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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 559.9 km/sec
density: 4.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2243 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2030 UT Aug10
24-hr: A0
2030 UT Aug10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Aug 07
Sunspot 966 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 14
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Aug 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Aug 10 2141 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.6 nT
Bz: 1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 10th or 11th. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Aug 10 2203 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: 2007 Aug 10 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
15 %
20 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 10, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

AURORA WATCH: Earth is entering a high-speed solar wind stream, and this is causing high-latitude geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers from Scandinavia to Alaska should be alert for auroras tonight.

PERSEID FIREBALLS: The Perseid meteor shower is underway. Don't panic, the peak doesn't occur until August 12th and 13th, but already 10+ shooting stars per hour may be seen during the dark hours before dawn. Two nights ago, artist Mark Seibold was checking the sky from his front yard in Oregon when he witnessed a colorful Perseid fireball:

"It appeared as if a child had thrown an orange 4th of July sparkler across the sky for perhaps 30 to 40 degrees. It easily outshown the orange sodium-vapor streetlights in the neighborhood which I rendered below in the foreground," says Seibold.

2007 Perseid Meteor Gallery
[observing tips] [sky map]

THE VIEW FROM ABOVE: Astronauts onboard the ISS and shuttle Endeavour will watch the Perseid meteor shower from above. What will that be like? In 2001, space shuttle Discovery (STS-105) orbited Earth during a Perseid shower, and the crew recorded this NASA video of a Perseid hitting Earth's atmosphere. Astronauts onboard the ISS have also enjoyed Leonid meteor storms from orbit: full story.

METEOR RADAR: The University of Western Ontario operates a 17-38 MHz meteor orbit radar. Pictured below is their sky map of activity on August 8th:

The bright, circled blobs denote meteor radiants--i.e., regions of sky where many meteors are emerging. On August 8th, the radiant of the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower (a relatively minor shower caused by an unknown comet) was actually more active than the Perseids. This will change in the days ahead as the Perseids intensify and the delta Aquarids subside. Stay tuned for updates.

Notes: The horizontal and vertical axes of the radar map are standard astronomical coordinates, right ascension (RA) and declination (dec). The long snake-like feature labeled RFI is an artefact of radio frequency interference from a terrestrial radio station near 17 MHz.

.2007 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[Night-Sky Cameras] ["Noctilucent Cloud"--the song]

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 August 10, 2007 there were 875 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 FV42
July 2
53 LD
1.2 km
2007 MB4
July 4
7.6 LD
130 m
2007 DT103
July 29
9.3 LD
550 m
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 Environment Center
  The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.
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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2007, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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