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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 351.8 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A9
2130 UT Sep01
24-hr: B1
0005 UT Sep01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Sep 10
Sunspots 1101 and 1102 are both quiet and they pose no threat for strong solar flares.
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 27
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 39 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 807 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 31 Aug 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Aug2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.9 nT
Bz: 5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Sept. 4th or 5th. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Sep 01 2201 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: 2010 Sep 01 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
September 1, 2010

iPHONE VS ANDROID! Actually, it doesn't matter which phone you carry. Our cool, new app turns both smartphones into field-tested satellite trackers. Learn more.


AMAZING IMAGE OF JUPITER: For four hours on August 30th, the atmosphere over Exmouth, Western Australia, settled into a state of rare, crystal-clear transparency -- and it did so directly above the telescope of world-famous astrophotographer Anthony Wesley. The result was a picture of Jupiter that some onlookers are calling the finest-ever by an amateur astronomer. "On a scale of 1 to 10, the seeing was a 12," says Wesley. "Now I know what it must be like to see the giant planet from space."

FARSIDE FLARE: The sun is not so quiet after all. On Aug. 31 at 2055 UT, NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft observed a strong solar flare on the far side of the sun. The flash of electromagnetic radiation briefly saturated several pixels in the spacecraft's extreme UV camera:

Click on the image to launch a 0.7 MB gif animation

Earth-orbiting satellites did not detect this flare at all. The entire body of the sun shielded us from the radiation. Only STEREO-A, hovering over the farside of the sun, was able to observe the event.

The source of the blast appears to be old sunspot 1100. Solar rotation will turn this active region back toward Earth for possible geoeffective action in about 8 days. Stay tuned.

MORNING GLORY: The skies over Denver were partly cloudy on Monday morning, Aug. 30th, when Nick Bradley's plane began its descent into Denver International Airport. "On our way down, we passed passed through a cloud and saw something wonderful," says Bradley. He snapped this picture from the window seat:

"The low sunrise cast a shadow of the plane on the cloud, and it was surrounded by a very bright glory," says Bradley.

Glories are rainbow-colored rings of light that appear when sunlight is back-scattered by water droplets in clouds. Glories are always directly opposite the sun, and thus usually appear below the observer; if the sun is up, the glory must be down. In this case, however, "the sun was so low, the glory was easily seen above the wing instead of far below," notes Bradley.

Morning glories: a good reason to pick the window seat!

August 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

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 September 1, 2010 there were 1144 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2002 CY46
Sep 2
63.8 LD
2.4 km
2010 QG2
Sep 3
4.6 LD
68 m
2010 LY63
Sep 7
56 LD
1.2 km
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
1.5 km
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
1.3 km
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 Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
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
Science Central
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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