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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: 594.7 km/s
3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
M4 2205 UT Jul28
24-hr: M4 2205 UT Jul28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 28 Jul '05

Sunspot 791 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 19
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 27 Jul 2005

Far Side of the Sun

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

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.1 nT
2.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Image 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 2005 Jul 27 2204 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 70 % 70 %
CLASS X 10 % 10 %

Geomagnetic Storms: Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at 2005 Jul 27 2204 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 20 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

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

What's Up in Space -- 28 Jul 2005
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METEOR SHOWER: Mark your calendar: The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Friday morning, August 12th, and it should be a good show. [full story]

SOMETHING'S COMING: A big active sunspot group is lurking just behind the sun's eastern limb. How do we know? It keeps exploding and throwing clouds of hot magnetized gas into space. Andreas Murner of Bavaria, Germany took this snapshot of one such blast on July 27th:

Soon, perhaps within 48 hours, this hidden sunspot will reveal itself. The sun's 27-day rotation is slowly turning the sunspot toward Earth. If the 'spot remains active, we can expect Earth-directed explosions as early as this weekend and continuing next week. Stay tuned for updates.

more images: from Harald Paleske of Langendorf, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany; from Pavol Rapavy of Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia;

SPACE STATION FLYBY: A few hours after the space shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station today, the pair flew in front of the sun. Anthony Ayiomamitis of Athens, Greece, photographed the transit:

"The transit lasted 1.1 seconds and was a tremendous sight through my [sun-filtered] AP160 refractor, with exceptional detail and contrast," says Ayiomamitis. "It was a sight to last a lifetime!"

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 28 Jul 2005 there were 703 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

July 2005 Earth-asteroid encounters



2000 AG6

July 22

8.7 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.

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

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.

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; 2004; Jan-Mar., 2005;

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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