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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 319.4 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
1900 UT Jun11
24-hr: A0
1900 UT Jun11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Jun 08
Sunspot 998 poses no threat for strong solar flares, but it is photogenic. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 14
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 June 2008
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= 1 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: 3.1 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about June 16th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jun 11 2203 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: 2008 Jun 11 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 11, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launched on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

DOUBLE FLYBY ALERT: This morning at 7:42 EDT, space shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station (ISS), setting the stage for a rare sky watching event. Tonight many people will be able to see the two spaceships gliding among the stars as side-by-side points of light. Check our Satellite Tracker to see if your hometown is favored with a flyby.

VENUS EMERGES: On June 9th, Venus passed behind the sun, an event astronomers call "superior conjunction," and now it is emerging again. A coronagraph onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has caught first sight of the planet, post-conjunction:

A coronagraph is a device that uses an opaque paddle to block the glare of the sun, producing an artificial eclipse. This allows SOHO to see stars, planets and comets blindingly-close to the edge of the sun. Human eyes have no such blocking mechanism, so we won't be able to observe Venus until late July when the planet has substantially distanced itself from the sun. At that time, Venus will appear in the sunset sky as a bright and silvery evening star. Thank you, SOHO, for the preview!

MARSWORM: What digs and squiggles through the ground on Mars? It would have to be a Marsworm:

Not really. It may look like a worm, but the segmented object at the foot of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is actually a metal spring. It sprung loose and fell to the ground when Phoenix's robotic arm unfurled shortly after landing. The spring is no longer an essential component; it was part of a mechanism holding the arm's biobarrier in place during the voyage from Earth to Mars. Now that the biobarrier has been unpeeled, allowing the sterile arm to move freely, the spring is no longer required and the ground is a fine place for it. Meanwhile, the only thing digging on Mars appears to be Phoenix itself: updates.

3D BONUS: Put on your 3D glasses and take a closer look at the masquerading spring. Pat Vantuyne of Belgium created the anaglyph by combining right- and left-eye images from Phoenix's stereo camera. more anaglyphs: Arctic Vista, Mars Yeti, One small step..., Vines, Scoop Two.

May 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]

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. [comment]
On June 11, 2008 there were 957 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June-July 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 KO
June 1
4.4 LD
60 m
2008 KT
June 3
3.3 LD
9 m
2008 LB
June 9
3.3 LD
26 m
2008 LG2
June 13
9.2 LD
36 m
2008 LC
June 17
9.8 LD
55 m
2008 KN11
June 22
9.0 LD
110 m
2000 AD205
June 26
54 LD
800 m
1999 VU
June 29
65 LD
1.6 km
2008 BT18
July 14
5.9 LD
1.0 km
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 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...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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