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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 402.6 km/sec
density: 1.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Jul01
24-hr: A0
1535 UT Jul01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Jul 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 June 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= 0 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: 3.7 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jul 01 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 01 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
20 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 1, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of June 25th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

SPACE STATION DAWN: This week, the International Space Station is making a series of morning flybys over Europe and North America. Seeing a brilliant spacecraft glide among the stars at dawn is a very nice way to start the day. Check the Simple Flybys page to find out when to look.

CELESTIAL TRIANGLE: Tonight, after sunset, go outside and look above the treetops. Saturn, Mars and the 1st-magnitude star Regulus have gathered together in triangular form. Jared Holloway sends this picture from Thomaston, Georgia:

Fix this location in your mind. A few days from now, in the same spot, Mars will converge on Saturn and the crescent Moon will join them both for a nicely eye-catching show. Stay tuned for details--and meanwhile, watch the triangle. [sky map]

more images: from Tamas Ladanyi of Veszprem, Hungary; from John Hacker of Carl Junction, Missouri; from Doug Zubenel of Linn County, Kansas

NEW EARTH: Last week, photographer Mila Zinkova hiked to the Mammoth hot springs at Yellowstone National Park. "It was a cool morning," she says. "The steam from the springs slowly traveled up and the shadows of the dead trees moved with it. I felt like I was traveling back in time when Earth was still new and hot."

Indeed, the Earth in this picture is new and hot. The terraces are made of calcium carbonates deposited daily by superheated water bubbling up from Yellowstone's subterranean magma system. Primitive microorganisms that thrive in sulfurous, scalding water give the terraces their lovely orange, pink, yellow and green colors. These microbes, called archaebacteria, are thought to be relatives of the earliest life on Earth.

The moody shadows, by the way, are called "crepuscular rays" and they can be seen anywhere: Look west at sunset for black shafts lancing out of jagged clouds or look at the sun through a thicket of leaves. Careful, though, you may find yourself transported to a distant time. Four billion years is a long way away....

June 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 1, 2008, there were 959 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 BT18
July 14
5.9 LD
1.0 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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