You are viewing the page for Oct. 8, 2008
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 321.2 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Oct08
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Oct08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Oct 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Oct. 2008
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= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Oct. 9th or 10th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Oct 08 2201 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: 2008 Oct 08 2201 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 %
What's up in Space
October 8, 2008
BEHOLD THE SUN: Would you like to see fiery prominences and new-cycle sunspots with your own eyes? On sale now: Personal Solar Telescopes.  

DRACONID METEOR SHOWER: The pelting continues. One day after asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth, a stream of dust from comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner is doing the same. The result is a minor shower of meteors emerging from the northern constellation Draco. At maximum on Oct. 8th, the Draconids are expected to produce 3 to 5 meteors per hour.

ASTEROID IMPACT: (Updated Oct. 8th) On Oct. 7th, asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth and exploded in the atmosphere over northern Sudan. An infrasound array in Kenya recorded the impact: map. Dr. Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario has inspected the data and he estimates that the asteroid hit at 0243 UTC with an energy between 1.1 and 2.1 kilotons of TNT. The explosion was imaged by the weather satellite Meteosat 8:


Image credit: Zdenek Charvat, Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

"The explosion was visible in all 12 of the satellite's spectral channels, covering wavelengths from 0.5 to 14 microns," says Jiri Borovicka
of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who is analyzing the data. "The satellite takes pictures every five minutes; the fireball appeared at 0245 UTC and had faded away by 0250 UTC."

So far, no ground pictures of the fireball have been submitted; the impact occurred in a remote area with few and possibly no onlookers capable of recording the event. The only report of a visual sighting comes from Jacob Kuiper, General Aviation meteorologist at the National Weather Service in the Netherlands:

"Half an hour before the predicted impact of asteroid 2008 TC3, I informed an official of Air-France-KLM at Amsterdam airport about the possibility that crews of their airliners in the vicinity of impact would have a chance to see a fireball. And it was a success! I have received confirmation that a KLM airliner, roughly 750 nautical miles southwest of the predicted atmospheric impact position, has observed a short flash just before the expected impact time 0246 UTC. Because of the distance it was not a very large phenomenon, but still a confirmation that some bright meteor has been seen in the predicted direction. Projected on an infrared satellite image from Meteosat 7, I have indicated the position of the plane (+) and the predicted impact area in Sudan (0)."

2008 TC3 was discovered on Oct. 6th by astronomers using the Mt. Lemmon telescope in Arizona as part of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey for near-Earth objects. Asteroids the size of 2008 TC3 hit Earth 5 to 10 times a year, but this is the first time one has been discovered before it hit.

BONUS: 2008 TC3 was so close to Earth, different observers around the globe saw the asteroid trace different paths among the stars. This effect, called parallax, is beautifully illustrated in a compilation of 566 published observations prepared by Matthias Busch: image.

SPACE STATION SIGHTINGS: The International Space Station (ISS) is flying over North America this week. "Here it is appearing to enter my chimney in Peterborough, Ontario," says Phillip Chee who recorded the flyby using his Nikon D200 and a fisheye lens:

"The space station was easy to see in twilight," says Chee. "I estimate its magnitude at -2.4."

Because it's so big and bright, the station looks great through a backyard telescope. Last night, Ari Koutsouradis of Westminster, Maryland, took this picture through his 8-inch Celestron:

"Using Spaceweather's satellite tracker, I was able to set up my telescope and easily locate the ISS as it flew overhead," says Koutsouradis. "The camera, a Nikon D50, was set to ISO1600 with a shutter speed at 1/400 s."

Readers, see for yourself! Click here for viewing times.

more images: from Wienie Van der Oord in the Arava desert of Israel; from Daniel O'Malley of DeWitt, Michigan; from Craig W. Weiss of Palo Alto, California; from Curtis Warrenfeltz of Virginia Beach, Virginia;


Oct. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Octobers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000]

       
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 8, 2008 there were 988 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2008 QS11
Oct. 2
11 LD
14
470 m
2008 SH148
Oct. 4
5.8 LD
19
26 m
2005 GN59
Oct. 6
20 LD
15
1.4 km
2008 TC3
Oct. 7
IMPACT
-13
3 m
2008 TZ
Oct. 10
5.3 LD
18
37 m
1999 VP11
Oct. 16
72 LD
17
860 m
2001 UY4
Oct. 18
74 LD
17
1.1 km
2000 EX106
Oct. 23
69 LD
18
1.1 km
2005 VN
Oct. 29
4.1 LD
15
116 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
14
3.8 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 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
  a one-stop hub for all things scientific
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.