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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: 333.9 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0319 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2105 UT Oct31
24-hr: C1
0935 UT Oct31
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 0315 UT
Daily Sun: 31 Oct. 09
Sunspot 1029 is disappearing over the western limb of the sun. Photo credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Oct 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 232 days (77%)
Since 2004: 743 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 30 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= quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 0
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.0 nT
Bz: 0.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0320 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Nov. 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Oct 31 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 31 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 31, 2009

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

 

PARTING SHOT: On its way over the sun's western limb today, sunspot 1029 unleashed a C-class solar flare and a coronal mass ejection: movie. The expanding cloud will not hit Earth.

HALLOWEEN STORMS: On Oct. 30th, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth tilted south, an orientation that weakens our planet's magnetic defenses against solar wind. Indeed, solar wind poured into Earth's magnetosphere and sparked an early Halloween display over Alaska:

"Bright moonlight almost outshined the auroras," says photographer Daryl Pederson. "But this flare-up was visible over the Chugach mountains in south central Alaska."

Impressive, but it can't hold a pumpkin's candle to the Halloween storms of 2003. Six years ago, a series of 17 major solar flares and coronal mass ejections buffeted Earth for weeks around All Hallows Eve. The storms caused a power outage in Sweden, blinded sensors on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), damaged the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft, and may have ripped away some of Mars' atmosphere. In the United States, blood-red Northern Lights startled sky watchers as far south as Florida and Texas. A movie from NASA recalls the ghoulish tale: 6 MB or 32 MB mpeg.

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

AROUND THE BEND: The biggest sunspot of the year is heading for the sun's western limb where it will soon disappear from view. But first.... "Wow! Sunspot 1029 is going out with a bang," reports astrophotographer Pete Lawrence who sends this picture from Selsey, UK:

"As AR11029 heads towards the limb, a bright and rather complex prominence associated with the region has rotated into view. My sky conditions were pretty awful today, but the view was still quite awesome!"

This edge-on view of sunspot 1029 should continue for another day. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from Lecoq Etienne of Mesnil-Panneville Normandy, France; from Jimmy Eubanks of Boiling Springs, South Carolina; from Gianfranco Meregalli of Milano, Italy; from J. Maciaszek and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Andy Yeung of Hong Kong; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from Francisco A. Rodriguez of Gran Canaria Island, Canary Islands; from Monty Leventhal OAM of Sydney. Australia;


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 31, 2009 there were 1078 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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