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Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.

SPACE WEATHER
Current
Conditions

Solar Wind

speed: 266.4 km/s
density:
0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C1 1945 UT Sep10
24-hr: C6 1610 UT Sep10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 10 Sep '04
Fast-growing sunspot 671 might soon 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: 82
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 09 Sep 2004

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.4 nT
Bz:
0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT

Coronal Holes:

There are no important cornal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun today. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope


SPACE WEATHER
NOAA
Forecasts

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 2004 Sep 10 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 30 % 30 %
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 2004 Sep 10 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 10 % 15 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

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

What's Up in Space -- 10 Sep 2004
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New! Sky Calls is an astronomy-based educational program, perfect for home schoolers. Check it out.

MORNING PLANETS: It's worth waking up for: Step outside tomorrow morning before sunrise and look east. The sky is sparkling with stars and planets. There's Venus and the crescent Moon, side by side, Saturn just above them, and, near the horizon, elusive Mercury. Get the full story from Science@NASA. [sky map]

Above: At dawn on Sept. 10th, Heidi Evans snapped this picture of Mercury and the bright star Regulus, hovering together above Toronto, Canada.

SUNSET: Sometimes the setting sun looks very strange. Witness this remarkable picture, and others, taken by Laurent Laveder from Pointe de la Torche in Bretagne, France, on Sept. 4th. (The faint dark spot is sunspot 649. When the sun got even lower the spot itself was stretched and distorted.)

What's going on here? Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains: "Dip a pencil in water and it looks bent. Light from it is refracted, has its direction changed, when it passes between the water and air. Air layers at different temperatures do the same, they create mirages and distort sunsets. A cool air layer near to the ocean and hotter layers above probably created these sun mirages."



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 10 Sep 2004 there were 618 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

July-Sept. 2004 Earth-asteroid encounters
ASTEROID

 MISS DISTANCE

 MAG.
1999 MN

July 11

8 LD

 16
2001 OY13

July 14

25 LD

 16
2000 PH5

July 25

5 LD

 17
2003 UX34

Sept. 9

22 LD

 18
2004 JA27

Sept. 10

23 LD

 19
1998 OX4

Sept. 14

25 LD

 18
Toutatis

Sept. 29

4 LD

 9
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 lmsal.com.

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; 2003; Jan-Mar., 2004;

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

GLOSSARY | SPACE WEATHER TUTORIAL

Editor's Note: This site is sponsored by Science@NASA. Space weather and other forecasts that appear here are formulated by Dr. Tony Phillips. They are not guarantees of space weather or other celestial activity.

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