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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 645.6 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A1
2050 UT Mar11
24-hr: B5
0555 UT Mar11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Mar 08
New sunspot 985, which emerged late on March 10th, is already disappearing over the sun's western limb. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 11 Mar 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= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.8 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit:SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Mar 11 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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 Mar 11 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
30 %
10 %
20 %
10 %
10 %

What's up in Space
March 11, 2008
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.   mySKY

LIFTOFF! Early this morning at 02:28 EDT, space shuttle Endeavour roared into the starry sky over Kennedy Space Center; it was a rare and breathtaking nighttime launch. "Due to low cloud cover, our view was truncated," reports photographer Chuck Clevenstine of Titusville, Florida, "but the liftoff was still amazing." During Endeavour's 16-day mission, astronauts will deliver a Canadian robot ("Dextre") and attach the first piece of a Japanese science lab ("Kibo") to the International Space Station. Stay tuned for updates.

more images: from Pam Winegar of Malabar, Florida

ALL NIGHT LONG: The crisp and sparkling night skies of winter are a joy to behold. But how many of us have beheld the whole thing--the entire sky from dusk 'til dawn? Last night in Rochester, New Hampshire, photographer Larry Landolfi decided to find out what it was like. Click on the image to play his movie:

Click to play a 500 kB Quicktime movie

"Using my Canon 10D, I made a series of two minute exposures of the sky above my house. Then I stitched them together into a movie," he explains. "It goes from about 9 pm last night to 6 am this morning. Wouldn't you just love being my neighbor!?" (With skies like that--yes, please.)

JULES VERNE: On Sunday, March 9th, Europe put a new spaceship in Earth orbit--the Jules Verne. The next morning, Marco Langbroek watched it soar over his home in downtown Leiden, the Netherlands:

"It emerged from Earth's shadow in the constellation Ophiuchus and quickly brightened to magnitude +0.5," describes Langbroek. The blue spray of light from the bottom of the frame is "lens glare due to lights illuminating the courtyard where I took the picture."

Also known as the ATV (short for "automated transfer vehicle"), Jules Verne is an unmanned, robotic spaceship able to carry almost 8 tons of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). This is its maiden voyage. For the next few weeks, Jules Verne will perform a series of test maneuvers in Earth orbit, approaching and following the ISS and finally docking with the station after space shuttle Endeavour departs on March 25th.

Langbroek's sighting shows that Jules Verne is almost twice as bright as a first magnitude star, making it an easy target for the naked eye, digital cameras or backyard telescopes. Would you like to see it? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE to receive telephone and email alerts when Jules Verne is about to fly over your home town. Or check Heaven's Above for local flyby time tables.

more images: from Paul Evans of Larne, Northern Ireland; from Steven Graham of Christchurch, New Zealand; from Michel Vandeputte of Ronse, Belgium;

March 2008 Aurora Gallery
[aurora alerts] [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. [comment]
On March 11, 2008 there were 941 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 DH5
Mar. 5
7.1 LD
60 m
2008 EZ7
Mar. 9
0.4 LD
18 m
2008 ED8
Mar. 10
1.4 LD
64 m
1620 Geographos
Mar. 17
49 LD
3 km
2003 FY6
Mar. 21
6.3 LD
145 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, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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