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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 521.5 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
1815 UT Jun27
24-hr: B1
0320 UT Jun27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Jun 10
New sunspot 1084 is crackling with B-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 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 26 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.1 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jun 27 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 27 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
15 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 27, 2010

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


FALCON 9 REENTRY: According to US Strategic Command, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket reentered Earth's atmosphere on June 27th at 50 minutes past midnight UT (+/- 2 hours). Nominally, this puts the fireball somewhere over the Iraq-Syria border, although the 2 hour uncertainty means reentry could have happened almost anywhere along the rocket's ground track. The Falcon 9 and its companion the Dragon are of interest because they could become commercial successors to NASA's retiring space shuttle. This reentry was the expected conclusion to the Falcon 9's inaugural test flight.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Saturday, June 26th, the Moon passed through the shadow of Earth, producing a partial lunar eclipse. In Australia, Geoff Sims combined a series of images to reveal the outline of Earth's shadow:

"The weather was perfect here in Sydney," says Sims. "I was able to photograph the entire eclipse."

His composite shows that the Moon passed through the shadow off-center. At maximum, only 54% of the lunar diameter was covered. In fact, Earth's shadow is big enough to swallow the entire Moon, and later this year it will. On Dec. 20th there will be a total lunar eclipse. Until then, browse the gallery:

NEW: Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[Science@NASA: Big Lunar Eclipse] [astronomy alerts]

NEW SUNSPOT 1084: A new sunspot is rotating into view around the sun's southeastern limb. Rogerio Marcon sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Campinas, Brazil:

The sunspot's dark core is about the size of Earth, and it sits at the vertex of a massive swirl of hot gas. Extreme UV images from NASA's Solar Dynamiics Observatory reveal the million-degree whirlpool: click here. So far the sunspot has been relatively quiet, producing no flares of note, but this could change if the magnetic field becomes unstable. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from John C McConnell of Maghaberry, Northern Ireland; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida; from Peter Desypris of Island of Syros Greece; from Jan Timmermans of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands; from Britta Suhre of Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany

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 27, 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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