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Solar wind
speed: 621.6 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
2258 UT Jun08
24-hr: B7
0603 UT Jun08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Jun 15
Growing sunspot AR2360 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 136
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Jun 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

Updated 08 Jun 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 137 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Jun 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 6
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.4 nT
Bz: 0.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 08 Jun 15

Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is underway. NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted the first noctilucent clouds over the Arctic Circle on May 19th.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-08-2015 22:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jun 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
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: 2015 Jun 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
15 %
20 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
50 %
25 %
Monday, Jun. 8, 2015
What's up in space

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park, winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award 2015.

Lapland tours

QUIET WITH A CHANCE OF FLARES: Solar activity is low, but perhaps not for long. Growing sunspot AR2360 is facing Earth and has an unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of M-flares on June 8th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

SOLAR WIND SPARKS AURORAS: A solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 7th, sparking a G2-class geomagnetic storm. In the United States, surprised sky watchers from Washington to the Dakotas witnessed a rare display of summer auroras. Christian Begeman sends this picture from the outskirts of Isabel, SD:

"I was out shooting the Milky Way in rural Corson County,South Dakota, when I noticed the old familiar glow on the northern horizon," says Begeman. "Here is a shot of the auroras above the Korb windmill about 5 miles southeast of Isabel."

More auroras are in the offing as Earth moves deeper into the solar wind stream. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on June 8th. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: For many sky watchers, seeing auroras is a rare treat. Ditto for noctilucent clouds. "To witness auroras and noctilucent clouds at the same time is almost unimaginable," says photographer Harlan Thomas, "but as luck would have it, last night I was in the right place to see them both." This was the scene above Baker Lake, Alberta on June 8th:

He took the picture during the peak of a G2-class geomagnetic storm. Electric-blue noctilucent clouds hugged the horizon while green auroras danced overhead. "The juxtaposition was gorgeous."

Summer auroras are rare, but summer is the season for noctilucent clouds. NLCs form at the edge of space, 82 km above Earth's surface, when diaphanous wisps of water vapor wrap themselves around meteoroids to form tiny ice crystals. The crystals are so tiny that they scatter blue light--hence the clouds' electric-blue color. Why summer? Ironically, that is the only time the upper atmosphere is cold enough for these icy clouds to form.

Noctilucent clouds first appeared in the 19th century after the eruption of super-volcano Krakatoa. At the time, people thought NLCs were caused by the eruption, but long after Krakatoa's ash settled, the clouds remained. In recent years, NLCs have intensified and spread with summer sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This could be a sign of increasing greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.

Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

NOT A RAINBOW: At this time of year, a colorful arc often appears in the noontime sky. It looks like a rainbow, but it's not. "We saw one during Saturday's June Bug parade in Baldwin, Wisconsin," reports Craig Braymen. "This picture barely does it justice."

Braymen witnessed a circumhorizon arc--a rainbow-colored band of light caused by the sun shining through plate-shaped ice crystals in cirrus clouds. Summer is the season for circumhorizontal arcs because they appear only when the sun is high in the sky--more than 58o above the horizon. The arc's enormous size and pure spectral colors make it one of the most beautiful of all ice halos.

At medium latitudes, like much of the USA, the arc is not rare.Typically, it can be seen several times each summer. In contrast, further north in much of Europe the circumhorizon arc is a rarity and impossible to see north of Copenhagen. See the charts in Les Cowley's web page 'How rare?' for the visibility at your location.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

On Jun. 8, 2015, the network reported 4 fireballs.
(4 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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 8, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2005 XL80
Jun 4
38.1 LD
1.0 km
2015 KA122
Jun 6
3.3 LD
95 m
2015 KU121
Jun 7
7.5 LD
115 m
2015 LF
Jun 8
0.5 LD
21 m
2015 LH
Jun 10
3.7 LD
16 m
2012 XB112
Jun 11
10.1 LD
2 m
2015 LK
Jun 17
7.8 LD
40 m
2015 LG
Jun 18
8.8 LD
54 m
2015 KK57
Jun 23
8.3 LD
13 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.1 LD
73 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.4 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
565 m
2013 BQ18
Jul 20
7.9 LD
38 m
1999 JD6
Jul 25
18.8 LD
1.6 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 6
76.5 LD
1.4 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Columbia Northern High School
  Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
  more links...
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