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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 535.8 km/sec
density: 7.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2238 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1715 UT Sep06
24-hr: A0
1620 UT Sep06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Sep 07
Departing sunspot 970 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 15
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Sep 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= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Sep 06 2139 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.4 nT
Bz: 2.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2239 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Sept. 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Sep 06 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 06 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
September 6, 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. .

NEAR MISS: Yesterday, Sept. 5th around 0100 UT, tiny asteroid 2007 RS1 flew past Earth only 48,000 miles (0.2 lunar distances) away. There was never any danger from this near miss. Even if the 3-meter wide space rock had hit Earth, it would have disintegrated in the atmosphere, causing little to no damage at ground level. It would, however, make a very nice fireball. Maybe next time.

CORONAL HOLE: On Sept. 4th, an X-ray telescope onboard Japan's Hinode spacecraft photographed a dark gash on the sun:

This is a coronal hole. Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. It is, in a sense, a genuine hole in the sun's upper atmosphere. A solar wind stream flowing from this particular hole should reach Earth later today.

Sky watchers from Scandinavia to Alaska, please be alert for auroras.

MORNING STAR: "Appearing as a spectacular brilliant white diamond set against the cobalt blue twilight, Venus is making its grand return as the morning star!" reports photographer Chris Schur who took this picture at daybreak in Payson, Arizona:

Photo details: Canon 10D, 17mm lens, 30 seconds.

If you're up at dawn, examine Venus through a small telescope. Like the Moon, Venus has phases and at the moment it is a delightful little crescent. Saturday morning is a great time to look, because the crescent Moon will be gliding by crescent Venus, forming a beautiful ensemble: sky map.

more images: from Riccardo Di Nasso of Pisa, Tuscany (Italy); from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland.

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 6, 2007 there were 882 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Sept. 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2007 RF1
Sep. 2
8.5 LD
26 m
2007 RS1
Sep. 5
0.2 LD
3 m
2007 RJ1
Sep. 16
2.5 LD
40 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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