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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: 271.8 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Nov30
24-hr: A0
0125 UT Nov30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Nov. 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Nov 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 7 day
2009 total: 250 days (75%)
Since 2004: 761 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 29 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= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.4 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Dec. 3rd or 4th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Nov 30 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 Nov 30 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
November 30, 2009

SPACESHIP SIGHTINGS: Would you like a call when the space station is about to fly over your backyard? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

 

GEMINID METEOR FORECAST: Mark your calendar. The Geminid meteor shower peaks on Dec. 13th and 14th when Earth passes through a stream of debris from extinct comet 3200 Phaethon. The Geminids have been intensifying in recent years, and 2009 could be the best year yet. Forecasters expect 140+ meteors per hour under the dark skies of a new Moon. [sky map]

UPSIDE-DOWN RAINBOWS: 'tis the season for upside-down rainbows. Just yesterday, one appeared over Dothan, Alabama:

"I've never seen anything like it before," says photographer Maria Doty. "It was a very unusual sight and the colors were bright."

The technical name for this phenomenon is circumzenithal arc or "CZA" for short--and it's no rainbow. CZAs are formed by sunlight shining through plate-shaped ice crystals in high clouds. Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley calls it "the most beautiful of all ice haloes." First timers often describe the CZA as an 'upside down rainbow' and "someone has also likened it to 'a grin in the sky,'" he adds.

Circumzenithal arcs typically appear in late autumn and early winter when the air is icy and the sun is low. "The CZA forms only when sun is less than 32.3° high," notes Cowley. As winter solstice approaches, "upside down rainbows" will become increasingly common. Look for them!

BIG SPACESHIP: It's wider than a football field, has more than 13,000 sq. ft. of living space, and weighs more than 760,000 Earth-pounds. On top of everything else, it looks great through a telescope. Behold the ISS:

Pete Lardizabal took these pictures on Nov. 28th when the space station flew over his backyard in St Johns, Florida. "I used a 130mm (5 inch) refracting telescope and a Canon 30D digital camera," he says.

No telescope is required, however, to enjoy the ISS. Human eyes do fine. The enormous spaceship reflects enough sunlight to outshine Jupiter or Venus, and it is easy to see in the night sky even from brightly-lit cities. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flybys of your home town.

more images: from Christopher Calubaquib of El Sobrante, California; from Mustafa Erol of Antalya/Turkey; from Keith Geary of Shercock, Co.Cavan, Ireland; from Mark Arzadon of San Jacinto, Pangasinan, Philippines


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 30, 2009 there were 1084 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 UK14
Nov. 1
9.1 LD
20
29 m
2006 JY26
Nov. 2
6.7 LD
22
10 m
2000 XK44
Nov. 4
28.8 LD
13
1.1 km
2009 VA
Nov. 6
0.05 LD
12
6 m
2000 UJ1
Nov. 7
43.3 LD
15
1.2 km
2009 VT1
Nov. 9
1.4 LD
18
6 m
2000 TO64
Nov. 10
44.2 LD
14
1.9 km
2009 UK20
Nov. 12
6.5 LD
20
20 m
2009 VX
Nov. 12
2.6 LD
17
26 m
2009 VR
Nov. 13
6.6 LD
21
10 m
2009 WQ6
Nov. 16
0.9 LD
18
7 m
2009 WX7
Nov. 16
3.7 LD
18
20 m
2009 VC1
Nov. 18
6.0 LD
19
21 m
2009 WJ6
Nov. 20
0.5 LD
16
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.
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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