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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 582.6 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Oct26
24-hr: A0
1400 UT Oct26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Oct 07
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Oct 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals a possibly large sunspot on the far side of the sun. This detection should be considered tentative until confirmed by tomorrow's farside image. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Updated: 2007 Oct 26 2147 UT
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.2 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Oct 26 2203 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2007 Oct 26 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
20 %
MINOR
20 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %

What's up in Space
October 26, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

BRIGHTEST MOON: Last night's full Moon was the biggest and brightest of the year. How bright was it? In Buenos Aires the Moon shot out of the eyepiece of Enzo De Bernardini's telescope like a spotlight, while in Québec intense moonlight revealed the countryside's Fall Colors after dark. It was also a good night for picking pumpkins. Only the Boston Red Sox were more luminous.

EXPLODING COMET: When we say Comet 17P/Holmes is "exploding," this is what we mean:

The gaseous cloud surrounding the comet's core has more than doubled in radius during the past 24 hours. "I captured these images on consecutive nights using the same equipment (a 14-inch LX200 GPS) and similar exposure times (1x10s)," says photographer Eduardo Hernandez of Torreon, Mexico. This follows an even more astonishing million-fold increase in brightness on Oct. 23th.

What is happening to this comet? It remains a mystery.

It's a mystery you can behold with your naked eye. Step outside after sunset, face north, and look for the extra "star" in the thigh of Perseus: sky map. Comet Holmes is similar in brightness and appearance to the stars of the Big Dipper, very easy to see. If expansion of the spherical cloud continues, Holmes could soon become a naked eye disk rather than a dimensionless point of light. Stay tuned!

Comet 17P/Holmes Photo Gallery
[sky map] [ephemeris] [3D orbit] [Night Sky Cameras]

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A solar wind stream hit Earth last night sparking auroras so bright they pierced the glare of the year's brightest Moon. Geir Oye sends this picture from Ørsta, Norway:

The display has subsided, but it could flare up again. Solar wind continues to buffet Earth's magnetic field; high-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

October 2007 Aurora Gallery
[September Gallery] [Aurora Alerts]

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 October 26, 2007 there were 894 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct.-Nov. 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2007 TL16
Oct. 5
1.6 LD
16
27 m
2007 TC14
Oct. 18
11.7 LD
17
180 m
2340 Hathor
Oct. 22
23.3 LD
16
620 m
2005 GL
Nov. 8
8.0 LD
16
280 m
1989 UR
Nov. 24
27.6 LD
15
880 m
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 Links
NOAA Space Environment Center
  The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2007, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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