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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: 301.4 km/sec
density: 1.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov20
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Nov20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 20 Nov 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 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= 1 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: 3.7 nT
Bz: 0.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Nov. 25th. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 20 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 20 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 20, 2008
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Did you sleep through the auroras of November? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.  

MYSTERIOUS COSMIC RAYS: An international team of researchers has discovered a puzzling surplus of high-energy electrons bombarding Earth from space. The source of these cosmic rays is unknown, but it must be close to the solar system and it could be made of dark matter: full story.

AURORA WATCH: On Nov. 9th, flying photographer Brian Whittaker was 35,000 feet over the Arctic Circle when he looked out the window of his airplane and saw this:

"For several hours I had experienced a good display of dynamic green auroras," says Whittaker. "The best view was when we neared the coast of Greenland. Snow-capped peaks and glaciers were easily visible in the bright moonlight while auroras danced overhead."

It's time to book another flight. On Nov. 24th or 25th, a solar wind stream will hit Earth and probably spark a new round of Northern Lights. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

UPDATED: Nov. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Novembers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000]

INCREDIBLE SKY: Imagine standing outside after dark, head inclined to the heavens, watching two planets rush together on an apparent collision course--when suddenly a massive spacecraft splits the sky. Incredible? Not at all. It happened just last night to Justin Cowart of Carbondale, Illinois:


Photo details: Nikon D80, 155 second exposure, ISO 1000

"The ISS was a gleaming white color, almost as if it were a spark of burning magnesium," says Cowart. "As the space station ascended into Earth's shadow, the white became contaminated with a coppery orange and then it turned a deep, angry red just before disappearing completely in the vicinity of Deneb."

The ISS is making a series of evening flybys over North America this week, appearing in the same part of the sky as converging planets Venus and Jupiter. As incredible as Cowart's experience sounds, lots of people are seeing the same thing. Could you be next?

more images: from Brian Emfinger of Ozark, Arkansas; from Shannon Story of Weatherford, Texas; from Robert Jeffers of Virginia Beach, Virginia; from Becky Ramotowski at Route 66 Elementary School, Edgewood, New Mexico;

Sky maps: Nov. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, Dec 1.


UPDATED: 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 20, 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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