You are viewing the page for Oct. 18, 2007
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 578.4 km/sec
density: 2.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2241 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Oct18
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Oct18
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 18 Oct 07
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Oct 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Oct 18 2138 UT
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.6 nT
Bz: 6.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth as early as Oct. 18th. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Oct 18 2203 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: 2007 Oct 18 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
10 %
15 %
05 %
10 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
26 %
15 %
14 %
10 %
05 %

What's up in Space
October 18, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

ALIEN SKIES: Do you love gazing at a starry night sky? Nothing you've ever seen on Earth could prepare you for the fantastic skies of some "orphan stars" just discovered by astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory: full story.

SOLAR WIND: Today's x-ray image of the sun from Japan's Hinode spacecraft reveals a large triangular hole in the sun's atmosphere:

A solar wind stream flowing from this "coronal hole" will soon reach Earth and the impact could trigger a geomagnetic storm. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Oct. 18th and 19th.

October 2007 Aurora Gallery
[September Gallery] [Aurora Alerts]

WEIRD ORIONIDS: "I've never seen anything like it," says veteran sky watcher Doug Zubenel. Last week on October 10th he was at the Okie-Tex star party when a handful of Orionid meteors raced across the sky one after another, all in a row:

And then it happened again. And again! "All of these meteors traveled nearly the exact same path through the sky," he says. In total, he captured 16 follow-the-leader meteors in a series of seven exposures spanning 70 minutes: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.

Orionid meteors are specks of dusty debris from Halley's Comet. Zubenel seems to have witnessed a collimated train of Halley-dust. Trains of space debris are not unprecedented--witness this crater chain on the Moon--but long trains of single file meteors are a rare sight indeed.

Be alert for more: Earth is just beginning its annual plunge into Halley's debris stream. The ongoing Orionid shower (so-called because the meteors stream out of the constellation Orion) peaks on Sunday, Oct. 21st, when sky watchers can expect to count 20 to 50 meteors per hour. But how many in a row? There's only one way to find out: sky map.

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 18, 2007 there were 895 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct.-Nov. 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 TL16
Oct. 5
1.6 LD
27 m
2007 TC14
Oct. 18
11.7 LD
180 m
2340 Hathor
Oct. 22
23.3 LD
620 m
2005 GL
Nov. 8
8.0 LD
280 m
1989 UR
Nov. 24
27.6 LD
880 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 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.
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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2007, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.