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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 276.1 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Nov06
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Nov06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Nov. 09
New sunspot 1030, shown here in a magnetic map from the US National Solar Observatory, poses no threat for strong solar flares.

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland
Sunspot number: 15
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Nov 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 237 days (77%)
Since 2004: 748 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 05 Nov 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: 3.8 nT
Bz: 0.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Nov. 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Nov 06 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 Nov 06 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 6, 2009

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


NO AURORAS: A coronal mass ejection (CME) expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field yesterday ... did not. The cloud either missed Earth or its impact was too feeble to notice. Geomagnetic activity remains low.

TAURID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is passing through a stream of debris from periodic Comet 2P/Encke, and this is causing the annual Taurid meteor shower. "On Nov. 5th, a Taurid meteor came streaking down over the famous Ship Rock near Sedona, Arizona," reports Marsha Adams, who took this picture using a Nikon D700:

"It was visible in spite of the bright moonlight," she says.

The shower has a broad maximum lasting from Nov. 5th through 12th. At most, only about 5 Taurids per hour streak across the sky, but what they lack in number they make up for in dazzle. Taurid meteors tend to be fireballs, slow and very bright. Look for them falling out of the constellation Taurus during the hours around midnight. [sky map]

more photos: from John Chumack of Dayton, Ohio; from Brian Emfinger of Ozark, Arkansas; from Joe Westerberg of Joshua Tree National Park, California

FARSIDE EXPLOSION: Yesterday, something exploded on the far side of the sun. The blast hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) over the sun's limb, recorded by coronagraphs on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Click on the image to launch a 14-hour time lapse movie:

The source of the eruption is probably sunspot 1029, which is transiting the far side of the sun. Last week, when sunspot 1029 was visible from Earth, it quickly grew into the biggest and most active sunspot of the year, unleashing ten C-class solar flares in just a few days. Apparently, the action hasn't stopped. The sun's rotation will turn the sunspot back toward Earth about a week from now. If the sunspot holds together that long, we could experience some solar activity. Stay tuned.

October Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Octobers: 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 November 6, 2009 there were 1077 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 UW87
Oct. 31
1.6 LD
11 m
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
2000 UJ1
Nov. 7
43.3 LD
1.2 km
2000 TO64
Nov. 10
44.2 LD
1.9 km
2009 UK20
Nov. 12
6.5 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
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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