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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: 305.6 km/sec
density: 3.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Aug30
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Aug30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Aug 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Aug. 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= 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: 1.1 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Sept. 3rd. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Aug 30 2201 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 Aug 30 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 30, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of August 9th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

EMERGING MOON: Tonight, August 30th, at 11:13 p.m. EDT (8:13 pm PDT), Jupiter's moon Io will pop out of Jupiter's shadow a smidgen to the east of the giant planet. This is your chance to watch an alien world materialize in the darkness--very cool. Point your telescope due south after sunset: sky map.

EARLY WARNING: NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft follows Earth around the sun, lagging behind our planet by 33o ("B" stands for "behind"). This allows the spacecraft to see a portion of the sun we on Earth cannot. Here is an example:

The sprawling coronal hole, photographed this morning by STEREO-B, is only partially visible from Earth. STEREO-B thus provides an early warning system: The coronal hole is spewing a solar wind stream that will eventually reach our planet. STEREO-B reveals the hole's location, its full extent, and the likely dates of solar wind impact: Sept. 3rd - 5th. High latitude sky watchers, mark your calendar for auroras.

August 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Science@NASA: Plasma Bullets Spark Northern Lights]

MORE VOLCANIC SUNSETS: This weekend, observers around Europe are reporting the same "volcanic sunsets" widely observed last week in North America. "The evening sky on Aug 29th was conspicuously purple," reports Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands. "This was probably due to aerosols in the stratosphere spewed by the August 7th eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands." He photographed the display using his Canon 450D:

Michiel de Boer of Amstelveen, the Netherlands, was on vacation in the USA last week. "I witnessed the volcanic sunsets there," he says, "and these look just the same. The 'smoke' of the Alaska volcano seems to be moving around the globe."

more images: from Radek Grochowski near Świdnica, Poland; from Roy Keeris of Zeist, The Netherlands; from Victor van Wulfen of MVC Berlicum, the Netherlands; from Jeremy Housman of Ramsgate, Kent, UK; from Darin Brunin of Lawrence, Kansas; from Mark D. Marquette of Boones Creek, Tennessee; from Mark Wloch of Erie, Michigan;

UPDATE: The volcanic sky show continues over parts of the USA. Sky watcher Doug Zubenel sends this report from Kansas on Aug. 30th: "The last two days have brought a gradual increase in both the density and overall sky coverage of volcanic ash moving over area. Last night's sunset was spectacular--the whole western sky was bright orange. We may have an incredible photo-op on the evenings of Sep. 1st and 2nd when the crescent Moon joins Venus and Mars in the western sky."


Aug. 16th Lunar Eclipse Gallery
[Interactive Eclipse Map]

       
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 30, 2008 , there were 977 potentially hazardous asteroids.
August 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
54509 YORP
Aug. 1
67 LD
22
130 m
2008 PK9
Aug. 11
11 LD
18
50 m
2008 ON10
Aug. 11
12 LD
19
50 m
2001 RT17
Aug. 14
69 LD
17
1.2 km
1991 VH
Aug. 15
18 LD
15
1.8 km
2008 MZ
Aug. 31
60 LD
17
1.1 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 space weather bureau
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.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  a one-stop web hub for all things scientific
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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