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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: 290.6 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Oct25
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Oct25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Oct 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Oct. 2008
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= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.2 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Oct. 28th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Oct 25 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: 2008 Oct 25 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
October 25, 2008
BEHOLD THE SUN: Would you like to see fiery prominences and new-cycle sunspots with your own eyes? On sale now: Personal Solar Telescopes.  

AURORA FORECAST: A solar wind stream is heading for Earth and it could spark a geomagnetic storm when it arrives on Oct. 28th. Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should be alert for auroras.

SPLIT SUN: Walking along Ocean Beach in San Francisco on October 23rd, photographer "Jon" watched in amazement as the sun split in two:

"What was it?" he asks. "A fog bank?" No, it was a garden-variety California mirage.

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains: "The California Coast is such a fertile place for sunset mirages, it is a wonder that it has any 'normal' ones! To form mirages like this you need air cooled by contact with a cold ocean current topped by warmer air from the land – a temperature inversion. The junction of the two air masses is the dark line above the horizon. The sun's rays are curved by passage between the layers to form the multiple images, two setting and one even rising!"

METEOR RAIN: "How many meteors can you count in these pictures?" asks Pierre Martin of Ottawa, Ontario. Answer: 16. "Those are the Orionids I saw on Oct. 23rd. Even two nights after the peak, the shower was still going strong!"

The beautiful flurry commenced on Oct 21st when Earth passed through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet. Meteors flew out of the constellation Orion in numbers exceeding 40 per hour--about twice the usual rate. This is the third year in a row the Orionids have surged in this fashion, suggesting a trend. "I'm sure that meteor enthusiasts around the world are looking forward to next year's display," says Martin. Mark your calendar: Oct. 21, 2009.

UPDATED: 2008 Orionid Meteor Gallery
[IMO meteor counts] [2006 Orionids]

       
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 25, 2008 there were 992 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Oct. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2008 QS11
Oct. 2
11 LD
14
470 m
2008 SH148
Oct. 4
5.8 LD
19
26 m
2005 GN59
Oct. 6
20 LD
15
1.4 km
2008 TC3
Oct. 7
IMPACT
-13
3 m
2008 TZ
Oct. 10
5.3 LD
18
37 m
1999 VP11
Oct. 16
72 LD
17
860 m
2001 UY4
Oct. 18
74 LD
17
1.1 km
Comet Barnard-Boattini
Oct. 21
75 LD
16
unknown
2008 UM1
Oct. 22
0.2 LD
22
2 m
2008 TT26
Oct. 23
3.6 LD
15
70 m
2000 EX106
Oct. 23
69 LD
18
1.1 km
2005 VN
Oct. 29
4.1 LD
15
116 m
2008 TX3
Nov. 1
9 LD
19
45 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
14
3.8 km
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
  a one-stop hub for all things scientific
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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