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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: 471.2 km/s
2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2253 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
B2 2240 UT Aug09
24-hr: B5 0940 UT Aug09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 09 Aug '06

New sunspot 903 poses no threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 08 Aug 2006

Far Side of the Sun

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

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.6 nT
0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT

Coronal Holes:

There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun today. 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 2006 Aug 09 2203 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 05 % 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 2006 Aug 09 2203 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 15 %
MINOR 10 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 25 % 20 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

What's Up in Space -- 9 Aug 2006
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Would you like a call the next time a geomagnetic storm erupts? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

NEW SUNSPOT: A new sunspot is emerging near the sun's eastern limb, and it might be a big one. "I can't wait to see what this one brings," says Greg Piepol who took this picture just hours ago.

HAVING A BALL: Last night when the full Moon rose over the beach at Treguennec, France, graphic artist Sabine was struck by an overpowering thought: "What a great beach ball!"

Photographer Laurent Laveder caught her rolling, tossing and even kicking the Moon. Who said astronomy's no fun?

"For months, Sabine and I have been talking about playing with the Moon in this way," says Laveder. "And we have many more ideas." The next full Moon: Sept. 7th. Stay tuned.

DAWN PLANETS: Up at dawn? Step outside and look east. You'll see Venus and Mercury beaming through the rosy glow of sunrise: sky map.

Above: "Here they are rising out of the Irish Sea on the morning of August 9th," says photographer Paul Evans of Larne, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. "I'll be keeping an eye on them as they get even closer together over the next few days."

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 9 Aug 2006 there were 800 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

July 2006 Earth-asteroid encounters




2004 XP14

Jul 3

1.1 LD


600 m
2006 BQ6

Jul 29

14 LD


500 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. 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

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.

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; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006;

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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