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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 615.7 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A2
2025 UT Sep02
24-hr: A6
0235 UT Sep02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Sep 07
New sunspot 970 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 26
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Aug 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Sep 02 2135 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.4 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Sep 02 2203 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: 2007 Sep 02 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
September 2, 2007
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade. .

PROMINENCE ALERT: A flame-shaped solar prominence has popped up from the sun's western horizon. It's four times taller than Earth and a pleasing sight through backyard solar telescopes. Take a look! images: from Rogerio Marcon of Campinas, Brazil; from C. Miller and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Robert Arnold on the Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia;

AURORAS! A solar wind stream hit Earth on Sept. 1st sparking a geomagnetic storm and bright auroras from Scandinavia to Alaska: map. In Fairbanks, Patrick Cobb was readying his camera for the Aurigid meteor shower when a riot of blue-green Northern Lights spread across the sky:

Photo details: Canon 30D, 15mm, ISO 400, f/8, 30 sec

The storm that caused these lights ranked 5 on the 0 to 9 K-index scale of geomagnetic activity. The display has subsided, but it could flare up again tonight. Earth remains inside the solar wind stream, so sky watchers should be alert for auroras: gallery.

METEOR FLURRY: Congratulations to Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute and colleagues who predicted Saturday morning's Aurigid meteor shower. It materialized right on time on Sept. 1st in a sharp peak shortly before 1130 UT or 4:30 am PDT. In Guffey, Colorado, Chris Peterson recorded this spectacular fireball:

The glaring light beneath the meteor is the Moon, which shows just how bright the Aurigid was.

Positive reports of meteor activity have been received from observers in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, California, Idaho, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and western Canada. In Alberta, Alan Dyer snapped this picture of an Aurigid at sunrise. "It left a train that persisted for about a minute as it dispersed in the high-altitude winds," he says.

Aurigid Photo Gallery
Updated Sept. 2, 2007

LISTEN! In New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft operates an 83 MHz forward scatter meteor radar. His system records echos of distant radio stations from the hot trails of disintegrating meteoroids; "I have merged my forward scatter array with an all-sky camera and am now capturing fireballs with sound," says Ashcraft. So, turn up the volume and click here to experience an Aurigid fireball recorded just before daybreak on Sept. 1st.

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 2, 2007 there were 880 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 FV42
July 2
53 LD
1.2 km
2007 MB4
July 4
7.6 LD
130 m
2007 DT103
July 29
9.3 LD
550 m
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 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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2007, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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