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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 631.8 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Apr09
24-hr: A0
1215 UT Apr09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Apr 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Apr 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 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: 4.0 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Apr 09 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 09 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
What's up in Space
April 9, 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

SOYUZ AND MIZAR: A new crew for the International Space Station blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday morning, April 8th. Hours later, Kevin Fetter photographed their Soyuz spacecraft passing by the star Mizar en route to the ISS: video. "It was a nice bright flyby," he says. "I'm glad I got to see it." The Soyuz is due to reach the ISS and dock to the busy station on Thursday, April 10th.

AURORA WATCH: "Last night, I was out trying to photograph an igloo in the evening twilight, when all of a sudden an explosion of light danced overhead," reports Claus Vogel on Baffin Island, Canada. "I have never seen the aurora so bright at dusk - and what timing. I had my Nikon D300 and tripod ready when the lights began their northern dance."

"I have always dreamed of this. Woweee!!"

Similar displays are in the offing tonight. A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing intermittent geomagnetic storms. Northern sky watchers, be alert for auroras.

SIDNEY'S CONJUNCTION: Last night's conjunction of the crescent Moon and the Pleiades was tail-wagging beautiful. Literally. "My friend's dog, Sidney, decided that wagging her tail against my tripod was a great idea," says photographer Greg Scheckler of North Adams, Massachusetts. Here is the result:

"Happy accident or strange goof," he says, "we now have an abstract picture of Luna with the Seven (or three hundred!) Sisters."

Click on these links to view more traditional exposures: from Sanath Kumar of South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD; from Gary J. Cooper of New York City, NY; from Robert B Slobins of Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), Prague, Czech Republic; from Tom Cocchiaro at Pease International Airport, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; from Patrick Boomer of West of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; from Alan Dyer of Cluny, Alberta; from Jeffrey Berkes of West Chester, PA; from Mark Riddick of Staunton, Virginia; from David Harvey of Tucson, Arizona; from Dr. Fritz Helmut Hemmerich of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from P. Presby, J. Fairfull and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Tim Printy of Manchester, NH; from Jan Koeman of Kloetinge, The Netherlands; from Piotr Majewski of Torun, Poland; from Alex Lloyd-Ribeiro of Manchester, England; from Geir Øye of Ørsta, Norway; from Dean Drumheller of San Mateo CA; from Mohammad Smadi of Fargo, North Dakota; from Phil Harrington of Oakdale, NY;

March 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [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. [comment]
On April 9, 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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