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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 597.3 km/sec
density: 1.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2215 UT Jun24
24-hr: B4
1549 UT Jun24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Jun 11
A new sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 47
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 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 23 Jun 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 96 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Jun 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.8 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 Jun 11
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jun 24 2200 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: 2011 Jun 24 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
20 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Friday, Jun. 24, 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

STORM WARNING: A fast-moving stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. The combined effect of this stream plus a CME expected to arrive on June 24th has prompted NOAA forecasters to declare a 30% to 35% chance of geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

ASTEROID FLYBY: Newly-discovered asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) above Earth's surface on Monday June 27 at about 9:30 a.m. EDT. NASA analysts say there is no chance the space rock will strike Earth. Nevertheless, the encounter is so close that Earth's gravity will sharply alter the asteroid's trajectory:

At closest approach, 2011 MD will pass in broad daylight over the southern Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Antarctica. As the asteroid recedes from Earth, it will pass through the zone of geosynchronous satellites. The chances of a collision with a satellite or manmade space junk are extremely small, albeit not zero.

Judging from the brightness of the asteroid, it measures only 5 to 20 meters in diameter. According to JPL's Near Earth Object Program office, one would expect an object of this size to come this close to Earth about every 6 years on average. For a brief time, it will be bright enough to be seen even with a medium-sized backyard telescope. [observing tips] [3D orbit]

SUNSPOT VS. WILDFIRE: On June 21st, while working a raging wildfire in north Florida, medivac pilot Chris Lambert looked up at the sun and saw a dark spot through the smoke. "Was it a transit of Mercury?" He emailed the question to his friend, solar photographer Stephen W. Ramsden. "I knew exactly what he was looking at," says Ramsden, "because I had been imaging it all week at public astronomy events in Atlanta." It was sunspot AR1236:

"I explained to Chris that he was simply using the ancient Chinese method of watching the sun through thick smoke or at sunrise and sunset in order to record these giant islands of magnetism on the sun's surface," continues Ramsden. "I sent him back a closeup photo that I had taken earlier that morning of the same feature. Good luck to Chris and all the firefighters risking their lives around the country to fight these epic blazes."

more images: from Jerry Dzuricky of Erie, PA; from Piet Berger of Eys, The Netherlands; from Charles Beanland at the Bay of Gibraltar, Europe;


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


June 15th Lunar Eclipse Gallery

  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 24, 2011 there were 1237 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 MD
Jun 27
0.05 LD
--
11 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
2002 AG29
Oct 9
77.1 LD
--
1.0 km
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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