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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 498.6 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2241 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov27
24-hr: A0
1105 UT Nov27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Nov 08
A new sunspot may be forming at the indicated location. This magnetogram shows the location more precisely. Readers, if you have a solar telescope, take a look. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 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= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2243 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 27 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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 27 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 27, 2008
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Did you sleep through the auroras of November? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.  

ISS TOOLBAG: NASA's runaway toolbag dropped from the International Space Station on Nov. 18th can be seen through binoculars as it orbits Earth. Europeans are favored with a series of flybys in the nights ahead. The backpack-sized bag is drifting away from the ISS and it now leads the station by about eight minutes. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.

THANKSGIVING SUN: This morning Greg Piepol of Rockville, Maryland, looked through the eyepiece of his backyard solar telescope and observed a very curious sunspot:

"Happy Thanksgiving!" says Piepol. "I must have been thinking about dinner because when I did a double-take the turkey was gone." The real Thanksgiving sun is pictured here. A new sunspot is forming near the center of the sun's disk but it has not yet formed a dark turkey-core. Stay tuned for updates.

more images: from Andy Yeung of Hong Kong; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky

SUNSET PLANETS: When the sun sets tonight, go outside and look southwest. Venus and Jupiter are beautifully close together in the twilight sky. Konstantinos Christodoulopoulos sends this picture taken just hours ago from Athens, Greece:

Photo details: Canon EOS 300D, 2 sec, ISO 200

Readers, if you think this is pretty, just wait. The two worlds are converging for a spectacular conjunction with the Moon on Dec. 1st. Some astronomers are calling it the "sky show of the year." Don't miss it! Sky maps: Nov. 27, 28, 29, 30, Dec 1.

more images: from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czech Republic; from Jim Saueressig of Burlington, Kansas; from Philip Harrington of Middle Island, New York; from Zlatko Pasko of Stara Pazova, Serbia; from Michel Hersen of Portland, Oregon; from Mark E. Peter of Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; from Brian Emfinger of Ozark, Arkansas;

UPDATED: 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 27, 2008 there were 1002 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 TX3
Nov. 1
9 LD
45 m
2008 UT95
Nov. 2
1.5 LD
15 m
2008 UC7
Nov. 2
4.5 LD
17 m
2008 VM
Nov. 3
0.1 LD
4 m
2008 VA4
Nov. 4
7.7 LD
49 m
2008 VB4
Nov. 4
1.3 LD
10 m
2008 VC
Nov. 4
4.4 LD
18 m
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
3.8 km
2008 WO2
Nov. 16
1.0 LD
5 m
2004 XK3
Nov. 18
1.8 LD
60 m
2008 VZ3
Nov. 22
5.7 LD
55 m
2008 WD
Nov. 24
6.9 LD
30 m
2008 WC
Nov. 26
5.1 LD
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.
  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, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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