You are viewing the page for Jun. 19, 2014
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids Internet Shopping Sites high quality binoculars excellent weather stations all-metal reflector telescopes rotatable microscopes
Solar wind
speed: 415.0 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C4
1924 UT Jun19
24-hr: C4
1924 UT Jun19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 19 Jun 14
Sunspot R2089 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 108
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 Jun2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

19 Jun 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 19 Jun 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 0.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 19 Jun 14
There are no large equatorial coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-19-2014 14:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jun 19 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
45 %
35 %
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: 2014 Jun 19 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
Thursday, Jun. 19, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

GEOMAGNETIC UNREST: A minor G1-class geomagnetic storm circled the poles during the late hours of June 18th in response to unsettled conditions in the solar wind. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of more storming on June 19th as Earth exits the solar wind disturbance. Aurora alerts: text, voice

HALOBACTERIA SURVIVE COSMIC RADIATION: On June 7th, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus sent two vails of halobacteria to the edge of space onboard a suborbital helium balloon. The tiny astronauts set a new high-altitude ballooning record for their species: 116,000 feet. Students have just finished reducing data from the flight and found that the bacteria were exposed to cosmic radiation levels 29 times higher than Earth-normal:

The bacteria were also frozen solid. During their passage through the tropopause temperatures plummeted to -60 degrees C. They experienced this blast of cold twice, once during the ascent and again as they were parachuting back to Earth.

Amazingly, the bacteria survived. Students have incubated the microbes, and they are now growing happily in a Petri dish at +40 degrees C. The next step in the experiment is to compare the flown microbes with a control sample to determine what fraction survived the combined thermal-radiation shock of their trip to the edge of space.

Astrobiologsts have long wondered if halobacteria, a terrestrial extremophile with a special talent for shielding itself from UV radiation, could survive on the planet Mars. The Earth to Sky experiments suggest the answer may be "yes." Stay tuned for updates from the Petri dish.

See also: "Teen launch balloons to the Edge of Space" from the LA Times

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

MESOSPHERIC GRAVITY WAVES: Some thunderstorms are so powerful that they create ripples in the atmosphere 80 to 90 km high, at the edge of space itself. In satellite images such storms look like a giant atmospheric bulls-eye. It turns out these ripples are also visible from the ground. Amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recently photographed them over New Mexico:

"Over the past few years I have been photographing sprites above distant thunderstorms using an infrared camera," says Ashcraft. "It turns out that the strong thunderstorm systems that generate sprites often also perturb the mesosphere and create gravity waves."

"This near infrared image from June 05, 2014, shows gravity waves above a powerful thunderstorm cell over western Kansas. The storm was about three hundred miles away from my observatory so the thunderstorm itself was below my horizon."

"There are many stills of this phenomenon but not many time-lapses that show their complex motions," he says. "I posted a movie extract of the storm on vimeo. Note also the sprites that pop up sporadically."

"The mesosphere is not well studied and it holds much Nature yet to be discovered," concludes Ashcraft. "To me it is a vast ecological zone full of beauty."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SUMMER SUN HALO: Around the northern hemisphere, sky watchers are starting to report a rainbow-colored sun halo that appears almost-exclusively during summer: the circumhorizon arc. "I saw one on June 13th. It was very bright," says Michail Anastasio, who snapped this picture from the cockpit of a plane flying 20,000 feet over Singapore:

Nicknamed the "fire rainbow" because of its fiery rainbow colors, this apparition in fact has nothing to do with either fire or rainbows. It is caused by sunlight refracting through plate-shaped ice crystals in cirrus clouds. The geometry of the refraction requires that the sun be high in the sky (above 58o), which explains why this is a summertime phenomenon.

June and July are the best months to see circumhorizon arcs. Look for them circling the horizon sometimes in patches, sometimes not, always brightly decorated with pure and well separated prismatic colors. You'll know it when you see it.

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet 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. 19, 2014, the network reported 8 fireballs.
( 8 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 19, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 LL26
Jun 10
5.3 LD
37 m
2013 AG69
Jul 8
2.7 LD
15 m
2011 PU1
Jul 17
7.9 LD
43 m
2002 JN97
Aug 2
61.4 LD
2.0 km
2001 RZ11
Aug 17
34.2 LD
2.2 km
2013 WT67
Aug 17
16.1 LD
1.2 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.