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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: 547.2 km/s
2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
B2 1955 UT Jan15
24-hr: C1 0305 UT Jan15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 15 Jan '07

New sunspot 938 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit:

Sunspot Number: 27
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 14 Jan 2007

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: 9.1 nT
1.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 16th. 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 2007 Jan 15 2204 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 10 % 05 %
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 2007 Jan 15 2204 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 25 %
MINOR 15 % 15 %
SEVERE 10 % 05 %

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

What's Up in Space -- 15 Jan 2007
Subscribe to Space Weather News

Did you sleep through the auroras of Dec. 14th? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

AURORA WATCH: Sky watchers from Scandinavia should be alert for auroras tonight. A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing geomagnetic storms at high latitudes.

COMET DOWN UNDER: People watching the sunset in Australia and New Zealand today got their first glimpse of Comet McNaught. "It was very bright in evening twilight, sporting a broad tail," reports Andrew Catsaitis of Central Coast, NSW, Australia. "The comet put on a good show," agreed Barry Kilner of Brighton, South Australia. "It was brighter than Venus."

In Queenstown, New Zealand, Minoru Yoneto, snapped this picture:

Photo details: Pentax *ist Ds, 500mm lens, F/4.5, ISO 200, 1/20sec

Comet McNaught is emerging from a weekend close encounter with the sun. During the flyby, fierce heat puffed up the comet so much, it became visible in broad daylight. Imagine ... a comet in blue sky.

Now McNaught is receding from the sun and heading south. It should be a spectacular fixture in sunset skies of the Southern Hemisphere for weeks to come. Stay tuned!

Comet McNaught Photo Gallery

MEANWHILE ON THE SUN: "Everybody is looking for the comet, but is anybody still monitoring the Sun?" wonders Philippe Vercoutter of Ieper, Belgium who took this picture just hours ago:

His photo shows "considerable activity around new sunspot 938." Although the sunspot is small, a long stare through the eyepiece of a solar telescope rewards the observer with surges of bright light and slowly-waving magnetic fields. It's the next best thing to a Great Comet.

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 15 Jan 2007 there were 832 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

Jan 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters




2006 UQ17

Jan. 2

11 LD


175 m
1991 VK

Jan. 21

26 LD


2.0 km
5011 Ptah

Jan. 21

77 LD


1.6 km
2006 CJ

Jan. 31

10 LD


385 m
2006 AM4

Feb. 1

5.2 LD


180 m
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.

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 -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

X-ray images of the Sun: GOES-12 and GOES-13

Recent Solar Events -- a summary of current solar conditions from

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! 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 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

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

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