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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: 395.3 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A9
1835 UT Jun10
24-hr: C1
1110 UT Jun10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 10 June 07
Sunspot 960 poses a declining threat for solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 19
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 June 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots 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 10 2138 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jun 10 2203 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2007 Jun 10 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 10, 2007
The space shuttle is about to dock to the ISS. Would you like a call when the pair fly over your backyard? Sign up for SpaceWeather PHONE.

DOCKED: Space shuttle Atlantis arrived at the International Space Station today, and now the two spacecraft are docked together. Amateur astronomers are encouraged to turn their telescopes to the pair when they pass overhead. Considerable detail can be seen, as shown in this movie of the ISS alone on June 3rd recorded by Ralf Vandebergh using a 10-inch telescope in his backyard in the Netherlands. Stay tuned for more; two spaceships are better than one!

ACTIVE SUNSPOT: Decaying sunspot 960 continues to erupt. The flares aren't big enough to threaten astronauts in Earth orbit, but the activity is lovely to behold, as shown in this June 9th photo from Gianluca Valentini of Rimini, Italy:


Sunspot 960, the view through a Coronado solar telescope

There is something curious about this double sunspot. Sunspots are giant magnets, and like all magnets they have a north magnetic pole and a south magnetic pole. Looking at sunspot 960, we would expect one dark core to be north, and the other south. The two cores, however, are both south. This SOHO magnetogram shows the strange magnetic topography of the region. Sunspot 960 does indeed have a north pole, but it is spread over a wide area and does not resemble a pole at all. Strange!

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Michael Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Mike Taormina of Palatine, Illinois; from Enrico Perissinotto of Premariacco (Udine) Italy.

AURORAS VS. NLCs: Dr. Francisco Diego was flying from Los Angeles to London on June 9th when he looked out the window and witnessed this colorful display over Hudson Bay:

On the left is the aurora borealis, caused by charged particles from the sun hitting Earth's upper atmosphere. The color comes from oxygen molecules glowing green on impact. Auroras are located 80 km to 500 km above the ground.

On the right is a bank of electric-blue noctilucent clouds (NLCs), caused by ... what? No one knows precisely what causes these clouds; a NASA mission named AIM is in orbit to investigate. Noctilucent clouds are located about 80 km above the ground.

"The aurora was very dynamic. I took three pictures a few seconds apart by pressing a small digital camera against the plane's window and holding it there by hand," says Diego. Images: #1, #2, #3.

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 10, 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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