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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: 774.7 km/s
1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C1 1720 UT May30
24-hr: C7 0650 UT May30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 30 May '03
Sunspot 365 has a twisted delta class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

The Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals one or two small sunspot groups on the far side of the Sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 98
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 29 May 2003

Coronal Holes:

Earth will enter a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole on or about June 2nd. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope.
More about coronal holes

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.7 nT
0.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT


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 2003 May 30 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 80 % 80 %
CLASS X 20 % 20 %

Geomagnetic Storms: Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at 2003 May 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 40 % 20 %
MINOR 30 % 10 %
SEVERE 15 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 50 %
MINOR 50 % 20 %
SEVERE 30 % 10 %

What's Up in Space -- 30 May 2003
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SOLAR ECLIPSE: Sky watchers in Alaska, parts of Canada, most of Europe and Asia will experience a partial eclipse of the Sun this weekend. The event takes place on Friday evening, May 30th, in Alaska and northwestern Canada; and on Saturday, May 31st elsewhere. Read the full story from Science@NASA. See also:

AURORAS: Geomagnetic activity reached severe storm levels for more than 9 hours on May 29th after two solar coronal mass ejections swept past Earth. Another CME struck our planet's magnetic field today at approximately 1600 UT or noon EDT, which means geomagnetic activity could soon resume. Sky watchers should be alert for possible auroras after sunset on Friday, May 30th.

Auroras over Virginia on May 29th. Credit: Bob Sandy

LUNAR ECLIPSE: On May 15th, sky watchers from North America to Europe saw the normally-bright full moon disappear inside Earth's shadow--the first lunar eclipse of 2003. Visit our lunar eclipse gallery and see hundreds of photos from around the world.

SUNSET SUNDOG: Peg Staudenmaier of Green Bay, Wisconsin, was enjoying a splendid sunset on May 21st when she noticed a rainbow-colored splash of light hovering to the left of the sun. It was a sundog caused by flat ice crystals fluttering to Earth from the cold upper troposphere.

"This park on the waters of Green Bay is a popular sunset spot, yet there were onlookers who had never seen a sundog before," says Peg. This one grew in eye-catching brightess as the sun set and lasted about 10 minutes.


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 are on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On 30 May 2003 there were 513 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

May 2003 Earth-asteroid encounters


6489 Golevka

 May 20

36 LD

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.

  • LEONIDS 2002: The Leonids have come and gone, but our meteor gallery keeps growing. Check out the latest additions, which include a stunning image of 44 meteors emerging from the radiant in Leo.
  • DAWN PLANETS: Just before dawn on Sunday, Dec. 1st, the planets Venus and Mars converged and formed a lovely triangle with the slender crescent Moon. [gallery]
  • NEARBY ASTEROID: Asteroid 2002 NY40 came so close to Earth on August 18th that people could see it through binoculars or small telescopes. [gallery]
  • PERSEIDS 2002: Sky watchers spotted plenty of bright shooting stars--including some colorful earthgrazers--during the 2002 Perseid meteor shower. [gallery]
  • CRESCENT SUN: See strange shadows, weird sunsets, eclipse dogs, crescent-eyed turkeys and extraordinary rings of fire photographed during the June 10th solar eclipse. [gallery]
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.

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 --a gallery of up-to-date solar pictures from the National Solar Data Analysis Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

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

SOHO Farside Images of the Sun from SWAN and MDI.

The Latest SOHO Coronagraph Images -- from the Naval Research Lab

The Sun from Earth -- daily images of our star from the Big Bear Solar Observatory

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

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

What is the Interplanetary Magnetic Field? -- A lucid answer from the University of Michigan. See also the Anatomy of Earth's Magnetosphere.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft. How powerful are solar wind gusts? Read this story from Science@NASA.

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

Aurora Forecast --from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute

Daily Solar Flare and Sunspot Data -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001
What is an Iridium flare?

Vandenberg AFB missile launch schedule.

What is an Astronomical Unit, or AU?

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; Jan-Mar., 2003; Apr-Jun., 2003;

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars





Editor's Note: Space weather and other forecasts that appear on this site are formulated by Dr. Tony Phillips. They are not official statements of any government agency (including NASA) nor should they be construed as guarantees of space weather or other celestial activity.

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Dr. Tony Phillips
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