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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 390.6 km/sec
density: 0.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1929 UT Nov17
24-hr: C6
0727 UT Nov17
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 17 Nov 11
Sunspot 1346 poses a slight threat for Earth-directed M-flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 126
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 16 Nov 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 16 Nov 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 142 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 16 Nov 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.4 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 17 Nov 11
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Nov 17 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
20 %
20 %
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: 2011 Nov 17 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
02 %
02 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
17 %
17 %
MINOR
22 %
22 %
SEVERE
13 %
13 %
 
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011
What's up in space
 

Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.

 
Satellite flybys

LEONID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is passing through the debris field of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, parent of the annual Leonid meteor shower. Barring a direct hit by a filament of dust, which forecasters consider unlikely, this year's shower should be mild. Peak rates of 10 to 20 meteors per hour are expected on Nov. 17th and 18th. [live counts] [meteor radar]

GREAT FILAMENT: It's one of the biggest things in the entire solar system. A dark filament of magnetism measuring more than 800,000 km from end to end is sprawled diagonally across the face of the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took an ultraviolet picture of the structure during the late hours of Nov. 17th:

If the filament becomes unstable, as solar filaments are prone to do, it could collapse and hit the stellar surface below, triggering a Hyder flare. Indeed, part of the filament already erupted on Nov. 16th, but Earth was not in the line of fire when the twisted lines of magnetism snapped. A similar event today would likely be geoeffective because of the filament's central location on the solar disk. Solar flare alerts: text, phone

SHENZHOU 8 RETURNS TO EARTH: China's unmanned Shenzhou 8 probe returned to Earth on Nov. 17th, wrapping up a three-week mission to the Tiangong 1 space station. Shenzhou 8 spent its time in orbit practicing rendevous and docking maneuvers with China's new space station. Chinese authorities say the mission was a complete success.

China's growing presence in Earth orbit may be seen with the unaided eye. On Nov. 14th, David Blanchard watched the Tiangong 1 glide past the Andromeda galaxy in the crystal-clear skies of Flagstaff, Arizona:

"The space station zipped brightly across the sky, then swiftly faded away as it entered Earth's shadow," says Blanchard. "It was easy to see."

The "Heaveny Palace" (Tiangong in English) will be making a series of bright flybys of North America in the nights ahead. Check the Satellite Tracker or your smartphone for local flyby times.

  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, 2011 there were 1256 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
11.2
400 m
2011 UT91
Nov 15
9.9 LD
--
109 m
1994 CK1
Nov 16
68.8 LD
--
1.5 km
1996 FG3
Nov 23
39.5 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 WM7
Dec 9
47.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1999 XP35
Dec 20
77.5 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 YA
Dec 26
2.9 LD
--
80 m
2011 SL102
Dec 28
75.9 LD
--
1.1 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 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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Science Central
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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