You are viewing the page for Nov. 14, 2009
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 367.6 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2230 UT Nov14
24-hr: A2
0415 UT Nov14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Nov. 09
Amateur astronomers report that old sunspot 1029 is emerging over the northeastern limb at the circled location. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Nov 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 2 days
2009 total: 241 days (76%)
Since 2004: 752 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 13 Nov 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals sunspot 1029 transiting 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
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.5 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Nov 14 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 14 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 14, 2009

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


EMERGING SUNSPOT: Amateur astronomers are reporting that old sunspot 1029 is back. The sun's rotation is bringing it into view over the sun's northeastern limb. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments. images: from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from Stefano Sello of Pisa, Italy; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida

MORNING SHOW: On Saturday morning, Nov. 14th, Frank Hood of Montreal, Quebec, woke up before dawn to see the crescent Moon glide by 1st-magnitude star Spica. He lifted his camera (a Nikon D50) to record a picture he calls Moon and Spica, Electrified:

On Sunday morning, Nov. 15th, the crescent Moon will pose next to a different and much brighter heavenly object: Venus. Look for the pair, Venus+Moon, beaming through the rosy glow of sunrise. It's an electrifying view--no power lines required. [sky map]

WATER ON THE MOON: Last month when NASA's LCROSS spacecraft hit the Moon and failed to produce a bright flash, many observers thought the experiment was a dud. Think again. NASA has announced that LCROSS discovered water at the bottom of crater Cabeus near the Moon's south pole.

The primary evidence is spectral. When LCROSS's Centaur rocket hit the ground, it produced a faint cloud of vapor. High above, the LCROSS mothership analyzed the cloud using its near-infrared spectrometer. Some of the bumps and wiggles in the spectrum perfectly match the infrared signature of H2O:

The red curve traces what the spectrum would have looked like if the debris cloud had been made of nothing but moondust and pure water vapor. Points with error bars are the actual data. Clearly, water is present, but that's not all. "Along with the water in Cabeus, there are hints of other intriguing substances," says Anthony Colaprete, the mission's principal investigator the NASA's Ames Research Center. "The possibility of contamination from the Centaur rocket [has been] ruled out," so any unidentified compounds are likely native to the Moon.

What are these mystery substances? Remember, LCROSS targeted a "cold trap" where materials have been freezing and accumulating for billions of years. It could be almost anything. Researchers are still studying the spectra for clues. "Full understanding of the LCROSS data may take some time," notes Colaprete. "The data are so rich."

Stay tuned for updates as the analysis continues.

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 November 14, 2009 there were 1080 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 VC1
Nov. 18
6.0 LD
21 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.













©2013 All rights reserved.