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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: 335.5 km/s
11.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
B2 2050 UT Oct05
24-hr: B2 2050 UT Oct05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 05 Oct '06

These sunspots pose no threat for solar flares. Credit:

Sunspot Number: 23
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 04 Oct 2006

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
1.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Oct. 7th or 8th. Credit: NOAA GOES-13.


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 2006 Oct 05 2204 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 01 % 01 %
CLASS X 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 2006 Oct 05 2204 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 10 % 10 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 15 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

What's Up in Space -- 5 Oct 2006
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Autumn is here, and it's a wonderful time for stargazing. Find out what's up from Spaceweather PHONE.

SPACE HOTEL: An unusual spacecraft is orbiting Earth: Genesis 1. It's the first room of a prototype space hotel under construction by Bigelow Aerospace. On Oct. 1st, Thomas Dorman saw Genesis fly over Horizon City, Texas. "It was easy to see with the naked eye," says Dorman. "I made this video of Genesis flying by the bright star Capella--a very pretty pass of the room with a view."

FULL DAWN MOON: When looking at the Moon, the best place to point your telescope is the day-night terminator, where the long shadows of lunar dawn create beautiful contrasts of light and dark. Consider the following: What would the Moon look like if it were dawn everywhere, all at once? Here is the answer:

This unusual image was created by French photographer Ivan Goncalves. He made it by stitching together strips of dawn from photos he took of ten different lunar phases. Call it the "full Dawn Moon."

The full Dawn Moon is the same Moon we see every month--same mountains, same craters, same lava seas. Yet it looks strangely different. Two nights from now the full Harvest Moon will appear. Save this photo and compare the two.

CROWDED SPACE: Last month, Dennis Simmons of Brisbane, Australia, decided to photograph the dwarf planet Eris (formerly known as 2003 UB313). He did that--and more. His final image, consisting of exposures spanning four nights (Sept. 19-22), revealed "a smorgasbord of exotic astronomical objects."

Dwarf planet Eris, the view through a 9" Celestron telescope.

"There are five PGC galaxies in the image, three of which are labeled," says Simmons. "A couple of asteroids also made a cameo appearance: 2003 XY14 on Sept 20th followed by 1999 SV7 on Sept 22nd, passing silently through the field while I was imaging Eris." Finally there is Eris itself, nine billion miles from the sun but still visible from Brisbane. Who said space is empty?

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 5 Oct 2006 there were 803 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

Aug-Sept 2006 Earth-asteroid encounters




2006 QM111

Aug 31

0.4 LD


13 m
2006 QQ56

Sept. 2

7.9 LD


29 m
2006 QV89

Sept. 5

7.9 LD


40 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.

Recommended: Earth & Sky

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. See also the GOES-12 Solar X-ray Imager.

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

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.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006;

Space Audio Streams: (University of Florida) 20 MHz radio emissions from Jupiter: #1, #2, #3, #4; (NASA/Marshall) INSPIRE: #1; (Stan Nelson of Roswell, New Mexico) meteor radar: #1, #2;


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

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