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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 438.9 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2334 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B8
2032 UT Jun15
24-hr: C3
1432 UT Jun15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Jun 11
New sunspot group 1236 is crackling with M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 48
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 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 14 Jun 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 90 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 14 Jun 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.4 nT
Bz: 0.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 15 Jun 11
A coronal hole is emerging over the sun's eastern limb. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jun 15 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
25 %
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 15 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2011
What's up in space
 

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

 
Satellite flybys

FIRST IMAGES OF THE LUNAR ECLIPSE: The lunar eclipse of June 15th has just finished. First images are arrriving now: from Australia, Switzerland; New Zealand, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy; New Zealand;

VOLCANIC LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Wednesday night, June 15th, there's going to be a total lunar eclipse visible from every continent except North America. The Moon will spend 100 minutes fully engulfed in Earth's shadow, making this the longest lunar eclipse in nearly 11 years. Maximum coverage occurs on Wednesday night at 20:12 UT. [details] [animated map] [webcasts: #1, #2]

Exhaust from the erupting volcano in Chile could alter the appearance of the eclipse. Scroll past the shadowed Moon for further discussion:


Above: A lunar eclipse on Dec. 21, 2010, photographed by Alan Dyer of Gleichen, Alberta. [gallery]

Atmospheric scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains the volcano-eclipse connection: "The Moon will pass deep into Earth's shadow during totality, actually passing over the center of the shadow at mid-eclipse. As such, it should be a fairly dark eclipse. Furthermore, it appears that last week's eruption of the volcano in Chile may have placed some sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The ash and sulfur plume is extensive and dense, with ash reported at least as high as 13.7 km. Particles in the southern stratosphere could cause a darkening of the southern part of the Moon during totality."

In recent years, Keen has studied the brightness of the Moon during eclipses to probe conditions in the stratosphere. When the eclipsed Moon is bright, the stratosphere is clear. On the other hand, a dark eclipse indicates a dusty stratosphere. Clear vs. dusty is important because the state of the stratosphere affects climate; a clear stratosphere lets the sunshine in to warm the Earth below. At a 2008 SORCE conference Keen reported that "the lunar eclipse record indicates a clear stratosphere over the past decade, and that this has contributed about 0.2 degrees to recent warming."

Sky watchers in the eclipse zone are encouraged to monitor the darkness.

CORONAL MASS EJECTION: On June 14th around 0810 UT, a magnetic filament near the sun's eastern limb became unstable and erupted. The resulting blast hurled a bright and massive CME into space:

The expanding cloud was observed by 3 spacecraft: STEREO-A, STEREO-B and SOHO. Researchers at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Space Weather Lab assembled data from the fleet to create a 3-dimensional model of the expanding cloud: movie. According to their analysis, the cloud blew away from the sun at a speed of 830 km/s and it could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on June 17th at 10:50 UT (plus minus 7 hours). The impact is not expected to provoke strong geomagnetic storming. Nevertheless, high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives. Aurora alerts: text, voice

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 15, 2011 there were 1224 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 KV15
Jun 5
8.3 LD
--
25 m
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
--
190 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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