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Solar wind
speed: 381.4 km/sec
density: 11.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1705 UT Jun28
24-hr: C7
0337 UT Jun28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Jun 13
None of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 71
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Jun 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

28 Jun 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 100 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Jun 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.7 nT
Bz: 11.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 27 Jun 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on June 29-30. Credit: SDO/AIA. is now posting 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: 06-27-2013 16:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Jun 28 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: 2013 Jun 28 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
20 %
30 %
15 %
Friday, Jun. 28, 2013
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

EARTH-DIRECTED CME: June 28th began with a double solar flare. Magnetic fields around sunspots AR1777 and AR1778 erupted in quick succession between 0130 UT and 0345 UT, producing two C-class (C4, C7) flares. A CME emerging from the sprawling blast site appears to be heading for Earth, although not squarely. Click to view a coronagraph movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:

An analysis of this complicated event is still underway. It is possible that Earth's magnetic field will receive a glancing blow from the CME on or about June 30th. The impact could cause minor geomagnetic storms. Stay tuned for updates. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SOLAR OBSERVATORY LAUNCHED: NASA's newest space telescope, a unique solar observatory named "IRIS", is orbiting Earth today following a successful launch on June 27th at 7:27 pm PDT. Leaving from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, an Orbital L-1011 aircraft carried IRIS inside a Pegasus XL rocket out over the Pacific Ocean, where the rocket separated from the belly of the airplane and blasted into space. The rocket's exhaust created a beautiful sunset display along the central California coast:

Mike O'Leary took the picture from El Cajon, CA. "Sunlight passing through ice crystals formed from the exhaust of the Pegasus rocket created a beautiful twilight effect." According to another onlooker, Thom Peck of Poway, California, the iridescent colors lasted until at least 9:30 pm PDT.

IRIS is on a mission to study the "interface region," a layer of the sun's atmosphere where most solar ultraviolet radiation is generated. Researchers are keen to study the interface region because it is probably the energy source for the sun's mysteriously-hot outer corona.

A good way to understand IRIS's uniqueness is to compare it to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). While SDO sees the entire sun, IRIS going to look closely at only 1 percent of the sun's surface, discerning features as small as 150 miles across. "IRIS almost acts as a microscope to SDO's telescope," explains mission manager Jim Hall.

"IRIS will show the solar chromosphere in more detail than has ever been observed before," says Adrian Daw, deputy project scientist. "My opinion is that we are bound to see something we didn't expect to see."

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: For the past few nights, evening sky watchers in northern Europe and Canada have seen bright noctilucent clouds hovering at the edge of space. Alan Dyer photographed these electric-blue waves approximately 70 km above a bank of thunderstorms in Gleichen, Alberta:

"An interesting phenomenon in this display was the fringe of red at the upper edge of the thunderclouds, which contrasted nicely with the light blue color of the NLCs," says Dyer.

2013 is shaping up to be a good year for NLCs. The clouds surprised researchers by appearing early this year, and many bright displays have already been recorded. Once confined to the Arctic, NLCs have been sighted in recent years as far south as Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. They might spread even farther south in 2013.

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've probably spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo 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 28, 2013 there were 1397 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 PJ9
Jul 17
29.2 LD
1.1 km
2006 BL8
Jul 26
9.3 LD
48 m
2003 DZ15
Jul 29
7.6 LD
153 m
2005 WK4
Aug 9
8.1 LD
420 m
1999 CF9
Aug 23
24.7 LD
1.1 km
2002 JR9
Aug 31
63.5 LD
1.4 km
1992 SL
Sep 23
70 LD
1.1 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...
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