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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: 399.6 km/sec
density: 2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Jun27
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Jun27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 27 June 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Jun 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 2 days
2009 total: 136 days (77%)
Since 2004: 647 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 26 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= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.5 nT
Bz: 3.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about June 29th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jun 27 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 27 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 27, 2009

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

 

VOLCANIC PLUME: (Updated June 27) Sky watchers in Europe should be alert for volcanic sunsets. A mass of sulfur dioxide from Russia's Sarychev Peak volcano is swirling through the stratosphere over the North Atlantic and it appears poised to move over land during the next 24 hours. A movie made by the GOME-2 sensor onboard Europe's MetOp-A satellite shows the progress of the plume.

MAMMATUS OVER MANHATTEN: "Yesterday, after a summer evening thunderstorm, a bank of spectacular mammatus clouds formed over Manhattan," reports Snehal Patel of New York. "It was an amazing display that looked like large orange cotton balls falling from the sky." He took this picture using an iPhone 3G:

"The most entertaining part of the display was the crowds of people running out of restaurants and lining the streets to catch a glimpse!"

Mammatus clouds, named for their resemblance to a cow's underbelly, sometimes appear at the end of severe thunderstorms when the thundercloud is breaking up. Researchers have called them an "intriguing enigma," because no one knows exactly how and why they form. The clouds are fairly common but often go unnoticed because potential observers have been chased indoors by the rain. If you are one of them, dash outside when the downpour stops; you could witness a beautiful mystery in the sky.

more images: from Alex Barnard of New York City; from Marilyn Stern of Manhattan, New York City; from Terry Pundiak of Palmer Township, PA; from Martin Popek of Nýdek, Bystřice nad olší, Czech republic; from Dan Linek of Brentwood, New York

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.

EXTRA: Eric Salituro of Science4Grownups.com ("where every day is Science Friday") has stitched together a series of photos from the ISS to create a unique movie of the Sarychev Peak eruption. Watch it on YouTube.


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 27, 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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