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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: 390.6 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1900 UT Oct26
24-hr: A0
1900 UT Oct26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Oct 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 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= 2
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: 3.3 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT north
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. 29th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Oct 26 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 26 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 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
October 26, 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.  

MONDAY MORNING: Waking up before dawn to go to work? Grab your coffee and dash outside. In the eastern sky, Mercury and an incredibly-slender crescent Moon are side-by-side, beaming through the first glow of sunrise. (Binoculars may be required to find the Moon.) It's a nice way to start the day: sky map.

ORIONIDS STILL ACTIVE: Amazingly, the Orionid meteor shower is still active. Four days after the shower's nominal peak, worldwide observers are still counting 10+ meteors per hour during the dark hours before sunrise. On Oct. 25th, Thomas O'Brian witnessed "a fireball exploding and leaving a smoke trail that drifted for more than 22 minutes." He photographed the smokey debris floating over the countryside near Aspen, Colorado:


Click to launch a 0.6 MB movie

This ongoing display is caused by a trail of dusty debris from Halley's Comet crossing the October portion of Earth's orbit. Until further notice, keep an eye on the pre-dawn sky; you might see an Orionid!

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

THE FACE OF THE SUN: You've heard of the Man in the Moon. Now behold the Face of the Sun:

The picture was taken this morning by SOHO's extreme ultraviolet telescope. The dark eyes and laughing mouth are coronal holes, places in the sun's atmosphere where the magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from the mouth should hit Earth on or about Oct 29th, possibly sparking geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Oct. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Octobers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000]

       
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 26, 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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