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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 537.2 km/sec
density: 2.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2342 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
2147 UT Jun14
24-hr: M1
2147 UT Jun14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Jun 11
A significant sunspot group is emerging over the sun's eastern limb. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 16
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Jun 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 13 Jun 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 87 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Jun 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.8 nT
Bz: 2.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Jun 11
Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole.. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jun 14 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2011 Jun 14 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
05 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

VOLCANIC SUNSETS: South of the equator, gaseous fumes from Chile's erupting Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano are painting the sky vivid shades of purple, gold, and red. "Ash has been blown around the world to our little island, and has resulted in some spectacular sunsets," reports Jason Reilly of Launceston, Tasmania. "The red glow lasts for well over an hour after the sun sets." Volcanic ash has also grounded dozens of flights in South America and Australia. Stranded travelers can take some consolation in the fantastic view.

VOLCANIC LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Wednesday night, June 15th, there's going to be a total lunar eclipse visible from every continent except North America. The Moon will spend 100 minutes fully engulfed in Earth's shadow, making this the longest lunar eclipse in nearly 11 years. Maximum coverage occurs on Wednesday night at 20:12 UT. [details] [animated map] [webcasts: #1, #2]

Exhaust from the erupting volcano in Chile could alter the appearance of the eclipse. Scroll past the shadowed Moon for further discussion:


Above: A lunar eclipse on Dec. 21, 2010, photographed by Alan Dyer of Gleichen, Alberta. [gallery]

Atmospheric scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado explains the volcano-eclipse connection: "The Moon will pass deep into Earth's shadow during totality, actually passing over the center of the shadow at mid-eclipse. As such, it should be a fairly dark eclipse. Furthermore, it appears that last week's eruption of the volcano in Chile may have placed some sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The ash and sulfur plume is extensive and dense, with ash reported at least as high as 13.7 km. Particles in the southern stratosphere could cause a darkening of the southern part of the Moon during totality."

In recent years, Keen has studied the brightness of the Moon during eclipses to probe conditions in the stratosphere. When the eclipsed Moon is bright, the stratosphere is clear. On the other hand, a dark eclipse indicates a dusty stratosphere. Clear vs. dusty is important because the state of the stratosphere affects climate; a clear stratosphere lets the sunshine in to warm the Earth below. At a 2008 SORCE conference Keen reported that "the lunar eclipse record indicates a clear stratosphere over the past decade, and that this has contributed about 0.2 degrees to recent warming."

Sky watchers in the eclipse zone are encouraged to monitor the darkness.

SPACE STATION MARATHON: The International Space Station is putting on a rare "marathon" show for sky watchers in the northern hemisphere. In some places, the bright spacecraft is appearing as many as four times a night. On June 12th, Mark Humpage of South Kilworth, Leics, UK, captured two flybys in a single exposure:

"What an amazing night of multiple flybys over the UK," says Humpage. "I set up a tent and camera beside the water and watched all night as the space station flew overhead 4 times. This shot shows a double flyby at 0057 UT and 0232 UT. The ISS was nearly as bright as the moon, and a low lying mist added to the eerie breathtaking scene. Stunning."

Multiple flyby predictions for cities around the world are available from Spaceweather's Simple Satelite Tracker or on your cell phone. Enjoy the show!

more images: from Orlando Z. Gonzalez of Bayamón, Puerto Rico; from Mark Staples of Little Lake Santa Fe, Florida; from Jim Saueressig II of Burlington, Kansas


June 2011 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora alerts: text, voice] [previous Junes: 2010, 2008, 2001]


Midnight Solar Eclipse Gallery
[NASA: A Rare Eclipse of the Midnight Sun]

  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 14, 2011 there were 1224 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 KE15
Jun 3
3.7 LD
--
16 m
2011 KV15
Jun 5
8.3 LD
--
25 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.1 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2011 LT17
Jun 15
4.6 LD
--
215 m
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 m
2011 GA55
Jul 6
64.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 EZ78
Jul 10
37.3 LD
--
1.6 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 km
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2007 TD
Sep 23
3.8 LD
--
58 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
Science Central
 
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