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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 611.9 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2235 UT Apr24
24-hr: B1
1440 UT Apr24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Apr 08
Decaying sunspot 992 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Apr 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 1.0 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 April 26th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Apr 24 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: 2008 Apr 24 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
April 24, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Would you like a phone call when the International Space Station (ISS) is about to fly over your back yard? Sign up for Space Weather PHONE.  

SOLAR ACTIVITY: "Is this the last gasp of dying Solar Cycle 23? It sure looks that way," reports Paul Haese who sends a dramatic picture of the sun taken this morning from Blackwood, South Australia. Our star is criss-crossed by dark magnetic filaments and peppered with active regions that are not quite sunspots but seething nevertheless. "What a great show," he says. Readers with solar telescopes, take a look!

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from Greg Piepol of Rockville, Maryland; from Hank Bartlett of Newburgh, Ontario, Canada;

GREEN SKY ALERT: Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should be alert for auroras. A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing high-latitude geomagnetic storms. Last night, Sylvain Serre caught a group of teenagers posing beneath the lights of Salluit, Nunavik, Quebec:

"The nordic sky is gradually getting brighter and brighter as we approach summer," adds Geir Øye of Ørsta, Norway. "However, it is still sufficiently dark at midnight to see auroras like these."

UPDATED: April 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]

END OF THE RAINBOW: At long last, Lorne Thompson of Las Vegas, Nevada, has found out what lies at the end of the rainbow. It's an outhouse:

You were expecting a pot of gold?

Actually, there is no end to a rainbow. If the ground were removed, you would see that the rainbow makes a complete circle; this is called the "rainbow cone." Usually, less than half of the circle is visible because ground, hills and little blue buildings get in the way. To see more than half, go to the lofty perch of a mountaintop or an airplane. Voila!--no outhouse.

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. [comment]
On April 24, 2008 there were 946 potentially hazardous asteroids.
April 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 FH5
Apr. 2
7.6 LD
17 m
2001 QO142
Apr. 6
34 LD
685 m
2008 GF1
Apr. 7
0.8 LD
10 m
2005 BE2
Apr. 10
62 LD
1.0 km
2005 NB7
Apr. 17
16 LD
705 m
2008 FU6
Apr. 22
62 LD
1.4 km
2005 TB
Apr. 28
47 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr. 30
74 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.
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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