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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 322.1 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A1
1905 UT Jul19
24-hr: A2
1530 UT Jul19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 19 July 07
Decaying sunspot 963 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 July 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals a hint of one or two 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
Updated: 2007 Jul 19 2132 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
Bz: 2.4 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 or about July 20th. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jul 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: 2007 Jul 19 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
30 %
20 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
What's up in Space
July 19, 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.

CANADIAN METEOR: On July 17th, astronomer Marjorie Dessureault of Quebec's Observatoire du Cégep de Trois-Rivières witnessed a "huge meteor passing through Bootes and the Big Dipper. It was was brighter than a full moon." Sky watchers, if you saw the same meteor, please contact Marjorie with details. She hopes to gather enough data to calculate its trajectory and possible landing site.

PROMINENCE ALERT: "The southeastern limb of the sun is still burning," reports Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany. This picture, which he took just hours ago using a Coronado SolarMax60, shows titanic "flames" many times taller than Earth itself:

In fact, as Wohler knows, no combustion is involved. Prominences are clouds of hydrogen held aloft by solar magnetic fields. They glow simply because they are hot (you would be hot, too, if you were so close to the surface of a star), not because of any exothermic chemical reaction involving oxygen. Nevertheless, the resemblence to fire can be compelling, as shown in this movie recorded earlier today by Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia.

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Emiel Veldhuis and Guan Nuyen of Zwolle, the Netherlands.

CRESCENT PLANET: Like the Moon, Venus has phases, and at the moment it is a beautifully-slender crescent. Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK, took this picture through his 14-inch telescope on July 17th:

Why is the sky around Venus blue? Because he took the picture in broad daylight. "Venus is like a sparkling jewel in the daytime sky," Lawrence says. The trick is finding it. "On July 17th around three o'clock in the afternoon, the Moon was quite close to Venus: image. The Moon was straightforward to see with the naked eye and it was the perfect guide to the brilliant planet."

Of course, daylight is not required. Venus is even easier to find at sunset when it hangs low in the darkening western sky. Set up your telescope and take a look: sky map.

more images: from Wah! of the Hong Kong Astrofarm; from Sadegh Ghomizadeh of Tehran, Iran; from Will Gater of South Devon, UK.

.2007 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[Night-Sky Cameras] ["Noctilucent Cloud"--the song]

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 19, 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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