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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 299.4 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2115 UT Jul09
24-hr: C1
0615 UT Jul09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 09 July 07
New sunspot 963 is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 16
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 July 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Jul 09 2147 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.3 nT
Bz: 1.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A weak solar wind stream flowing from this minot coronal hole should reach Earth on July 11th or 12th. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jul 09 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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 Jul 09 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
40 %
10 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
45 %
15 %
25 %
05 %
10 %
What's up in Space
July 9, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

GREEN COMET: Grab your binoculars. Pretty green Comet Linear VZ13 is gliding through the constellation Draco this week. It's too dim for the naked eye, but "it was quite easy to see even in a 7x35 binocular," reports Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas: photo. To find the comet, go outside after sunset and face north; the comet lies just a few star hops from Polaris. [sky map] [ephemeris] [3D orbit]

more images: from John Chumack of Yellow Springs, Ohio; from G√ľnther Strauch of Borken, NRW, Germany.

SUNSPOT 963: Over the weekend a new sunspot emerged and "it is a beauty," says Gianluca Valentini of Rimini, Italy, who photographed the active region this morning:

The sunspot's two dark cores are each larger than Earth, and they are connected by an unstable magnetic field that crackles with C-class solar flares. The eruptions have been entertaining onlookers. "I watched in amazement for hours as the magnetic loops swayed back and forth," says Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas. He made a movie of the action using his SolarMax90 solar telescope. Click on the snapshot to watch:

See the movie: Small (600 kb gif) or Large (6 MB avi)

Meanwhile in Zanesville, Ohio, the sunspot almost made artist Erika Rix late for her brother's wedding. "I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the eyepiece," she explains. "One eruption reminded me of a rock plopping in the water." Using Strathmore paper and white Conte' crayon, Erika sketched what she saw: image. "As a last minute gift idea, I framed the first sketch of this sequence and gave it as a wedding present....starting their new lives together with a bang."

The show continued on July 8th when the International Space Station flew in front of the sun with sunspot 963 as backdrop:

Photo details: Meade 8" LX90GPS, Orion solar filter, Philips SPC900NC webcam

David Lerner took the above photo from an abandoned driving range near Vincetown, New Jersey. "I saw something flash across the screen," he says. "I opened up the video file and was THRILLED to see I had captured both the ISS and sunspot 963. Imagine my delight to later discover I captured 3 frames of the space station passing by."

more images: from Milan Antos of Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida; from Len Marek of Parma, Ohio; from Guenter Kleinschuster of Feldbach, Austria; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from John M Candy of Whitely Bay, north Tyneside, UK; from Jean-Marc Lecleire of Torcy, France.

2007 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
["Noctilucent Cloud"--the song] [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.
On July 9, 2007 there were 874 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 FV42
July 2
53 LD
1.2 km
2007 MB4
July 4
7.6 LD
130 m
2007 DT103
July 29
9.3 LD
550 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, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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