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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 642.8 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Aug27
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Aug27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 25 Aug 07
Sunspot 969 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI.
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Aug 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Aug 27 2024 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz: 2.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Aug 27 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 Aug 27 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 27, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

LUNAR METEORS: Amateur astronomers, during Tuesday morning's lunar eclipse you can assist NASA by scanning the darkened Moon for explosions caused by Helion meteoroid impacts: full story. Typical flashes reach 6th magnitude--easy targets for mid-sized backyard telescopes. "The eclipse is a great time to look," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, and he offers these observing tips.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Tuesday, Aug. 28th, the full Moon will slip into Earth's shadow for a 90-minute total eclipse. People on the Pacific side of Earth including much of North America (map) will have the best view as the Moon turns a dreamy shade of sunset red. Graphic artist Larry Koehn created this animation of the event:

Click to view the full-sized animation

If you're in viewing range of the eclipse and you wish to photograph it, browse this gallery and check for successful photo settings used by photographers during the March 3, 2007, lunar eclipse. The action begins Tuesday morning around 0900 UT or 2 am Pacific Daylight Time; be ready!

Live eclipse webcasts: from Australia; from Las Vegas, Nevada;

BE ALERT FOR TURQUOISE: When you think of a lunar eclipse, the color that comes to mind is red. The core of Earth's shadow is reddened by sunlight filtering through the edges of our planet's atmosphere. When that shadow falls upon the Moon, the lunar landscape is reddened as well.

But during the March 3rd total lunar eclipse, many observers noted another color--turquoise. "What surprised me most were the incredible blue and turquoise shades at the edge of Earth's shadow," recalls Eva Seidenfaden of Trier, Germany, who took this picture:

Photo details: Nikon D80 at the prime focus of a TeleVue NP-127 5-inch refractor

The source of the turquoise is ozone. Eclipse researcher Dr. Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains: "Most of the light illuminating the moon passes through the stratosphere, and is reddened by scattering. However, light passing through the upper stratosphere penetrates the ozone layer, which absorbs red light and actually makes the passing light ray bluer!" This can be seen, he says, as a blue fringe around the red core of Earth's shadow.

To catch the turquiose, he advises, "look during the first and last minutes of totality." That would be around 2:52 am PDT (0952 UT) and 04:22 am PDT (11:22 UT) on Tuesday morning, Aug. 28th.

More examples of the turquoise fringe may be found here and here.

Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[Night-sky Cameras] [Science@NASA: Dreamy Lunar Eclipse]

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 27, 2007 there were 878 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 FV42
July 2
53 LD
1.2 km
2007 MB4
July 4
7.6 LD
130 m
2007 DT103
July 29
9.3 LD
550 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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