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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 477.4 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A1
1925 UT Sep07
24-hr: A4
1630 UT Sep07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Sep 07
Departing sunspot 970 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 12
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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Sep 07 2149 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.2 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
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 Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Sep 07 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 07 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
September 7, 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. .

SOLAR FILAMENT: A dark magnetic filament is approaching the western horizon of the sun where it could turn into a beautifully glowing prominence this weekend. If you have a solar telescope, keep an eye on the limb: image.

AURORAS BOREALIS: A solar wind stream hit Earth last night sparking bright auroras over Scandinavia. Mats Holmstrom sends this photo from Kiruna, Sweden (latitude 67o N):

"These are the first auroras of the season--at least for me," he says. The geomagnetic disturbance is subsiding now. The chances for more auroras tonight are low.

September 2007 Aurora Gallery
[August 2007 Aurora Gallery] [Night-sky Cameras]

COLORS OF THE VIRGA: "Virga is rain that falls from a cloud, but never lands [because it evaporates before it hits the ground]," says physics professor Wayne Wooten. "It is probably more common than most of us realize, but never have I seen it so dramatically lit as at 7:04 PM last evening in Pensacola, Florida." He grabbed his camera and snapped this picture:

"A break in the clouds toward sunset let a thin shaft of orange light reach the falling shower just as the cloud above it was evaporating," he explains. "The beautiful effect was gone in only a minute, as a cloud blocked the sun's last rays, and the shower evaporated back up into the atmosphere."

"Live every minute as if the next will bring something wonderful."

MORE: "Just this morning, as I was coming to work in Lexington, Kentucky, I saw a beautiful display of the same thing minutes before sunrise--virga beautifully backlit by the rising sun," reports Mike Lynch of Fayette County, Kentucky. He took this picture using his Pentax *ist digital camera.

AND MORE: "The days are now short enough to see the sun set," says Wes Lutes of of Wasilla, Alaska. "Yesterday, I went outside after a long day at work and saw the light of sunset reflecting off of a nice patch of virga: photo."

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 7, 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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