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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: 396.2 km/sec
density: 2.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Jun26
24-hr: A0
1725 UT Jun26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 26 June 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jun 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 134 days (77%)
Since 2004: 645 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 25 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= 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: 3.4 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jun 26 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 26 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
25 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
30 %
MINOR
01 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 26, 2009

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

 

VOLCANIC PLUME: An enormous plume of sulfur dioxide (SO2) blasted into the stratosphere by Russia's Sarychev Peak volcano on June 12th is circumnavigating the globe at northern latitudes. Check out this movie made by the GOME-2 sensor onboard Europe's MetOp-A satellite. SO2 is drifting across the North Atlantic and appears poised to reach Europe over the next 48 hours. Sky watchers there should be alert for volcanic sunsets.

VOLCANIC SUNSET: On June 22nd, photographer Brian Whittaker was flying 35,000 feet above Nunavut, Canada, when he witnessed "the most spectacular sunset that I have ever seen," he says. "The giant volcanic cloud from Russia's Sarychev Peak [see below] was illuminated by the arctic sun--and this completely transformed the landscape. For a moment, I thought I was on Mars."

This was the view from the window seat:

"All the curtains were drawn so that people could sleep which is very normal," notes Whittaker. "It is possible that very few people have seen this despite all the potential observers!"

Whittaker's airplane traveled all the way from British Columbia to Europe, so he got a good long look at the cloud. "It stretched for more than 4,000 kilometers. Will it reach Europe?" he wonders. Stay tuned for updates.

more images: #1, #2, #3, #4

SARYCHEV PEAK VOLCANO: Perfect timing. On June 12th, just as Russia's Sarychev Peak volcano was erupting for the first time in 20 years, the International Space Station flew directly overhead. Astronauts had their camera ready and snapped one of the most dramatic Earth-science photos ever taken from space:

Researchers are studying this rare photo to learn about the early stages of powerful volcanic eruptions. A few phenomena stand out:

(1) The volcano erupted with such force, the plume actually punched through the atmosphere. Note how clouds around the volcano have parted in a circular ring--that is a result of a shock wave produced by the upward blast. (2) The plume is a mixture of brown ash and white steam. A "dirty thunderstorm" complete with lightning could be in progress within the roiling cloud. (3) The smooth white bubble on top of the plume is probably a mass of water condensing from air shoved upward by the rising ash column. If so, it is akin to the iridescent pileus clouds sometimes featured on spaceweather.com.

If you're not amazed yet, try this: Put on a pair of red-blue stereo glasses and behold the eruption in 3D. The anaglyph was created by graphic artist Patrick Vantuyne of Belgium. No stereo glasses? A cross-eyed version is also available.


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 26, 2009 there were 1065 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
2009 MU
June 24
2.3 LD
17
54 m
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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