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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 335.0 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
2005 UT Dec02
24-hr: B5
2005 UT Dec02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Dec 07
Day-old sunspot 976 is already fading away, but a new sunspot (provisionally numbered 977) is emerging in its wake. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Dec 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.7 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
Coronal Holes:
A weak solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could hit Earth on Dec. 5th. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Dec 02 2204 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 Dec 02 2204 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %

What's up in Space
December 2, 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.

PROM ALERT: A profusion of prominences is dancing along the sun's eastern limb: image. If you have a solar telescope, take a look!

COMET 17P/HOLMES: "The 'Jellyfish Comet' has caught some small fish," reports Paolo Candy who took this picture last night from the Cimini Astronomical Observatory in Soriano, Italy:

The "fish" are the stars of open cluster NGC 1245 located downstream of Holmes' developing tail. NGC 1245 is a swarm of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of stars 800 light years from Earth. It shows up nicely in 10+ minute exposures of the comet through amateur telescopes.

Comet 17P/Holmes is no longer the bright naked-eye object it was when it first exploded in late October. But it remains an easy target for binoculars, night vision goggles and backyard telescopes. After sunset, point your optics at the constellation Perseus and scan around for the Jellyfish: sky map. You can't miss it.

Comet 17P/Holmes Photo Gallery
[Interactive World Map of Comet Photos]
[sky map] [ephemeris] [3D orbit] [Night Sky Cameras]

MOON HALO MOVIE: Ice in high clouds turns ordinary moonlight into beautiful moon halos. What happens to these halos when clouds are set in motion? To find out, click on the image below:

Click to view a 34-minute timelapse movie

"It was fun trying to guess the luminosity of the halo by watching the clouds coming toward the Moon," says Laurent Laveder who made the movie in Bretagne France on Nov. 29th. "I used a Canon 350D to take 68 images 30 seconds apart. Each frame is a 15 second exposure at ISO 800."

more images: from Jon Hayden of Milwauke, Oregon; from Stefan Gajdos of Modra, Slovakia; from Brian Karczewski of Hemet, CA; from Marsha Adams of Sedona, AZ; from Mike Caplan of Wadsworth, Illinois.

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 December 2, 2007 there were 907 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Dec. 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 VD184
Dec. 9
7.8 LD
95 m
3200 Phaethon
Dec. 10
47 LD
5 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 Links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction 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.
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