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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 288.5 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2338 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2048 UT Oct29
24-hr: C3
1452 UT Oct29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Oct 11
Big sunspot 1330 remains quiet despite its potential for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 104
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Oct 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 28 Oct 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 134 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Oct 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
Bz: 1.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Oct 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could brush past Earth on Oct. 30-31. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Oct 29 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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: 2011 Oct 29 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
25 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
35 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
15 %
15 %
 
Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

 
Own your own meteorite

AURORA WATCH: NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% to 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Oct. 30th when a solar wind stream is expected to brush against Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. [gallery] Aurora alerts: text, voice.

DOUBLE SATELLITE FLYBY: To catch one satellite having a close encounter with a distant star requires careful timing and a degree of luck. Last night, Oct. 28th, Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario, did it twice. Play the movie to watch two spacecraft criss-cross Regulus in the constellation Leo:

The first satellite was SkyMed-2, part of a constellation of Earth observing satellites deployed by the Italian Space Agency. SkyMed satellites are remarkable because they sometimes flare like Iridiums.

The second, brighter satellite in the video is Tiangong 1, China's new space station. The 8.5-ton module was launched on Sept. 29th on a two-year training mission. Chinese spacecraft and taikonauts will be visiting Tiangong 1 in the months ahead to practice rendezvous and docking maneuvers, to exercise space construction techniques, and to learn to live onboard an orbiting outpost. An unmanned probe, the Shenzhou 8, is due to launch on Nov 1st for China's first remote docking exercise.

This means more double flybys are in the offing. Sighting times for Tiangong 1 and companions are available from Spaceweather.com's Satellite Tracker. Your smartphone can tell you when to look, too.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: All sunsets are beautiful, but the past two have surpassed themselves. On Oct. 27th and 28th, Venus, Mercury and the crescent Moon gathered in the glow of the setting sun for a lovely conjunction:

Luis Argerich sends the picture from Buenos Aires, Argentina. "What a beautiful view!" he says. Geometry favored observers in the southern hemisphere where the trio stood relatively high out of the sunset glow. The sun's glare was more of a probem in the northern hemisphere; nevertheless some observers there caught a glimpse of the event, too. Browse the links below for a selection of photos from both sides of the equator.

more sunset shots: from David Harvey of Tucson, Arizona; from Enzo De Bernardini of San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina; from Jim Saueressig II of Burlington, Kansas; from Mario J. Avila-Sobarzo of Santiago, Chile; from Richard Glenn of Sun City, CA; from Dennis Llante of Cainta, Rizal Philippines; from Amirreza Kamkar of Qayen, Iran; from Erika Valdueza of Quezon City, Philippines;


UPDATED: October 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 29, 2011 there were 1256 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 UH10
Oct 24
9.6 LD
--
17 m
2011 UL169
Oct 26
0.7 LD
--
10 m
2011 UC190
Oct 26
1.8 LD
--
26 m
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
--
200 m
2011 UT91
Nov 14
9.8 LD
--
95 m
1994 CK1
Nov 16
68.8 LD
--
1.5 km
1996 FG3
Nov 23
39.5 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 WM7
Dec 9
47.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1999 XP35
Dec 20
77.5 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 YA
Dec 26
2.9 LD
--
80 m
2011 SL102
Dec 28
75.9 LD
--
1.1 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 web 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 Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Science Central
 
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  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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