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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 590.7 km/sec
density: 5.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
2140 UT Jun29
24-hr: B1
1550 UT Jun29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Jun 10
Sunspot 1084 has a simple magnetic field that does not harbor energy for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 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 28 Jun 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 74 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Jun 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.3 nT
Bz: 4.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 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 29 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 29 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
What's up in Space
June 29, 2010

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


HOW LONG CAN THIS GO ON? Answer: Until Friday. For the rest of this week, the ISS will be in almost constant sunlight. This means the space station shines brightly in the night sky every single time it passes overhead. Many observers are witnessing 3, 4, even 5 flybys a night. On June 28th, Mark Humpage photographed a rare triple flyby over Lutterworth, UK. Ready for your own triple? Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for viewing times.

ISS images: from Michał Nyklewicz of Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland; from Alan Dyer near Gleichen, Alberta; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary

PLASMA PUFFS: A magnetic filament is snaking over the sun's northeastern limb, and it is filled with cool dark "puffs" of solar plasma. Pete Lawrence sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Selsey, UK:

Each puff is about the size of Earth, but much less dense; solar plasma consists mainly of gaseous hydrogen. If you could fit one in our atmosphere, it would float.

Despite the diaphanous nature of these plasma clouds, they can cause quite a stir if they fall to the stellar surface, producing an intense flash of radiation called a "Hyder flare." So far, however, the puffs seem to be held firmly aloft by the magnetic filament shown in this SDO image. No explosions are in the offing.

STORKS AND SPACE WEATHER: This week, sky watchers in northern Europe are witnessing an intense display of electric-blue noctilucent clouds. It's a veritable "NLC storm." The storks are enjoying the show, too:

"Each year in late Spring, thousands of storks (Ciconia ciconia) arrive in Poland," reports Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland. "Last night I caught one nesting during the most beautiful display of NLCs this year."

Summer is the season for NLCs, and the recent solstice seems to have kicked these mysterious clouds into high gear. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for electric blue after sunset.

more images: from Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden; from Krzysztof Chomicki of Bielsk Podlaski, Poland; from Michal Laszczynski of Gdynia, Poland; from Adam Mazurkiewicz of Toruń, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Polska; from Patryk Koniecki of Kwidzyn, Pomorskie, Poland; from Łukasz Strupiechowski of Halinów, Poland

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

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 29, 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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