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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

velocity: 369.5 km/s
2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C4 2120 UT Sep07
24-hr: M1 1535 UT Sep07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 07 Sep '01
Sunspot group 9601 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class flares. Active regions 9606 and 9608 have gamma-class magnetic fields that could be a source of M-class flares. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

The Far Side of the Sun
This holographic image reveals a large southern hemisphere sunspot on the far side of the Sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 204
More about sunspots
Updated: 06 Sep 2001

Radio Meteor Rate
24 hr max:
30 per hr
Listen to the Meteor Radar!
Updated: 07 Sep 2001

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.7 nT
0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

This southern hemisphere coronal hole is not favorably positioned to send solar wind gusts toward Earth. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope.
More about coronal holes


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 2001 Sep 07 2200 UT
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 75 % 75 %
CLASS X 15 % 15 %

Geomagnetic Storms: Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at 2001 Sep 07 2200 UT

0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 10 % 10 %
MINOR 01 % 01 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 15 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

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What's Up in Space -- 7 Sep 2001
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BIG SUNSPOT: In recent days an impressive sunspot group has emerged near the Sun's southeastern limb. The sprawling complex stretches nearly 20 Earth diameters from end to end. Magnetograms of the region reveal twisted gamma-class magnetic fields that harbor energy for strong solar flares.

You can see these sunspots for yourself. But never look directly at the Sun! Use safe solar projection methods instead.

KAMIKAZE COMET: On Sept. 5th coronagraphs on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded a bright comet (pictured right) disintegrating as it plunged toward the Sun. Amateur astronomer Sebastian Hönig spotted the "sungrazer" in online images at the SOHO web site, marking the 347th time someone has found a new comet by watching SOHO coronagraphs. SOHO-347, like most known sungrazing comets, is likely to be a fragment from a single giant comet that broke apart long ago.


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 7 Sep 2001 there were 318 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

Sep-Oct. 2001 Earth-asteroid encounters


2001 QJ96

 Sept. 02

 21.2 LD

2001 QF96

 Sept. 12

 12.6 LD

2001 FR85

 Sept. 15

 15.9 LD

1998 ST27

 Oct. 12

 24.1 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.

  • PERSEIDS 2001: Perseid watchers on August 12th spotted meteors, auroras, and a disintegrating Russian rocket! [gallery]
  • MORNING PLANETS: In July and Aug. 2001, the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury put on a dazzling early-morning sky show. [gallery]
  • C/2001 A2 (LINEAR): This volatile comet is still visible through small telescopes as it recedes from Earth. [gallery]
  • ECLIPSE SAFARI: Onlookers cried out in delight on June 21, 2001, when the Moon covered the African Sun, revealing the dazzling corona. [gallery]
  • TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Jan. 9, 2001, the full Moon glided through Earth's copper-colored shadow. [gallery]
  • CHRISTMAS ECLIPSE: Sky watchers across North America enjoyed a partial solar eclipse on Christmas Day 2000 [gallery]
  • LEONIDS 2000: Observers around the globe enjoyed three predicted episodes of shooting stars. [gallery]

July 27, 2001: Meteorites Don't Pop Corn -- A fireball that dazzled Americans on July 23rd probably didn't scorch any cornfields, contrary to widespread reports.

June 12, 2001: The Biggest Explosions in the Solar System -- NASA's HESSI spacecraft aims to unravel an explosive mystery: the origin of solar flares.

Feb. 21, 2001: Nature's Tiniest Space Junk -- Using an experimental radar, NASA scientists are monitoring tiny but hazardous meteoroids that swarm around our planet.

Feb. 15, 2001: The Sun Does a Flip -- NASA scientists who monitor the Sun say our star's enormous magnetic field is reversing -- a sure sign that solar maximum is here.

Jan. 25, 2001: Earth's Invisible Magnetic Tail -- NASA's IMAGE spacecraft, the first to enjoy a global view of the magnetosphere, spotted a curious plasma tail pointing from Earth toward the Sun.

Jan. 4, 2001: Earth at Perihelion -- On January 4, 2001, our planet made its annual closest approach to the Sun.

Dec. 29, 2000: Millennium Meteors -- North Americans will have a front-row seat for a brief but powerful meteor shower on January 3, 2001.

Dec. 28, 2000: Galileo Looks for Auroras on Ganymede -- NASA's durable Galileo spacecraft flew above the solar system's largest moon this morning in search of extraterrestrial "Northern Lights"

Dec. 22, 2000: Watching the Angry Sun -- Solar physicists are enjoying their best-ever look at a Solar Maximum thanks to NOAA and NASA satellites.







Editor's Note: Space weather forecasts that appear on this site are based in part on data from NASA and NOAA satellites and ground-monitoring stations. Predictions and explanations are formulated by Dr. Tony Phillips; they are not official statements of any government organ or guarantees of space weather activity.

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.

SOHO Farside Images of the Sun from SWAN and MDI.

The Latest SOHO Coronagraph Images -- from the Naval Research Lab

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.

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

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.

NOAA geomagnetic latitude maps: North America, Eurasia, South Africa & Australia, South America

Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: January - December 1999 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: January - December 2000 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Quarterly Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: January - March 2001 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Quarterly Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: April - June 2001 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Quarterly Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: July - Sept 2001 -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

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