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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 442.3 km/sec
density: 1.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Jun08
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Jun08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Jun 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 June 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image possibly reveals one small sunspot on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jun 08 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 08 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 8, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launched on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

HEAVENLY TRIANGLE: Ringed planet. First-magnitude star. Crescent moon. Add them all together and you get a heavenly triangle visible tonight. Look up after sunset for Saturn, Regulus and the Moon in scalene formation: sky map.

PYRAMID ICE HALO: When the residents of Tampere, Finland, woke up on June 6th and looked out at the morning sun, they were greeted by a fantastic display of nested halos. "I've never before seen four rings around the sun!" says eye-witness Emma Herranen. "Luckily, I had time to fetch my camera (a Canon 5D) for a quick self-portrait before heading to work."

more images: #1, #2, #3

These fantastic halos are formed by equally fantastic ice crystals, crystals shaped like pyramids. Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains:

"Imagine an ‘ordinary’ cloud ice crystal, a six-sided prism with flat ends. Now put an ice pyramid on each end. Finally, chop off the sharp pyramid points. The result, a twenty-sided crystal. Sun rays passing through them have a whole variety of possible paths and form multiple rings called ‘odd-radius’ halos. Emma saw 9o, 18o, 20o, 22o and 23o halos (simulation) and perhaps larger ones too in Finland, the 'Home of halos.' They are rare, but not that rare, look out for them!"

CORONA LIGHT: Yesterday when the International Space Station (ISS) cut through the evening twilight over Tucson, Arizona, photographer Scott Peshia had his camera ready and captured the flyby. He calls this snapshot Corona Light:

The ISS in blue sky? That's right, absolute darkness is no longer required to see the ISS. The growing space station is now brighter than Venus and more than one reader has reported seeing it in broad daylight. Space shuttle Discovery is currently docked to the ISS, which makes the complex brighter still. It's a beautiful sight. Please try our Simple Flybys tool to find out when to look.

Also, be alert for flares. Dave Nelson of Stoughton, Wisconsin, reports "I just watched the ISS go over tonight (June 6th)--a nice pass almost directly overhead. Then, as the ISS headed east, it flared better than any Iridium!" This is caused by sunlight glinting off one of the station's many flat surfaces. ISS flares are currently unpredictable; they are a breathtaking surprise.

more images: from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Dan Earl of Grass Valley, Oregon; from Bryan of Babylon, New York; from Steve Newcomb of Oakland, Maryland; from Paco Bellido of Córdoba, Spain;

May 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 8, 2008 there were 956 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 KN11
June 22
9.0 LD
110 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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