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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: 412.6 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Oct06
24-hr: A5
0250 UT Oct06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Oct 08
Sunspot 1003 has faded away, bringing the sunspot number back to zero. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 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: 3.6 nT
Bz: 2.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Oct 06 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 06 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
October 6, 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.  

INCOMING ASTEROID: A small, newly-discovered asteroid named 2008 TC3 is approaching Earth and chances are better than 99.8% that it will hit. Steve Chesley of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory estimates that atmospheric entry will occur on Oct 7th at 0246 UTC over northern Sudan to the Red Sea. Measuring only a few meters across, the space rock poses no threat to people or structures on the ground, but it should create a spectacular fireball, releasing about a kiloton of TNT in energy as it disintegrates and explodes in the atmosphere. Asteroids of this size hit Earth every few months, but this is the first time one has been discovered before it hit. [ephemeris] [3D orbit]

GREEN RAIN: Saturday night, Oct. 4th, in Russia's Kolyskia peninsula, storm clouds gathered over Mt. Khibiny and the rain began to fall. Lo and behold, it was green:

Northern Lights posing as rain are a common occurance in this arctic part of Russia, where photographer Aleksander Chernucho keeps his Nikon D200 close at hand for midnight photo-ops. On this night, the clouds pulled back revealing a bank of auroras so bright they turned the harbor waters as green as the sky: photo. "Good storm!"

Earth is exiting the solar wind stream that caused the display, but another stream is on the way. Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should be alert for auroras when it arrives on Oct. 8th or 9th.

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

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: After spending a year inside Victoria Crater, Mars rover Opportunity has climbed out and resumed its travels across the red planet. Put on your 3D glasses and enjoy this view of one small crater near the rim of receding Victoria:


Click to view the complete panorama

Graphic artist Patrick Vantuyne created the anaglyph by combining right- and left-eye images from Opportunity's stereo camera. The complete panorama, showing the entirety of Victoria crater in the background, is a must-see.

Next stop: Endeavor, a 14-mile wide crater some 20 times larger than Victoria. To get there, Opportunity will have to drive seven miles, matching the total distance it has traveled since landing on Mars in early 2004. The journey could take two years. "We may not make it, but scientifically speaking that's the right direction to go," says Steve Squyres of Cornell University. "Endeavour is staggeringly large compared to anything we've seen before." Squyres and colleagues hope that peering into the depths of Endeavour will yield new secrets from Mars' wet and wild past--and, oh, the 3D!


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 6, 2008 , there were 988 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 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
2000 EX106
Oct. 23
69 LD
18
1.1 km
2005 VN
Oct. 29
4.1 LD
15
116 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.
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Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
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©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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