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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 344.1 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B8
2045 UT Nov30
24-hr: B8
2045 UT Nov30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Nov 10
Developing sunspot 1130 poses a threat for C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movie: 9 MB mpg
Sunspot number: 31
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Nov 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 45 days (13%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 813 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 29 Nov 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 80 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Nov 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Nov 10
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Nov 30 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 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
What's up in space

AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE


LONG-DELAY RADIO ECHOES: During the geomagnetic storm of Nov. 27th, a brief but intense G2-class event, amateur radio operator Peter Brogl of Fürth, Germany, experienced a strange phenomenon. Forty-six seconds after he transmitted his call sign at 7 MHz, he received an echo of his own transmission. "At first, I thought someone was playing tricks on me," says Brogl, "but I changed frequency, re-keyed my call sign (DK6NP), and got another echo." This went on for more than an hour, enough time for Brogl to make several recordings. First reported in 1927 by Norwegian civil engineer Jørgen Hals, long-delay radio echoes are rare and poorly understood. Unusual propagation conditions linked to solar storms is one of many possible explanations. Radio operators, if you experienced any similar phenomena on Nov. 27th between 1800 UT and 19:30 UT, please report your observations to Peter Brogl for correlation.

SUNSPOT CANOPY: Two days ago, sunspot 1130 didn't exist. Now the fast-growing sunspot group is the largest visible feature on the sun's disk with twin cores both larger than Earth. The amazing thing, however, is the invisible part. Using extreme ultraviolet filters outside the range of human vision, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the sunspot's magnetic canopy on Nov. 30th:

In the image, curvaceous lines of magnetism are illuminated by hot solar plasma trapped inside the canopy. If the magnetic field becomes unstable and explodes, as sunspot magnetic fields often do, a cloud of plasma could come flying toward Earth. This active region merits watching for the next few days until the sun's rotation turns it away from our planet. Stay tuned.

RETURN OF JUPITER'S MISSING STRIPE: The revival of Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt (SEB), missing for nearly a year, is now well underway. The roiling, turbulent disturbance that heralds the brown stripe's full return stretches almost halfway around the giant planet. "Here is a projection map showing the revival on Nov. 29th," says amateur astronomer Wayne Jaeschke of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Note the region bracketed by arrows:

"I made the map by combining two pictures of Jupiter I took using my 14-inch Celestron telescope," says Jaeschke. "The disturbance has grown dramatically since it first appeared in late October." Indeed, it is now so large that even novice observers are starting to notice it in the eyepieces of backyard telescopes.

The spreading disturbance is not the SEB itself. Instead, it is thought to be a progressive clearing of high clouds that will eventually reveal the brown stripe hiding below. When the SEB finally returns, Jupiter will have two brown stripes again and the planet's appearance will return to normal. Meanwhile, amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor the revival. Point your optics south after sunset: sky map.

more images: from Wayne Jaeschke of West Chester, PA; from Geoff Chester of Alexandria, Virginia; from John Nassr of Baguio, Philippines

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 30, 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...
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