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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 382.0 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1705 UT Jun08
24-hr: C2
0845 UT Jun08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 08 June 07
Sunspot 960 poses a declining threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 59
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 June 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one sunspot on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Updated: 2007 Jun 08 2110 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.7 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jun 08 2203 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
CLASS X
05 %
05 %
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 Jun 08 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
25 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
What's up in Space
June 8, 2007
Would you like to hear about solar flares--while they're flaring? Get instant alerts from SpaceWeather PHONE.

COUNTDOWN TO LAUNCH: Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch from Florida this evening at 7:38 pm EDT. The shuttle's crew will visit the International Space Station for 8 days to deliver supplies and install new solar arrays, among other things. Photographer Mike Theiss is on the scene and we will display his launch photos as soon as Atlantis is in the air. Stay tuned!

SUNGRAZING COMET: This morning a comet plunged toward the sun and, with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) looking on, it disintegrated. Click on the image to view a 2 MB movie:

The comet was probably a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. Named after a 19th century German astronomer who studied them in detail, Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a giant comet at least 2000 years ago. Several of these fragments pass by the sun every day. Most are too small to see, but occasionally a big one catches our attention.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: NLC season has truly begun. On June 6th and 7th, bright noctilucent clouds (NLCs) appeared over Europe; one night later they materialized over Canada. "I went outside on June 8th to look for auroras, but I found these noctilucent clouds instead," reports Yuichi Takasaka of New Aiyansh, British Columbia:

Note the difference in Takasaka's photo between normal clouds and noctilucent clouds: Normal clouds are dark while NLCs glow brightly against the twilight sky. This is because normal clouds hang low in the troposphere, about 10 km high; after sunset they are no longer lit by the sun. NLCs, on the other hand, float at the very top of Earth's atmosphere, about 80 km high. At that altitude, they remain sunlit long after normal clouds go dark.

Observing tips and photo gallery
[night-sky cameras] [NLCs--the song!]

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS--NOT! Not all night-shining clouds are NLCs. Last night in southern California, the UCLA towercam atop Mt. Wilson recorded a cloud glowing in the twilight. In this case, the cloud was exhaust from a Delta 2 rocket launched from nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. (The rocket propelled Italy's COSMO-1 radar imaging satellite into a polar orbit.) Ice crystals in the rocket's exhaust caught the rays of the setting sun, producing a display visually similar to NLCs. More images: from John Boyd of Santa Barbara, California.

THANKS: to Scott Sparrow of Pasadena, CA, for drawing the UCLA images to our attention.

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 June 8, 2007 there were 864 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June-July 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2005 AD13
June 18
33 LD
16
1.2 km
2007 FV42
July 2
53 LD
15
1.2 km
2007 DT103
July 29
9.3 LD
15
550 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 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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2007, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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