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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 420.0 km/sec
density: 5.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Feb07
24-hr: A1
1400 UT Feb07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Feb 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Feb 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 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: 6.6 nT
Bz: 2.5 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 Feb. 10th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Feb 07 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 Feb 07 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
25 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
30 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %

What's up in Space
February 7, 2008
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.   mySKY

SHUTTLE LAUNCH: Space shuttle Atlantis left Earth this afternoon on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA officials say it was a safe and successful launch. The shuttle will deliver the 23,000-lb Columbus science laboratory to the ISS, and the crew of Atlantis will help install it: full story.

SOLAR ECLIPSE: This morning, the Moon passed in front of the sun, off-center, producing a partial solar eclipse visible from Antarctica, New Zealand and parts of Australia. Amateur astronomer Andy Dodson sends the following from Huirangi, New Zealand:

"This is the view through my Coronado PST at maximum eclipse," says Dodson. As beautiful as it was "my neighbor's daughter enjoyed our 'tin man' even more. We poked holes in a little man fashioned from aluminum foil and his eyes projected two images of the eclipse in progress."

"We were lucky to have cloudless skies for the entire two hour event."

Meanwhile at the South Pole, "the ambient temperature was -58 degrees F with a wind chill of -90," reports Dave Feldt who braved the elements to take these pictures from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. "I used my digital camera fitted with a filter homemade from two layers of aluminized mylar."

more images: from Graham Palmer of Taradale, New Zealand; from Troy Arkley of Wellington, New Zealand; from Jonathan Harris of Porirua, New Zealand; from David of Canberra, Australia; from Andrew Dallow of West Melton Observatory, Canterbury New Zealand

Animated map of the Solar Eclipse

SUN PILLAR: Breakfasting at dawn? Look up from your feed and behold the sky:

On Jan. 22nd a bright sun pillar sprung up over the pastures of Southington, Ohio. "It was a cold, overcast morning," says photographer Richard Pirko. Plate-shaped ice crystals fluttering to Earth from high clouds reflected the rays of the rising sun and spread them into a golden column of light. Dawn is a marvelous time to see pillars; all you need is a few clouds, a dash of wintry ice, and a pause between mouthfuls.

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 February 7, 2008 there were 927 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Feb. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 CT1
Feb. 5
0.3 LD
13 m
2007 DA
Feb. 12
9.8 LD
140 m
4450 Pan
Feb. 19
15.9 LD
1.6 km
2002 TD66
Feb. 26
16.7 LD
440 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 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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