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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 413.0 km/sec
density: 4.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A2
1925 UT Aug30
24-hr: A2
1925 UT Aug30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Aug 07
Sunspot 969 poses no threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Aug 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This noisy holographic image reveals a possibly-large sunspot on the far side of the sun. The detection has been present two consecutive days raising confidence that it may be real in spite of higher-than-usual noise. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Aug 30 2142 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 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 Aug. 31st or Sept. 1st. Credit: STEREO-B Extreme Ultraviolet Imager
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Aug 30 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 30 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
35 %
10 %
15 %
05 %
10 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
40 %
15 %
20 %
10 %
15 %
What's up in Space
August 30, 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.

WEEKEND METEORS: Before daybreak on Saturday, Sept. 1st, a flurry of bright and oddly-colored Aurigid meteors will spill across the skies of western North America. Or maybe not. Forecasters are divided about what will happen this weekend when Earth runs into an ancient stream of debris from Comet Kiess. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

COLD ECLIPSE: Where on Earth does the sky turn green, the Moon turn red, and the cheeks turn blue--all at the same time? Hint: The ground is white.

"It's the geographic South Pole," answers Robert Schwarz who sends these pictures of Tuesday's lunar eclipse from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica:

Photo details: Canon Digital Rebel XT, 1600 ASA, f8, exposure times varied.

"The 6-month night is coming to an end and it's getting quite bright here," he says. "The Moon was about 10o above the horizon during the eclipse, and some green auroras showed up as well."

"The temperature outside was about -63oC (-90oF), so for some of the pictures we set up the camera inside a heated observation room. The long exposure pictures are a bit blurry due to warm air rushing outside!"

Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[Night-sky Cameras] [Interactive Eclipse Map]

DOLPHINBOW: Be alert for rainbows; you never know where one might pop up. On Aug. 25th, John Boyd of Santa Barbara, California, phtographed one blowing from the spout of a Pacific bottlenose dolphin:

"I took my family whale watching in the Santa Barbara Channel, and we encountered many dolphins along the way," says Boyd. "One dolphin swimming along the bow of the boat blew out some water vapor and created a rainbow above his head."

On a sunny day, any source of water droplets can make a rainbow: a lawn sprinkler, a water fall, a crashing wave. Add to that list a frolicking dolphin.

Wallpaper-sized Dolphinbow

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 30, 2007 there were 880 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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