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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 369.5 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Jun05
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Jun05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Jun 08
A new sunspot may be forming at the location of the question mark. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 June 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one possible sunspot at high latitudes on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.0 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jun 05 2203 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: 2008 Jun 05 2203 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 5, 2008
FLYBY ALERT! Space shuttle Discovery launched on May 31st. Get your flyby alerts from Space Weather PHONE  

OCCUPIED: The International Space Station's zero-gravity toilet is working again. Yesterday, astronauts replaced a malfunctioning gas-liquid separator pump and, after a series of three tests, the replacement appears to be a success. Mission Control Moscow has given the station crew a 'go' to resume normal operations of the toilet system.

EMERGING MOON: When the sun sets tonight, go outside and look west. A beautifully-slender crescent moon is emerging from the twilight:

Piotr Majewski of Toruń, Poland, snapped the photo on June 4th. It shows the 2% crescent Moon hovering above a radio telescope at the Toruń Centre for Astronomy. "Wow," says Majewski. "A one-day old Moon in the evening sky. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time."

There are more good moments to come. In the evenings ahead the Moon will move up the sky, a little higher each night, forming a line with Mars and Saturn on June 5th and 6th, joining Mars for a close encounter on June 7th, and triangulating with Saturn and Regulus on June 8th. Keep an eye on the Moon this weekend!

more images: from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas; from Anthony Ayiomamitis near the Temple of Poseidon, Sounion, Greece; from Elias Chasiotis of Markopoulo, Greece; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Tunç Tezel of Bolu, Turkey;

SUMMER ARCS: 'tis the season for circumhorizon arcs. These big, colorful ice halos appear only when the sun is more than 58-degrees above the horizon--in short, during the hottest part of long summer days. Here is an example photographed on May 28th by Paul Gitto of Whiting, New Jersey:

"The halo lasted about two and a half hours and was one of the most awesome sights I have ever seen," he says. "The colors and brightness were amazing."

With the approach of the summer solstice, and ever higher northern suns, sightings of the circumhorizon arc will reach a fever pitch. These arcs are commonly called "fire rainbows," but they have nothing to do with fire or rain. The pure spectral colors are created by sunlight beaming through plate-shaped ice crystals in high cirrus clouds.

"The circumhorizon arc is a very large halo," adds atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Usually only fragments are visible where there happen to be cirrus clouds. Look for it close to, and parallel to the horizon," he advises.

more images: from Lisa Gonnelli of Pilesgrove, New Jersey; from Andrew Kirk of Tom's Place, California; from Wenling of Lhasa, Tibet; from Bob Ohle of Wadsworth, Illinois; from Roman Vanur of Nitra, Slovakia; from Aymen Ibrahem at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt;

May 2008 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora Alerts] [Night-sky Cameras]

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. [comment]
On June 5, 2008 there were 956 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June-July 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 KO
June 1
4.4 LD
60 m
2008 KT
June 3
3.3 LD
9 m
2008 KN11
June 22
9.0 LD
110 m
1999 VU
June 29
65 LD
1.6 km
2008 BT18
July 14
5.9 LD
1.0 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 Links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction 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...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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