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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 299.2 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1655 UT Aug24
24-hr: A0
1655 UT Aug24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Aug 08
There are no sunspots, but there is an active region in the sun's northern hemisphere where a sunspot is struggling to form. Dark cores have appeared in the past few days, but they have not persisted long enough to be counted as an official sunspot. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Aug. 2008
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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.0 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: Hinode X-Ray Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Aug 24 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: 2008 Aug 24 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 24, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of August 9th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

SPACE STATION DAWN: For the next 7 to 10 mornings, the International Space Station (ISS) will be flying over Europe and North America, cutting a bright path among the stars just before sunrise. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker to find out when to look; it's a nice way to start the day.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: The sun is quiet. Sunspots are few. There hasn't been a solar flare in months. Who needs them? Sometimes the best solar activity is a sunrise:

"I will never forget this nice morning," says Mohamad Soltanolkottabi who took the picture Friday from a beach on the Caspian sea in northern Iran. "We witnessed a stunning omega sun."

Omega sun? Click here and here to see what lies behind the female silhouette. The omega sun is a mirage caused by warm air and a strong temperature gradient just above the Caspian sea surface. No sunspots are required for this type of solar activity--good thing.

JUPITER AND IO: Last night, Aug. 23rd, Jupiter's volcanic moon Io cast its shadow on Jupiter's cloudtops. "It was a good show," says Joel Warren, who photographed the event using his 8-inch backyard telescope in Amarillo, Texas:

Next Saturday, Aug. 30th, Jupiter returns the favor. The giant planet will cast its colossal shadow on Io, completely swallowing the moon in darkness. The moment to watch is 11:13 p.m. EDT (8:13 p.m. PDT) on August 30th. That's when Io exits the shadow and reappears to Jupiter's east. It's fun to watch an alien world materialize in what appears to be an empty void. Point your telescope due south after sunset: sky map.

more images: from Ralph Ford of Redondo Beach, California; from Efrain Morales Rivera of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; from Paul Haese of Blackwood, South Australia; from Sadegh Ghomizadeh of Tehran, Iran; from Ron Cottrell of Tucson, Arizona;

Aug. 16th Lunar Eclipse Gallery
[Interactive Eclipse 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 August 24, 2008 , there were 971 potentially hazardous asteroids.
August 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
54509 YORP
Aug. 1
67 LD
130 m
2008 PK9
Aug. 11
11 LD
50 m
2008 ON10
Aug. 11
12 LD
50 m
2001 RT17
Aug. 14
69 LD
1.2 km
1991 VH
Aug. 15
18 LD
1.8 km
2008 MZ
Aug. 31
60 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.
  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
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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