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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 452.3 km/sec
density: 6.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2341 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A6
1815 UT Jun26
24-hr: A8
0245 UT Jun26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jun 10
A new sunspot is emerging in the circled region. Credit: SOHO/MDI

more images: from Jan Timmermans of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland
Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jun 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (20%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 25 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.0 nT
Bz: 3.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jun 26 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 26 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 26, 2010

ANDROID FLYBYS: Our field-tested satellite tracker is now available for Android phones. Features: Global predictions and flyby alarms! Learn more.


FALCON 9 DECAY: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, launched on June 4th from Cape Canaveral as a possible successor to the space shuttle, is about to reenter Earth's atmosphere. According to US Strategic Command, reentry should occur on June 27th at 0146 UT +/- 7 hours. Nominallly, the rentry should occur over the South Pacific Ocean, but the large uncertainty in decay time makes it impossible to say for sure. Possible sighting opportunities may be found here and here.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: This morning, the Moon passed through the shadow of Earth, producing a partial lunar eclipse. Jared Aicher of Boise, Idaho, photographed the eclipse at maximum, when 54% of the Moon's diameter was covered:

"The lunar eclipse was beautiful as it set over the distant Owyhee Mountains on Saturday morning!" says Aicher. "The light was changing rapidly, and show was magnificent."

Note that in Aicher's picture, the eclipse is not the red half of the Moon. That's normal 'moonset reddening' caused by scattering of moonlight in Earth's atmosphere. The eclipse is the dark half of the Moon. That's Earth's shadow cutting the full moon in two.

NEW: Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[Science@NASA: Big Lunar Eclipse] [astronomy alerts]

SPACE STATION MARATHON: The International Space Station (ISS) is putting on a remarkable show. For the next few days, the behemoth spacecraft will be in constant sunlight as its orbit lines up with Earth's day-night terminator. This means it will shine brightly in the night sky every single time it passes overhead. Some observers can see it 3, 4, even 5 times a night!

"Last night we witnessed five passes of the ISS over the Mont-Megantic Dark Sky Reserve in Quebec," reports Guillaume Poulin. "This picture shows one of the most impressive, with the space station's magnitude reaching -3 for much of its five minute pass."

"The campfire was in celebration of Quebec's National Holiday," he explains. "It was nice to have the space station join our party so often!"

Readers, please take advantage of this rare "ISS marathon." Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for viewing times. Better yet, let your iPhone or Android guide you to the space station. There's an app for that!

more images: from Pete Glastonbury of Devizes, Wiltshire, UK; from Guillaume Poulin of Quebec, Canada; from John C McConnell of Maghaberry, Northern Ireland; from Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden; from Baqir of Quetta, Pakistan; from Steve Paluch of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; from Pete Lardizabal of St Johns, Florida; from Joseph Shaw of Bozeman, Montana;

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 26, 2010 there were 1138 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June-July 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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