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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 363.1 km/sec
density: 0.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Oct13
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Oct13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Oct. 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Photo credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Oct 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 11 days
2009 total: 223 days (78%)
Since 2004: 734 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 12 Oct 2009

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
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Oct. 15th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Oct 13 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: 2009 Oct 13 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
October 13, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.


NETHERLANDS FIREBALL: This evening in the Netherlands, at approximately 16:56 UT, a fireball nearly as bright as the full Moon streaked across the twilight sky. "It was red-orange in color and broke apart into 5 or 6 pieces as I watched it from the village of Ermelo," says eye-witness Koen Miskotte. Other observers report sonic booms, low rumbles and shaking windows. A lucky shot by photographer Jan de Vries caught the meteor in mid-flight. Stay tuned for updates.

MORNING PLANETS: This week, Venus and Saturn are having a lovely close encounter in the morning sky. Laurent Laveder sends this picture of the duo from the shores of the river Odet, a few kilometers from Quimper, France:

"It was a beautiful conjunction," he says. "Venus and Saturn were less than 1o apart."

Readers, the boats and planes may change, but the heavens remain the same no matter where you live. Set your alarm for dawn and look east for planets. It's a nice way to begin the day: sky map.

more images: from Mohammad Javad Fahimi of Kerman, Iran; from M. Raşid Tuğral of Ankara-Turkiye, Turkey;

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A minor solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 11th, sparking green auroras around the Arctic Circle. Aleksander Chernucho photographed the display from Russia's Kola Peninsula not far from the border of Finland:

"I used a Nikon D700 for this 10 second exposure," he says.

More auroras could appear on Oct. 15th when another solar wind stream is expected to reach Earth. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for green lights in the sky.

more images: from M-P Markkanen of Kuusamo, Finland

Sept. 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001]

Explore the Sunspot Cycle

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 13, 2009 there were 1074 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 CV26
Oct. 8
9.8 LD
2.2 km
2009 TJ
Oct. 13
10.8 LD
130 m
1999 AP10
Oct. 20
29.7 LD
2.7 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
  more links...
















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