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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 522.3 km/sec
density: 3.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Sep05
24-hr: A0
0700 UT Sep05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Sep 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Sept. 2008
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= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.8 nT
Bz: 2.9 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 UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Sep 05 2201 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: 2008 Sep 05 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
September 5, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of August 9th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

A "SECRET LAYER" OF THE SUN: NASA researchers are preparing to launch an experimental telescope that can see a "secret layer" of the sun thought to be the birthplace of space weather. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

RELENTLESS KASATOCHI: Nearly a month after the eruption of Alaska's Kasatochi volcano, the volcanic sunsets continue. Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas, sends this snapshot taken at the end of the day on Sept. 4th:

"A cold front moved through our area during the past 24 hrs, leaving very clear skies at sunset," says Zubenel. "The aerosols from Kasatochi, however, were in great evidence, painting the twilight sky pink and orange!"

The message; Get used to it. Kasatochi's stratospheric ash cloud has circumnavigated the northern hemisphere and might not disperse for months. When the sun goes down (or comes up) look for subtle pink waves, dramatic purple rays and campfire-red horizons. They won't appear every day, but even a single visit from Kasatochi can be unforgettable.

more images: from Jim Werle of Las Vegas, Nevada; from Jeff Hapeman flying 11,000m over southern Greenland; from Gary Honis at the Chery Springs Dark Sky Park in Cherry Springs, Pennsylvania; from Mark E. Peter of Highland County, Ohio; from Hugh Helmick of Inyokern, CA; from Tadd Parris of Minneapolis, Minnesota

AURORA WATCH: "Last night's Northern Lights were by far the most incredible I've seen this year," reports Remi Boucher in Dawson City, Yukon. "They were bright and moved very quickly." He took this picture looking straight up:

Similar displays could appear tonight. A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, causing intermittent geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia should be alert for auroras.

UPDATED: September 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Past Septembers: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001]

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 5, 2008 , there were 977 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Sept. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2003 WT153
Sept. 7
5.8 LD
11 m
1996 HW1
Sept. 12
53 LD
3.7 km
2003 SW130
Sept. 19
8.6 LD
7 m
1998 UO1
Sept. 26
25 LD
2.0 km
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 Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
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.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  a one-stop web hub for all things scientific
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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