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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 358.4 km/sec
density: 45.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C4
1755 UT Jul10
24-hr: C6
0720 UT Jul10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 10 July 07
Sunspot 963 is growing rapidly: movie. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 20
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 July 2007
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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Jul 10 2123 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 13.6 nT
Bz: 8.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A weak solar wind stream flowing from this minot coronal hole should reach Earth on July 11th or 12th. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jul 10 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
05 %
05 %
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 Jul 10 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
30 %
20 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
45 %
35 %
25 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
What's up in Space
July 10, 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.

GREEN COMET: Grab your binoculars. Pretty green Comet Linear VZ13 is gliding through the constellation Draco this week. It's too dim for the naked eye, but "it was quite easy to see even in a 7x35 binocular," reports Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas: photo. To find the comet, go outside after sunset and face north; the comet lies just a few star hops from Polaris. [3D orbit] [sky maps: July 10, 11] [ephemeris]

more images: from John Chumack of Yellow Springs, Ohio; from G√ľnther Strauch of Borken, NRW, Germany; from Vincent Jacques of Breil, France; from Stanescu Octavian of Silagiu, Romania;

SUNSPOT 963: Sunspot 963 is growing in size and complexity, and it now poses a threat for M-class solar flares. The spot's rapid development is shown in this two-day animation from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO):

"The sunspot has turned into what is reminiscent of a chain of dark islands crossing the Sun," says photographer Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK. He took this picture just hours ago using a Coronado Ca-K filter, which traces the purple glow of solar calcium:

The "islands" are as big as planets: the large leading spot is about as wide as Neptune while the others measure about the size of Earth. Magnetic fields connecting the leader to the trailers are unstable and crackling with C-class solar flares. On July 7th, Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas, observed a fantastic "fire-fountain" eruption through his Coronado SolarMax90 telescope. The movie he made of the event is a must-see.

more images: from S. Dall and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Rolf Girssmann of Boostedt, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida; from Guenter Kleinschuster of Feldbach, Austria;

BONUS: On July 8th, the International Space Station flew almost directly in front of the emerging sunspot. David Lerner of Vincetown, New Jersey, was video recording the sun when "I saw something flash across the screen," he says. "I opened up the video file and was THRILLED to see I had captured both the ISS and sunspot 963."

Photo details: Meade 8" LX90GPS, Orion solar filter, Philips SPC900NC webcam

"Imagine my delight to later discover I captured 3 frames of the space station passing by," he adds.

more ISS transit images: from Milan Antos of Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic; from Len Marek of Parma, Ohio; from Wayne Reed of Colmar, Pennsylvania.

2007 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
["Noctilucent Cloud"--the song] [Night-Sky Cameras]

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 July 10, 2007 there were 874 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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