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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 709.8 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1710 UT Jan14
24-hr: A0
1710 UT Jan14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Jan 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Jan 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= 3 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: 5.0 nT
Bz: 4.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole will reach Earth on Jan. 14th or 15th. Credit: Hinode X-Ray Telescope.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jan 14 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 Jan 14 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
25 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
25 %
20 %
20 %
05 %
05 %

What's up in Space
January 14, 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.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: "The disk of the sun might look blank, but the edge is positively alive," reports Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK, who photographed an active prominence just hours ago. "The only downside of this large and complicated prominence is the fact that it's on the Sun's western limb, which means it's about to rotate out of view." Readers, if you have a solar telescope, check it out before it disappears.

AURORA WATCH: 2008 has been a good year for auroras with Northern Lights over the arctic realm every night so far. Even polar bears have turned into sky watchers:

Disclaimer: These "bears" are made of snow. There are no polar bears in the village of Salluit, Nunavik, Quebec, where Sylvain Serre took the picture on Jan. 9th. Nevertheless, the principle is sound: Somewhere up there, polar bears must be watching.

Northerners of all species should be alert for more auroras tonight. A solar wind stream is blowing against Earth causing geomagnetic storms over Russia, Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia.

EVASIVE MANEUVERS: "Last night, I was observing at Stardate 2008, a star party in Hastings, New Zealand, when the International Space Station flew overhead," reports Graham Palmer. "I quickly grabbed my camera (a Canon 350D), screwed it onto the tripod, and hit the button for an ISS trail shot. However, I didn't get the result I expected. The space station did an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting Orion's Belt!"

Here's what really happened: "It turns out I hadn't tightened the camera knuckle properly. The camera slowly tilted during the 68-second exposure, resulting in the weirdest star trail shot I've ever seen. It was quite a happy accident." [ISS flyby alerts]

Comet 17P/Holmes Photo Gallery
[World Map of Comet Sightings]
[sky map] [comet binoculars] [ephemeris] [3D orbit]

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 January 14, 2008 there were 918 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2005 WJ56
Jan. 10
10.9 LD
1.2 km
2008 AF3
Jan. 13
1.0 LD
27 m
1685 Toro
Jan. 24
76 LD
6.2 km
2007 TU24
Jan. 29
1.4 LD
400 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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