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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: 356.8 km/sec
density: 4.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Aug02
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Aug02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Aug 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 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: 4.1 nT
Bz: 1.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Aug 02 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 Aug 02 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
August 2, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of July 12th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

TWILIGHT PLANET HUNT: When the sun goes down tonight, grab your binoculars and scan the western horizon. Venus and the whisper-thin crescent Moon are hiding in the rosy glow of sunset. You probably won't be able to see them with the unaided eye, but they are there, a bright and pretty sight through optics. Good hunting!

PROTO NEW-CYCLE SUNSPOT: A sunspot from the next solar cycle could soon appear in the sun's northern hemisphere. SOHO magnetograms show an emerging magnetic dipole with the telltale polarity of Solar Cycle 24:

So far this is merely a proto-sunspot; the magnetic fields have not coalesced to form a truly dark sunspot core. Nevertheless, the little active region is significant. It is a herald of new Solar Cycle 24, and a sign that the solar cycle, while seemingly stuck in endless minimum, is actually progressing normally. The calm won't last forever!

Readers with solar telescopes, keep an eye on the proto-sunspot.

more images: from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky

MAGNIFICENT CORONA: The sun's wispy, dancing, mysteriously-hot outer atmosphere is one of the prettiest sights in the heavens. The trick is seeing it. Under normal circumstances, blinding sunlight hides the corona from sensitive human eyes. Yesterday, however, was not normal:

Hartwig Luethen took the picture on August 1st when the Moon passed directly in front of the sun, briefly revealing the corona for all to see. To photograph the eclipse, Luethen stationed himself in Kochenovo, west of Novosibirsk, Russia, deep inside the path of totality. "I used a Canon 350D to make 24 exposures varying in length from 1/500 to 2 seconds." The resulting composite shows the ghostly corona, a magnetic prominence surging over the lunar limb, and the Earthlit surface of the Moon itself. Browse the gallery for more corona shots:

Solar Eclipse Photo 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 2, 2008 , there were 965 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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