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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 491.7 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2238 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT May24
24-hr: A0
0610 UT May24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 24 May 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 May 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one possible, small high-latitude sunspot on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.0 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 May 24 2203 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
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: 2008 May 24 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
May 24, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launches on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

SUNDAY MARS LANDING: Of all the spacecraft sent to Mars in the 50-year history of the Space Age, about half have crashed, skipped off the atmosphere, failed to enter a proper orbit or missed the planet entirely. The good news is, the other half succeeded. Will NASA's Phoenix lander join rovers Spirit and Opportunity intact on the martian surface? We'll find out Sunday, May 25th, when mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory guide Phoenix to its frosty landing site at Mars latitude +68 degrees N: full story.

BLUE-SKY AURORAS: A solar wind stream hit Earth on May 20th sparking auroras so bright, they were briefly visible in the twilight blue sky above Nunavik, Quebec. Note the green wisps behind the light gray clouds:


Photo details: Canon EOS 30D, 10mm lens, f5, 3 sec, ISO 200

"I took these pictures at 1 o'clock in the morning--and, yes, the sky was blue," says photographer Sylvain Serre. "At our latitude at this time of year, it is blue all night long. The sky is bright and I can see only a few stars."

In spite of the extra glare, "I saw the auroras with my unaided eyes," he says. "The clouds were bothersome, but the clouds were moving slowly while the northern lights were moving faster." This, plus the green color of the auroras, made it possible to sort things out.

Anorther solar wind stream is due to hit Earth on May 26th or 27th. Arctic sky watchers, be alert for wisps of green among the blue.

May 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]

DOUBLE RAINBOW: Yesterday, when Douglas Lobel saw a rainbow towering over a church in Philadelphia, the thing that impressed him most was ... not the rainbow. It was the other rainbow. Click here to see.


Photo details: Canon 20D, ISO 100, 1/250 sec.

"This was the most amazing double rainbow I've ever seen," he says.

Believe it or not, all rainbows are double. The one we usually notice is the bright primary bow, caused by sunbeams reflected once inside falling raindrops. The other is the secondary bow, caused by sunbeams reflected twice. The secondary rainbow is fainter, often nearly invisible, but always there. So, the next time you see one rainbow, look for another, and prepare to be amazed.

more images: from Carrie Mansfield of Burlington, New Jersey; from Charlie Hoff of Rumford, Maine.

       
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. [comment]
On May 24, 2008 there were 953 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2008 HG
May 5
17 LD
18
90 m
2008 DE
May 9
17 LD
16
550 m
2008 HD2
May 9
6.5 LD
19
40 m
2008 JL24
May 10
0.4 LD
18
5 m
2008 HR3
May 11
3.1 LD
17
50 m
2008 HW1
May 14
72 LD
17
1.4 km
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 Weather Prediction 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...
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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