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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 357.5 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Sep28
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Sep28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Sep 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 Sept. 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz: 3.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2257 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Oct. 1st. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Sep 28 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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: 2008 Sep 28 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
10 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
September 28, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of August 9th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

SHENZHOU 7 UPDATE: China's Shenzhou 7 spacecraft has landed. The reentry capsule carrying three taikonauts parachuted safely to the grasslands of inner Mongolia on Sunday, Sept. 28th.

GREAT PROMINENCE: A prominence of rare size and beauty is dancing along the sun's southeastern limb today. "Wow! It was so big, I had a hard time fitting it in the field of view," reports Pete Lawrence, who sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Selsey UK:

"There is a lot of complex motion visible within the prom's structure," he adds. Indeed, this animation created by Emiel Veldhuis of the Netherlands shows some of the motions readily visible through backyard solar telescopes. From bottom to top, the dynamic structure measures a whopping 10 Earth diameters high. If you have a solar telescope, take a look.

more images: from Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas; from Didier Favre of Brétigny-sur-Orge, France; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Steve Wainwright of Swansea, South Wales; from Les Cowley of the UK; from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from Adrian Guzman of San Jose, California;

DOOMED SPACECRAFT: The Jules Verne robotic cargo carrier is making its final orbits around Earth. On Monday, Sept. 29th at 1330 UT, mission controllers in Europe will command Jules Verne to plunge into the atmosphere above the South Pacific Ocean where it will disintegrate in a blaze of light and heat.

"Yesterday evening, I saw Jules Verne for the first and possibly last time flying solo in the skies over Germany," reports amateur astronomer Dirk Ewers. "It was flying about 30 minutes behind the International Space Station, and I video-recorded both using a 5-inch refracting telescope."

The movies are must-see. First, download the free DivX video compressor. Then, click here and here to play the flybys. Compared to the ISS, "the Jules Verne is really small, but on the video you can see its four auburn-colored solar panels with a width of only 1 meter," notes Ewers.

On Monday, auburn turns molten red. Two NASA aircraft and possibly the ISS itself will be positioned to observe the fireball. Follow the action at the ESA's Jules Verne blog and stay tuned for photos from the South Pacific.

more images: from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland; from Ralf Vandebergh of the Netherlands; from Günther Strauch of Borken, NRW, Germany; from Dave P Smith of Bluebell Hill, Kent, England; from Troy Arkley of Wellington, New Zealand; from Vincent Phillips of Hale Village near Liverpool, UK; from Martin Popek of Nýdek, Czech Republic;

Sept. 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night Sky Cameras]

Near-Earth Asteroids
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 September 28, 2008 , there were 982 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Sept. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2003 WT153
Sept. 7
5.8 LD
11 m
1996 HW1
Sept. 12
53 LD
3.7 km
2003 SW130
Sept. 19
8.6 LD
7 m
1998 UO1
Sept. 26
25 LD
2.0 km
Notes: LD means "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 Links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
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.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  a one-stop hub for all things scientific
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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