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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: 386.9 km/s
2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2255 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
B4 2125 UT Jun30
24-hr: B4 2125 UT Jun30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 30 Jun '05

Sunspots 782 and 783 are growing fast, but they do not yet pose a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 57
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 29 Jun 2005

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.1 nT
5.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT

Coronal Holes:

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about July 2nd. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope.


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 29 2204 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 05 % 05 %
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 2005 Jun 29 2204 UTC
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 25 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 35 %
MINOR 10 % 25 %
SEVERE 01 % 15 %

What's Up in Space -- 30 Jun 2005
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AURORA OUTLOOK: Sky watchers at high latitudes should be alert for auroras on July 2nd when a solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field.

DEEP IMPACT: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is approaching Comet Tempel 1 and, on July 4th, it will blast a hole in the comet's icy, rocky nucleus. At the moment, the comet is a faint 10th magnitude fuzzball, but it could brighten considerably, perhaps to naked-eye visibility, when Deep Impact strikes. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

EXTRA: Comet Tempel 1 surprised observers on June 22nd when a jet of gas and dust suddenly erupted from the comet's nucleus. See the movie.

PLANET SHOW: The spectacular planet show of June 26th-28th is breaking up--but it's not over yet. Step outside tonight at sunset and look west. You'll see Venus and Mercury beautifully close together. Saturn, meanwhile, is vanishing into the glare of the sun: sky map.

Above: Venus and Mercury hovering over the Hotel Jested in Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic. Photo credit: Martin Gembec.

more images: from Brian A. Klimowski at the Cathedral Rocks near Sedona, Arizona; from Jimmy Westlake at the Flat Tops Wilderness Area near Yampa, Colorado; from Kearn Jones of Adelaide, Australia; from Dr Russell Cockman in Melbourne, Australia; from Ugur Ikizler of Kirazli, Bursa, Turkey; from Kirk Johnson of Niwot, Colorado; from Günther Strauch of Borken, Germany; from Martin Adamovský of Plzen, Czech Republic;

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 30 Jun 2005 there were 703 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

June-July 2005 Earth-asteroid encounters



2005 LM3

June 3

4.0 LD

2005 LU3

June 4

4.9 LD

2005 LD

June 19

7.1 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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