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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

SpaceWeather.com
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.

SPACE WEATHER
Current
Conditions

Solar Wind
speed: 317.9 km/s
density:
1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT


X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
A1 2210 UT Jun22
24-hr: A1 2210 UT Jun22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 22 Jun '06

Sunspot 896 has dissolved. The Earth facing side of the sun is now utterly spotless. Credit: SOHO/MDI


Sunspot Number: 19
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 21 Jun 2006

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals a good-sized spot on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz:
0.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

Coronal Holes:

A weak solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on June 23rd or 24th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV telescope.


SPACE WEATHER
NOAA
Forecasts

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 2006 Jun 22 2203 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 01 % 01 %
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 2006 Jun 22 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 05 % 05 %
MINOR 01 % 01 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 20 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

What's Up in Space -- 22 Jun 2006
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NIX AND HYDRA: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced today that Pluto's new moons, formerly known as S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2, will henceforth be called Nyx and Hydra. In Greek mythology, Nyx is the goddess of night while Hydra is a terrifying serpent with nine heads. These seem like good companions for Pluto, ninth planet and Roman god of the Underworld: more.

DARK FILAMENT: Sunspot 896 has dissolved and the sun is now blank. Or is it? A dark filament larger than any sunspot has crept over the sun's southeastern limb:


Photo credit: Gary Palmer of Los Angeles, CA.

Filaments are distant cousins of sunspots, related by magnetism. Sunspots are magnetic islands floating on the surface of the sun; filaments are magnetized clouds floating above the surface. Islands and clouds? It sounds very Pacific--and it would be except for the boiling sea. All these things are easy to see if you have a solar telescope. Take a look.

more images: from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; more Rogerio Marcon of Campinas - SP - Brazil.

ICY PILLAR: Summer is here and it's hot, but not hot enough to melt the ice five miles above your head. See the column of light in this photo? It's a sun pillar, caused by ice crystals in cirrus clouds catching the rays of the setting sun.

"It was so nice to see the light from the pillar and the orange clouds reflected in the wet sand," says photographer Laurent Laveder of Bretagne, France. Nice and cool.



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 22 Jun 2006 there were 795 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

June-July 2006 Earth-asteroid encounters
ASTEROID

 DATE
(UT)

MISS DISTANCE

MAG.

 SIZE
2004 DC

Jun 3

10 LD

14

600 m
2003 YN107

Jun 10

8.7 LD

18

25 m
2006 LH

Jun 16

10 LD

21

45 m
2004 XP14

Jul 3

1.1 LD

12

600 m
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 Solar X-ray Imager.

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

SOHO Farside Images of the Sun from SWAN and MDI.

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

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.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006;

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

GLOSSARY | SPACE WEATHER TUTORIAL

This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips: email


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