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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 254.4 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2319 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2350 UT Nov30
24-hr: A0
0125 UT Nov30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2350 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Dec. 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Dec 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 10 days
2009 total: 253 days (75%)
Since 2004: 764 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 02 Dec 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= 0
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.4 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Dec. 3rd or 4th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Dec 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: 2009 Dec 03 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
20 %
01 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
30 %
01 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
December 3, 2009

SPACESHIP SIGHTINGS: Would you like a call when the space station is about to fly over your backyard? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.


SANDTRAPPED ROVER MAKES BIG DISCOVERY: While stuck in a sandtrap, Mars rover Spirit has made a discovery one researcher calls "supremely interesting." Science@NASA has the full story.

ARCTIC LIGHTS: In Tromsø, Norway, the long polar night has begun. The sun set in November and it won't be back until January. There is still a way, however, to catch some sun. Just hop in a plane:

"I took this picture flying above Tromsø at midday on Dec. 2nd," says Thomas Hagen. From 30,000 ft, the sun can be seen over the northern horizon--a welcome dose of daylight.

Darkness returned when the plane landed, just in time for a light show of a different kind. A solar wind stream is approaching Earth and it could spark Northern Lights when it arrives on Dec. 3rd or 4th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

MORNING MOON: Wake up early. Look west. That's what you should do on the mornings after a full Moon. It's the perfect time to catch the silver orb surrounded the special twilight-blue of dawn. Dewey Vanderhoff of Cody, Wyoming, followed these instructions on Dec. 2nd, and here is what he saw:

"The mountain is called Mooncrest Peak," says Vanderhoff. "Four inches of snow fell overnight and the temperature was very near 0° F at dawn. The golden cupola of the Park County courthouse is catching the day's first light at lower left."

A repeat performance will occur on Dec. 31st when the second full Moon of December--a "Blue Moon"--returns to the snow-covered crest at dawn. "I hope to be there," says Vanderhoff. It is a nice way to begin the day.

more full moon shots: from Tamas Ladanyi of Veszprem, Hungary; from Darrell Oake of Halifax NS Canada; from Azhy Chato Hasan of Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq; from Yuichi Takasaka of Lumby, British Columbia, Canada; from Chris Allington of Omaha, Nebraska; from Rene M. Thibault of Chester, New Hampshire

November Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 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 December 3, 2009 there were 1084 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 UK14
Nov. 1
9.1 LD
29 m
2006 JY26
Nov. 2
6.7 LD
10 m
2000 XK44
Nov. 4
28.8 LD
1.1 km
2009 VA
Nov. 6
0.05 LD
6 m
2000 UJ1
Nov. 7
43.3 LD
1.2 km
2009 VT1
Nov. 9
1.4 LD
6 m
2000 TO64
Nov. 10
44.2 LD
1.9 km
2009 UK20
Nov. 12
6.5 LD
20 m
2009 VX
Nov. 12
2.6 LD
26 m
2009 VR
Nov. 13
6.6 LD
10 m
2009 WQ6
Nov. 16
0.9 LD
7 m
2009 WX7
Nov. 16
3.7 LD
20 m
2009 VC1
Nov. 18
6.0 LD
21 m
2009 WJ6
Nov. 20
0.5 LD
14 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
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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