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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 616.3 km/sec
density: 2.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Jun26
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Jun26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jun 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 June 2008
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= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jun 26 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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: 2008 Jun 26 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
20 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 26, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of June 25th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

NLC ALERT: For the second night in a row, bright noctilucent clouds are rolling over Russia and central Europe. Veteran observers say the clouds are among the brightest they've ever seen. The same clouds may become visible in Canada and Alaska after sunset; sky watchers in those areas should be alert for NLCs.

CRATER BOREALIS: NASA spacecraft have discovered the biggest crater in the solar system--and it's on Mars. Borealis Basin, formed in a colossal impact 4 billion years ago, covers 40% of the red planet. It's so big, it's actually hard to see. Gravity maps and laser altimetry were required to reveal the basin's elliptical, planet-girdling boundary: full story.

NLCs INVADE RUSSIA: A bank of rippling electric-blue waves floated over Moscow last night. "It was a very bright display of noctilucent clouds (NLCs)," reports eyewitness Oleg Pomogaev. A 2-second snapshot with his Powershot A710 captured the NLCs hovering above darker, ordinary clouds:

At 55 degrees north, Moscow has the high latitude typical of NLC sightings so far this year. Russia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Hudson Bay--these define the realm of noctilucent clouds in 2008. NLCs have been known, however, to creep closer to the equator with sightings in recent years as far south as Utah, Colorado and even Virginia. So, wherever you live, be alert for these mysterious clouds. Observing tips may be found in the photo gallery:

2008 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
["Noctilucent Clouds"--the song] [Night-sky Cameras]

AURORA AUSTRALIS: Auroras are dancing over the South Pole. "Solar winds from a coronal hole reached us today, June 26th, at about 2:45 PM New Zealand Standard Time," reports J. Dana Hrubes, Science Leader of the Amundsen-Scott Station at the geographic South Pole. "There were lots of reds and the auroras were very dynamic."

The slideshow, above, shows some of the activity Hrubes photographed using his Canon 400D. Thanks to the super-dark skies of Antarctica, the delicate Milky Way can be seen in the background of many of his snapshots. And that bright light beaming through the green? That's Jupiter.

Hrubes is "wintering over" at the South Pole where the sun won't come up for another two and a half months. He's there for the duration of the show--and it could be a good one. Auroras are likely for the next 24-to-48 hours as the solar wind continues to blow. Stay tuned.

June 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]

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. [comment]
On June 26, 2008, there were 959 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June-July 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 KO
June 1
4.4 LD
60 m
2008 KT
June 3
3.3 LD
9 m
2008 LB
June 9
3.3 LD
26 m
2008 LG2
June 13
9.2 LD
36 m
2008 LC
June 17
9.8 LD
55 m
2008 KN11
June 22
9.0 LD
110 m
2000 AD205
June 26
54 LD
800 m
1999 VU
June 29
65 LD
1.6 km
2008 BT18
July 14
5.9 LD
1.0 km
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 bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.
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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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