FIRST PERSEIDS OF 2013: Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the shower won't peak until August 12-13, when Earth hits the densest part of the stream, the first Perseids are already arriving. "Despite poor weather over our network of meteor cameras, we detected three Perseid fireballs on July 30-31," reports Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. He made this plot showing the orbits of the meteoroids:
The shower is just getting started. Rates should remain low for the next week as Earth penetrates the sparse outskirts of the debris stream, then skyrocket to ~100 meteors per hour as the calendar turns to the second week of August. Stay tuned for more fireballs. [meteor radar] [NASA: Perseid fireballs].
Another space weather fact check: News sources such as space.com and Fox News recently reported a "giant hole in the sun." Fact: The "giant hole" was a fairly run-of-the-mill coronal hole, only slightly larger than usual. In defense of the journalists, their stories were prompted by a NASA report. The report was accurate, but it showed a high-contrast image of the sun, which made the coronal hole look bigger and deeper than it actually was. An SDO image taken at approximately the same time (July 18) shows the true scale of the hole.