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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: 345.1 km/sec
density: 2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT May27
24-hr: A0
1625 UT May27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 27 May 08
Tiny sunspot 997 emerged yesterday and is already fading to invisibility. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 May 2008
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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
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: 4.0 nT
Bz: 2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
Coronal Holes:
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal should reach Earth on May 28th or 29th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 May 27 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 27 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
30 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
May 27, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launches on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is heading for Earth and it could spark a mild geomagnetic storm when it arrives on May 28th or 29th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

PHOENIX FROM ABOVE: The powerful HiRISE camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has photographed Phoenix resting safely at its landing site in the martian arctic. "The lander stands out remarkably well against dark red Mars," says HiRISE principal investigator Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona:

"We can see Phoenix's two solar arrays very well," he continues. "The bright spot in the middle is a specular reflection off some part of the lander.

HiRISE also caught Phoenix in the act of parachuting to Mars--the first time one spacecraft from Earth has ever photographed another landing on an alien planet. Later HiRISE photos of the parachute on the ground show stripes on the parachute and hints of chord connecting the 'chute to the lander's back shell. HiRISE is proving itself almost as amazing as Phoenix itself. "We are thrilled with these images," says McEwen.

SPACE FOSSIL: On May 23rd, Ralf Vandebergh trained his backyard telescope on the International Space Station (ISS) as it flew over his home in the Netherlands. The picture he took revealed a bright, modern spaceport, bustling with crew and docked spaceships (Jules Verne and Progress M64).

Minutes later, another object flew overhead, small, dim, and, unlike the ISS, from the past. "It was the upper stage of a legendary Vostok 8A92M rocket, the same rocket used in the 1960s during the first Russian manned flights," says Vandebergh. "This one was launched in 1979." He swung his telescope to the old rocket body, took a picture, and placed the image beside that of the ISS:

"It was no easy job to catch this small object," he says. "The Vostok was dim and moving really fast compared to the ISS, making it difficult to keep it in the crosshairs of my finderscope as I tracked the spacecraft manually across the sky."

"This is like a fossil of space history in our night sky," he says. Indeed, you never know what might be flying overhead--even fossils.


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

       
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 27, 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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