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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 426.5 km/sec
density: 4.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2210 UT Jun17
24-hr: C1
2210 UT Jun17
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 17 Jun 11
The magnetic field of sunspot group 1236 harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 62
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 16 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 16 Jun 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 103 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 16 Jun 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.1 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 17 Jun 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about June 22nd. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jun 17 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
20 %
20 %
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 17 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Friday, Jun. 17, 2011
What's up in space
 

Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.

 
Satellite flybys

HOW'S THE WEATHER? "Lately, the Sun has been behaving a bit strangely," write Lika Guhathakurtha (NASA) and Dan Baker (U. Colorado) on the opinions page of today's New York Times. In 2008-2009, solar activity plunged to a hundred-year low; and now that the sun is waking up again, no one is able to predict what will happen next next. "Will solar activity continue to be sluggish, or will solar storms return with pent-up vigor?" they ask. Good question! Read the full editorial here.

WEAK IMPACT: A sharp gust of solar wind hit Earth's magnetic field today, June 17th, at approximately 0230 UT. This probably signaled the arrival of a CME en route from the sun since June 14th. The impact did not spark a significant geomagnetic storm, so bright auroras tonight remain unlikely.

FOUR FLYBYS: Amateur astronomer Tom Warner did a double take on June 14th when the International Space Station flew twice over his hometown in Rapid City, South Dakota. Little did he know, two more takes would be required. "By the time the night was over, I had recorded four flybys of the ISS," he says.

"The first and last passes, just after sunset and before sunrise, were the highest and brightest," says Warner. "The middle passes were less intense, but even they were easily seen through the glare of the full Moon."

This flyby flurry is part of an ongoing "space station marathon." Observers in the northern hemisphere are reporting multiple flybys every night--especially around sunrise and sunset. Ready for your own double-take? Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Wednesday night, June 15th, sky watchers in Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, Antarctia and Europe witnessed the longest lunar eclipse in nearly 11 years. Only North America was excluded as Earth's shadow engulfed the full Moon for a whopping 100 minutes. In the countryside near Szubin, Poland, clouds and fog combined with the amber light of the eclipse to produce this eerie scene:

"The view of the Moon was amazing and fantastic," says photographer Marek Nikodem.

NEW: June 15th Lunar Eclipse Gallery

more images: from Amir H. Abolfath of Firuzkuh, Tehran, Iran; from Iakovos Marios Strikis of Athens, Greece; from Moulley Charaf Chabou of Setif, Algeria; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from Cadu Rolim of Mole Beach, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil; from Tony Surma-Hawes of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; from Rafael Schmall of Veszprem, Hungary; from Mohammad Shirani of Cyberjaya ,Malaysia; from Johan Pauly of Belgium; from Andrej Gustin of Ljubljana, Slovenia; from Jarle Aasland of Stavanger, Norway; from Albert Kong of Hsinchu, Taiwan; from Liz Gleeson of Townsville, North Queensland, Australia


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


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 17, 2011 there were 1224 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.1 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2011 LT17
Jun 15
4.6 LD
--
180 m
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
--
1.6 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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  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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