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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 410.9 km/sec
density: 6.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2040 UT Jul15
24-hr: B2
1615 UT Jul15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Jul 10
Sunspot 1087 poses a threat for C-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 16
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 July 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (18%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 14 July 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 78 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 14 July 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.8 nT
Bz: 3.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jul 15 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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: 2010 Jul 15 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 15, 2010

ANDROID FLYBYS: Our field-tested satellite tracker is now available for Android phones. Features: Global predictions and flyby alarms! Learn more.


HAUNTING BEAUTY IN DEEP SPACE: The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe is beaming back images of haunting beauty from mysterious asteroid Lutetia. Researchers discuss the meaning of the photos in today's story from Science@NASA.

SUNSET PLANETS: Last night, the crescent Moon passed by Venus, producing a conjunction of such beauty it stopped traffic. "I was driving on Interstate 70 to Grand Junction, Colorado, when I noticed the conjunction." says Malcom Park. "I just had to stop for a better look." He snapped this picture from the banks of the Colorado River:

Photo details: Nikon D3, ISO 1600, 2 seconds, f2.8

The show continues tonight as the Moon moves past Venus to form a isosceles triangle with Saturn and Mars. Scanning the vertices with a backyard telescope will quickly reveal mountains and craters on the Moon, the rings of Saturn, and the red disk of Mars. No telescope is required, however, to enjoy the show. Your eyes are all you need. Look west at sunset! Sky maps: July 14, 15, 16.

more images: from Rafael Gallego of Carrión de los Céspedes, Sevilla, Spain; from Amir H. Abolfath of Dizin, Tehran, Iran; from Stefano De Rosa of Bologna (Italy); from David Blanchard of Flagstaff, Arizona; from Marcus Vinícius do Prado Jr. of Gramado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; from Paco Burguera Catalá of La Albufera de Valencia, Spain; from Amir H. Abolfath of Dizin, Tehran, Iran; from Stefano De Rosa of Bologna, Italy; from Aymen Ibrahem of Alexandria, Egypt; from Mohamad Soltanolkottabi of Esfahan, Iran; from Miguel Claro of Capuchos, Almada, Portugal;

PARTIAL ECLIPSE, TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL: During a solar eclipse, you don't have to be in the path of totality for a beautiful view. Here's the proof:

Carlos Caccia took the picture on July 11th, a day when thousands of sky watchers watched a total eclipse from islands, atolls and cruise ships across the South Pacific ocean. Caccia wasn't there; he stayed home in Intendente Alvear, Argentina, where the Moon cut across the sun off-center, producing an eclipse that was merely partial. Caccia was not disappointed, though. "It was lovely," he says.

Browse the gallery for more examples.

UPDATED: Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: South Pacific Eclipse] [animated map] [details]

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 15, 2010 there were 1138 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July-Oct 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1999 JD6
Jul 27
53.9 LD
1.8 km
6239 Minos
Aug 10
38.3 LD
1.1 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 14
60.5 LD
1.3 km
2002 CY46
Sep 2
63.8 LD
2.4 km
2010 LY63
Sep 7
55.8 LD
1.3 km
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
2.0 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
3.4 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 space weather bureau
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.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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