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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 352.8 km/sec
density: 16.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2315 UT Jun25
24-hr: B2
1020 UT Jun25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 25 Jun 10
Sunspot 1082 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 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 24 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 74 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 24 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.2 nT
Bz: 5.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth as early as June 26th. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jun 25 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 25 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
25 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
What's up in Space
June 25, 2010

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


BIG LUNAR ECLIPSE: This Saturday morning, June 26th, there's going to be a lunar eclipse—and for many residents of the USA, it's going to be a big one. The eclipse will occur as the Moon is setting, causing the "Moon Illusion" to magnify the event to truly beautiful proportions. [full story] [eclipse gallery]

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!

Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center has prepared a movie showing the simulated view from a sun-facing window on the ISS. Click to play:

Note: The comet pictured in the movie is Comet McNaught (C/20099 R1)

"That was one complete orbit of the ISS on June 25th," says Cooke. "Note how the sun never sets. The sun will remain 'up'--and the ISS constantly illuminated--until Monday, June 28th."

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the ISS could be flying over your house right now. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for viewing times. Better yet, let your iPhone or Android guide you to the ISS. There's an app for that!

more images: from Valentin Grigore of Targoviste, Romania; from Paco Bellido of Córdoba, Spain; from Chris Kotsiopoulos of Ikaria island, Greece; from Ralf Vandebergh of the Netherlands

AURORAS FROM ABOVE: Have you ever wondered what auroras look like from above? Astronauts onboard the International Space Station found out on May 29th when they flew through a geomagnetic storm and witnessed this green ribbon snaking over the Indian Ocean:

The bright display of Southern Lights was sparked by a solar coronal mass ejection (CME), which hit Earth's magnetic field and sparked a G1-class geomagnetic storm. On the other end of the planet, the same storm produced bright Northern Lights over Wisconsin, Minnesota and parts of Canada. Both poles were ringed in light at the same time.

This isn't the first time astronauts have seen auroras underfoot. The shuttle has flown right through auroral curtains with no ill effects--other than time lost while the crew crowds around the window to stare.The ISS also turns out to be a wonderful platform for aurora watching.

Next up: A solar wind stream is due to hit Earth's magnetic field on June 26th or 27th, possibly sparking a new round of geomagnetic activity. Sky watchers above and below should be alert for auroras.

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 25, 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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