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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 617.8 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
2050 UT May27
24-hr: A5
2050 UT May27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 27 May 07
The sun is blank today--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 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= 2 Quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Europe, Antarctica, USA
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: -0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 May 27 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 27 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
What's up in Space
May 27, 2007
He already has a neck tie. This year give Dad something truly heavenly for Father's Day: SpaceWeather PHONE.

STORM WARNINGS: Astronauts can breathe a little easier. A scientist using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has found a way to predict dangerous solar radiation storms. The new alert system offers as much as one hour advance warning, giving astronauts on EVA extra time to seek shelter and avoid radiation sickness. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SOLAR SMOKESTACK: This morning on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, Robert Arnold pointed his Coronado Personal Solar Telescope toward the sun and witnessed some "amazing, fast moving action." He assembled eight snapshots to create a 40 minute-long movie:

This is a prominence--a triangular cloud of hydrogen held above the sun's surface by solar magnetic fields. Prominences resemble gigantic flames; this one even seems to be puffing smoke from its tip. But the resemblance is illusory. Unlike the wick of a burning candle, where oxygen is combined with hydrocarbons to produce light and heat, no combustion is taking place inside a solar prominence. Hydrogen-filled prominences glow simply because they are hot (like a stovetop glows red when it gets very hot) and they flicker because their magnetic fields are not quite stable. These characteristics give prominences a flame-like appearance, but they are not made of fire.

Prominences do, however, have one thing in common with flames: they can wield a hypnotic power over anyone who stares at them. If you have a solar telescope, take a look!

NIGHT FLASHES: Last night, Jens Hackmann went outside with the intention of photographing star trails over the Weikersheim Observatory in Germany. He had just pointed his camera north and opened the shutter when "this thunderstorm intervened," says Hackmann:

Photo details: Canon 30D, 25mm, 5 min. exposure.

What are the odds of being interrupted thus? Better than you might suppose. Lightning strikes our planet about 100 times every second or almost 9 million times a day. A long-exposure star trails photo stands a pretty good chance of catching a distant thundercloud in action, especially during summer, the season of thunder and lightning. Advice: if you see such a cloud, take the picture, then take cover.

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 27, 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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