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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 686.9 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1706 UT Jun04
24-hr: C1
1658 UT Jun04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 04 Jun 12
Sunspot complex 1493-1496 poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 133
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Jun 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 03 Jun 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 129 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Jun 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.3 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 04 Jun 12
Solar wind flowing from this chicken-shaped coronal hole should reach Earth on June 5-7. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jun 04 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
20 %
20 %
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: 2012 Jun 04 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
40 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
25 %
30 %
SEVERE
60 %
55 %
 
Monday, Jun. 4, 2012
What's up in space
 

It's a once in a lifetime event: the June 5th Transit of Venus across the sun. Watch the world wide webcast sponsored by the Coca-Cola Science Center and NASA.

 
Venus Transit Live

THE MYSTERIOUS ARC OF VENUS: Astronomers hope to glimpse a "ring of fire" around Venus during its historic transit across the sun on June 5-6. The apparition, if it is seen, could help crack some of the deepest mysteries of the second planet. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: This morning, June 4th, the Moon glided through the shadow of Earth, producing a 38% lunar eclipse visible across the Pacific from east Asia to North America. Coyote songs filled the air outside Borrego Springs, California, when Dennis Mammana took this picture of the full Moon cut almost in half:

"The desert night air was cool, the moonlight glorious and the coyotes were yipping away merrily in the distance. What a great night for an eclipse! This shot of mid-eclipse was captured with a University Optics 80mm refractor telescope and a Nikon D700 digital camera."

Browse the real time photo gallery for more moonshots:

Space Weather Real Time Image Gallery
[Submit your photos] [NASA videos: Partial Eclipse of the Strawbery Moon]

Watch the eclipse unfold in SpaceWeather.com's Realtime Photo Gallery.

SOLAR TSUNAMI: New sunspot 1496 unleashed an impulsive M3-class solar flare on June 3rd at 1755 UT. In New Mexico, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft was monitoring the sun when the explosion occurred, and he video-recorded a powerful solar tsunami issuing from the blast site:

"This was a great solar event!" says Ashcraft. "The blast wave sparked powerful radio emissions as it plowed through the sun's atmosphere, and I recorded the sounds using my shortwave radio telescope."

The explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space: SOHO movie. The cloud does not appear to be heading for Earth, although this conclusion could be revised by further analysis. Stay tuned. Solar Flare alerts: text, voice.

'CH' STANDS FOR ... CHICKEN? A big dark hole in the sun's atmosphere, a 'coronal hole', is turning toward Earth spewing solar wind. According to NASA's official rubber chicken, it looks an awful lot like a bird:

Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows the solar wind to escape. A chicken-shaped stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole will reach Earth on June 5th - 7th, possibly stirring geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

VENUS PASSES MERCURY, APPROACHES THE SUN: Venus is approaching the sun in advance of the June 5th Transit of Venus. From here on Earth, the second planet has become difficult to see wrapped in bright sunlight. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, however, has no such trouble. SOHO's onboard coronagrah blocks the glare to reveal planets otherwise invisible:

A 24-hour movie shows that Mercury is exiting stage left as Venus plunges deeper into sunlight. Updated images may be found here.

Amateur astronomers who manage to locate Venus in broad daylight will find that the planet has turned into a delightfully slender crescent. This is happening because Venus is turning its nightside to Earth, with only a sliver of reflected sunlight still shining over the planet's limb.

The crescent could soon become a ring. When Venus is less than few degrees away from the sun, the horns of the crescent sometimes reach around and touch, producing a complete annulus. The effect is caused by particles in upper layers of Venus's atmosphere which scatter sunlight around the circumference of the planet. The ring is very difficult to observe, and often only black-belt astrophotographers are able to record the phenomenon.

Keep an eye on SpaceWeather's realtime photo gallery to see how Venus shape-shifts in the days ahead:

Space Weather Real Time Image Gallery
[Submit your photos] [NASA videos: 2012 Transit of Venus, ISS Transit of Venus]

  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 4, 2012 there were 1293 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 KC45
May 28
2 LD
--
6 m
2012 KP24
May 28
0.1 LD
--
23 m
2012 KT42
May 29
0.05 LD
--
8 m
2012 KZ41
May 31
8.2 LD
--
42 m
Dec 31
0 LD
--
0 m
** 
Dec 31
0 LD
--
0 m
2002 AC
Jun 16
62.2 LD
--
1.2 km
1999 BJ8
Jun 16
68.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2005 GO21
Jun 21
17.1 LD
--
2.2 km
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.2 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
--
1.0 km
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
--
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.1 km
Dec 31
0 LD
--
0 m
** 
Dec 31
0 LD
--
0 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 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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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