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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 407.3 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2150 UT Jun08
24-hr: B1
1350 UT Jun08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Jun 10
A new sunspot might be forming in the circled region. Otherwise, the Earth-facing side of the sun is spotless. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Jun 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 33 days (21%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 801 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 07 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 68 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.3 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream from the indicated coronal hole is expected to hit Earth today. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jun 08 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: 2010 Jun 08 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
25 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
25 %
30 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 8, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.


JOURNEY TO THE STARS: It's immersive, it's explosive, and best of all it's free. On June 7th, NASA will begin sending complimentary DVDs of the smash-hit planetarium show "Journey to the Stars" to teachers and students around the USA. Today's story from Science@NASA reviews the show and tells educators how to request copies.

COMET McNAUGHT: A fresh comet is swinging through the inner solar system, and it is brightening rapidly as it approaches the sun. Presenting, Comet McNaught (C/2009 R1):

Michael Jäger of Stixendorf, Austria, took the picture on June 6th using an 8-inch telescope. The comet's green atmosphere is larger than the planet Jupiter, while the long willowy ion tail stretches more than a million kilometers through space. These dimensions make the comet a fine target for backyard telescopes.

Comet McNaught can be found low in the northeastern sky before dawn gliding through the constellation Perseus. It is brightening as it approaches Earth for a 1.13 AU close encounter on June 15th and 16th. Currently, the comet is at the threshold of naked eye visibility (5th to 6th magnitude) and could become as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper (2nd magnitude) before the end of the month. Because this is the comet's first visit to the inner solar system, predictions of future brightness are necessarily uncertain; amateur astronomers should be alert for the unexpected. [ephemeris] [3D orbit] [Sky & Telescope: sky map, full story]

more images: from John Chumack of Yellow Springs, Ohio; from Primoz Cigler of Bohor, Slovenia; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Feys Filip at the Public Observatory "Sasteria" in Crete; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from Petr Horalek of Ustupky, Czech republic;

FAREWELL SUNSPOT 1076: To the Hubble-sharp eyes of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, even absent sunspots appear fantastic. Hours ago, SDO photographed the magnetic canopy of departing sunspot 1076 rising over the sun's southwestern limb:

The loops in this extreme ultraviolet image (171 Å) are intense magnetic fields filled with glowing-hot plasma. No longer visible (because it has rotated over the horizon) is the sunspot's complex of dark cores where the magnetic field is strongest of all. No matter, the canopy is impressive enough. Click here to browse the full-disk image in 4096x4096 resolution.

May 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Mays: 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002] [aurora alerts]

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, 2010 there were 1127 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 JR34
May 14
5.8 LD
12 m
2003 HR32
May 17
55.2 LD
1.0 km
2010 JN71
May 26
8.2 LD
245 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.













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