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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 415.3 km/sec
density: 1.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2115 UT Oct24
24-hr: B3
2115 UT Oct24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Oct. 09
Sunspot 1029 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Photo credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 30
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Oct 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 232 days (79%)
Since 2004: 743 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 23 Oct 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= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.1 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could buffet Earth's magnetic field this weekend. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Oct 24 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
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 Oct 24 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
October 24, 2009

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

 

NEW SUNSPOT: A new sunspot numbered 1029 is emerging in the sun's northern hemisphere. Magnetic maps of the spot identify it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Readers with solar telescopes, now is the time to see sunspot genesis in action.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A solar wind gust hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 21st and the reverberations lasted for more than two days. Geomagnetic activity turned the skies over Tromsø, Norway, vivid green. "It's an easy and pleasant job to be a Northern Lights guide under these conditions," says Kjetil Skogli, who recorded this self-portrait on Oct. 22nd using his Canon 5D:

"The Orionid meteor shower was still active, too, and we saw some very nice meteors through the Northen Lights," he says.

More auroras could be in the offing. A solar wind stream is heading toward Earth and could reenergize the display when it arrives this weekend. Polar sky watchers should be alert for Northern Lights.

October Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001]

ORIONID ACTIVITY CONTINUES: Amazingly, the Orionid meteor shower hasn't stopped. Three full days after the shower began, international observers are still counting as many as 40 meteors per hour during the dark hours before dawn. Here's one zipping through green Northern Lights over Trondheim, Norway, on Oct. 23rd:

"I caught the meteor during a 4 second exposure with my Nikon D300," says photographer Bence Frenyo.

Orionids are bits of debris from Halley's Comet, and this year the debris cloud seems to be extra-wide. Earth is taking days to move through it. Researchers believe the cloud we're passing through now is actually a complex of three dusty streams laid down by the comet ~3000 years ago. This debris has been drifting toward Earth and spreading out for three millennia--arriving just in time for the 2009 Orionid meteor shower. Enjoy it while it lasts!

2009 Orionid Photo Gallery
[full story] [sky map] [previous years: 2006, 2008]


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 October 24, 2009 there were 1076 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2001 CV26
Oct. 8
9.8 LD
13
2.2 km
2009 TJ
Oct. 13
10.8 LD
18
130 m
2009 TM8
Oct. 17
0.9 LD
17
10 m
2009 TF8
Oct. 17
7.6 LD
19
20 m
2009 TH8
Oct. 19
4.5 LD
18
45 m
2009 UE
Oct. 19
2.5 LD
19
40 m
2009 UD
Oct. 20
2.0 LD
17
17 m
1999 AP10
Oct. 20
29.7 LD
13
2.7 km
2009 TO8
Oct. 21
7.4 LD
19
27 m
2009 UJ
Oct. 22
6.8 LD
19
25 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.
STEREO
  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...
   
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