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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: 388.7 km/sec
density: 4.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Jul25
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Jul25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 25 Jul 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 July 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
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: 4.2 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jul 25 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 Jul 25 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 25, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of July 12th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

PROM ALERT: "The sun still lives!" reports Les Cowley of England. "A large X-shaped prominence dominated the sun's NW limb this morning." Readers, if you have a solar telescope, take a look.

more images: from P. Fitzpatrick, J. Fairfull and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine

SPACE STATION RADIATORS: Last night, the International Space Station flew directly over the Netherlands where Ralf Vandebergh was ready with his 10-inch telescope. "I've waited years for this one--a perfect 90o pass!" says Vandebergh. "The station was at its closest distance as it passed directly overhead." Guiding the optics by hand, he centered the spaceship in his viewfinder and snapped this picture:

The close-up photo shows the space station's gleaming backbone, its solar wings, science labs and docked cargo ships--but best of all, says Vandebergh, "it gave a very nice view of the station's fully-deployed thermal radiators (denoted by boxes)."

When the marvels of the ISS are discussed, radiators are seldom mentioned, yet they are one of the space station's truly critical systems. Indeed, the crew couldn't live without them. Because the space station is superbly insulated against the cold of space, heat generated by people and electronics inside the station has a hard time getting out. Left unchecked, the buildup of heat would literally cook the contents of the ISS. Radiators provide relief. The cooling system works much like a car radiator except that it uses 99.9% pure ammonia instead of water, which would freeze in pipes outside the space station.

The silvery radiators are also good reflectors, adding significantly to the brightness of the space station and making it a lovely sight in the night sky. See for yourself.

ENDS OF THE RAINBOW: Yes, there is gold at the end of the rainbow. It's a utility truck:

Mendoca Jr, took the picture yesterday in Brazil. "We had a fine rain storm, a nice double rainbow, and this golden truck at the end of one of the 'bows," he says. A glance at the complete picture reveals the second rainbow and its treasure: a golden arrow.

All rainbows come in pairs. The bright primary bow is caused by sunlight reflected once inside raindrops. The dimmer (and sometimes invisible) secondary bow is caused by sunlight reflected twice. When you see one 'bow, always look for the other. You might just double your treasure.

more images: from Lynne Golbourn of Garden, East London, UK; from Alan Friedman of Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire; from Mike Harden of southwest Florida; from David Hough of Wallsend, NSW Australia; from Imre Zsolt Balint of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; from Bill Dickinson of Glen Allen, Virginia; from Joshua Kitchener of Cape Coral, Florida


2008 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[Strange Clouds] [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.
On July 25, 2008 , there were 962 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2003 YE45
July 13
16.5 LD
15
1.4 km
2008 BT18
July 14
5.9 LD
13
1.0 km
2003 LC5
July 15
62 LD
16
1.4 km
2008 NP3
July 17
6.8 LD
18
85 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 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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