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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 424.7 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A3
2010 UT Nov01
24-hr: A3
2010 UT Nov01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Nov 08
New sunspot 1007 belongs to Solar Cycle 24. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 16
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Oct. 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= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.1 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is exiting a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Nov 01 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 01 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
November 1, 2008
BEHOLD THE SUN: Would you like to see fiery prominences and new-cycle sunspots with your own eyes? On sale now: Personal Solar Telescopes.  

REENTRY ALERT: The 1400-lb Early Ammonia Servicer, thrown overboard from the International Space Station in July 2007, is about to reenter Earth's atmosphere. If predictions are correct, the refigerator-sized piece of space junk will descend into Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate in a blaze of light during the early hours of Nov. 3rd. [ground tracks] [flybys]

MAGNETIC PORTALS: Researchers have discovered 'magnetic portals' forming high above Earth that can briefly connect our planet to the Sun. Not only are the portals common, one space physicist contends they form twice as often as anyone had previously imagined. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

BRIGHT LIGHTS AT SUNSET: Halloween is over, but the Halloween sky show continues. Today, Nov. 1st, at the end of the day, look west. You'll see Venus and the crescent Moon shining side-by-side through the pumpkin-orange sunset: sky map.

Tom Soetaert took this picture last night from Lawrence, Kansas:

In the full-sized image, Venus, the Moon and even Earthshine (the ghostly image of the full Moon inside the lunar crescent) can be seen reflected in the waters of Clinton Lake. For a bit of fun, try viewing the photo upside down. Trick or Treat?

more images: from Rob Kaufman of Bright, Victoria, Australia; from Kevin Jung of Grand Rapids, Michigan; from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas; from Mark Marquette of Boone's Creek, Tennessee; from John Welsh of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; from Ugur Ikizler of Mudanya - Bursa, Turkey; from Robbie Merrill of Mesa, Arizona;

NEW-CYCLE SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1007, which emerged on Halloween, is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. The spot is located at high latitude, as new-cycle sunspots always are, and it has the magnetic polariity expected of a Cycle 24 active region:

From beginning to end, the month of October had four new-cycle sunspots. They emerged on Oct. 4th, 11th, 17th and 31st. In a year of almost no sunspots, four in a single month is significant. It means that the sun is beginning a slow ascent out of solar minimum to a more active phase of the sunspot cycle. Solar minimum is not a permanent condition! Readers, if you have a solar telescope, train it on sunspot 1007 to witness a sign of things to come.

more images: from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from J. Fairfull and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia;

Oct. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Octobers: 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 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 1, 2008 there were 996 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
4179 Toutatis
Nov. 9
20 LD
3.8 km
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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