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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: 381.2 km/s
4.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
A0 2035 UT Mar06
24-hr: A0 0550 UT Mar06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 06 Mar '06

The tiny sunspots which emerged yesterday are already dissolving. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 05 Mar 2006

Far Side of the Sun

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

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 10.0 nT
8.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

SOHO ultraviolet images of the sun are temporarily unavailable. Why? The telescope's CCD camera is being baked out.


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 2006 Mar 06 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 2006 Mar 06 2203 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 10 % 10 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 10 % 30 %
MINOR 05 % 15 %
SEVERE 01 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 6 Mar 2006
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The space station is visible in the night sky this month. Would you like to see it? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE SUNSPOTS GONE? The sun has been remarkably blank lately. Solar physicists say this is a sign that solar minimum has arrived: full story.

JUPITER'S NEW RED SPOT: For centuries, the Great Red Spot has reigned supreme among storms on Jupiter. The anti-cyclone has 250 mph winds and is big enough to swallow two planet Earths. Jupiter has other storms, too, but none like the Great Red Spot.

Until now. A new red spot has appeared on Jupiter, about half the size of the original and nearly the same color. Amateur astronomer Christopher Go of the Philippines took its picture on February 27th:

"Red Jr." was born 6+ years ago when three smaller storms collided. (Many astronomers believe the Great Red Spot was born the same way--by merger.) At first the new storm was white, the color of its progenitors, but now it is turning red, a sign of intensification. Will Red Jr. eventually grow to rival the Great Red Spot--or remain junior? No one knows. But you can watch, because both red spots are big enough to see through backyard telescopes: sky map.

MORNING COMET: Was the sky already blue when you woke up this morning? Then you missed it--the crack-of-dawn comet show. The "star" is Comet Pojmanski hanging low in the east before sunrise: sky map.

This comet is barely visible to the naked eye, but it is a pleasing target for backyard telescopes, displaying a vivid green head and a long sinuous tail. Mike Holloway of Van Buren, Arkansas, snapped this picture on March 3rd:

Comet Pojmanski is receding from Earth and fading; catch it while you can.

more images: ; from Chris Schur of Payson, Arizona; from Dimitrios Kolovos of Athens, Greece; from Darrell Spangler at the Rocky Mountain National Park; from John McClintock of Johnsville, Ohio; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Babak A. Tafreshi of Damavand, Iran;

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 6 Mar 2006 there were 775 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

March 2006 Earth-asteroid encounters




2000 PN9

March 6

7.9 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. See also Snow Crystals.

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 Solar 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

Daily images from the sun -- 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.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006;

Space Audio Streams: (University of Florida) 20 MHz radio emissions from Jupiter: #1, #2, #3, #4; (NASA/Marshall) INSPIRE: #1; (Stan Nelson of Roswell, New Mexico) meteor radar: #1, #2;

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars


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

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