Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.


Solar Wind

velocity: 704.5 km/s
1.2 protons/cm3
More about these data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT

Meteor Rates (24 hr max.)
visual: 4 per hr
(89 MHz): 35 per hr
More about these data
Updated: 11 Nov 2000

Sunspot Number: 141
More about sunspots
Updated: 10 Nov 2000

Daily Sun:11 Nov '00
All of the sunspots on the visible disk have relatively simple alpha- or beta-class magnetic fields. None appear to harbor energy for explosions more powerful than an M-class eruption.

Coronal Holes:

A high speed solar wind stream from this coronal hole, which crossed the Sun's central meridian on Friday, will likely arrive in the vicinity of our planet sometime Sunday. Image credit: Yohkoh soft X-ray telescope.
More about coronal holes


Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2000 Nov 11 2200 UT

FLARE 24 hr 48 hr
CLASS M 15 % 15 %
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 2000 Nov 11 2200 UT

24 hr 48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 30 %
MINOR 25 % 15 %
SEVERE 10 % 05 %

High latitudes
24 hr 48 hr
ACTIVE 25 % 25 %
MINOR 30 % 20 %
SEVERE 20 % 15 %

What's Up in Space -- 11 Nov 2000
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AURORA WARNING: Our planet is inside a high-velocity solar wind stream with peak speeds exceeding 800 km/s. So far geomagnetic activity has been low because the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) around Earth is pointing north. North-pointing IMFs reinforce the magnetosphere's resistance to solar wind gusts. If, while we are inside this high-speed stream, the IMF turns south (which would lower our planet's magnetic defenses) there could be renewed geomagnetic storming and aurora

IMPACT! A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetosphere Friday morning only 31 hours after leaving the Sun. Its earlier-than-expected arrival at 0600 GMT (1:00 am EST) sparked a G3-class geomagnetic storm that lasted nine hours. Since then geomagnetic activity has subsided.

SOLAR RADIATION STORM: On Nov 8th a powerful solar flare triggered an S4-class solar radiation storm, the fourth largest since 1976. The flux of high-energy protons near Earth was ~100,000 times greater than normal when the storm peaked on Thursday. The storm caused HF radio blackouts, minor electronic glitches on satellites, and would have posed a hazard to astronauts on the International Space Station had they attempted EVAs (space walks). Radiation counts finally declined below storm levels on Saturday, Nov. 11th.

The same eruption that sparked Thursday's radiation storm also launched a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. The CME left the Sun on Nov 8th traveling 2035 km/s (4.5 million mph) and hit Earth's magnetosphere Friday morning. The CME is barely visible through the snow-like haze of this SOHO coronagraph animation. The many specks and streaks are energetic particles striking the spacecraft's CCD camera.

RECENT AURORA: Updated Nov. 10 Geomagnetic storms on Nov. 3rd and Nov. 6th triggered widespread Northern Lights.

FAST MOVING ASTEROID: On Nov. 7, 2000, a 250-meter wide asteroid named 2000 UG11 zipped past our planet just 6.1 times farther away than the Moon. A series of movies shows how the apparent speed of the asteroid rapidly increased in the early days of November and then peaked at 29 degrees per day as the space rock made its closest approach to Earth. Amateur astronomers with 8 inch or larger telescopes can still spot 2000 UG11 for themselves as it slowly fades. [ephemeris for observers]


Space Weather News
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Nov. 7, 2000: Much Ado about 2000 SG344 -- In 2071 a relic of NASA's earliest space exploration efforts might return to Earth, if current estimates are confirmed.

Oct. 26, 2000: Lunar Leonids -- On Nov. 17, 2000, the moon will plow through a stream of debris from comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Oct. 10, 2000: The Moonlit Leonids 2000 -- Our planet is heading for a minefield of cosmic dust streams laid down by periodic comet Tempel-Tuttle. The result could be a series of meteor outbursts on Nov. 17 and 18, 2000.

Sept. 28, 2000: Bright Planets and Random Meteors -- This week's new Moon sets a dark stage for a sporadic meteor show featuring a cast of eye-catching stars and planets.

Sept. 20, 2000: A Good Month for Asteroids -- Five Near-Earth Asteroids flew past our planet during the month of September.

Sept. 13, 2000: A Surprising Coronal Mass Ejection -- A solar filament collapsed and fell to the surface of the Sun, spawning a coronal mass ejection that forecasters didn't expect.

Sept. 5, 2000: Sunbathing at Solar Max -- NASA scientists say that solar maximum is now in full swing. Does that mean you're more likely to suffer a sunburn at the beach? This story reveals the answer.

Sept. 1, 2000: A Close Encounter with a Space Rock -- A half-kilometer wide asteroid zooms past Earth barely 12 times farther from our planet than the Moon.

Aug. 14, 2000: The Extraordinary Geomagnetic Perseid Meteor Shower -- A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetosphere just before the peak of the 2000 Perseid meteor shower.

Aug. 8, 2000: Perseid Dawn -- Stargazers could spot as many as 100 Perseid meteors per hour before dawn on August 12.


Editor's Note: Space weather forecasts that appear on this site are based in part on data from NASA and NOAA satellites and ground-monitoring stations. These predictions are not necessarily sanctioned by either organization.

Essential Web Links

NOAA Space Environment Center -- The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images --a gallery of up-to-date solar pictures from the National Solar Data Analysis Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Latest Space Weather Values -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

What is the Interplanetary Magnetic Field? -- A lucid answer from the University of Michigan.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Aurora Forecast --from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute

USGS Magnetic Observatories -- near real-time geomagnetic data from the US Geological Survey.

Daily Solar Flare and Sunspot Data -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Quarterly Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: January - March 2000 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Quarterly Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: April - June 2000 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Quarterly Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: July - Sept 2000 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

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