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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 490.5 km/sec
density: 6.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Jun19
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Jun19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 19 Jun 08
Sunspot 999 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 June 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one small spot on the far side 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
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.2 nT
Bz: 3.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Jun 19 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 19 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 19, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of June 14th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.  

BRIGHT LIGHTS AT DAWN: Set your alarm for dawn. On Friday morning, June 20th, Jupiter and the Moon will gather for a beautiful meeting in the southern sky: finder chart. They're bright enough to pierce the morning twilight. Indeed, Jupiter and the Moon surrounded by soft blue is a truly splendid sight. Start your day just before the sun; you'll be glad you did.

MOON ILLUSION: It is often said that cameras do not experience the Moon Illusion. So why does the Moon look so large in this photo, taken last night at the 2500-year-old Temple of Poseidon at Sounio, Greece?

"The Moon Illusion was very strong and the Moon looked huge!" says photographer Elias Chasiotis.

Humans looking at photos of moons behind trees, buildings and temples do experience something akin to the Moon Illusion. "That's one big Moon," is a typical reaction to images like these: #1, #2, #3. The key ingredient seems to be foreground objects altering our perception of the Moon's true diameter. Ultimately, though, the camera splashes cold water on our fancies. Multiple exposures prove that the low Moon is no larger than the high Moon, as shown here, here and here.

In summary, you can't always believe your eyes--not even when reading!

more photos: from Robin Smith of Terre Haute, Indiana; from Chris Picking of Kaituna, North Island, New Zealand; from Ivica Skokic of Zagreb, Croatia; from Mustafa Erol of Antalya, Turkey; from Anthony Ayiomamitis of Sounion, Greece; from Terry Mann of West Manchester, Ohio; from Jacques Vincent of Breil-sur-Roya, France; from Tom Soetaert of Lawrence, Kansas; from Stefan Seip of Weilimdorf, Germany;

SNOW WHITE: Phoenix is digging a new trench on Mars and mission scientists have named it "Snow White." Slip on your 3D glasses and check out the progress so far:

Belgian graphic artist Patrick Vantuyne created the anaglyph using right- and left-eye images captured by Phoenix's stereo camera. Stare a while for full effect; you may even feel as if you're about to fall in. Don't worry, the trench is only about 1 inch deep.

It's about to get deeper. In the days ahead, Phoenix will excavate more topsoil in search of a mysterious white material first seen in a nearby test trench. Mission scientists would like to gather an abundance of the mystery substance for analysis by Phoenix's onboard mass spectrometer. Then they may discover whether it is ice, salt, or something entirely new. Stay tuned for updates.

2008 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
["Noctilucent Clouds"--the song] [NLC Basics]


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 19, 2008 , there were 959 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 LB
June 9
3.3 LD
26 m
2008 LG2
June 13
9.2 LD
36 m
2008 LC
June 17
9.8 LD
55 m
2008 KN11
June 22
9.0 LD
110 m
2000 AD205
June 26
54 LD
800 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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