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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 414.1 km/sec
density: 4.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A3
2030 UT Jul13
24-hr: A3
2030 UT Jul13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 13 July 07
New sunspot 964 poses no threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 25
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 July 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one small sunspot 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 13 2151 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.4 nT
Bz: 0.9 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 July 14th or 15th. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jul 13 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: 2007 Jul 13 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
20 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 13, 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.

COSMIC TRIANGLE: Tonight, July 13th, step outside and look west into the sunset. You'll see a charming cosmic triangle with Venus, Saturn and Regulus as vertices: sky map. On July 16th the triangle becomes a quad when the crescent Moon joins the group. Mark your calendar!

NEW SUNSPOT: A new sunspot is breaching the sun's surface today. In Campinas, Brazil, Rogerio Marcon used his Coronado SolarMax40 to capture the emergence:

A panoramic view shows the new sunspot, numbered 964, in relation to old behemoth 963. So far sunspot 964 poses no threat for solar flares, but this could change if the sunspot's rapid growth continues. Stay tuned for updates.

more images: from B. Smith and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida; a sketch from Eric Soucy-Lacroix of Ohain, Brabant wallon, Belgique; from Enrico Perissinotto of Premariacco (UD) Italy.

MAMMATUS SUNSET: The day was just coming to an end on July 9th when Lori C. of King City, Ontario, went outside and witnessed this fantastic mammatus sunset:

Photo details: Pentax K100D, 28mm, ISO200 f:8 1/60s exposure

"The mammatus clouds were illuminated by the golden light of the setting sun," she explains. "I didn't dare adjust the images in Photoshop for fear of losing the magic color, which lasted no more than 15 minutes." More images: #1, #2, #3.

The mysterious lobes of mammatus clouds form on the undersides of thunderstorms when the storms are breaking up. Summer, the season of thunder, is the best time to catch them. The next time a storm passes, go outside and look for the mammatus.

EXTRA: What happens when a strong wind comes along to blow the mammatus away? On July 4th shortly after a thunderstorm in De Soto, Kansas, Doug Zubenel watched the wind stretch a bank of mammatus clouds into "erie, striated bands." He took this picture.

more images: from Jan Koeman of Kloetinge, the Netherlands; from Marc Tomko of Plantsville, Connecticut; from Harry Ball of Sidcup, Kent, England;

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 13, 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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