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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 361.8 km/sec
density: 9.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A1
2140 UT Aug20
24-hr: A1
2140 UT Aug20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 20 Aug 07
The sun is blank today--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 Aug 2007
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= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Aug 20 2145 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.2 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun today. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Aug 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: 2007 Aug 20 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
25 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 20, 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.

DOUBLE FLYBYS: Space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station on Sunday, Aug. 19, and the two spacecraft are now circling Earth in tandem. "So cool!" says Patrick Koske, who witnessed the pair orbit over Bishop, California. "They're both bright, and one of them (the ISS) has a distinct reddish color."

"My kids were especially amazed to see the double flyby this evening," adds Brian Klimowski of Flagstaff, Arizona. "It was fantastic!" Brian captured this 90s exposure using his Canon 5D at ISO 3200:

Tracks from local airplanes are visible in the larger image.

The show continues tonight. US cities favored for double flybys on Aug. 20th include Chicago, Denver and Detroit. Check Heavens Above to see if your hometown is due for a flyby, and sign up for Spaceweather PHONE to receive telephone and email alerts just before the spacecraft appear.

more images: from Phillip Chee of Peterborough, ON, Canada; a video from Kevin Fetter of Ontario, Canada (5 MB); from Donna of Chester, VT; from David Lerwis of Gaylordsville, CT; from Luca Rizzo of Marcellinara, Italy; from SergioC of Italy;

SUN HALOS: "I'm a fan of sun halos! And little by little, this passion has intrigued Lydia, my 7 year old daughter," says Laurent Laveder of Port Navalo, France. "Yesterday morning, I lent her my sunglasses to let her see a nice circumscribed halo. As I was in front of her, explaining her what she was observing I noticed the halo reflected in the glasses, took my camera and snapped."

Click here to view more of Laurent's pictures.

"In the lower part of this picture, you can see a photo taken one minute later showing the halo itself. This picture has been left-right reversed to show the halo as its reflection in the glasses."

Photo details: Canon 30D + Sigma 70-300 lens at 70mm (for the portrait) and Sigma 10-20 lens at 10mm (for the halo).

2007 Perseid Meteor Gallery
Updated Aug. 14, 2007

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 August 20, 2007 there were 878 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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