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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: 662.7 km/s
1.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
A4 1650 UT Nov04
24-hr: A5 1635 UT Nov04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 04 Nov '05

Tiny sunspots 818 and 819 have dissolved, leaving the sun devoid of 'spots. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 24
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 03 Nov 2005

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.2 nT
0.8 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. 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 Nov 03 2204 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 2005 Nov 03 2204 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 30 %
MINOR 20 % 10 %
SEVERE 10 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 35 %
MINOR 25 % 20 %
SEVERE 10 % 10 %

What's Up in Space -- 4 Nov 2005
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FIREBALL SIGHTINGS: In recent nights, sky watchers have seen some spectacular fireballs. Where are they coming from? Experts aren't sure, but it could be the Taurid meteor shower.

Every year around this time, Earth passes through a river of space dust associated with Comet Encke. The encounter usually produces a dim meteor shower emanating from the constellation Taurus.

Above: A Taurid fireball photographed by Hiroyuki Iida of Toyama, Japan on Oct. 28th.

The ongoing shower, however, is not dim. Astronomers have long suspected that a swarm of pebble-sized meteoroids lurks within the Taurid dust stream. When Earth meets the swarm, as in 2005, we get fireballs. More of these bright meteors are possible in the nights ahead: full story.

NAME THAT PLANET: Astrophotographer Gary Palmer of Los Angeles snapped this picture yesterday. Do you recognize the planet?

No, it's not Mars. It's not even a planet. "It's the sun," says Palmer. "The morning sun at an altitude of 5o sure looked a lot like Mars. Low-hanging clouds created this unusual capture--along with a bit of false color."

"The hobby of solar imaging is rewarding in many ways; keeping it fun is at the top of my list." he says.

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 4 Nov 2005 there were 736 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

August 2005 Earth-asteroid encounters



1992 UY4

August 8

16 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

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; Jan-Mar 2005; Apr-Jun 2005; Jul-Sep 2005; Oct-Dec 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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