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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 463.3 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
2100 UT Jun09
24-hr: C4
0348 UT Jun09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Jun 11
Sunspot complex 1226-1227 poses a continued threat for C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 45
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Jun 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 08 Jun 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 90sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Jun 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.4 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 09 Jun 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about June 13th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jun 09 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2011 Jun 09 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
25 %
10 %
SEVERE
15 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
30 %
MINOR
30 %
20 %
SEVERE
20 %
10 %
 
Thursday, Jun. 9, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

VOYAGER DISCOVERS MAGNETIC FROTH: NASA's Voyager probes have reached the edge of the solar system and found something surprising there--a froth of magnetic bubbles separating us from the rest of the galaxy. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters have downgraded the chances of a geomagnetic storm on June 9th to 20%. The disturbance, if it occurs, would be in response to a glancing blow from the CME of June 7th (see below). High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: voice, text.

MAGNIFICENT FLARE: On June 7th at 0641 UT, magnetic fields above sunspot complex 1226-1227 became unstable and erupted. The resulting blast produced an M2-class solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm, and an unbelievable movie:


Credit: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

"It looks like someone kicked a clod of dirt in the air," says solar physicist C. Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in a Youtube video. "I've never seen material released in this way before--an amazing, amazing event."

Much of the plasma thrown up by the blast simply fell back to the sun--indeed, that's what makes the footage so dramatic. In the movies you can see blobs of hot gas as large as Earth making bright splashes where they hit the stellar surface. Some plasma, however, reached escape velocity and left the sun in the form of a coronal mass ejection: movie. Traveling faster than 1100 km/s, the CME should deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on June 9th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives.

June 2011 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora alerts: text, voice] [previous Junes: 2010, 2008, 2001]

NANOSAIL-D IN BRIGHT TWILIGHT: NASA's Nanosail-D, the first solar sail to orbit Earth, is catching the attention of evening sky watchers. "I saw it on June 3rd in bright evening twilight (sun at -7 degrees altitude)," reports Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands. "The sky was still light blue, with the first stars visible. NanoSail-D became very bright, flashing periodically to mag. 0 with a slightly variable flash interval of 1.2 - 1.5 seconds." Look below the snapshot for a time history of the sail's brightness:

Because high-resolution photography of the small sail is so challenging, mission scientists can't be 100% sure how NanoSail-D is oriented or why it is flashing. Probably it is tumbling, with glints of sunlight producing quiasi-periodic "solar sail flares." NanoSail-D will be strobing across the evening skies of Europe and North America this week. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker or your cell phone for flyby times.


Midnight Solar Eclipse Gallery
[NASA: A Rare Eclipse of the Midnight Sun]

  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 9, 2011 there were 1224 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
10 m
2011 KE15
Jun 3
3.7 LD
--
16 m
2011 KV15
Jun 5
8.3 LD
--
25 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 m
2011 GA55
Jul 6
64.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 EZ78
Jul 10
37.3 LD
--
1.5 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 km
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2007 TD
Sep 23
3.8 LD
--
58 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 web 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 Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Science Central
 
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