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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: 357.7 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov17
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Nov17
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 17 Nov 08
New-cycle sunspot 1008 is disappearing over the sun's western limb. Credit: SOHO/MDI

more images: from David Leong of Hong Kong; from Greg Piepol of Rockville, Maryland; from Matt Wastell of Brisbane, Australia; from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana
Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 16 Nov. 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= 2
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: 3.0 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 17 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 Nov 17 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 17, 2008
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Did you sleep through the auroras of November? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.  

SEE THE SPACE STATION: Space shuttle Endeavour docked to the International Space Station on Sunday, Nov. 16th, delivering a new crew member and 14,000+ pounds of equipment and supplies to the outpost. Joined together, the two spacecraft are among the brightest objects in the night sky, rivaling Venus in luminosity. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.

photos: from Mark Staples of Gainesville, Florida;

MICRO-MOON OF VENUS: Tonight, Venus is passing just 0.1o below 3rd-magnitude star Lambda Sagittarii. Viewed through binoculars or a small telescope, Venus appears to have gained a moon--a remarkable sight. Finding Venus is easy. Go outside at sunset and look southwest. Venus is one of two bright lights shining through the cobalt-blue:

Dan Bush took the picture on Nov. 15th from his backyard in Albany Missouri. "The clouds parted just long enough for a 15 second exposure with my Nikon D200."

Readers, you'll want to keep an eye on this patch of sky in the nights ahead. Venus and Jupiter are rushing together, drawing noticably closer every night. The climax occurs at the end of the month when, with the two planets only 2o apart, the crescent Moon leaps up from the horizon to join them for a three-way conjunction of rare and spectacular beauty. Stay tuned! Sky maps: Nov. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, Dec 1.

more photos: from Daniel Strehle of Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany; from Jesus Pelaez Aguado of Burgos, Spain; from Steve Holmes of Laxfield, Suffolk UK; from Mila Zinkova of San Francisco, California; from Tamas Ladanyi of Veszprem, Hungary; from Becky Ramotowski of Tijeras, New Mexico; from Martin Popek of JavorovĂ˝, Czech Republic; from Alex Roca of Hortoneda, Lerida, Spain; from Val Germann of Columbia, Missouri;

SOMETHING FISHY IN THE SKY: When you run into a thousand penguins all staring at the sky, two words come to mind: flying fish. But on Oct. 28th, photographer Steve Shuey caught the flightless birds of South Georgia Island staring up at something else: atmospheric optics. "The sun had just risen," he says, "when this fogbow appeared in the mist."


Photo details: Canon 5D, ISO 160, 1/500th sec, f/11

"A fogbow is like a rainbow except that the fog droplets making them are a hundred times smaller than raindrops," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "They are too small for light waves to pass through them in the straight lines of geometric optics and wave interference smears the bow into a broad band. You do not need to be in penguin-land to see them. Look for fogbows whenever a low sun starts to shine through morning mist."


Nov. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Novembers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 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 November 17, 2008 there were 997 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2008 TX3
Nov. 1
9 LD
19
45 m
2008 UT95
Nov. 2
1.5 LD
17
15 m
2008 UC7
Nov. 2
4.5 LD
20
17 m
2008 VM
Nov. 3
0.1 LD
20
4 m
2008 VA4
Nov. 4
7.7 LD
17
49 m
2008 VB4
Nov. 4
1.3 LD
18
10 m
2008 VC
Nov. 4
4.4 LD
20
18 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
14
3.8 km
2008 VZ3
Nov. 22
5.7 LD
18
55 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
  a one-stop hub for all things scientific
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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