A huge asteroid will fly past the earth on Tuesday November 8th, some 400m in girth. It is very dark - the colour of charcoal. It also seems to be porous - see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101134315.htm
The bright one is the currently active Sun. One region is alive with sun spots that are currently pointing away from the Earth. Within a week or so the orbit of the Sun will bring them into alignment with the Earth - but will they remain as active? See www.physorg.com/print239560785.html
At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111028103304.htm there is a piece on the emergence of a volcano on the sea bed in waters off the Canaries. In less than a month it has grown to 100m in height.