You are viewing the page for Jun. 8, 2009
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 303.3 km/sec
density: 1.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2145 UT Jun08
24-hr: A0
2145 UT Jun08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 08 June 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Jun 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 2 days
2009 total: 125 days (79%)
Since 2004: 636 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 06 Jun 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.0 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from this far-northern coronal hole will probably miss Earth. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jun 08 2201 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: 2009 Jun 08 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 8, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

 

TRANSIT OF VENUS: Five years ago today, Venus made an historic transit of the Sun. Our 15-page photo gallery documents the crossing, ranked by witnesses as one of the most beautiful events of modern astronomy. The next transit: June 6, 2012. Book your ticket for the South Pacific!

STRANGE LIGHTNING: High above Earth, in the realm of meteors and noctilucent clouds, a strange and beautiful form of lightning dances at the edge of space. Researchers call the bolts "sprites"; they are red, fleeting, and tend to come in bunches. Atmospheric scientist Oscar van der Velde of Sant Vicenç de Castellet, Spain, photographed this specimen on June 5th:

"With my new zoom lens I can now magnify the sky above thunderstorms to get very detailed images of sprites," says van der Velde. "This amazing 'carrot sprite' occurred near the coast of southern France about 250 km away from me."

"Sprites are a true space weather phenomenon," he adds. "They develop in mid-air around 80 km altitude, growing in both directions, first down, then up. This happens when a fierce lightning bolt draws lots of charge from a cloud near Earth's surface. Electric fields [shoot] to the top of Earth's atmosphere--and the result is a sprite. The entire process takes about 20 milliseconds."

Although sprites have been seen, off and on, for at least a century, most scientists did not believe they existed until after 1989 when sprites were photographed by cameras onboard the space shuttle. Now "sprite chasers" routinely photograph sprites from their own homes. "I set up a Watec 902H2 Ultimate security camera on my balcony and used UFOCapture software to catch the sprite," says van der Velde. Give it a try!

diagram: How to Look for Sprites (used with permission of sky-fire.tv)

more images: from Oscar van der Velde of Sant Vicenç de Castellet, Spain; from Damir Segon of Pula, Croatia; from Mike Burdette of Bolivar, Missouri;

INTENSIFYING NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: "June 5th marked the 3rd night in a row of bright noctilucent clouds over Northern Ireland," reports photographer Martin Mc Kenna. "It was another huge display glowing electric blue all night long until dawn washed it from the sky." This photo shows some of the fine, wavy structures that stretched more than 1/3 of the way around the horizon:

"It was a great show," he says.

The weeks ahead could be even better. There is a well-known correlation between noctilucent clouds (NLCs) and the solar cycle: NLC activity tends to peak during years of solar minimum, possibly because low solar activity allows the upper atmosphere to cool, promoting the growth of ice crystals that make up the clouds. With a century-class solar minimum underway, the stage is set for NLCs.

UPDATED: 2009 Noctilucent Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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 8, 2009 there were 1062 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 KR21
June 1
0.7 LD
16
21 m
2009 KL8
June 1
5.1 LD
18
63 m
2003 QO104
June 9
36.8 LD
14
2.9 km
1994 CC
June 10
6.6 LD
13
1.2 km
2001 FE90
June 28
7.0 LD
13
435 m
2002 KL6
June 28
57.5 LD
16
1.4 km
2006 MV1
June 30
9.6 LD
23
20 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.