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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 374.1 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2337 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1844 UT Oct27
24-hr: C2
1844 UT Oct27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Oct 11
Sunspot 1330 has a "beta-gamma" magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares.Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 104
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Oct 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 26 Oct 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 132 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Oct 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: 0.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Oct 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could brush past Earth on Oct. 30. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Oct 27 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 Oct 27 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

 
Own your own meteorite

SUNSET CONJUNCTION: When the sun goes down tonight, look west into the twilight. Venus and Mercury are in conjunction less than 3 degrees apart. Binoculars may be required to see Mercury shining alongside the much-brighter Venus. A 2% crescent Moon is there, too, but only black-belt observers will find it in the glowing sky just below Mercury. [sky map]

Conjunction images: from David Marshall of Cave Hill, St. Michael, Barbados; from Matt Zengerer of Adelaide, South Australia;

48 HOURS LATER: People in the United States are still talking about the spooky red auroras ignited by a CME on Oct. 24th; Northern Lights were sighted as far south as Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. 48 hours later, the show was over in the USA, but not in Scandinaviia where residual auroras continued to flicker around the Arctic Circle. Norwegian photographer Ole C. Salomonsen took this picture on Oct. 26th:

"I was out shooting the Milky Way when I got a nice surprise," says Salomonsen. "These amazing auroras were still dancing over Tromsø. Several meteors cut across the sky during the photo-shoot, so I was able to capture a fireball, the Northern Lights and the Milky Way in a single exposure!"

More such photo-ops are in the offing. The sun is waking up from one of the deepest solar minima in a century, and new Solar Cycle 24 seems to be rapidly gaining strength. Forecasters expect a new "Solar Max" in 2012-2013 with many more aurora storms between now and then. Stay tuned. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

October 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

SUNSPOT SUNSET: Now that the aurora storm has subsided, many people are wondering When it will happen again? The answer could lie in the sunset. James W. Young of Cannon Beach, Oregon, took this picture at the end of the day on Oct. 25th:

"Sunspot 1330 was clearly visible on the face of the sun as it set directly into the Pacific Ocean," says Young.

The big sunspot has a "beta-gamma" magnetic field that harbors energy for strong flares. As the active region turns toward Earth this week, it becomes the most likely source of the next CME to hit our planet. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours.

more images: from Dennis Simmons of Brisbane, Qld, Australia; from Tom Michalik of Lynchburg, Virginia

  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 27, 2011 there were 1256 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 UC64
Oct 24
1.3 LD
--
11 m
2011 UH10
Oct 24
9.6 LD
--
17 m
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
--
200 m
2011 UT91
Nov 14
9.8 LD
--
95 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
--
1.5 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
 
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