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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.


Solar Wind
speed: 681.0 km/s
1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
B1 2030 UT Apr29
24-hr: B1 2030 UT Apr29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 29 Apr '07

Sunspot 953 has a beta-gamma magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 20
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 28 Apr 2007

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals one sunspot on the farside of the sun, mage credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
2.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

Coronal Holes:

Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV telescope


Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2007 Apr 29 2203 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 20 % 20 %
CLASS X 05 % 05 %

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 Apr 29 2203 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 25 % 20 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 05 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 25 %
MINOR 25 % 10 %
SEVERE 15 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 29 Apr 2007
Subscribe to Space Weather News

What's the name of that star? Where's Saturn? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.

AURORA WATCH: Northern sky watchers should remain alert for auroras tonight. A high speed solar wind stream is blowing against Earth's magnetic field, and this is causing mild geomagnetic storms.

PHOTOGENIC SUNSPOT: Sunspot 953 is an active region of remarkable beauty. Regard this image taken yesterday by Sebastien Kersten of Le Cocq, Belgium:

Sunspot 953: the view through an H-alpha filter.

His snapshot reveals not only the dark sunspot, but also a curious bright fringe just above it. This may be a cloud of extra-hot gas held aloft by the sunspot's magnetic field. Or it could be a zone of intense magnetic turbulence crackling with micro-solar flares. Whatever it is, it looks great through a backyard solar telescope. Take a look!

more images: from Sylvain Weiller of Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France; from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Jack Newton of Osoyoos, BC; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Robert Arnold on the Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Rogerio Marcon of Campinas - Brasil; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Brane Vasiljevic of Observatory Rezman, Kamnik, Slovenia; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from James Witt of Phoenix Arizona; from Monty Leventhal of Sydney. Australia; from Jean-Paul GODARD near Paris, France.

LUNAR TRANSIT: According to Eurocontrol, more than 7000 planes fly over Germany every day. On April 24th Martin Wagner of Sonnenbuehl-Genkingen, Germany, photographed one of them flying directly in front of the Moon:

Photo details: Canon EOS 300D, 10-inch Newtonian telescope

Just yesterday he caught another plane almost transiting the Moon. And he has photographed aircraft silhouetting the sun many times.

It's not just Germany. On any given day, hundreds of thousands of flights cross-cross skies worldwide, and some of those planes are bound to fly in front of the sun and Moon. Indeed, one of the most common types of photo received by is the "air transit." Here are a few examples: from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Sylvain Weiller of Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France; from Erwin Kats of Belgium; from Matthieu Conjat of Nice, France; from Karsten Lindenmaier near Germany's Rhein-Main Airport; from Patricia Cannaerts of Belgium;

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 29 Apr 2007 there were 859 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

April 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters




2006 VV2

Mar. 31

8.8 LD


2 km
2007 FY20

Apr. 2

5.3 LD


50 m
2007 DS84

Apr. 14

16 LD


325 m
2007 GU1

Apr. 16

2.1 LD


45 m
2007 HA

Apr. 17

6.5 LD


300 m
Notes: LD is a "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 Web 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. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

Recent Solar Events -- a summary of current solar conditions from

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips: email

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