What are Backyard Astronomy Alerts?
If you're interested in meteor showers, planets, comets or space station flybys, this package is for you. Subscribers will receive the following kinds of phone calls:
 

* Space Station sightings: The International Space Station is easy to see, but only if you know when to look. We'll call you when the ISS is about to fly over your hometown. These alerts will usually arrive just after local sunset. You'll have 30 minutes warning to gather your kids and dash outside to see the space station soar overhead.

* Moon and Planets: When the Moon and planets are doing something noteworthy, we'll let you know. For example, we would call you when the crescent Moon and Venus drawing close together in the evening sky; or when Mars reaches maximum brightness; or when the Moon dips into Earth's shadow--a lunar eclipse! Telescopes are not required to see these lovely sights.

* Meteor showers: When a meteor shower is expected, we'll call you with advance warning three days before the peak. Then we'll call you again on the date of the shower itself. The Perseids, the Leonids, the Geminids ... all major annual meteor showers are included.

* Comets: When bright new comets are discovered, you'll be among the first to know. We'll phone you when they reach binocular visibility and again when they can be seen with the unaided eye.

* The Interplanetary Magnetic Field: The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth strongly influences the likelihood of auroras. When the IMF tilts south, which can happen at unexpected times for no apparent reason, intense auroras often appear. We'll phone you when the IMF tilts south (-10 nT) for three hours or more and let you know that you should step out side and look for Northern (or Southern) Lights. You can enable or disable these alerts, according to your interest in them, by logging into your Spaceweather Phone account and adjusting your preferences.

* The unexpected: Lots of unexpected things can happen in the night sky: supernovas, asteroid flybys, surging variable stars.... If it's interesting and you can see it, we'll call and tell you when and where to look.