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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: 652.4 km/sec
density: 0.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1700 UT May26
24-hr: B1
1640 UT May26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 26 May 07
The sun is blank today--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 May 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large spots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 Quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
Unsettled
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Europe, Antarctica, USA
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: STEREO-B Extreme Ultraviolet Imager
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 May 26 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: 2007 May 26 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
10 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
30 %
MINOR
30 %
20 %
SEVERE
15 %
10 %
What's up in Space
May 26, 2007
He already has a neck tie. This year give Dad something truly heavenly for Father's Day: SpaceWeather PHONE.

STORM WARNINGS: Astronauts can breathe a little easier. A scientist using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has found a way to predict dangerous solar radiation storms. The new alert system offers as much as one hour advance warning, giving astronauts on EVA extra time to seek shelter and avoid radiation sickness. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

NIGHT FLASHES: Last night, Jens Hackmann went outside with the intention of photographing star trails over the Weikersheim Observatory in Germany. He had just pointed his camera north and opened the shutter when "this thunderstorm intervened," says Hackmann:


Photo details: Canon 30D, 25mm, 5 min. exposure.

What are the odds of being interrupted thus? Better than you might suppose. Lightning strikes our planet about 100 times every second or almost 9 million times a day. A long-exposure star trails photo stands a pretty good chance of catching a distant thundercloud in action, especially during summer, the season of thunder and lightning. Advice: if you see such a cloud, take the picture, then take cover.

BISHOP'S RING: Last week in Hungary, a pale ochre ring surrounded the sun, and the sun itself turned blue. "The ring was really big and spectacular," says Monika Gyebnar who sends this picture from the town of Veszprem:

This is called a Bishop's Ring. First noted in 1883 after the eruption of Indonesian super-volcano Krakatao, Bishop's Rings are caused by micron-sized specks of airborne ash and dust, which strongly scatter blue wavelengths of sunlight. (One micron equals one-millionth of a meter.) The phenomenon is often seen after volcanic eruptions including modern blasts such as Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.

But there was no volcanic eruption last week. So what caused this Ring? Gyebnar has the answer: "A dust storm in the Sahara desert threw fine sand high in the atmosphere, and a jet stream brought that sand to Hungary. We saw a Bishop's Ring not of volcanic origin but of micron-sized sand." More images: #1, #2, #3.

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 May 26, 2007 there were 863 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
1862 Apollo
May 8
72 LD
13
2.4 km
2007 JD
May 11
12 LD
18
100 m
2007 JZ2
May 14
7.0 LD
19
30 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, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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