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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.


Solar Wind
speed: 488.3 km/s
2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C1 1650 UT Jun12
24-hr: C3 0235 UT Jun12
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 12 Jun '05

Sunspots 775 and 776 have complex magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 85
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 11 Jun 2005

Far Side of the Sun

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

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 15.4 nT
14.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

Coronal Holes:

There are no large coronal holes on the sun today. Image credit: NOAA Solar X-ray Imager


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 2005 Jun 11 2204 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 30 % 30 %
CLASS X 05 % 05 %

Geomagnetic Storms: Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at 2005 Jun 11 2204 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 15 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 30 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 12 Jun 2005
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Did you miss the aurora storms of May? Next time get a wake-up call: Sign up for SpaceWeather PHONE.

SOMETHING NEW: Going to the Moon? Be careful. A new kind of solar storm can take you by surprise. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

BIG SUNSPOTS: There are two big active regions on the sun today, sunspots 775 and 776. Although both have magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares, the pair have been quiet for days. Will they erupt ... or not? Stay tuned.

See that black smudge on the setting sun? It's sunspot 776, big enough to see without a telescope:

Christophe Ferruel of Normandie, France, took this picture on June 8th. Copyright: Astronomy Association of Toussaint.

BIRD IN SPACE: In 1923, modern art pioneer Constantin Brancusi sculpted the Bird in Space. Last month, the sculpture was sold at auction for 27 million dollars. A few days ago, it appeared on the sun.

Well ... "it looked like the Bird in Space," says John Stetson of Falmouth, Maine, who took this picture on June 9th:

In fact, it's a prominence, a magnetic plume of hot gas about 10 times taller than Earth. The resemblence to Brancusi's sculpture was, of course, coincidental, but the timing was perfect. SOHO has just announced a new art contest for sun watchers: details.

more images: from Didier Favre of Los Angeles, CA; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Winsen/Luhe, Germany;

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 are on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

On 12 Jun 2005 there were 696 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

May-July 2005 Earth-asteroid encounters



2005 JT1

May 11

6.9 LD

2005 ED318

May 23

6.3 LD

2000 AG6

July 22

8.7 LD

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

SOHO Farside Images of the Sun from SWAN and MDI.

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

The Sun from Earth -- daily images of our star from the Big Bear Solar Observatory

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.

Aurora Forecast --from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute

Daily Solar Flare and Sunspot Data -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1998 to 2001

What is an Iridium flare? See also Photographing Satellites by Brian Webb.

What is an Astronomical Unit, or AU?

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; Jan-Mar., 2005;

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


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

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