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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 422.4 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2155 UT Aug13
24-hr: B2
2155 UT Aug13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Aug 10
Double sunspot 1093 is very photogenic. Readers with solar telescopes should take a look! Credit: SDO/HMI
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 50
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (15%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 12 Aug 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 84 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Aug2010

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: 2.9 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A narrow ssolar wind stream flowing from this sinuous coronal hole could reach Earth on August 15th. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Aug 13 2201 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: 2010 Aug 13 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 13, 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.


SUNSPOT STRIGIDAE: Sunspot 1093 continues to amaze onlookers. Earlier this week, it divided like a giant amoeba undergoing mitosis. And "today it looks like an owl," reports Rogerio Marcon of Campinas, Brasil. "What a beautiful configuration!" What's next? Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: The Perseid meteor shower isn't done yet. According to the International Meteor Organization, dark-sky observers are counting as many as 80 Perseids per hour, including many fireballs. The show could continue for another 12 hours or so as Earth continues its passage through the debris stream of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Last night the shower was very active in Arizona. "Here are a dozen Perseids I saw flying over the Steward Observatory on Mount Lemmon," says astronomer David A Harvey:

"We also had a nice show in Norway even though the sky was still not completely dark at 62o North!" reports Runar Sandnes. "Meteors came sometimes in showers of 2 or 3."

Darrell Oake of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, adds this report: "It was a nice clear night, the sky was filled with stars, and then--bam!--a fireball streaked across the heavens. My son Jacoté was cold, but when that first meteor lit up the sky, he was hooked and stayed up all night taking in all nature could dish out."

Browse the gallery for more reports and images.

Key Perseid Resources:

FRIDAY THE 13TH: Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky. This Friday the 13th, however, is guaranteed to end well. When the sun goes down, Venus, the crescent Moon, Saturn and Mars will pop out of the twilight together, forming a lovely sunset conjunction:

"The lovely scenery was obtained from a beach in Costa da Caparica, Almada, Portugal, facing the Atlantic Ocean," says photographer Miguel Claro. "By coincidence, two people were enjoying the view, and I was lucky enough to catch them perfectly aligned with the crescent Moon."

Claro took the picture on August 12th when the Moon was first approaching the planets. Tonight, August 13th, the crescent will be in even closer proximity. Go outside at sunset and take a look! [sky map]

more images: from Asela Attygala of Colombo, Sri Lanka; from David Marshall of Long Beach, Christ Church, Barbados; from David A. Harvey of Steward Observatory, Mount Lemmon, Arizona, USA; from Mike O'Leary of El Cajon, CA

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

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


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 13, 2010 there were 1142 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
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
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
10 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 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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