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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 483.0 km/sec
density: 7.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1940 UT May23
24-hr: B5
0730 UT May23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 23 May 07
Sunspot 956 is decaying rapidly and poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 14
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 May 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image revealsno large spots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 6 Quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 6
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Europe, Antarctica, USA
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.7 nT
Bz: 5.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about May 26th. Credit: STEREO-B Extreme Ultraviolet Imager
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 May 23 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: 2007 May 23 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
40 %
15 %
25 %
05 %
10 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
45 %
25 %
35 %
15 %
20 %
What's up in Space
May 23, 2007
He already has a neck tie. This year give Dad something truly heavenly for Father's Day: SpaceWeather PHONE.

IN DEFENSE OF THE NIGHT SKY: Many of the wonders you see daily on are visible because, somewhere out there, last night's sky was dark enough for astronomy. The problem is, "the quality of the night sky is deteriorating at an alarming rate." So says UNESCO and other groups who met last month on the Canary Islands to discuss the growing problem of light pollution and disappearing stars. Their Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the heavens.

LUNAR ECLIPSE OF SATURN: Last night, the Moon passed directly in front of Saturn, producing a rare lunar eclipse of the ringed planet visible from Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East: map. "Such a unique event must be photographed!" says Hanno Falk who sends this picture from his backyard in Flensburg, Germany:

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Rob Johnson of Liverpool, England,; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from Günther Strauch of Borken, NRW, Germany; from Rijk-Jan Koppejan of Middelburg, The Netherlands; from Amir Hossein Abolfath and Babak Amin Tafreshi of Tehran, Iran; from Alex Lloyd-Ribeiro of Durham, UK; from Peter Zboncak of Rimavska Sobota Observatory, Slovakia; from Les Brooks of Woodstone Village, Durham, UK; from Martijn Dekker of Elst, the Netherlands; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Stephane Palfray of Etainhus, Normandy, France; from Philippe Mollet at the MIRA Public Observatory near Brussels, Belgium; from Joel Bavais of Ath, Belgium; from Patrick Bornet of Saint-Martin sur Nohain, Nièvre, France; from Chris Newsome of Derby, UK; from Florin Marc & Raul Truta of Targu Mures, Romania; from Toni Scarmato of San Costantino di Briatico, Calabria, Italy; from Davide Cirioni of Vigevano, Lombardia, Italy; from João Cruz of Leiria, Portugal; from Enrico Perissinotto of Talmassons Udine Italy; from Domenico Licchelli of Gagliano del Capo, Italy; from Patrice Arnaudet of Mery sur Oise, Val d'Oise, France; from Paco Bellido of Córdoba, Spain.

A TREE IN A DROPLET OF WATER: Recipe for a great photo: Splatter a pane of glass with droplets of water. Place the glass in front of a tree. Point a camera at the droplets and--click!

Photo details: Canon EOS 300D, ISO 200, 1/1000s

Photographer Guillaume Bertrand of Saint Laurent sur Sèvre, France, invented the recipe, followed it, and obtained the picture above on March 30, 2007. "I used a Canon EOS 300D digital camera on a tripod with ISO 200 and a 1/1000s exposure," he explains.

There's only one thing wrong with the picture. "It's upside down," he says. "I had to flip it over to make the tree limbs point toward the sky." Water droplets act as inverting lenses, so in the original photo the trees were trunks-up.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, Mila Zinkova discovered you can fit an entire suspension bridge inside a raindrop. This photo captures the Golden Gate Bridge multiplied through the rain-splattered windshield of her car.

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 May 23, 2007 there were 862 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1862 Apollo
May 8
72 LD
2.4 km
2007 JD
May 11
12 LD
100 m
2007 JZ2
May 14
7.0 LD
30 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 Environment 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...
©2007, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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