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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 317.4 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B7
1855 UT Jul20
24-hr: C1
1345 UT Jul20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 20 Jul 10
New sunspot 1089 is large but quiet. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 25
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 July 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (17%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 19 July 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 80 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 19 July 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.1 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on July 22nd or 23rd. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jul 20 2201 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: 2010 Jul 20 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 20, 2010

ANDROID FLYBYS: Our field-tested satellite tracker is now available for Android phones. Features: Global predictions and flyby alarms! Learn more.


SUN-EARTH CONNECTION: The Earth and sun are 93 million miles apart, but they are hardly separated. Magnetic lines of force connect our planet's poles directly to the stellar surface, forming a "sun-Earth system" that researchers are only beginning to understand. Ultimately, the accuracy of space weather forecasts hinges on their progress, and it may require an international effort to succeed. Read more in today's story from Science@NASA.

BEAR CLAW SUNSPOT: Observers are likening new sunspot 1089 to a giant paw print or bear claw. It would take a mighty big bear, however, to make this print:

Photo credit: Jérôme Delpau of Chateau du Loir, France

The toes alone are each as wide as Earth. This fast-growing spot will probably look different tomorrow as it continues to make tracks across the face of the sun. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from John C McConnell of Maghaberry Northern Ireland; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida; from Pavol Rapavy of Observatory Rimavská Sobota; from Francois Rouviere of Mougins, France; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Ingmar Glass of Germany, Bavaria, München; from Gianfranco Meregalli of Milano Italy

IRIDESCENT HAIR DAY: "I was playing mini-golf with my daughter today when we noticed a beautiful iridescent corona around the sun," reports Jesper Grønne of Denmark. Kneeling in his daughter's shadow on the 7th green, he recorded the phenomenon:

"The breeze lifted her hair toward the clouds, making my daughter herself appear to be part of the display."

Coronas appear when the sun shines through tiny droplets of water or sometimes small ice crystals in high clouds. Diffraction of sunlight creates rings of pastel color, which crowd around the disk of the sun. Look for them any time thin clouds drift across the sun.

Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: South Pacific Eclipse] [animated map]

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 20, 2010 there were 1139 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1999 JD6
Jul 27
53.9 LD
1.8 km
6239 Minos
Aug 10
38.3 LD
1.1 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 14
60.5 LD
1.3 km
2002 CY46
Sep 2
63.8 LD
2.4 km
2010 LY63
Sep 7
55.9 LD
1.3 km
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
2.0 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
3.4 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 space weather bureau
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.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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