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Solar wind
speed: 486.3 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2227 UT Aug11
24-hr: C1
0909 UT Aug11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Aug 14
Solar activity is very low. None of these quiet sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. . Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 64
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 11 Aug 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

11 Aug 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 11 Aug 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.0 nT
Bz: 2.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 11 Aug 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 08-11-2014 11:55:09
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Aug 11 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
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: 2014 Aug 11 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
30 %
10 %
25 %
Monday, Aug. 11, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

MARS COMET WORKSHOP: On Oct. 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring will pass so close to Mars that the atmosphere of the comet might interact with the atmosphere of the Red Planet. Today, researchers are gathering at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to discuss the encounter. The meeting will be streamed live starting at 8:45 AM EDT on Aug. 11th. Members of the public are welcome to listen and ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #MarsComet.

WEEKEND SUPERMOON: The full Moon of August 10th was as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of the year. Some say that makes it a supermoon. Others retort that it's really not as super as the media has made it out to be. Who's correct? Vesa Vauhkonen of Rautalampi, Finland, took a stab at settling the question with this side-by-side comparison:

"I compared the normal full Moon of March 2014 with the Supermoon of Aug 2014," says Vauhkonen. "In individual images, the difference in size might be difficult to see, but putting them side by side makes the difference clear. I used the same photo settings for both images, so the scaling has no errors."

Supermoons are possible because the Moon's orbit is not a circle, it is an ellipse. One side, perigee, is 50,000 km closer than the other, apogee. On August 10th the Moon became full just as it reached perigee, the point closest to Earth. This caused the Moon to appear authentically bigger and brighter than usual.

More photos of the full Moon, and the landscape of Earth bathed in super-moonlight, may be found in the realtime photo gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

PERSEID METEOR UPDATE The Perseid meteor shower is underway as Earth moves into the debris stream of parent comet Swift-Tuttle. According to the International Meteor Organization, the constellation Perseus is now spitting out meteors at a rate of about 20 per hour. In a normal year, those rates would increase 4- or 5-fold as the shower reaches its peak on August 12-13. But this is no normal year. In 2014, the glare of a supermoon will interfere with Perseid visibility, capping visible meteor rates at no more than ~30 per hour.

Now for the good news: The Perseids are rich in fireballs, and many of those extra-bright meteors can be seen in spite of the lunar glare. NASA cameras recorded one such fireball last night over Tennessee:

As the movie shows, the meteor cut through the moonlight wih ease. In the past week, NASA's network of all-sky cameras has recorded nearly 100 Perseid fireballs over the USA, and more are in the offing. So, note to sky watchers: Don't be put off by the supermoon. A trip to the moonlit countryside on August 12-13 will be rewarded by a display of Perseids, albeit fewer than usual.

A good time to look on those nights might be during the hours after sunset when the Moon is still hanging low in the sky and the constellation Perseus is rising in the northeast. Such an arrangement can produce a special type of meteor called an earthgrazer. Earthgrazers emerge from the horizon and skim the top of the atmosphere above the observer, a bit like a stone skipping across the surface of a pond. An hour's watching might net no more than one or two of this special kind of meteor, but that's plenty. Earthgrazers are colorful and gracefully slow, a rare beauty that makes any meteor-watch worthwhile.

Got clouds? You can listen to the Perseids live on Space Weather Radio.

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

On Aug. 11, 2014, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(6 sporadics, 3 Perseids)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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 11, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 OF300
Aug 7
3.8 LD
23 m
2001 RZ11
Aug 17
34.2 LD
2.2 km
2013 WT67
Aug 17
16.1 LD
1.1 km
2013 RZ53
Sep 9
1.9 LD
3 m
2002 CE26
Sep 9
47.9 LD
1.8 km
2009 RR
Sep 16
2 LD
34 m
2006 GQ2
Sep 19
65.9 LD
1.1 km
2009 FG19
Sep 26
34.6 LD
1.1 km
2014 NE52
Sep 30
61.2 LD
1.0 km
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 km
2011 TB4
Oct 9
5.8 LD
34 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 web links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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