You are viewing the page for Jan. 29, 2009
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 399.3 km/sec
density: 3.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Jan29
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Jan29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Jan 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Jan. 2009
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: 2.5 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could hit Earth on or about Jan. 31. However, because of the hole's southern latitude, the stream it is spewing could miss Earth entirely. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jan 29 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: 2009 Jan 29 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
January 29, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.


SUNSET SKY SHOW: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look southwest. Venus and the crescent Moon are having a lovely close encounter. They're so bright, you can see them even before the sky fades to black. Venus and the Moon framed by twilight blue is a scene of special beauty. Don't miss it! [sky map]

Geir Øye sends this photo of the pair converging over Ørsta, Norway, just hours ago:

"A thin layer of fog gave both of them a ghostly halo," says Øye. "I took the picture using a Canon 450D on a tripod."

more images: from Mustafa Erol of Antalya, Turkey; from Dave P Smith of Bluebell Hill, Chatham, Kent, England; from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland; from Stephen Welch on the Hayward hills overlooking San Francisco Bay;

SOLAR ECLIPSE: The jagged spires of Candi Prambanan, an ancient Hindu temple in Java, never fail to make a deep impression on visitors. An atmosphere of celestial expectation swirls through the grounds as the architecture itself draws attention to the heavens. It feels like something amazing is about to happen.

On Monday, Jan. 26th, something did. The disk of the sun transformed into a ring:

"It was an annular solar eclipse," explains photographer Sangku Kim of Merak, Indonesia. The Moon passed in front of the sun--dead center--covering 93% of the solar disk. "I photographed the event at 10 minute intervals using my Canon 5D and a Baader solar filter."

Similar rings of fire, crescent suns, and strangely-shaped shadows were witnessed along an "path of annularity" spanning the Indian Ocean from the waters off South Africa to the islands of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Browse the gallery for the latest photos:

UPDATED: Jan. 26 Solar Eclipse Gallery
[Submit your photos] [Animated eclipse maps]

Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
[Comet Hunter telescope] [sky map] [ephemeris]

Explore the Sunspot Cycle

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 January 29, 2009 there were 1018 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 YC29
Jan. 2
3.4 LD
35 m
2008 YY32
Jan. 3
6.2 LD
40 m
2008 YG30
Jan. 4
3.6 LD
50 m
2008 YV32
Jan. 9
2.7 LD
25 m
2008 YF29
Jan. 11
9.7 LD
65 m
2002 AO11
Jan. 15
7.7 LD
120 m
1998 CS1
Jan. 17
11 LD
1.3 km
2009 BS5
Jan. 17
2.4 LD
15 m
2009 BJ2
Jan. 21
4.6 LD
16 m
2009 BE
Jan. 23
2.1 LD
26 m
2009 BD
Jan. 25
1.8 LD
10 m
2009 BO5
Jan. 25
6.7 LD
19 m
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
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.