You are viewing the page for May. 17, 2008
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 345.9 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1925 UT May17
24-hr: B1
1015 UT May17
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 17 May 08
Three new sunspots have emerged. These are small, old-Cycle 23 spots that pose no threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 34
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 16 May 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.3 nT
Bz: 0.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 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 May 17 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 May 17 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
20 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
25 %
05 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
May 17, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launches on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

TWIST AND SHOOT: Last week, over a period of two days (May 9th and 10th), NASA's Stereo-B spacecraft observed a troupe of magnetic filaments dancing along on the limb of the sun. For reasons that will become clear when you watch the performance, mission scientists have entitled the movie Twist and Shoot: 4.4 MB Quicktime, 8.1 MB mpeg.

SOLAR CONJUNCTION: There's a nice sky show underway that would surely make news except for one thing: looking at it hurts! Venus and the Pleiades star cluster are converging on the Sun. (continued below)

Humans eyes can't see the conjunction because of the sun's painful glare. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has no such trouble; a coronagraph onboard the spacecraft blocks bright sunlight to reveal stars and planets on the verge of the sun itself. On May 22-23 the Sun-Pleiades-Venus triangle will shrink in width to only 5o. Join SOHO for a ringside seat.

ISS FLYBY: "A new period of visible ISS transits over Europe has begun and will last for nearly three more weeks," says Dirk Ewers of Hofgeismar, Germany. "I took these pictures during the early morning hours of May 12th using a 5-inch refracting telescope."

Click to the view the 0.9 MB movie

Ewers tracked the ISS across the sky and his movie of the entire 75o transit is a must see.

The ongoing flybys of Europe are extraordinary, with the ISS making two to four appearances a night over some cities. European readers, try our new global Satellite Tracker to find out when to look.

April 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. [comment]
On May 17, 2008 there were 953 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 HG
May 5
17 LD
90 m
2008 DE
May 9
17 LD
550 m
2008 HD2
May 9
6.5 LD
40 m
2008 HR3
May 11
3.1 LD
50 m
2008 HW1
May 14
72 LD
1.4 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 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.
©2019 All rights reserved.