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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 297.0 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A1
2155 UT Jun02
24-hr: B1
0640 UT Jun02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 02 June 09
Sunspot 1019 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 23
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Jun 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 123 days (82%)
Since 2004: 634 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 01 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= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.3 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jun 02 2201 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: 2009 Jun 02 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 2, 2009

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


SOLAR CYCLE PREDICTION: An international panel of experts says Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SUNSPOT 1019: New-cycle sunspot 1019 burst through the surface of the sun on May 31st and it has been growing rapidly ever since. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows the progress of the active region over a two-day period:

The sunspot's two dark cores are each about the size of Earth, and they are crackling with B-class solar flares. During years of Solar Max (e.g., 2000-2002) we would consider such activity minor, but now, during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009, it merits attention. The magnetic polarity and high latitude of the sunspot identify it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24, expected to peak in 2013. This makes sunspot 1019 a sign of things to come. Readers with solar telescopes should take a look.

more images: from Jérôme Grenier of Paris France; from Marco Vidovic of Stojnci, Slovenia; from Pavol Rapavy of Observatory Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from Steve Wainwright of Swansea, S.Wales, UK; from Gilles Frenette of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; ; from Deirdre Kelleghan of Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland; from J. Maciaszek and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Etienne Lecoq of Mesnil-Panneville, Normandy, France; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden;

BLINDING FLASH: On May 31st, evening sky watchers in northern Poland were temporarily blinded by a sudden flash of light brighter than the full Moon. An automated camera in the town of Gniewowo captured this snapshot of the "un-night" sky:

Credit: Krzysztof Polakowski, Polish Fireball Network | MOVIE

What happened? A meteoroid of unknown origin hit Earth's atmosphere and exploded. "It was a huge fireball, probably brighter than magnitude -13," reports Gniewowo resident Przemyslaw Zoladek. "The explosion occured at 20:48 UT and was observed by many casual witnesses and at least two Polish Fireball Network video stations." No one knows if fragments of the object reached the ground. Click here for updates.

April 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

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 2, 2009 there were 1061 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 KR21
June 1
0.7 LD
21 m
2009 KL8
June 1
5.1 LD
63 m
2003 QO104
June 9
36.8 LD
2.9 km
1994 CC
June 10
6.6 LD
1.2 km
2001 FE90
June 28
7.0 LD
435 m
2002 KL6
June 28
57.5 LD
1.4 km
2006 MV1
June 30
9.6 LD
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.
  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, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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