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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: 574.4 km/s
1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C4 2115 UT Sep14
24-hr: M4 1035 UT Sep14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 14 Sep '05

Sunspot 798 poses a continuing threat for strong X-flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 95
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 13 Sep 2005

Far Side of the Sun

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

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.3 nT
2.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

Coronal Holes:

There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun.Image credit: NOAA Solar X-ray Imager.


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 Sep 13 2222 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 80 % 75 %
CLASS X 50 % 40 %

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 Sep 13 2222 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 10 %
MINOR 20 % 20 %
SEVERE 10 % 70 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 10 %
MINOR 20 % 20 %
SEVERE 15 % 70 %

What's Up in Space -- 14 Sep 2005
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Would you like a call when auroras are brewing over your hometown? Sign up for SpaceWeather PHONE.

AURORA ALERT! A coronal mass ejection (CME) is racing toward Earth and it could spark a severe geomagnetic storm when it arrives--perhaps tonight (Sept. 14th and 15th). People everywhere should be alert for auroras.

The CME, pictured above, was hurled into space on Sept. 13th by an X1-class explosion at sunspot 798. This remarkable 'spot has produced nine X-flares since Sept. 7th including a record-setting X17-monster. All by itself, sunspot 798 has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991.

During the Sept 13th explosion, Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico heard a strong radio burst on his 22 MHz receiver: listen. The slowly undulating signal is a Type II solar radio burst, generated by a shock wave at the leading edge of the CME. [more]

If this incoming CME does hit Earth's magnetic field as hard as forecasters expect, auroras could appear in places where they are seldom seen: California, Arizona, Texas and elsewhere. Stay tuned for updates.

Above: Red skies over Grand Mesa, Colorado, on Sept. 11th. "There were more auroras than I could fit in the camera frame. It was terrific!" says photographer Thad V'Soske.

September 2005 Aurora Gallery

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 14 Sep 2005 there were 710 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

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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