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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 622.9 km/sec
density: 1.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A1
1940 UT May25
24-hr: A7
0755 UT May25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 25 May 07
The sun is blank today--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 May 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large spots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 Quiet
24-hr max: Kp=4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Europe, Antarctica, USA
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.3 nT
Bz: 2.9 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 May 26th. Credit: STEREO-B Extreme Ultraviolet Imager
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 May 25 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 May 25 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
30 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
30 %
30 %
20 %
15 %
15 %
What's up in Space
May 25, 2007
He already has a neck tie. This year give Dad something truly heavenly for Father's Day: SpaceWeather PHONE.

WEEKEND PLANETS: This weekend you can tour the solar system in only a few minutes. Go outside at sunset and look west; Mercury, Venus and Saturn form a line almost perpendicular to the horizon. Look up; there's the Moon. Look behind your back; Jupiter is rising in the east. On May 23th, Peter Rosen of Stockholm, Sweden, photographed all five worlds in one observing session: Click here to take the tour.

SUDDEN PROMINENCE: This morning, Franck Charlier of Val d'Oise, France, looked through his solar telescope and found the sun "very quiet." Then, just as he was about to withdraw from the eyepiece, "a huge and very luminous prominence appeared." He attached his CCD camera to the 'scope and snapped these pictures:

Photo details: Orion 80ED telescope, 1.6x Barlow, Coronado SolarMax40 filter.

As the inset image shows, this fast-changing prominence is many times larger than Earth. "Incredible!" says Charlier. "This was unexpected on a day when the sun seemed so blank and quiet. The sun is really magic and always worth watching."

more images: from John Stetson of South Portland, Maine.

ISLANDS ON TITAN: On May 12th, the Cassini spacecraft swooped over Saturn's moon Titan and scanned its surface by radar. One of the images captured a dark sea of liquid methane dotted with islands, bays and other features typical of terrestrial coastlines:

The utter darkness of this sea suggests to Cassini mission scientists that the depth of liquid exceeds tens of meters. The islands may, in fact, be the peaks of partially submerged mountains akin to Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.

While this view resembles Earth, it is utterly unEarthly. The surface temperature of Titan is -180o C. That's why the seas are not made of water, which would freeze. Instead, Titan has methane (CH4), a liquid which is colder, lighter and less viscous than H2O. How would you design a boat for such a sea? Could a water bug skitter across its surface? Is there such a thing as a methane rainbow? Science@NASA has the answers.

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 May 25, 2007 there were 863 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1862 Apollo
May 8
72 LD
2.4 km
2007 JD
May 11
12 LD
100 m
2007 JZ2
May 14
7.0 LD
30 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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