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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 364.4 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Nov01
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Nov01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Nov 07
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Oct 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun today. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Nov 01 2203 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: 2007 Nov 01 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %

What's up in Space
November 1, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: A large prominence is dancing over the sun's northwestern limb: image. If you have a solar telescope, take a look!

more images: from Alan Friedman of Buffalo, New York

GIANT COMET: Comet 17P/Holmes has been relentlessly expanding since its explosion on Oct 23rd and now it spans an angle in the sky almost half as wide as the full Moon. Using a picture of the comet he took on Oct. 30th, Helmut Groell of Moers, Germany, created this animation for comparison:

Actually, the comet is even bigger than it looks. While the Moon is a mere 240 thousand miles away, Comet Holmes is 150 million miles from Earth. The comet's physical diameter is thus seven times wider than the planet Jupiter--and it is still expanding.

Anyone with a backyard telescope can watch it grow. After sunset, point your 'scope at the 3rd-magnitude fuzzball in the constellation Perseus: sky map. Finding the comet is no problem. The only question is, will it fit in the eyepiece?

Comet 17P/Holmes Photo Gallery
[Interactive World Map of Comet Photos]
[sky map] [ephemeris] [3D orbit] [Night Sky Cameras]

FEED THE DINOSAUR: Just before nightfall on Oct. 31st, Ed Kreminski of Westerville, Ohio, dashed to the store for emergency candy. Why? To feed the dinosaur:

"I spotted this dinosaur in the sky while I was getting ready for Trick-or-Treaters," he says. It was a great way to kick off Halloween.

The iridescent colors are caused by tiny water droplets in the cloud diffracting sunlight. And if you think a pastel dinosaur looks funny, think again. While the fossil record does not tell us the color of dinosaur skin, it does show that many dinosaurs are related to modern birds. (Some paleontologists say birds are dinosaurs.) This means dinosaurs may have been as colorful as a peacock, a Lilacbreasted Roller--or even an iridescent cloud. Keep looking up!

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 1, 2007 there were 896 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Nov. 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2005 GL
Nov. 8
8.0 LD
280 m
2007 UL12
Nov. 12
18.4 LD
325 m
1989 UR
Nov. 24
27.6 LD
880 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 Environment Center
  The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.
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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2007, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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