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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 719.5 km/sec
density: 3.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Mar10
24-hr: A1
0455 UT Mar10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Mar 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Mar 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= 3 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: 3.0 nT
Bz: 0.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 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 Mar 10 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 Mar 10 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
40 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
10 %

What's up in Space
March 10, 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

ASTEROID FLYBYS: Asteroid 2008 ED8 (50m wide) is flying past Earth today, March 10th, only ~300,000 miles away. Its orbit is curiously similar to that of another asteroid, 2008 EZ7 (18m wide), which flew past Earth on Sunday, March 9th. Are the two newly-discovered space rocks related? No one knows. Tonight, amateur astronomers may be able to photograph 2008 ED8 gliding through Virgo glowing about as brightly as a 12th magnitude star: ephemeris.

AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream hit Earth on March 8th sparking bright auroras across Canada and Alaska. "It was a wild night in Edmonton," says Zoltan Kenwell who took this photo just outside the city limits:

Photo details: Canon 1D Marck III, 30 seconds, ISO 1600

In the United States, the lights descended as far south as Michigan. "We had a nice display near Lansing for more than three hours," reports Horace Smith.

The display has subsided but it could flare up again tonight. The solar wind continues to blow and NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic activity at high latitudes..

March 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]

FOUNTAIN OF FURY: "Yesterday I saw an exciting prominence on the sun through my Coronado SolarMax90," reports Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas. "It looked like a red fountain of fury and I really enjoyed it until the clouds rolled in." Click on the image to play a 1.5 hour movie:

Click to play a 1.5 hour, 3 MB movie

Prominences are clouds of hydrogen held above the surface of the sun by magnetic fields. This one really does appear to be a sort of fountain. Magnetic forces are lifting material up, up, up, tens of thousands of miles high where it falls down again for recycling. Is the "fountain of fury" still spewing today? Readers with solar telescopes, take a look!

more images: from Michael Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville. KY; from Monty Leventhal of Sydney Australia

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 March 10, 2008 there were 941 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 DH5
Mar. 5
7.1 LD
60 m
2008 EZ7
Mar. 9
0.4 LD
18 m
2008 ED8
Mar. 10
1.4 LD
50 m
1620 Geographos
Mar. 17
49 LD
3 km
2003 FY6
Mar. 21
6.3 LD
145 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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