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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 565.9 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Apr19
24-hr: A0
0125 UT Apr19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 19 Apr 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 Apr 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 3.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about April 24th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Apr 19 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 Apr 19 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
20 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
April 19, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Would you like a phone call when the International Space Station (ISS) is about to fly over your back yard? Sign up for Space Weather PHONE.  

SPROUTING GRASS MOON: There's a full moon tonight and according to folklore it is called the Sprouting Grass Moon because it shines down on the new grasses of northern spring. Fun: Go outside after dark and look at the ground. Does the grass look green or blue? The answer may surprise you.

NIGHT IN MOTION: Circling stars, flashing lights, creeping moon shadows and trembling trees. Larry Landolfi captured them all, and more, in a mesmerizing all-night movie of his front yard in Rochester, New Hampshire, approximately one month ago. Click on the image to launch the 9 megabyte video:

Photo details: Canon 10D, Tokina 12mm lens, ASA 800, 45 seconds, f/4.5

"The nearly full moon rising adds to the already surreal effect," he says. "There were very blustery winds as you can tell from the trees."

The 11-hour video (recorded by a Canon 10D) documents the night of March 24th, when the moon was nearly full and a spring wind whistled through the trees. Subtract most of the snow, add some sprouting grass, and voila!--it's tonight. Enjoy the show.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: On March 19th, the summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano exploded for the first time since 1924. The blast was first thought to be an earthquake, but volcanologists quickly realized what had happened: gases bottled up beneath a vent named "Halema`uma`u" had burst forth, spewing debris over an area of 75 acres.

Last week, on April 14th, "I was watching sulfur dioxide emissions from Halema`uma`u, which is still fuming," reports photographer Mila Zinkova. "Suddenly I noticed a rainbow, which gently touched the crater rim."

"Beauty and the Beast, I thought. But is the volcano really a beast?" she asks. "Yes, indeed. A few days ago thousands of people fled the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and nearby villages when sulfur dioxide levels become deadly. On the other hand, Hawaiian islands were created by volcanoes. Even now Pu`u `O`o (an active vent on Kilauea's eastern flank) sends lava to the ocean creating new land and beautiful new beaches."

webcams: Halema`uma`u, Pu`u `O`o

April 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 April 19, 2008 there were 946 potentially hazardous asteroids.
April 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 FH5
Apr. 2
7.6 LD
17 m
2001 QO142
Apr. 6
34 LD
685 m
2008 GF1
Apr. 7
0.8 LD
10 m
2005 BE2
Apr. 10
62 LD
1.0 km
2005 NB7
Apr. 17
16 LD
705 m
2008 FU6
Apr. 22
62 LD
1.4 km
2005 TB
Apr. 28
47 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr. 30
74 LD
1.1 km
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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