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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 391.1 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2342 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
1852 UT Jun19
24-hr: C1
0447 UT Jun19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 19 Jun 12
Sunspot 1504 is decaying and poses a declining threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 66
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 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 18 Jun 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 118 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 18 Jun 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz: 3.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 19 Jun 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jun 19 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
10 %
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: 2012 Jun 19 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012
What's up in space
 

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

 
Venus Transit metal posters

CHINESE SPACE TRANSIT: China's space program took another leap forward this week when Chinese astronauts onboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft successfully docked with the Tiangong 1 space station. Not long after the docking, which occured on Monday, June 18th, the joined craft passed directly in front of the sun over Xinzhou, China, where amateur astronomer Su Shaojie recorded the split-second transit:

"After the Shengzhou 9 successfully docked with Tiangong-1 at 14:07 Beijing time, I was happy to get this opportunity to take a picture of the two spaceship transiting the Sun," says Shaojie. "I used CalSky to predict the timing."

The mission's crew of three includes the first Chinese female astronaut, fighter pilot Liu Yang, 33. Yang, along with fellow taikonauts Commander Jing Haipeng, 46, and flight engineer, Liu Wang, 42, will spend the days ahead familiarizing themselves with their new space station, conducting scientific experiments, and practicing space dock procedures. They're expected to return to Earth before the end of the month.

The newly-manned Tiangong 1 is visible in the night sky, glowing about as brightly as a 1st magnitude star. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker or your smartphone for sighting opportunities.

TRIPLE SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1504, the source of many auroras on June 16th and 17th, is decaying. Nevertheless, the behemoth is still an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Amateur astronomer Fran├žois Emond sends this picture from Chorges in the French Alps:

The dark cores in Emond's image are about twice the size of Earth. Floating in a sea of hot plasma, these vast islands of magnetism are surrounded by boiling granules big enough to swallow Texas.

It should come as no surprise that such a structure, while decaying, still poses a threat for explosions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of M-class fllares during the next 24 hours. X-flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

FIRE LIT BY THE TRANSIT OF VENUS: Around the world on June 5th and 6th, millions of people watched the Transit of Venus. Only one man used it to light a candle. Christopher Handler of Adelaide, South Australia, explains how it was done: "The flame that burns in this lantern was lit with photons of light, of which about 0.001% had skipped through the atmosphere of another planet." (continued below)

"While watching the transit with my wife and son, I began to write words on a piece of wood with a magnifying glass, while explaining to my son that some of the sunshine we were using had bounced off the clouds of Venus only minutes earlier. Before long, we had lit a small fire in some kindling and from that lit several candles around the house. The hours passed by and the transit was over, yet we still have the flame. Captivated by the thought that it will take another 105 years before it could be done on Earth again, I feel almost compelled to keep it alight, even now, many days later."

A thousand more unique photos of the event may be found in the Transit of Venus gallery. Note: When you're browsing the gallery, please vote for your favorite images. We'll be creating a gallery of the most popular shots--and your votes count.

  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 19, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 LJ
Jun 10
1.6 LD
--
33 m
2012 LT
Jun 11
5.2 LD
--
30 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
2012 LU
Jun 23
5.8 LD
--
40 m
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.2 LD
--
1.3 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
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.1 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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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