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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 439.4 km/sec
density: 3.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1950 UT Aug09
24-hr: B1
0225 UT Aug09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Aug 10
Sunspot 1093 poses a continued threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 46
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 08 Aug 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 83 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Aug2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 4.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the Sun. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Aug 09 2201 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: 2010 Aug 09 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
15 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 9, 2010

iPHONE VS ANDROID! Actually, it doesn't matter which phone you carry. Our cool, new app turns both smartphones into field-tested satellite trackers. Learn more.


EARLY PERSEID METEORS: The 2010 Perseid meteor shower is underway. "Last night I counted 28 Perseids between 1 am and 4 am--including this bright one zinging past Jupiter," says Pete Glastonbury of Devizes, Wiltshire, UK. Indeed, says Bill Cooke of the MSFC, "the meteor rate is getting so high that last night we captured two Perseid fireballs at the same time using our all-sky camera in Walker County, Georgia. The shower peaks on Thursday, Aug. 12th; these early reports are a promising sign of things to come. [live meteor radar] [2010 meteor counts]

INCOMING CME: The solar eruption of August 7th might affect Earth after all. Newly-arriving data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) show a CME heading our way with a significant Earth-directed component. Click on the image to launch a "difference movie" of the expanding cloud:

The impact of this lopsided CME probably won't trigger a major geomagnetic storm---but the SOHO data show it could be bigger than expected. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the cloud arrives probably on August 10th.

EXTRA! SOLAR RADIO BURSTS: The August 7th flare produced intense radio bursts detectable by ordinary shortwave receivers on Earth. In New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft picked up strong emissions around 21 MHz. "Listen to some of the sounds than came out of the loudspeakers," he says. "This was a complex flare and very exciting. Yet it is still small stuff compared to what is coming in the future as Solar Cycle 24 intensifies."

SUNSPOT SUNRISE: Active sunspots 1092 and 1093 are both large enough to see without the aid of a solar telescope. On August 7th, M. Raşid Tuğral caught them rising over Ankara, Turkey:

"After staying up all night, I couldn't miss the sunrise," says Tuğral. "I had my camera (a Canon 400D) ready when the sun appeared behind the mountain. I didn't use any filter except thin cirrus clouds. The sunspots were a big suprise for me!"

Caution: Even when dimmed by clouds and haze, direct sunlight can hurt your eyes. If you try to take a picture like Tuğral's, look only at the screen of your digital camera, not the optical viewfinder.

more images: from Aymen Ibrahem of Giza, Egypt; from Fritz Stammberger of Victoria, British Columbia; from Darryl Luscombe of Sointula, British Columbia; from David Hodgson of Courtenay, British Columbia (Vancouver Island); from Rob Newton of Vancouver, British Columbia; from Lyle Anderson of Duluth, MN; from Ron Stansell of Covington, WA

August 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

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

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 9, 2010 there were 1141 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 PJ9
Aug 9
2.8 LD
55 m
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
56 LD
1.2 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
1.9 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
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
1.3 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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