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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 358.6 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1750 UT Nov23
24-hr: A0
1230 UT Nov23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Nov. 09
New-cycle sunspot 1033 is fading away. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Nov 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 243 days (75%)
Since 2004: 754 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 22 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: 2.4 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Nov 23 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 23 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 23, 2009

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


EVENING SKY SHOW: When the sun sets tonight, go outside and look south. Jupiter and the Moon are gathered together in the constellation Capricornus only a few degrees apart. Catch them if you can before the sky fades to black. A Jupiter-Moon conjunction framed by twilight-blue is a very pretty sight. [sky map]

images: from M. Raşid Tuğral of Ankara, Turkey; from Mohamad Soltanolkottabi of Kashan, Esfajan, Iran; from Tamas Ladanyi of Veszprem, Hungary; from Wioleta Zarzycka of Iceland

SOLAR ACTIVITY: For a change, there is something to see on the sun. Two new-cycle active regions are putting on a show for astronomers with backyard solar telescopes. Alan Friedman sends this picture from Buffalo, New York:

"While I was hard at work taking pictures of the sun, my big golden retriever Harry was also hard at work--enjoying the sun on a warm November Sunday," says Friedman. "I guess that makes him a sundog."

Thousands of miles away in sunny California, astrophotographer Gary Palmer was attracted by the same active regions. He video-recorded an expanse of solar terrain 400,000 km wide--"about the same as the distance between Earth and the Moon," Palmer notes. "I call this movie Going with the Flow." An 'IMAX' version is also available.

more images: from Andy Yeung of Hong Kong; from David Leong of Hong Kong; from Michael Wilk of Augsburg, Germany

WEEKEND AURORAS: Saturday night on Baffin Island near the Canadian Arctic Circle, "the skies finally opened up after weeks of cloudy weather to showcase the dance of the Northern Lights," reports Claus Vogel. "As luck would have it, a student of mine drove me by snow machine to the beach just in time to see the aurora explode over Pangnirtung Fjord." He recorded the display using a Nikon D700:

With the recent fall of polar night, "the season of the arctic lights has begun again!" says Vogel. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

November Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001]

2009 Leonid Meteor Gallery
[previous Leonids: 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006]

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 23, 2009 there were 1082 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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