Nov 8, 2010

New Comet glides by Saturn; Sunspot 1121 update

Space Weather News for Nov 8, 2010

POSSIBLE COMET OUTBURST: A comet discovered just a few days ago by amateur astronomers in Japan is gliding by Saturn in the pre-dawn sky. Comet Ikeya-Murakami (C/2010 V1) is not visible to the unaided eye, but observers say it is a fairly easy target for backyard telescopes. Images obtained over the weekend reveal what appears to be an outburst in progress.

The comet's coma (atmosphere) bears a striking resemblance to the coma of Comet Holmes, which famously exploded in 2007. Check Space Weather News for photos and more information.

SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE: After unleashing one of the brightest X-ray flares in years on Saturday afternoon, Nov 6th, sunspot 1121 took Sunday off. No strong flares were recorded for the rest of the weekend. Nevertheless, the active region's magnetic field is complex and harbors energy for more eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate an 85% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours.

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