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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: 565.7 km/s
0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C1 2000 UT Jun15
24-hr: C1 2000 UT Jun15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 15 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: 77
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 14 Jun 2004

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.5 nT
4.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 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 15 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 30 % 30 %
CLASS X 05 % 05 %

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 15 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 20 % 20 %
SEVERE 10 % 10 %

What's Up in Space -- 15 Jun 2004
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SUNSPOT WATCH: If you learned how to safely look at the Sun last week to see the transit of Venus, look again. Two big sunspot groups, each larger than Venus, have emerged over the Sun's eastern limb. This could signal a period of increased solar activity in the days ahead.

Would you like a call when auroras appear over your home town? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

TRANSIT OF VENUS: Some of the pictures of last week's Transit of Venus are unlike any in the history of astronomy. There's the X-ray Transit of Venus, recorded by an Earth-orbiting satellite; a jet airplane transiting Venus while Venus transited the Sun; Venus' atmosphere glowing like a fiery-red ring; and Brood X cicadas watching the transit--for the first time since the 8th century. Visit the gallery to see these images and more.

Above: Riccardo Robitschek and Giovanni Maria Caglieris of Milan, Italy captured this image of Venus just two 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!

SPIDER RAINBOW: Rainbows are caused by sunlight bouncing in and out of water droplets. Usually you see rainbows soaring high in the air where the droplets float. Usually. On June 12th, Laurent Laveder of Quimper, Bretagne, France peered into a spider's web and saw a rainbow there. (continued below)

"Last night was fresh, so dew formed on the grass and on the numerous spider webs," says Laveder. "The tiny dew droplets scattered the morning sunlight, forming this small rainbow. I had to focus to infinity to capture the 'bow; that's why the picture is fuzzy."

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 15 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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