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Solar wind
speed: 394.7 km/sec
density: 12.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1803 UT Nov29
24-hr: C6
0821 UT Nov29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Nov 14
Sunspots AR2217, AR2219 and AR2222 pose a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 166
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Nov 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

Update 29 Nov

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 171 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Nov 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.0 nT
Bz: 2.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Nov 14
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Dec. 1-2. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds As of Nov. 22, 2014, the season for southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds is underway. The south polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 11-29-2014 12:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Nov 29 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
45 %
50 %
05 %
05 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Nov 29 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
25 %
10 %
30 %
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014
What's up in space

Would you like a call when things are happening in the night sky? Sign up for backyard astronomy alerts from voice or text.


GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: Mark your calendar: The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks this year on Dec. 14th when dark-sky observers around the world could see as many as 120 meteors per hour. The source of the display is "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon. As November comes to a close, Earth is entering the outskirts of 3200 Phaethon's debris stream, and this is causing some Geminids to appear weeks ahead of peak night. The first Geminid fireball of the season was detected on Nov. 26th by NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras. Meteor alerts: text, voice

ELECTRIC-BLUE CLOUDS APPEAR OVER ANTARCTICA: NASA's AIM spacecraft has detected electric-blue clouds forming over Antarctica. These are noctilucent clouds (NLCs), and their apparition marks the beginning of the 2014-2015 season for NLCs in the southern hemisphere.

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. Seeded by meteor smoke, they form at the edge of space 83 km above Earth's surface. When sunlight hits the tiny ice crystals that make up these clouds, they glow electric blue.

NLCs appear during late spring and summer because that is when the upper atmosphere is ironically coldest, allowing the ice crystals of NLCs to form. Northerners reading this story should remember that it is late spring in Antarctica, so the noctilucent clouds are appearing right on time.

Previous results from AIM have shown that NLCs are like a great "geophysical light bulb." They turn on very year in late spring, reaching almost full intensity over a period of no more than 10 days. At the moment, only a few puffs and wisps of NLCs are visible over Antarctica. By Dec. 10th, the whole continent could be blanketed in electric blue as the bulb begins to glow in earnest. Stay tuned!

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON EXPLODES: On Nov. 23rd, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a Space Weather Buoy to the stratosphere. Carried aloft by a suborbital helium balloon, the payload contained a pair of X-ray/gamma-ray sensors to measure cosmic radiation levels inside Earth's ozone layer. About 90 minutes after launch, this is what happened:

The balloon exploded: #1, #2, #3, #4.

It's supposed to do that. As a weather balloon ascends, it expands into the rapidly thinning air high above Earth. The diameter multiplies until the growing sphere is as wide as a small house. Eventually, the rubber fabric of the balloon reaches its elastic limit, and it ruptures. If it didn't, we would never get the payload back!

This balloon exploded at an altitude of 102,986 feet. The almost-silent blast was captured by a camera looking up from the payload below. Next, a parachute opened and the payload descended to Earth, landing in a remote corner of Death Valley where an Earth to Sky recovery team retrieved it yesterday.

The students and their mentor Dr. Tony Phillips of are examining the radiation data now. This is the first time they have flown two radiation sensors. Cross-calibrating the two sensors in a single flight will allow the team to fly them separately on future missions, launching multiple balloons in rapid succession to investigate the dynamics of solar storms. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

On Nov. 29, 2014, the network reported 29 fireballs.
(29 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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 29, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 WY119
Nov 26
4.4 LD
24 m
2014 WU202
Nov 29
7.7 LD
18 m
2014 WC201
Dec 2
1.4 LD
27 m
2014 WX202
Dec 7
1 LD
6 m
2014 WU200
Dec 10
1.2 LD
7 m
2007 EJ
Jan 12
68.9 LD
1.1 km
1991 VE
Jan 17
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2004 BL86
Jan 26
3.1 LD
650 m
2008 CQ
Jan 31
4.8 LD
36 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 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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