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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: 400.0 km/s
11.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
A0 2155 UT Mar31
24-hr: B1 0140 UT Mar31
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 31 Mar '07

Tiny, disintegrating sunspot 949 poses no threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 30 Mar 2007

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals one sunspot group on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.8 nT
1.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on April 2nd. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV telescope


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 2007 Mar 31 2203 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 2007 Mar 31 2203 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 30 %
MINOR 10 % 20 %
SEVERE 01 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 25 % 35 %
MINOR 15 % 25 %
SEVERE 05 % 10 %

What's Up in Space -- 31 Mar 2007
Subscribe to Space Weather News

Did you miss last night's auroras? Next time get a wake-up call from Spaceweather PHONE.

BIG AURORAS: NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed some spectacular Northern Lights on the planet Jupiter. The data may help researchers solve the mysteries of the biggest auroras in the solar system: full story.

3D FLYBY: Get ready to cross your eyes. On March 28th, when asteroid 2006 VV2 flew past spiral galaxy M81, two photographers on opposite sides of the USA photographed the encounter. A cross-eyed view of their photos makes the asteroid pop out in startling 3D:

(Hint: Stare at the middle of this image and cross your eyes until the two galaxies overlap. Focus on the asteroid. The longer you stare, the more pronounced the 3D sensation becomes.)

"I produced this stereogram by combining the images of William Keel in Tuscaloosa, AL, and Robert Long in Vado, NM," explains Colorado astronomer Chris Peterson. "Because the asteroid was so close (4.6 million km), and the baseline between the images so long (1780 km), the parallax between the asteroid and the background stars is significant, and the stereo effect is quite real." [more]

Another must-see image is Robert Long's motion picture of the asteroid-galaxy flyby. Click here to play the 1.6 MB movie.

CORONAL HOLE: Earth is staring down the barrel of a coronal hole on the sun. It's the dark patch in this March 30th ultraviolet image from SOHO:

Coronal holes are places in the sun's atmosphere where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. A gust of wind from this particular hole will reach Earth on April 2nd, possibly sparking high-latitude geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers from Scandinavia to Alaska should be alert for auroras.

March 2007 Aurora Gallery
[aurora alerts] [night-sky cameras]

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 31 Mar 2007 there were 853 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

March 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters




2007 EH

Mar. 11

0.5 LD


10 m
2007 EK

Mar. 13

0.7 LD


5 m
2006 VV2

Mar. 31

8.8 LD


2 km
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.

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 -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

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

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! 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 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

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

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