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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 501.5 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A8
2112 UT Nov22
24-hr: A8
2112 UT Nov22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 22 Nov 10
Solar activity is low. None of the spots on the Earth-facing side of the sun is an active source of flares. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movie: 9 MB mpg
Sunspot number: 25
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 21 Nov 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 45 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 813 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 21 Nov 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 78 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 21 Nov 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.1 nT
Bz: 3.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 22 Nov 10
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 23rd or 24th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Nov 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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: 2010 Nov 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
What's up in space

iPHONE VS ANDROID! Actually, it doesn't matter which phone you carry. Our cool, new app turns both smartphones into field-tested satellite trackers. Learn more.


OUTBREAK ON JUPITER: The return of Jupiter's lost stripe (the South Equatorial Belt) is proceeding apace. At least three energetic plumes are breaking through the cloudtops of Jupiter's south equatorial zone, shown here in a weekend photo from Brian Combs of Buena Vista, Georgia. Researchers believe these plumes herald the emergence of the globe-straddling belt, mysteriously absent for nearly a year. more images: #1, #2, #3.

STRESS RELIEF: The tension was just too great. On Nov. 21st around 1600 UT, a twisted filament of solar magnetism suddenly untwisted, producing a towering eruption off the sun's northwestern limb. Click on the image to play a 6-hour time lapse movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Movie formats: 3 MB gif, 1.2 MB iPad, 0.3 MB iPhone, 1 MB hi-res still frame

Earth was not in the line of fire. No geomagnetic storms or auroras are expected as a result of the blast. Moreover, now that the filament has relaxed, it poses little threat for future eruptions. There is, however, another filament that bears watching. Stay tuned for updates.

ORANGE vs. BLUE MOON: By some reckonings, last night's full Moon was a Blue Moon. The moonrise over Korinthos, Greece however, had a distinctly different hue:

"The orange Moon rising over the Saronic Gulf near Korintthos was a beautiful sight," says Konstantinos Christodoulopoulos, who took the picture using a Canon EOS 450D.

Blue Moons are creatures of folklore, having little to do with actual color. A true-blue moon is a rare sight indeed. Orange moons, on the other hand, are commonplace. Scattering of moonlight by aerosols and air molecules gives the moon an orange tint via the same physics that colors sunsets.

So, actually, that was an ordinary moonrise over Greece. Not bad. Browse the links below for more "ordinary" moons from the weekend of Nov. 20-21.

more images: from Louis Suarato of Catskill Mountains, NY; from P. Nikolakakos of Sparta Greece; from Jin Lu of Tempe, AZ; from Lauri Kangas of Caledon, Ontario, Canada; from Peter Barvoets of Schenectady. NY; from Pete Griffith of Newport, UK

November 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2009, 2008, 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 November 22, 2010 there were 1164 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 TQ19
Oct 8
9.6 LD
37 m
2010 TS19
Oct 10
3.7 LD
31 m
2010 TD54
Oct 12
0.1 LD
7 m
2010 TB54
Oct 13
6.1 LD
19 m
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
2010 TK
Oct 16
4.5 LD
37 m
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.2 km
2010 TG19
Oct 22
1.1 LD
70 m
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
39.2 LD
1.1 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
1.5 km
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
1.3 km
2008 EA32
Jan 7
76.5 LD
2.1 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Science Central
  more links...
Northern Lights tours with Artic Pathfinder
Fine astrophotography and gift cards by Alan Friedman outreach, imaging, and reviews
2010 Perseid meteor shower
Toys which are out of this world from
space weather alerts
outdoor lighting
Superior Labels - Out of this World!
Christmas Cards
satellite tracking
Compare air travel around the globe with Airfares Flights
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