Asteroid 1998QE2 will reach its nearest point to Earth on May 31st. The rock which is 1.7 miles wide will fly by at a distance of 3.6 million miles, but even at that distance it should be visible to backyard astronomers. During the first week of June it will reach a brightness of 11th magnitude.
The sunspot number today is 119. Sunspot AR1748 has substantially decayed and is less likely to throw off X-class flares but M-class are still possible with NOAA estimating the chances of such an event at 50% during the next 24 hours, with a 20% chance of an X-class during the same period.
The coronal wind blowing from the coronal holes that appeared at the bottom centre and bottom west of the sun disc are still set to reach Earth on May 23-24th and there is a 30% chance of polar geomagnetic storms at that time.
Over the next few days Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will be visible and will come together forming a triangle in the western sky. Their closest approach will be May 26th. They should be visible to the naked eye in clear conditions.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!