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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 397.1 km/sec
density: 1.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov29
24-hr: A0
1320 UT Nov29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Nov 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 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= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
Bz: 2 nT south
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 29 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 29 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 29, 2008
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Did you sleep through the auroras of November? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.  

NOT-A-SUNSPOT: A large, diffuse magnetic dipole is emerging in the sun's northern hemisphere: map. It's too spread out to form a sunspot, but it may prove interesting nevertheless. In the neutral folds of such regions, dark filaments of plasma are known to form and sometimes erupt. If you have a solar telescope, take a look.

TWO SPACESHIPS: How often do you look through the eyepiece of your telescope and see two spaceships? It happened last night to Janusz Krysiak when space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station flew over his backyard observatory in Koluszki, Poland:

Endeavour undocked from the ISS on Nov. 28th and it is scheduled to land in Florida on Sunday, Nov. 30th. In the meantime, many sky watchers will be able to see the two flying together through the night sky. Endeavour is about as bright as Jupiter, while the ISS shines like Venus--you can't miss them. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.

more images: from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland; from Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands; from Pawel Warchal of Cracow, Poland; from Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czech Republic; from Andrzej Marks of Stargard Szczecinski, Poland;

SUNSET PLANETS: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look southwest. Venus and Jupiter are having a stunning close encounter in the twilight sky. Paulo Casquinha sends this picture taken just hours ago from Langkawi, Malaysia:

"The planets were shining over the main telescope of Langkawi National Observatory," says Casquinha. "We made the dome 'transparent' by intentionally rotating it during the exposure."

This beautiful view is about to improve. 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. 29, 30, Dec 1.

more images: from Thierry Demange of Erstein, Alsace, France; from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland; from Idan Rawet of Tel Aviv, Israel; from Salvador Aguirre of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; from Sheri Barrington of Weymouth, UK; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from Niloofar Khavari of Dehkade, Karaj, Iran; from Rick Ellis of Toronto, Canada; from Tom Wagner of Waterloo, Iowa; from Xiang Zhan of Beijing, China; from Fabio Dornelles of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil; from Mike O'Leary of El Cajon, California; from Michael Caplan of Gurnee, Illinois; from Gary A. Becker of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania; from Benedikte Hole of Oslo, Norway; from Zlatko Pasko of Stara Pazova, Serbia; from Patrick Boomer of Alberta, Canada; from Mahdi Zamani of Kan, Iran; from Wienie van der Oord of Arava desert, Israel; from Paul Evans of Raloo, County Antrim, Northern Ireland; from Patrick Claxton of El Paso, Texas;

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 29, 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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