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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: 282.5 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Jun19
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Jun19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 19 June 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 Jun 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 1 days
2009 total: 132 days (78%)
Since 2004: 643 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 18 Jun 2009

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= 2 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: 3.5 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from this far-northern coronal hole will probably miss Earth or at most deliver a glancing blow on or about June 25th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jun 19 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 19 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 19, 2009

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

 

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SUNSPOTS: Where have all the sunspots gone? Scientists studying a jet stream deep inside the sun may have found the answer. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

NOCTILUCENT MADNESS: "Last night, I saw the noctilucent cloud display of a life time," reports veteran observer Martin McKenna of Northern Ireland. "It looked like the end of the world! The shadow-casting structures which illuminated the countryside were absolutely breathtaking." Here is one of the "hundred or so" pictures he took:

"Large loops, whirls and pillars with knots could be seen moving rapidly in real time; there were astounding silver and blue colours mixed with subtle yellow, gold and green. It was a sight that left me awestruck. This is the best NLC season I have ever experienced!"

These intense displays could be related to sunspots--or lack thereof. For reasons no one fully understands, NLCs tend to be most active during years of solar minimum. 2009 is such a year. The sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century, and many researchers expect a banner season for these mysterious clouds.

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

MOON ROCKET: NASA is heading back to the Moon. On June 18th, an Atlas V rocket roared away from the Kennedy Space Center carrying not one but two spacecraft: the Lunar Crater
Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Photographer Ben Cooper was on hand to capture this image:

Both spacecraft are on missions of lunar discovery--but that's where the similarities end. LCROSS will destroy itself in a violent collision with the Moon at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2009, creating a debris plume that will be analyzed for the presence of water and hydrocarbons. Meanwhile, LRO will orbit the Moon at a low altitude of about 31 miles for at least a year. The spacecraft's seven scientific instruments will hunt for water, map the Moon's surface in 3D, assess the radiation environment for future explorers, and much more.

Stay tuned for updates and further instructions on how amateur astronomers may be able to observe the destruction of LCROSS.


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 19, 2009 there were 1064 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...
   
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