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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 480.9 km/sec
density: 1.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov28
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Nov28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Nov 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Yesterday's proto-sunspot has faded away. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.4 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Dec. 3rd. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 28 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 28 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 28, 2008
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Did you sleep through the auroras of November? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.  

DOUBLE FLYBY ALERT: Space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station this morning at 9:47 a.m. EST, and the two spacecraft are now orbiting Earth in tandem. Endeavour will land at Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, Nov. 30th. Meanwhile, sky watchers have an opportunity to see the two spacecraft flying side-by-side through the night sky. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.

photos: from Pawel Warchal of Cracow, Poland; from Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czech Republic;

SUNSET PLANETS: Tonight when the sun goes down, step outside and look southwest. Venus and Jupiter are lined up beautifully close together in the twilight sky. Saied Bahrami Nezhad sends this picture taken just hours ago from the Lut desert near Kerman, Iran:

"Seeing the planets so close together was a dreamy experience," says Nezhad. And it's about to get dreamier. On Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st, the crescent moon will leap up from the horizon, joining Jupiter and Venus in a three-way conjunction that some astronomers are calling "the best sky show of the year." Don't miss a single night: Nov. 28, 29, 30, Dec 1.

more images: from Zlatko Pasko of Stara Pazova, Serbia; from Patrick Boomer of Alberta, Canada; from Jens Hackmann of Weikersheim, Germany; from Mahdi Zamani of Kan, Iran; from Cindy Safina of Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong; from Alan Conrad of Liverpool,Nova Scotia; from Jim Werle of Henderson, Nevada; from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland

AURORAS IN MOTION: Two nights ago, a solar wind stream sparked auroras over Lofoten, Norway. Click on the snapshot to set the scene in motion:

"I used my Canon 400D to take seven pictures at 10-second intervals," says photographer Threes van Nieuwenhoven. He combined the exposures to create a moving portrait, which shows how much Northern Lights can change in little more than a minute. "It was a heavenly feast."

The feast continues next week. Another solar stream is heading toward Earth, due to arrive on or about Dec. 5th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Nov. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Novembers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 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 28, 2008 there were 1002 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
2008 VM
Nov. 3
0.1 LD
4 m
2008 VA4
Nov. 4
7.7 LD
49 m
2008 VB4
Nov. 4
1.3 LD
10 m
2008 VC
Nov. 4
4.4 LD
18 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
3.8 km
2008 WO2
Nov. 16
1.0 LD
5 m
2004 XK3
Nov. 18
1.8 LD
60 m
2008 VZ3
Nov. 22
5.7 LD
55 m
2008 WD
Nov. 24
6.9 LD
30 m
2008 WC
Nov. 26
5.1 LD
23 m
2008 WM61
Nov. 27
3.5 LD
20 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 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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