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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.


Solar Wind

speed: 437.3 km/s
3.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2254 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
B5 2045 UT Jun14
24-hr: C1 0355 UT Jun14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 14 Jun '04
A new sunspot group, #634, emerging over the sun's northeastern limb could be a source of M-class solar flares in the days ahead. It has already unleashed one such flare on June 13th. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

The Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the Sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 55
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 13 Jun 2004

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.8 nT
1.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT

Coronal Holes:

A solar wind gust from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about June 18th. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Imager


Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2004 Jun 14 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 30 % 30 %
CLASS X 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 2004 Jun 14 2200 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 25 % 25 %
MINOR 15 % 15 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 30 %
MINOR 15 % 15 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 14 Jun 2004
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SUNSPOT WATCH: A pair of big sunspot groups has emerged over the sun's eastern limb. One of them, number 634, unleashed an M-class solar flare on June 13th. This could signal a period of increased solar activity in the days ahead.

TRANSIT OF VENUS: When Venus crossed the Sun on June 8th cameras around the world were clicking. Some of the pictures are unlike anything ever recorded in the history of astronomy. Here's one from Riccardo Robitschek and Giovanni Maria Caglieris of Milan, Italy: (continued below)

They captured this image 2 minutes after fourth contact. The solar chromosphere juts above the black edge of a coronagraph, which blots out the Sun's bright disk. See the fiery ring around Venus? That's sunlight filtering through the planet's atmosphere. Amazing!

HUGE RAINBOW: On June 7th, Greek photographer Anthony Ayiomamitis was outside at sunset ("the sun was just a few degrees above the horizon," he says) preparing for the next day's Transit of Venus, when he noticed these "two huge rainbows side-by-side." (continued below)

"Because rainbows appear opposite the sun, sunset rainbows ride high in the sky and often look huge," explains atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley, "but in fact all rainbows are the same size with a primary radius of 42."

"Sunset rainbows are also red," he adds. "Notice how the reds of the primary bow at right and the secondary bow at left face one another? The secondary bow, made by light reflected twice inside raindrops, has reversed colors. Why is the sky darker between the bows? The Greek Alexander of Aphrodisias first recorded the dark band 1800 years ago."

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 are on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On 14 Jun 2004 there were 605 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

May-July 2004 Earth-asteroid encounters


2001 US16

May 8

11 LD

2004 HC39

May 12

13 LD

2004 FJ11

May 24

12 LD

1998 SF36

June 26

5 LD

1999 MN

July 14

7 LD

Notes: LD is a "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 Web Links

NOAA Space Environment 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. See also Snow Crystals.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images --a gallery of up-to-date solar pictures from the National Solar Data Analysis Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center. See also the GOES-12 Soft X-ray Imager.

Recent Solar Events -- a nice summary of current solar conditions from

SOHO Farside Images of the Sun from SWAN and MDI.

The Latest SOHO Coronagraph Images -- from the Naval Research Lab

The Sun from Earth -- daily images of our star from the Big Bear Solar Observatory

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

What is the Interplanetary Magnetic Field? -- A lucid answer from the University of Michigan. See also the Anatomy of Earth's Magnetosphere.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft. How powerful are solar wind gusts? Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Aurora Forecast --from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute

Daily Solar Flare and Sunspot Data -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001

What is an Iridium flare? See also Photographing Satellites by Brian Webb.

Vandenberg AFB missile launch schedule.

What is an Astronomical Unit, or AU?

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; Jan-Mar., 2004;

Space Audio Streams: (University of Florida) 20 MHz radio emissions from Jupiter: #1, #2, #3, #4; (NASA/Marshall) INSPIRE: #1; (Stan Nelson of Roswell, New Mexico) meteor radar: #1, #2;

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars


Editor's Note: This site is sponsored by Science@NASA. Space weather and other forecasts that appear here are formulated by Dr. Tony Phillips. They are not guarantees of space weather or other celestial activity.

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