You are viewing the page for Jun. 25, 2019
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
You entered an invalid date. This is yesterday's edition. -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 329.0 km/sec
density: 6.9 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A7
2039 UT Jun25
24-hr: A8
0352 UT Jun25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 25 Jun 19
These two emerging sunspots are members of old Solar Cycle 24. They pose no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 24
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jun 2019

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2019 total: 109 days (62%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 25 Jun 2019

Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 3.56
x1010 W Cold
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jun 2019

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 68 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jun 2019

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
Bz: 0.7 nT north
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 25 Jun 19

Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole could graze Earth's magnetic field on June 26.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for noctilicent clouds is underway. Monitor the daily images from NASA's AIM spacecraft to see how the clouds spread around the Arctic Circle as northern summer unfolds.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-25-2019 14:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2019 Jun 25 2200 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: 2019 Jun 25 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
20 %
30 %
20 %
Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2019
What's up in space

Special Offer: SAVE 600nok per person. Book a combination aurora borealis chase and scenic day tour during the months of September, October or November 2019 for the special price of 1800 kr. Check Marianne's webpage for details!


NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS INVADE THE USA--AGAIN: Earth's mesosphere is still unusually wet. The proof was in the skies of the USA on June 24th when noctilucent clouds appeared at record-low latitudes for the second time this month. Electric-blue waves rippled over Las Vegas, NV; Joshua Tree and Pollock Pines, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; and Albuquerque NM.  The American display followed an equally extreme outburst over Europe on the night of the summer solstice. Noctilucent clouds aren't restricted to the Arctic anymore; everyone everywhere should be alert for the next display. Browse: Photo Gallery

SMALL ASTEROID EXPLODES NEAR PUERTO RICO--UPDATED: On June 22nd at 21:25 UT, a small asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere and exploded in broad daylight south of Puerto Rico. Airwaves recorded by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization's infrasound station in Bermuda pegged the blast energy between 3 and 5 kilotons of TNT--a fraction of a WW II atomic bomb. The explosion was clearly visible in images from NOAA's GOES-16 weather satellite:

This movie combines data from GOES-16's Global Lightning Mapper and water vapor infrared spectrometer

Meteor expert Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario says the infrasound signal is consistent with a "small multi-meter sized near-Earth asteroid." According to data compiled by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, asteroids of this size and energy hit Earth's atmosphere about once a year. That means it's rare--but not exceptionally so.

The asteroid fragmented as it ripped through the atmosphere. This infrared image from the GOES-16 satellite shows the space rock splitting into at least 3 pieces:

Many more fragments undoubtedly sprayed from the explosion, but the resulting meteorites are now at the bottom of the Caribbean or (in the case of dust-sized debris) floating on the sea surface. Samples would be very difficult to recover.

Earth is currently approaching the Taurid Swarm--a stream of rocky debris associated with the Tunguska Impact of 1908. Astronomers are eager for the close encounter, which begins in late June, so they can peer inside the swarm in search of dangerous asteroids. This fireball, however, is not a Taurid.

"Based on a preliminary orbit for the fireball, it does not appear to be part of the Taurid swarm," says Paul Weigert of the University of Western Ontario. "Its orbit is typical of near-Earth asteroids which have escaped from the asteroid belt."

UPDATE: This asteroid may have been discovered shortly before it struck by an Atlas Project Survey telescope: more.

A sharable version of this story is available here.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

APOLLO 11 PROOF SILVER DOLLAR: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the United States Mint has created a commemorative 2019 Proof Silver Dollar. We decided to celebrate even more by flying the coins to the edge of space. On June 23rd, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched this 99.9% silver dollar 102,034 feet above Earth's surface:

You can have it for $197.95. The students are selling the coins to support their cosmic ray ballooning program. The silver dollar is curved and reproduces the helmet of astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Reflected in Buzz's visor are Neil Armstrong, the United States flag, and the lunar lander. The opposite side of the coin shows Neil's iconic footprint on the Moon. Each of these coins comes with a greeting card showing the item in flight and a certificate of authenticity.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

  All Sky Fireball Network
Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

On Jun. 25, 2019, the network reported 40 fireballs.
(40 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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, 2019 there were 1983 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2019 LB2
6.5 LD
2019 LM1
9.8 LD
2019 LC5
13.6 LD
7.7 LD
2008 KV2
17.8 LD
2016 NN15
9.6 LD
2019 LR4
11.3 LD
2019 LV1
5.2 LD
2015 XC352
11.9 LD
2019 MT
8.9 LD
2016 OF
12.8 LD
2016 NO56
3.4 LD
2019 KD3
15.5 LD
2016 NJ33
15 LD
2015 HM10
12.2 LD
2010 PK9
8.2 LD
2006 QQ23
19.4 LD
17 LD
2018 PN22
17.1 LD
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

SOMETHING NEW! We have developed a new predictive model of aviation radiation. It's called E-RAD--short for Empirical RADiation model. We are constantly flying radiation sensors onboard airplanes over the US and and around the world, so far collecting more than 22,000 gps-tagged radiation measurements. Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.

E-RAD lets us do something new: Every day we monitor approximately 1400 flights criss-crossing the 10 busiest routes in the continental USA. Typically, this includes more than 80,000 passengers per day. E-RAD calculates the radiation exposure for every single flight.

The Hot Flights Table is a daily summary of these calculations. It shows the 5 charter flights with the highest dose rates; the 5 commercial flights with the highest dose rates; 5 commercial flights with near-average dose rates; and the 5 commercial flights with the lowest dose rates. Passengers typically experience dose rates that are 20 to 70 times higher than natural radiation at sea level.

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

En route to the stratosphere, our sensors also pass through aviation altitudes:

In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

  Essential web 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 Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
  the underlying science of space weather welcomes these supporters of science communication: RV Sales and CRAS, the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences and Windshield Replacement Phoenix and Breast Augmentation Phoenix and Dentist Chandler, AZ.
Look no further to find the best Comox Valley Real Estate listings and homes for sale
NASA Near Earth Asteroid Home Page
Chicago SEO Expert
Search Kelowna Real Estate Listings & Homes for Sale easily.
Find help on all Calgary Homes For Sale and Real Estate Listings. Great source for Edmonton Real Estate Listings & Homes For Sale

To find reviews of new online casino sites in the UK try The Casino DB where there are hundreds of online casino reviews complete with bonuses and ratings.

Looking for a new online casino? Try Casimpo the new site dedicated to making online casino simple and easy for all.

  These links help stay online. Thank you to our supporters!
  more links...
©2018 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 All rights reserved.