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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: 392.8 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2213 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1905 UT Oct26
24-hr: C1
1905 UT Oct26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Oct. 09
Sunspot 1029 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Photo credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Oct 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 232 days (79%)
Since 2004: 743 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 25 Oct 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.1 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2213 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is exiting a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Oct 26 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2009 Oct 26 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
00 %
00 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
00 %
00 %
What's up in Space
October 26, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

 

MONDAY NIGHT SKY SHOW: When the sun sets on Monday, Oct. 26th, go outside and look south. Jupiter and the Moon are converging for a beautiful conjunction. The bright pair can been seen even through thinly-clouded skies and city lights. Don't miss it: sky map.

photos: from M. Raşid Tuğral of Ankara, Turkey; from Azhy Chato Hasan of Erbil city, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

BIG SUNSPOT: The sun is showing signs of life. Over the weekend, sunspot 1029 emerged and it is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. Amateur astronomer Gianluca Valentini of Rimini, Italy, took this picture just hours ago:

"Incredible size and structure for this sunspot after such a long time of mini-events--maybe the sun really means business this time!" says Valentini.

In Ocean Beach, California, Michael Buxton made a movie of the active region: play it. "My girlfriend and I watched the magnetic fibrils around the sunspot as they surged and swirled," he says. "It was a wonderful area of activity."

The sunspot's magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24. If it continues to grow at this rate, sunspot 1029 could soon become the biggest sunspot of 2009. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

sunspot images: from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Alan Friedman of Buffalo, NY; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Steve Rismiller of Milford, Ohio; from Fabio Mariuzza of Biauzzo, Italy; from J. Maciaszek, J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Etienne Lecoq of Mesnil Panneville, Normandy, France; from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Vahan Yeterian of Lompoc California; from Fabio Acquarone of Genova, Liguria, Italy; from Jan Timmermans of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands;

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A solar wind stream hit Earth on Oct. 24th and sparked geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle. "The auroras were extremely active with fast-moving curtains of green, blue and red," reports Niels Giroud of Mo i Rana, Norway, who recorded the scene using a Nikon D200:

Coming just a week before Halloween, the display was appropriately spooky-looking. But it can't hold a pumpkin's candle to the Halloween storms of 2003 when blood-red Northern Lights startled sky watchers as far south as Florida and Texas. A movie from NASA recalls the ghoulish tale: 6 MB or 32 MB mpeg.

UPDATED: October Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001]


2009 Orionid Photo Gallery
[full story] [sky map] [previous years: 2006, 2008]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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, 2009 there were 1077 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2001 CV26
Oct. 8
9.8 LD
13
2.2 km
2009 TJ
Oct. 13
10.8 LD
18
130 m
2009 TM8
Oct. 17
0.9 LD
17
10 m
2009 TF8
Oct. 17
7.6 LD
19
20 m
2009 TH8
Oct. 19
4.5 LD
18
45 m
2009 UE
Oct. 19
2.5 LD
19
40 m
2009 UD
Oct. 20
2.0 LD
17
17 m
1999 AP10
Oct. 20
29.7 LD
13
2.7 km
2009 TO8
Oct. 21
7.4 LD
19
27 m
2009 UJ
Oct. 22
6.8 LD
19
25 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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