AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time
get a wake-up call from Space
METEOR ACTIVITY UPDATE: The annual
Leonid meteor shower is peaking today, Nov. 17th,
as Earth passes through a thicket of debris from
Comet Tempel-Tuttle. So far the shower has been
a modest one, with fewer than ~25 meteors per hour
according to international
counts. The reason: Earth is missing the densest
swarms of comet dust. A better shower is coming.
The Geminids of mid-December are expected to exceed
today's Leonids four- or five-fold. Stay
tuned for that!
of Oklahoma City, OK; from
Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czech republic; from
Ugur Ikizler of Mudanya - Bursa / Turkey
WATCH: A solar wind stream is buffeting
Earth's magnetic field, sparking geomagnetic activity
around the Arctic Circle. "I was driving through
the countryside near Tromsø, Norway, on Nov. 14th
when bright auroras burst through the clouds,"
reports Ole Christian Salomonsen. He quickly pulled
over to take this picture:
"The lights were amazing--green, white, purple,
moving fast and strong," says Salomonsen. "I
call the shot 'Colorful Clouds.'"
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic
activity during the next 24 hours. High latitude
sky watchers should remain
alert for auroras.
2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2009,
FILAMENT: A dark filament of magnetism
is snaking around the sun's southwestern horizon,
and it could be poised to erupt. The 600,000 km-long
structure has shown considerable instability since
it began lifting up from the stellar surface yesterday:
What happens next? The filament has
several options: relaxing gently back into the sun,
snapping explosively, or crashing down upon the
stellar surface. Although an eruption from the area
would likely not be Earth-directed, it
could be very photogenic as tendrils of hot plasma
fly into the black space above the edge of the sun.
Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to
monitor the region for developments.
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
all the time.
November 17, 2010 there were 1164
potentially hazardous asteroids.
Notes: LD means "Lunar
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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most
advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather