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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 401.5 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
2330 UT Jun20
24-hr: A7
0255 UT Jun20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 20 Jun 10
Sunspot 1082 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 Jun 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (21%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 19 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 69 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 20 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.2 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about June 25th. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jun 20 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: 2010 Jun 20 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 20, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.


SUMMER SOLSTICE: Monday, June 21st, is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Northern summer begins at 11:28 UT (7:28 EDT) when the sun reaches its highest point on the celestial sphere; southern winter begins at precisely the same moment. No matter where you live, Happy Solstice!

FATHER'S DAY BLAST: Consider it a Father's Day gift ... from the sun. This morning around 1 a.m. UT, magnetic fields on the sun's eastern limb became unstable and erupted, producing one of the most spectacular explosions of the year. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:

Click to play a 1.6 MB mpeg movie

The explosion did not cause a solar flare (a flash of electromagnetic radiation) but it did hurl a massive cloud of magnetized plasma into space: SOHO movie. Because of the blast site's location on the eastern limb, the cloud will not hit Earth. There won't be any geomagnetic storms or auroras. Future eruptions, however, could have greater effect.

more sun-shots: from Alan Friedman of Buffalo, NY; from Les Marczi of Welland, Ontario, Canada; from Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas; from Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, California; from Roger Williams of Kalamazoo, Michigan; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Peter Desypris of Island of Syros Greece;

COMET McNAUGHT (C/2009 R1): Comet McNaught is approaching the sun, which makes the comet bright, but also difficult to see. "I had only a 15 minute view before the sky started to get light this morning," reports Parks Squyres, who sends this picture from SaddleBrooke, AZ:

The comet will continue to brighten as it swings by the sun. Unfortunately, though, after perihelion (closest approach to the sun) on July 2nd, the comet will not only recede from the sun but also from Earth. The final mornings of June could offer our last good look at this blue-green apparition from the outer solar system. More information and a sky map are available from Sky and Telescope. See also: ephemeris, 3D orbit.

more images: from Michael J├Ąger of Reiteralm, Austria; from Babak Tafreshi of Alborz Mountains, Iran; from Andrea Aletti of G.V. Schiaparelli Astronomical Observatory, Italy; from Dr Paolo Candy of Ci.A.O. Cimini Astronomical Observatory, Italy; from Paul Kinzer of Galesville, Wisconsin; from Gianni Fardelli of Ascoli Piceno, Italy;

May 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Mays: 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002] [aurora alerts]

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 20, 2010 there were 1138 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 JR34
May 14
5.8 LD
12 m
2003 HR32
May 17
55.2 LD
1.0 km
2010 JN71
May 26
8.2 LD
245 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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