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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 364.0 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
2150 UT Jun01
24-hr: M2
1455 UT Jun01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Jun 07
Sunspot 958 has decayed to near invisibility. It poses no threat for further activity. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 May 2007
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large spots on the farside of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 Quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Updated: 2007 Jun 01 2153 UT
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.6 nT
Bz: 9.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated:Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on June 2nd or 3rd. Credit: SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2007 Jun 01 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
10 %
10 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2007 Jun 01 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
25 %
01 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
30 %
05 %
15 %
01 %
10 %
What's up in Space
June 1, 2007
He already has a neck tie. This year give Dad something truly heavenly for Father's Day: SpaceWeather PHONE.

OVER THE HORIZON: Look at this picture. Something is coming over the eastern limb of the sun, probably an active sunspot. Magnetic loops rising high above the 'spot herald its approach like the sails of a ship approaching from beyond the horizon. Astronomers with solar telescopes should keep an eye on the sun's eastern limb.

BLUE MOONS: According to folklore, last night's full Moon over North America was a Blue Moon, but it didn't look very blue when it rose over Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin:

Photo details: Canon 30D, 300mm f4.5 lens, ISO 100, 1/45s

Tony Wilder's photo captured only the usual gray shades of moondust and ancient, hardened lava. This is how Blue Moons of folklore normally appear; folklore is not enough to make the moon change color.

But physics can do it. On May 21st, for instance, the Moon over Vecsés, Hungary, really did turn blue. "It was a unique and unforgettable sight," says photographer Ágnes Kiricsi who took these pictures: #1, #2, #3. The display was caused by a Sahara dust storm that filled the air above Hungary with dust particles about 1 micron (one millionth of a meter) in diameter. Clouds of micron-sized dust can act as a color filter, turning the Moon truly blue.

BONUS: Last night, Dr. Tony Phillips' dog sled team of sixteen Siberian Huskies serenaded the Blue Moon. Click here to listen.

COCCINELLA SEPTEMPUNCTATA: Yesterday, when Martin Wagner of Sonnenbuehl-Genkingen, Germany, looked at the viewscreen of his Canon EOS 300D and saw this sunspot, "I thought a mega-flare was about to erupt!" (continued below)

Photo details: Canon EOS 300D, 35-70mm Minolta lens, 400ASA, 1/200s

But wait, the sun was blank yesterday. Where did this spot come from? Wagner zoomed out and discovered the answer: Click here.

Clearly, there was no danger of a mega-flare. It is remarkable how the markings on a ladybug's back resemble sunspots, and the dappled texture of the shell looks like solar granulation. The species in Wagner's photo is Coccinella septempunctata, the 7-spotted ladybug, so now we know the sunspot number, too!

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 1, 2007 there were 863 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1862 Apollo
May 8
72 LD
2.4 km
2007 JD
May 11
12 LD
100 m
2007 JZ2
May 14
7.0 LD
30 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 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.
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...
©2007, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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