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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 379.9 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2241 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2245 UT Nov03
24-hr: B8
1120 UT Nov03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Nov 08
New-cycle sunspot 1007 is growing again and crackling with B-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 17
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Nov. 2008
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= 0
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.8 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT
Coronal Holes:
A weak solar wind stream flowing from this shallow coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 03 2201 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: 2008 Nov 03 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 3, 2008
BEHOLD THE SUN: Would you like to see fiery prominences and new-cycle sunspots with your own eyes? On sale now: Personal Solar Telescopes.  

REENTRY UPDATE: US Space Command reports that the Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS) probably reentered Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 3rd at 04:51:00 GMT +/- 1 minute over the following coordinates: 48° S, 151° E. That would place the fireball over the Indian Ocean south of Tasmania where sightings are unlikely.

SUNSPOT 1007: Over the weekend, sunspot 1007 grew into a substantial active region with two planet-sized cores connected by dark magnetic filaments thousands of kilometers long. The ensemble bears a curious resemblence to the pipe of Sherlock Holmes: "It's filamentary, my dear Watson!" says Alan Friedman who sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Buffalo, New York:

The high latitude and magnetic polarity of sunspot 1007 identify it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24. This is the fourth new-cycle sunspot to breach the sun's surface in the past month. In a year of almost no sunspots, four is significant. It means that the sun is beginning a slow ascent out of solar minimum to a more active phase of the sunspot cycle. Solar minimum is not a permanent condition! Readers, if you have a solar telescope, train it on sunspot 1007 to witness a sign of things to come.

more images: from Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas; from Stephen W. Ramsden of Atlanta, Georgia; from B. Hustus and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia

EVENING SKY SHOW: When the sun sets this evening, go outside and look south. The crescent Moon and Jupiter are gathering together for a tight conjunction less than 3o wide. The pair is so bright and eye-catching, you can find them even without a sky map.

Yesterday at sunset in Chiuduno, Italy, Antonio Finazzi photographed the Moon approaching Jupiter:

"This is a 6 second exposure at ISO 400," says Finazzi "I used a Nikon D700." Similar settings should work as well for tonight's conjunction.

more images: from Tamas Ladanyi of Budapest, Hungary; from Chris Picking of Masterton, North Island, New Zealand; from David Hanson of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; from Albert Engert of Uengershausen, Bayern, Deutschland; from Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czech republic; from Tomasz Adam of Staszów, Poland; from Bob Johnson of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; from Austen L. Onek of Memphis, Tennessee; from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas; from Antonios Pantelidis of Lake Prespa, Greece; from Mark Stauss of rural Buchanan county, Missouri;

Oct. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Octobers: 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 3, 2008 there were 996 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 TX3
Nov. 1
9 LD
45 m
2008 UT95
Nov. 2
1.5 LD
15 m
2008 UC7
Nov. 2
4.5 LD
17 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
3.8 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 space weather bureau
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.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  a one-stop hub for all things scientific
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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