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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 334.5 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B7
1749 UT Jun02
24-hr: C2
0105 UT Jun02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Jun 12
The sunspot number is increasing, setting an active stage for the June 5th Transit of Venus. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 151
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Jun 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 01 Jun 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 117 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Jun 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.1 nT
Bz: 3.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Jun 12
A large coronal hole is emerging over the sun's eastern limb. Solar wind flowing from the opening should reach Earth on June 5-7. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jun 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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: 2012 Jun 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
35 %
10 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
25 %
30 %
30 %
50 %
Saturday, Jun. 2, 2012
What's up in space

It's a once in a lifetime event: the June 5th Transit of Venus across the sun. Watch the world wide webcast sponsored by the Coca-Cola Science Center and NASA.

Venus Transit Live

ISS TRANSIT OF VENUS: High above Earth, astronaut Don Pettit is about to become the first human to witness and photograph a transit of Venus from space. His images and commentary will be streamed to Earth during the crossing. [full story] [video]

VENUS PASSES MERCURY, APPROACHES THE SUN: Venus is approaching the sun in advance of the June 5th Transit of Venus. From here on Earth, the second planet has become difficult to see wrapped in bright sunlight. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, however, has no such trouble. SOHO's onboard coronagrah blocks the glare to reveal planets otherwise invisible:

A 24-hour movie shows that Mercury is exiting stage left as Venus plunges deeper into sunlight. Updated images may be found here.

Amateur astronomers who manage to locate Venus in broad daylight will find that the planet has turned into a delightfully slender crescent. This is happening because Venus is turning its nightside to Earth, with only a sliver of reflected sunlight still shining over the planet's limb.

The crescent could soon become a ring. When Venus is less than few degrees away from the sun, the horns of the crescent sometimes reach around and touch, producing a complete annulus. The effect is caused by particles in upper layers of Venus's atmosphere which scatter sunlight around the circumference of the planet. The ring is very difficult to observe, and often only black-belt astrophotographers are able to record the phenomenon.

Keep an eye on SpaceWeather's realtime photo gallery to see how Venus shape-shifts in the days ahead:

Space Weather Real Time Image Gallery
[Submit your photos] [NASA videos: 2012 Transit of Venus, ISS Transit of Venus]

CORONAL HOLE: Spewing solar wind, a yawning dark fissure in the sun's atmosphere is turning toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the "coronal hole" during the early hours of June 1st:

Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows the solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole will reach Earth on June 5th - 7th, possibly stirring geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

  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, 2012 there were 1293 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 LA
May 26
7.2 LD
15 m
2012 KC45
May 28
2 LD
6 m
2012 KP24
May 28
0.1 LD
23 m
2012 KT42
May 29
0.05 LD
8 m
2012 KZ41
May 31
8.1 LD
42 m
2002 AC
Jun 16
62.2 LD
1.2 km
1999 BJ8
Jun 16
68.8 LD
1.1 km
2005 GO21
Jun 21
17.1 LD
2.2 km
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.2 LD
1.2 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
1.0 km
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 LD
1.0 km
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
4.9 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 web 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 Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
  more links...
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