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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.


Solar Wind

speed: 481.4 km/s
1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
B2 1710 UT Jun09
24-hr: B2 1710 UT Jun09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 09 Jun '04
Sunspot 627 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

The Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no large sunspot groups on the far side of the Sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 72
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 08 Jun 2004

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.5 nT
3.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

There are no big coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun today. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Imager


Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2004 Jun 09 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 05 % 05 %
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 2004 Jun 09 2200 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 30 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 40 % 35 %
MINOR 15 % 15 %
SEVERE 10 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 9 Jun 2004
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AURORA WATCH: A coronal mass ejection (CME, movie) blasted away from the Sun on June 7th, and it might be heading for Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 2% to 10% chance of strong geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours; high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

VENUS TRANSIT: When Venus crossed the Sun on June 8th cameras around the world were clicking. Some of the pictures are unlike anything ever recorded in the history of astronomy. Here's one from Frans Snik at the Dutch Open Telescope on La Palma (Canary Islands). Note the sunlit atmosphere of Venus, completely ringing the planet's jet-black silhouette:

INSIDE A RAINBOW: "Look just inside [the curve of] a rainbow and often you will see one or more green and purple fringes. These are supernumerary bows," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. On June 2nd Jerry Xiaojin Zhu photographed some over Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: (continued below)

Supernumerary bows are an interference phenomenon. Cowley explains: "Light travelling through a raindrop to make a rainbow reaches your eye via two routes. Because of the wave nature of light, rays of light following the two routes interfere, producing the green and purple fringes."

"If being soaked by the rain has not already informed you, the supernumeraries tell you about the raindrop sizes," adds Cowley. "Small drops make widely spaced supernumeraries, larger drops closely spaced, very large none at all."

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 are on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On 9 Jun 2004 there were 605 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

May-July 2004 Earth-asteroid encounters


2001 US16

May 8

11 LD

2004 HC39

May 12

13 LD

2004 FJ11

May 24

12 LD

1998 SF36

June 26

5 LD

1999 MN

July 14

7 LD

Notes: LD is a "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 Environment 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. See also Snow Crystals.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images --a gallery of up-to-date solar pictures from the National Solar Data Analysis Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center. See also the GOES-12 Soft X-ray Imager.

Recent Solar Events -- a nice summary of current solar conditions from

SOHO Farside Images of the Sun from SWAN and MDI.

The Latest SOHO Coronagraph Images -- from the Naval Research Lab

The Sun from Earth -- daily images of our star from the Big Bear Solar Observatory

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

What is the Interplanetary Magnetic Field? -- A lucid answer from the University of Michigan. See also the Anatomy of Earth's Magnetosphere.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft. How powerful are solar wind gusts? Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Aurora Forecast --from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute

Daily Solar Flare and Sunspot Data -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001

What is an Iridium flare? See also Photographing Satellites by Brian Webb.

Vandenberg AFB missile launch schedule.

What is an Astronomical Unit, or AU?

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; Jan-Mar., 2004;

Space Audio Streams: (University of Florida) 20 MHz radio emissions from Jupiter: #1, #2, #3, #4; (NASA/Marshall) INSPIRE: #1; (Stan Nelson of Roswell, New Mexico) meteor radar: #1, #2;

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars


Editor's Note: This site is sponsored by Science@NASA. Space weather and other forecasts that appear here are formulated by Dr. Tony Phillips. They are not guarantees of space weather or other celestial activity.

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