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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: 282.8 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2242 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov24
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Nov24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Nov 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Nov. 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= 0
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: 3.2 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2031 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth late on Nov. 25th or Nov. 26th. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 24 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 Nov 24 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
25 %
MINOR
10 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 24, 2008
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Did you sleep through the auroras of November? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.  

ISS TOOLBAG: When Endeavour astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her toolbag during a spacewalk on Nov. 18th and it floated away, mission controllers probably figured they'd seen the last of it. Think again. On Nov. 22nd, veteran satellite observer Kevin Fetter video-recorded the backpack-sized bag gliding over his backyard observatory in Brockville, Ontario: 900 kB video. "It was easily 8th magnitude or brighter as it passed by the 4th magnitude star eta Pisces," he says. Spaceweather's satellite tracker is monitoring the toolbag; click here for flybys.

UPDATE: Ed Light of Lakewood, NJ, saw the toolbag on the same night. He observed it using 10x50 binoculars and estimates its magnitude at +6.4, just below the threshold of naked-eye visibility. "It was a favorable pass, elevation 70 degrees," he notes. "Lower apparitions would be fainter."

EXPLOSION IN PROGRESS: An explosion is underway on the sun. The source of the blast lies out of sight somewhere over the sun's western limb, but the ejecta is visible as it billows into space:


Click to view a 1 MB movie

A coronagraph onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is monitoring the progress of the expanding CME. The cloud is not directed at Earth and should cause no geomagnetic activity on our planet. It is, however, a promising "sign of life" on the sun. Slowly but surely, solar minimum is coming to an end.

3D BEHEMOTH: It masses 300,214 kg, has wings almost as wide as a football field, occupies 12,626 cubic feet of living space--and now it's jumping out of your computer screen. Put on your 3D glasses and behold in the International Space Station:


Click to view the full-sized 3D image

Graphic artist Patrick Vantuyne of Belgium created the anaglyph using photos taken from space shuttle Endeavour on Nov. 16th. Endeavour was hovering near the ISS for a mutual inspection prior to docking hours later. When Endeavour did link up, it added about 110,000 kg of mass and 23 meters of wingspan to the complex. If only a third spacecraft had been present to take photos of that....

Docked together, Endeavour and the ISS are circling Earth and flying over many towns and cities after dark. They're bright, eye-catching, and if you look at them through a telescope, genuinely 3D. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flybys of your hometown.


Nov. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Novembers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 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 November 24, 2008 there were 999 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2008 TX3
Nov. 1
9 LD
19
45 m
2008 UT95
Nov. 2
1.5 LD
17
15 m
2008 UC7
Nov. 2
4.5 LD
20
17 m
2008 VM
Nov. 3
0.1 LD
20
4 m
2008 VA4
Nov. 4
7.7 LD
17
49 m
2008 VB4
Nov. 4
1.3 LD
18
10 m
2008 VC
Nov. 4
4.4 LD
20
18 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
14
3.8 km
2008 WO2
Nov. 16
1.0 LD
20
5 m
2004 XK3
Nov. 18
1.8 LD
15
60 m
2008 VZ3
Nov. 22
5.7 LD
18
55 m
2008 WD
Nov. 24
6.9 LD
19
30 m
2008 WC
Nov. 26
5.1 LD
19
23 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
  a one-stop hub for all things scientific
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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