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What's Up in Space -- 29 Sep 2000
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WATCH OUT FOR RANDOM METEORS! A year-long meteor shower caused by widespread interplanetary dust is near its annual peak for northern observers. Pre-dawn sky watchers could spot as many as 10 to 15 meteors per hour streaking among a glittering collection of morning stars and planets [FULL STORY]. See also our weekly Meteor Outlook (updated Sept 29).

GOING...GOING... ALMOST GONE: The largest sunspot in 9 years, AR 9169, is a shadow of its former self. It now covers an area equivalent to five times the surface of Earth -- down from 13 Earth-areas when the sunspot first appeared nearly 2 weeks ago. In just a few days it will disappear altogether when it rotates out of sight around the western limb of the Sun.

NO AURORA THIS TIME: NASA's ACE spacecraft recorded a solar wind disturbance on Sept. 27th that may have been the leading edge of an Sept. 25th full-halo coronal mass ejection. The solar wind velocity abruptly jumped from 480 to 550 km/s at 1820 UT (2:20 pm EDT), but that was not enough to trigger a geomagnetic storm.


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