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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: 276.6 km/sec
density: 2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Oct09
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Oct09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Oct 07
Sunspot 972 has faded away leaving the sun blank. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Oct 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Updated:
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.3 nT
Bz: 0.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Oct. 11th or 12th. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Oct 09 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 09 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %

What's up in Space
October 9, 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. .

AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is heading toward Earth and it could spark a geomagnetic storm when it arrives on Oct. 11th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

PERUVIAN METEORITE UPDATE: On Sept. 15th, a fireball streaked across the skies of Peru and soon thereafter a watery crater was discovered by local residents near the town of Carancas. At first experts dismissed the connection; the crater didn't look like a meteorite impact. But since then minds have changed:

"Without reservation this is definitely a meteorite," says
astronomy professor Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. "We found some infrasound data recorded by a station in La Paz about 70 km away. From the size of the the airwave we can work out the kinetic energy of the impactor--about 0.03 kton TNT."

"Something like 20 to 30 kg of the meteorite have already been recovered, but odds are good a multi-ton monster lurks at the bottom of the crater," he continues. "The bad news: It is below the water table, the rainy season is coming and unless some action is taken ASAP, the rock will quickly oxidize and crumble." [more]

Meanwhile, he says, "we are digging for seismic data of the actual impact--the first actual seismic recording of a terrestrial meteorite impact!" Stay tuned.

COMET LONEOS: Tonight after sunset, point your camera below the handle of the Big Dipper, open the shutter for 60 seconds and--voila!--a comet. Last night in Stagecoach, Colorado, physics professor Jimmy Westlake followed this recipe and here is the result:


Photo details: Fuji FinePix S2, Nikkor 300mm lens, f4, ISO800, 62s

"Comet LONEOS (C/2007 F1) is now visible in the evening sky as an 8th-magnitude fuzzball," he says. "In this image, the green comet displays a 1ยบ tail against the stars of Coma Berenices just moments before setting behind the Rocky Mountains." [sky map]

At present the comet is invisible to the naked eye, but this could change by the end of October when Comet LONEOS approaches the sun almost as close as Mercury. Heated by intense sunlight, the comet will spit dust, spew jets of gas and brighten to 4th magnitude. People in dark-sky locations should be able to see the fuzzball with their own eyes.

There's no need to wait, however. In fact, there's every reason to look now. Comet LONEOS is plunging toward the sun and may surprise us with outbursts as sunlight touches fresh veins of ice for the first time. Astronomers, ready your telescopes! [ephemeris] [3D orbit]

more images: a sketch from Martin McKenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland.


September 2007 Aurora Gallery
[August 2007 Aurora 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 9, 2007 there were 887 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct.-Nov. 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2340 Hathor
Oct. 22
23 LD
16
620 m
2005 GL
Nov. 8
8.0 LD
16
280 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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