You are viewing the page for Aug. 28, 2003
  Select another date:
<<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: 443.4 km/s
2.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C1 1725 UT Aug28
24-hr: C1 1725 UT Aug28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 28 Aug '03
None of the spots on the sun today pose a threat for strong solar flares. Image credit: SOHO MDI

The Far Side of the Sun

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

Sunspot Number: 116
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 27 Aug 2003

Coronal Holes:

Earth could encounter a solar wind stream from the indicated coronal hole as early as Sept. 2nd. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
More about coronal holes

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 10.4 nT
6.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 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 Aug 28 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 20 % 20 %
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 2003 Aug 28 2200 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 35 %
MINOR 20 % 20 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 35 %
MINOR 25 % 25 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 28 Aug 2003
Subscribe to Space Weather News!

BLACKOUT? NOT: The now-famous blackout of August 14th really happened, but this is not a picture of it. It's a fake. The image, widely circulated around the Internet, claims to show city lights across the USA and Canada after nightfall on August 14th. The continent appears brightly lit except for a deep black area in the northeast. How do we know it's fake? There are many reasons, mainly genuine images of the blackout reveal that not all cities in the affected area were dark. The blackout simply wasn't as black as this image suggests. Incidentally, there is no such thing as satellite ISAT Geostar 45--the purported source of the photo.

INCOMING: A lopsided coronal mass ejection (CME) slowly billowed away from the sun on August 25th (0930 UT). The expanding cloud was not squarely Earth-directed. Nevertheless it might strike our planet's magnetic field during the next 12 or so hours. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

EYE-CATCHING MARS: This week Mars and Earth are having a historic close encounter. The last people to see Mars so nearby were Neanderthals some 60,000 years ago. To the naked eye, Mars looks like a dazzing butterscotch-colored star. You can see it not long after sunset. Look southeast near the horizon. By midnight Mars lies high in the southern sky.

Above: John Nemy & Carol Legate of The Pacific Observatory took this picture of Mars above Garibaldi Lake, Whistler, B.C. Canada. "The serenity of the lake was highlighted by the red planet quietly suspended in the morning sky," says John.

AURORA SEASON: In less than one month Northern autumn will begin--and that means aurora season is beginning, too. Geomagnetic storms tend to be most intense during the weeks around the September equinox because the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth tips farther south than usual. South-pointing IMFs encourage auroras. Already in August, sky watchers from Alaska to Arizona have been enjoying colorful Northern Lights. See for yourself: aurora gallery.

Would you like a phone call when auroras appear over your home town? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

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 28 Aug 2003 there were 524 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

August 2003 Earth-asteroid encounters


1994 PM

 Aug. 16

9.7 LD

2003 GY

 Aug. 20

17 LD

2003 MU

Aug. 30

25 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.

  • 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.
  • 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. See also the GOES-12 Soft X-ray Imager.

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? See also Photographing Satellites by Brian Webb.

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.

You are visitor number 23439798 since January 2000.

Copyright 1998-2003
Dr. Tony Phillips
All rights reserved.
©2019 All rights reserved.