You are viewing the page for May. 20, 2008
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 500.2 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A3
2240 UT May20
24-hr: A3
2240 UT May20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 19 May 08
These small sunspots pose no threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 May 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one possible, small high-latitude sunspot on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.8 nT
Bz: 6.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on May 20th or 21st. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 May 20 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 May 20 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
40 %
35 %
20 %
15 %
10 %
What's up in Space
May 20, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launches on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

ISS MARATHON: The 2008 "ISS Marathon" gets underway this week when the International Space Station spends three days (May 21-23) in almost-constant sunlight. Sky watchers in Europe and North America can see the bright spaceship gliding overhead two to four times each night. Please try our new and improved Simple Satellite Tracker to find out when to look.

POLLEN MOON: Veteran astrophotographer P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden, has seen a lot of things in the night sky, but last night offered something new. "Wow!" he says. "I've never seen a Moon halo like this before."

Photo details: Canon 450D, 75-300mm Carl Zeiss lens

Soft colors. Elliptical rings. A dark Scandinavian forest. It all adds up to a special type of halo called a "pollen corona." Each year, trees of the Northern forests release copious clouds of pollen. These airborne allergens not only make you sneeze, but also they diffract light, producing colorful rings around the sun and Moon. Because pollen particles are non-spherical, the coronas they make are elongated, sometimes with bright patches on their rings. "It was really beautiful," says Hedén.

more images: from Gote Flodqvist of Karolinska University Hospital, Campus Solna, Sweden; from Jan Plachý of the Czech Republic

S IS FOR... space weather? "Today, the sun seems to be paying tribute to," reports Pete Lawrence who sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Selsey, UK:

Not really. The S is a swirl of bright magnetic froth around sunspot 996; any advertisement is purely coincidental. Instead, pays tribute to the sun, which puts on a good show even at the lowest ebb of the sunspot cycle. If you have a solar telescope, take a look.

more images: from R. Purington and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Mike Strieber of Las Vegas, Nevada; from R. Purington, M. Ouellette and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine;

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 May 20, 2008 there were 953 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 HG
May 5
17 LD
90 m
2008 DE
May 9
17 LD
550 m
2008 HD2
May 9
6.5 LD
40 m
2008 JL24
May 10
0.4 LD
5 m
2008 HR3
May 11
3.1 LD
50 m
2008 HW1
May 14
72 LD
1.4 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.
©2019 All rights reserved.