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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 410.7 km/sec
density: 6.9 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2352 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A8
1941 UT Jun08
24-hr: A8
0113 UT Jun08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Jun 19
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Jun 2019

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 20 days
2019 total: 94 days (59%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
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%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 08 Jun 2019

Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 3.96
x1010 W Cold
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Jun 2019

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 69 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Jun 2019

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 5 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.6 nT
Bz: -3.0 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2351 UT
Coronal Holes: 08 Jun 19

Solar wind flowing from this northern coronal hole could reach Earth on June 12th.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for noctilicent clouds is underway. Monitor the daily images from NASA's AIM spacecraft to see how the clouds spread around the Arctic Circle as northern summer unfolds.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-08-2019 14:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2019 Jun 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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: 2019 Jun 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
20 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
65 %
30 %
Saturday, Jun. 8, 2019
What's up in space

Solar minimum is here - but even now strangely beautiful auroras are dancing around the poles. Deep inside the Arctic Circle, the expert guides of Aurora Holidays in Utsjoki, Finland, can help you chase them. Book now!


BE ALERT FOR THE "LUNAR X": Have you seen the Lunar X? Once a month when the sun rises over Crater Werner in the Moon's southern hemisphere, sunlight floods the region's high terrain and makes a luminous criss-cross shape. The "X" is due to appear on Sunday, June 9th, between 20.4h and 22.4h Pacific Daylight Time. Submit your X's here.

POSSIBLE CME IMPACT: Today, Saturday, June 8th, a dense and strongly-magnetized cloud of plasma hit Earth's magnetic field. The gaseous material appears to be the flank of a coronal mass ejection (CME). The solar storm cloud left the sun on June 3rd, shown here in a movie from NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft:

This is a small, slow-moving CME. Indeed, it has taken more than 5 days to cross the sun-Earth divide. Typical CMEs cross the same distance in half the time. Nevertheless, it has been geoeffective because it is opening cracks in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind pouring through the gaps sparked a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm on June 8th.

NOAA forecasters have issued a watch for more G1-class activity on June 9th as Earth's magnetic field reverberates from the glancing blow. Auroras may be observed in parts of Canada and other high-latitude places where the midnight sun has not yet wiped out the night. Aurora alerts: SMS Text, Email.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

FATHER'S DAY GIFTS FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE: What do you get the dad who has everything? Consider a gift from the edge of space! Every item in the Earth to Sky Store has flown to the top of Earth's atmosphere onboard a cosmic ray balloon, and they're all 10% off between now and Father's Day (June 16th).

Each gift comes with a unique greeting card showing the item in flight and telling the story of its journey to the stratosphere and back again. Cosmic ray data collected during the flights form a unique record of radiation in Earth's atmosphere--100% gathered and analyzed by young scientists. All sales support the students and their high-altitude ballooning program. Thanks!

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE GREAT RED SPOT? The biggest storm in the solar system is shrinking. Since mid-May, Jupiter's Great Red Spot has contracted a startling 3000 km, reducing the size of the anti-cyclone by more than 20%. This 10-day movie created by Marco Vedovato of the JUPOS Project shows what's happening:

Enormous rivulets of red gas are streaming away from the storm as it spins. "This is something we've never seen before," says Vedovato, who assembled the animation by stitching together images from nearly a dozen amateur astronomers.

Experienced observers say the storm is "getting a new shape every day" in a "dramatic metamorphasis" as the Red Spot "appears to be unravelling."

Consider it a case of perfect timing. Jupiter is about to make its annual closest approach to Earth--"only" 641 million km away on June 12th. Proximity makes the planet big and bright, shining almost four times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Astrophotographers are therefore getting a fantastic view of the GRS.

Jupiter rising over Bluff, Utah. Photo credit: Paul Martini

"The JUPOS Project manages the largest Jupiter database in the world," says Vedovato. "So far we have collected more than 1 million measurements, including old images and drawings from the 18th century, allowing us to plot very precise trends in the Great Red Spot." This plot, for instance, shows the sudden decrease in the storm's diameter since early May.

Observing tips: Finding Jupiter is easy. Because the giant planet is at opposition, it rises in the east at sunset and stays up all night long. The best time to look is around local midnight when Jupiter is hanging relatively high in the southern sky. Even small telescopes will reveal the planet's oblate disk and stormy cloud belts. And Jupiter's 4 largest moons can be seen using no more than handheld binoculars: sky map.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud 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, 2019, the network reported 34 fireballs.
(34 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, 2019 there were 1983 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2019 LQ1
5.5 LD
2012 KZ41
3.8 LD
2019 KE2
19.9 LD
2019 KY
5.5 LD
2019 KS
12.3 LD
2019 KA4
8.4 LD
2019 KA3
4 LD
2019 JX2
13.8 LD
2014 MF18
8.8 LD
2019 LA
13.9 LD
2019 KZ3
5.7 LD
2019 KG3
16.4 LD
2019 LB
9.1 LD
2019 LL1
5.6 LD
2013 YA14
14.7 LD
2019 KJ
12.6 LD
2019 LU
4.1 LD
2019 LR
18.3 LD
2019 LC1
19.2 LD
2019 LB2
6.5 LD
2019 LM1
9.8 LD
7.7 LD
2008 KV2
17.8 LD
2016 NN15
9.6 LD
2019 LV1
5.2 LD
2015 XC352
11.9 LD
2016 OF
12.8 LD
2016 NO56
3.4 LD
2019 KD3
15.5 LD
2016 NJ33
15 LD
2015 HM10
12.2 LD
2010 PK9
8.2 LD
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

SOMETHING NEW! We have developed a new predictive model of aviation radiation. It's called E-RAD--short for Empirical RADiation model. We are constantly flying radiation sensors onboard airplanes over the US and and around the world, so far collecting more than 22,000 gps-tagged radiation measurements. Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.

E-RAD lets us do something new: Every day we monitor approximately 1400 flights criss-crossing the 10 busiest routes in the continental USA. Typically, this includes more than 80,000 passengers per day. E-RAD calculates the radiation exposure for every single flight.

The Hot Flights Table is a daily summary of these calculations. It shows the 5 charter flights with the highest dose rates; the 5 commercial flights with the highest dose rates; 5 commercial flights with near-average dose rates; and the 5 commercial flights with the lowest dose rates. Passengers typically experience dose rates that are 20 to 70 times higher than natural radiation at sea level.

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

En route to the stratosphere, our sensors also pass through aviation altitudes:

In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

  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
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
  the underlying science of space weather welcomes these supporters of science communication: RV Sales and CRAS, the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences and Windshield Replacement Phoenix and Breast Augmentation Phoenix and Dentist Chandler, AZ.
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