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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: 336.5 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A2
2010 UT Nov19
24-hr: A4
1105 UT Nov19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 19 Nov. 09
Two sunspots are emerging in the sun's northern hemisphere. Both are members of new Solar Cycle 24. Sunspot 1032 appears to be the reincarnation of old sunspot 1029. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 29
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 Nov 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 243 days (76%)
Since 2004: 754 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 18 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: 6.6 nT
Bz: 4.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Nov. 20th or 21st. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Nov 19 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 19 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
30 %
MINOR
10 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
30 %
MINOR
10 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 19, 2009

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

 

SPACESHIP SIGHTINGS: Space shuttle Atlantis has docked to the International Space Station and the two spacecraft are now circling Earth together. The shuttle-ISS combo is very bright in the night sky. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flybys of your home town.

GREAT WESTERN FIREBALL: Yesterday, Nov. 18th, something exploded in the atmosphere above the western United States. Witnesses in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho say the fireball "turned night into day" and issued shock waves that "shook the ground" when it exploded just after midnight Mountain Standard Time. The fireball was so bright it actually turned the night sky noontime blue, as shown in this image from KSL TV in Utah:

Although the fireball appeared during the Leonid meteor shower, it was not a Leonid. Infrasound recordings of the blast suggest a small asteroid hitting Earth's atmosphere and exploding with an energy of 0.5 to 1 kiloton of TNT. Experts liken the event to the Park Forest fireball of 2003, which scattered dozens of meteorites across a suburb of Chicago. Meteorites are likely from this fireball as well. Stay tuned for developing information about the possible fall zone.

more fireball images: from KSL TV in Utah; from KTVB News in Idaho; from Thomas Ashcraft near Santa Fe, New Mexico; from Marsha Adams of Sedona, Arizona;

Approximately 6 hours after the fireball, people in Utah and Colorado got another surprise. As the sun rose over those states, a twisting electric-blue cloud appeared in the dawn sky:

"These curious clouds on the horizon caught my attention just before sunrise," says photographer Don Brown of Park City, Utah. "They were strangely bright relative to the rest of the sky."

The cloud strongly resembles artificial noctilucent clouds formed at high altitudes by rocket and shuttle launches. Yet there was no (officially reported) rocket launch at dawn on Nov. 18th. Could the cloud be associated with the fireball? The geographical coincidence is certainly striking. Debris from the fireball should have dissipated by sunrise, but the cloud remains unexplained and a connection to the fireball cannot yet be dismissed. Readers, if you have more information about this event, let us know.

more mystery cloud images: from Lisa Cain of New Castle, Colorado; from Daniel Owen of Monarch, Utah; from John Omohundro of Grand Junction, Colorado; from Jeff Kendrick of Salt Lake City, Utah; from Allan Jeffers of Denver, Colorado; from Scott Stringham of Salt Lake City, Utah; from Sean O'Leary of West Jordan, Utah;


UPDATED: 2009 Leonid Meteor Gallery
[previous Leonids: 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006]


November Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001]


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 19, 2009 there were 1080 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 VC1
Nov. 18
6.0 LD
19
21 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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