Geomagnetic Activity Alert
20 Oct 2001
AURORAS: An interplanetary shock wave, spawned by a solar explosion last Friday, swept past Earth on October 21st at approximately 1645 UT. A geomagnetic storm is underway, and sky watchers (especially those living at high latitudes) should remain alert for auroras. Usually the best time to spot Northern (or Southern) Lights is around local midnight.
The solar wind shock wave that buffeted Earth's magnetosphere today could be just the first of two heading for our planet. If so, the ongoing storm could intensify when the second arrives later today (Oct. 21) or tomorrow (Oct 22).
METEORS: North American observers spotted 10 to 20 Orionid meteors per hour before dawn on Sunday, Oct. 21st - a typical Orionid maximum. The shower is not finished, though. Early risers who venture outdoors under dark, clear skies between 3 a.m. and sunrise on Monday, Oct 22nd, will likely count another 5-to-15 shooting stars per hour.