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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 286.9 km/sec
density: 4.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Aug25
24-hr: A0
1550 UT Aug25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 25 Aug 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 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= 0 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: 1.8 nT
Bz: 1.7 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 25 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 25 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 25, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of August 9th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

CLOUDS AT THE EDGE OF SPACE: High above Earth, astronauts on board the International Space Station have taken one of the best-ever photos of noctilucent clouds. Their image highlights a growing mystery: Where do these clouds come from and why are they spreading? Science@NASA has the full story.

PROTO NEW-CYCLE SUNSPOT: For the second time this month, a new-cycle sunspot is struggling to form. SOHO magnetograms of the sun's surface reveal a planet-sized magnetic dipole with the telltale polarity of Solar Cycle 24:

Last week, these magnetic fields briefly coelesced into a pair of dark cores, then subsided. The apparition was too ephemeral to be included in official daily sunspot counts. For now, put this active region in the category of "struggling proto-sunspot."

Sometimes the ongoing solar minimum seems like it will never end. This proto-sunspot, as well as a similar one in early August, offers hope to observers that the solar cycle is actually moving forward. The calm won't last forever.

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, California

SUNDOG DAYS: In the northern hemisphere, the dog days of summer are upon us. No, make that sundog days:

Andy Chatman photographed these colorful dogs flanking the summer sun over Canandaigua Lake, New York, on Aug. 23rd. It was a hot day on the lake, but the ice crystals that form sundogs had no trouble staying frozen. That's because air five miles high, where icy clouds float in front of the sun, is always freezing no matter how hot it gets on the ground. Every day is a sundog day.

more images: from Andreas Milias of Zurich, Switzerland; from Jan Hanford of San Rafael, California; from Dean Drumheller of San Mateo California; from John C McConnell of Maghaberry Northern Ireland;

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 25, 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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