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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 468.0 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A6
1945 UT Jun05
24-hr: A9
0920 UT Jun05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Jun 10
A new sunspot is emerging in the circled region. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 18
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 Jun 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 33 days (21%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 801 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 04 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 72 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 04 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on June 7th or 8th. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jun 05 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 05 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
25 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
30 %
10 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
June 5, 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.


THE SUN AWAKENS, NASA IS WARY: The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and the next few years could bring much higher levels of solar activity. NASA is keeping a wary eye on the sun as officials meet in Washington DC on June 8th to discuss the potential consequences of stormy space weather. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

JUPITER IMPACT! Amateur astronomers Anthony Wesley of Australia and Christopher Go of the Philippines have independently observed an impact event on Jupiter. The strike occurred at 20:31 UT on June 3rd and produced a bright flash of light in the giant planet's cloudtops:

Photo credit: Anthony Wesley, Broken Hill Australia

"I still can't believe that I caught a live impact on Jupiter," says Go, who has made a must-see video of the event.

"There were no visible remains at the impact point for the next half hour or so, until sunrise put an end to the imaging," says Wesley.

The nature of the impactor is presently unknown. It might have been an asteroid or a comet. In either case, a dark and cindery debris field is expected to develop around the impact point; that's what has happened in the aftermath of previous Jupiter impacts. Astronomers are encouraged to monitor Jupiter, and stay tuned for updates.

Update #4 (June 5, 1200 UT): "This morning I woke up at 6 am local time (9 UT) to see Jupiter with my 120 mm refractor," reports Mariano Ribas of Buenos Aires, Argentina. "The planet was high in the sky (45-50° over horizon). I observed carefully for almost two hours with my telescope, using 110 to 200 x, but I saw nothing at all in the impact zone, which transited at 10:51 UT."

Update #3 (June 4, 2200 UT): A full day has elapsed since the flash, and many observatories have imaged the impact site. So far, a prominent debris cloud has not emerged. Was this impactor too small to produce much debris? Observations will continue...

Update #2 (June 4 1500 UT): Wesley has posted a 46 MB video of the impact on his web page. A smaller version is available here.

Update #1 (June 4, 0100 UT): Anthony Wesley has pinpointed the impact site at Jovian latitude minus 16.1o, and central meridian longitudes CM1: 300o, CM2: 33.8o and CM3: 210.4o.

CORONAL HOLE: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is monitoring a dark rift in the sun's atmosphere. The spacecraft's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) took this extreme ultraviolet picture just hours ago:

It's a "coronal hole," a vast region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up and allowed the solar wind to escape. Indeed, a solar wind stream flowing from this hole is heading toward Earth, due to arrive on June 7th or 8th. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on those dates.

Hi-res Bonus: A 4096x4096 pixel version of this image is available. Click here to explore the coronal hole in high resolution.

Hi-res Bonus #2: "I was examining the dark rift on the sun, when I noticed a peculiar and familiar image," says Micheal French of Washington DC. "At 1988x2645 on the high-res image, there is a design that looks like a human eye: image. I scoff at such things, the face on Mars, etc, but you must admit they are pretty neat. I think our brains are designed to find familiar things, and mine did just that."

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 5, 2010 there were 1127 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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