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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 469.4 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1715 UT Jul11
24-hr: A0
1715 UT Jul11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Jul 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 July 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= 2 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: 14.5 nT
Bz: 12.4 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 July 13th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jul 11 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 Jul 11 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
30 %
20 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
What's up in Space
July 11, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of June 25th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE SUN? The sun is entering its third year of eerie calm. Sunspots are rare and solar flares simply aren't happening. Is this "solar minimum" lasting longer than it should? A NASA scientist has examined centuries of sunspot data to find the answer, revealed in today's story from Science@NASA.

LITTLE RED SPOT DESTROYED: Last month, Jupiter had three red spots. Today there are only two. "The 'Little Red Spot' is gone," reports Christopher Go who took this picture on July 10th from his backyard observatory in the Philippines:

His photo shows two and only two storms: the Great Red Spot (center) and Oval BA just above it. Missing is the Little Red Spot (LRS), a young upstart of a storm that had the temerity to crash into its older siblings on July 1st-3rd. Bad weather at key observing sites hid the crash from many astronomers, leaving the fate of the LRS uncertain until now. "The LRS has dissipated," says Go. "Its remnant can be seen just east of the Great Red Spot."

Go uses an 11-inch Celestron telescope to monitor events on Jupiter. Much is visible these days because Jupiter is at its closest to Earth for all of 2008. If you have a backyard telescope, point it southeast after sunset. Jupiter is there blazing brighter than any star: sky map.

MARS ON THE MOVE: Put on your 3D glasses and behold ... a "moving rock" on Mars:

Click to view the complete scene

Graphic artist Patrick Vantunye of Belgium created the 3D anaglyph by combining right- and left-eye images from Phoenix's stereo camera. It shows a rock near the Mars lander's feet seemingly pushed some distance through the dusty soil. "It reminds me of the moving rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley," says Vantuyne. Long held to be a mystery, those Death Valley rocks are now thought to travel by means of wind propulsion, skidding along a desert floor momentarily slick after rainstorms. What moved this Mars rock? Possibilities include Phoenix's landing thrusters, martian wind, a nudge from Phoenix's robotic arm, and of course the unknown. Solutions are welcomed.

EXTRA: A second moving rock has come to our attention. Click here to view the rock and its location with respect to the Phoenix lander.

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.
On July 11, 2008 , there were 960 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2003 YE45
July 13
16.5 LD
1.4 km
2008 BT18
July 14
5.9 LD
1.0 km
2003 LC5
July 15
62 LD
1.4 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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