
3.7 LD
18
31 m
2010 TD54
Oct 12
0.1 LD
14
7 m
2010 TB54
Oct 13
6.1 LD
20
19 m
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
16
1.8 km
2010 TK
Oct 16
4.5 LD
18
37 m
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
13
5.2 km
2010 TG19
Oct 22
1.1 LD
15
70 m
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
15
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
39.2 LD
15
1.1 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
12
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
14
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
17
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
21
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
16
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
-
1.5 km
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
13
1.3 km
2008 EA32
Jan 7
76.5 LD
-
2.1 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
   
  more links...
 
 
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