You are viewing the page for Aug. 15, 2008
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 366.5 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Aug15
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Aug15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Aug 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
Bz: 2.3 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 Aug. 17th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Aug 15 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 15 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
20 %
01 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
August 15, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of July 12th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

SUNSET PLANETS: Venus, Mercury and Saturn have gathered together to form a compact (5o wide) triangle in the twilight sky after sunset. To see them, use binoculars to scan the horizon, low and due west. Consider this a prelude to an even prettier conjunction of Venus and Mercury during the week of Aug. 17th-24th. Sunset is where the action is: sky map.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: This Saturday, August 16th, people on every continent except North America can see a lunar eclipse. At maximum, around 2110 UT, 81% of the Moon will be inside the red core of Earth's shadow. It's going to look something like this:

Photo credit: James Tse, Christchurch, New Zealand. Aug. 28, 2007

The eclipse lasts for more than three hours (19:36 UT to 22:44 UT), so there is plenty of time to gaze, drink coffee and take pictures. Follow the links for webcasts and more information:

PERSEID RECAP: Who knew the Perseids would be so good? The shower peaked on August 13th with as many as 135 meteors per hour, making it one of the best shows in years: data.

"What a fabulous display, with good numbers of bright meteors and lots of faint ones too," says Pierre Martin of Ottawa, Ontario. Using a Canon 30D, he photographed the Milky Way at two-minute intervals from moonset until dawn and created this composite image of the shower:

Earth is exiting the Perseid debris stream now, bringing the shower to an end, although it will be back in August 2009. Until then, browse the gallery:

UPDATED: Perseid Meteor Gallery
[Previous Perseids: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001]


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 15, 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.
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.
©2019 All rights reserved.