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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 401.2 km/sec
density: 0.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2015 UT Nov02
24-hr: B4
1505 UT Nov02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Nov 08
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: 3.1 nT
Bz: 1.1 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 02 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 02 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 2, 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.  

SOLAR ACTIVITY: New-cycle sunspot 1007 is growing again and moreover it is developing a mixed-polarity magnetic field that harbors energy for solar flares. Already, Earth-orbiting satellites have detected a series of minor B-class eruptions. Readers, if you have a solar telescope, point it at this crackling active region.

REENTRY ALERT: Weight: 1400-lb. Size: Like a double-wide refrigerator. It is one big piece of space junk and it is about to re-enter Earth's atmosphere:

Above: The EAS photographed on July 23, 2007, by ISS astronauts: more.

The Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS), pictured above, was thrown overboard from the International Space Station on July 23, 2007. Originally used as an ammonia reservoir for the space station's cooling system, it was rendered obsolete by upgrades and jettisoned to make room for new hardware.

The orbit of the EAS has been decaying since the reservoir was discarded. If predictions are correct, the EAS will descend into Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate in a blaze of light during the early hours of Nov. 3rd. Uncertainties in the exact re-entry time are so great (plus or minus 15 hours) that it is impossible to pinpoint where the fireball will appear. Every continent except Antarctica has some potentially favorable ground tracks. Check the Satellite Tracker for overflights, but don't put too much faith in the predictions. Orbital elements are changing rapidly as the EAS skims the top of Earth's atmosphere.

Stay tuned for updates!

BRIGHT LIGHTS AT SUNSET: Tonight, Nov. 2nd, when the sun sets, go outside and look southwest. Jupiter, the crescent Moon and Venus are making a Euclidian pattern in the sky. Doug Zubenel saw the line forming last night from De Soto, Kansas:

"What a striking scene," he says. "I took the picture using my Canon Rebel XTi--a 150 second exposure at ISO 100."

The Moon is moving away from Venus and toward Jupiter. On Monday evening, Nov. 3rd, Luna and Jupiter converge to form an eye-catching pair less than 3o apart: sky map. You won't want to miss that, so keep an eye on the sunset as the new week begins.

more images: from William McMullen of Orleans, Ontario, Canada; from John Stetson of Sebago Lake, Maine; from Antonio Finazzi of Grumello del Monte, Bergamo, Italy; from Mustafa Erol of Antalya, Turkey; from P. Nikolakakos of Sparta, Greece; from Tamas Ladanyi of Balatonfuzfo, Hungary; from Mike O'Leary of El Cajon, CA; from Rob Kaufman of Bright, Victoria, Australia;

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 2, 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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