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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 354.4 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Jun10
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Jun10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 10 June 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 Jun 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 126 days (79%)
Since 2004: 637 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 09 Jun 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from this far-northern coronal hole will probably miss Earth. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jun 10 2201 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: 2009 Jun 10 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
June 10, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.


RETURN OF THE MARS HOAX: There's an email going around claiming that Mars will look as big as a full Moon on August 27th. Could this possibly be true? Find out in today's story from Science@NASA.

KAGUYA IMPACT UPDATE: The nominal impact time (June 10 @ 1830 UT) has passed. So far we have received no reports of a flash or debris plume observed by telescopes on Earth. Stay tuned for updates.

IMPACT ALERT: Japan's Kaguya spacecraft will crash into the Moon on Wednesday, June 10th, at around 1830 UT. The timing favors telescopic observers in east Asia, Australia and New Zealand, who may be able to see a brief flash of light or a plume of debris rising from the Moon's southeastern limb close to selenographic coordinates 80ºE, 63ºS. The expected impact point is marked by a red dot in this image from astrophotographer Pete Lawrence:

Click on the image for a more detailed view.

Kaguya is a big spaceship. It masses 2,900 kg and will hit the Moon at an oblique angle traveling approximately 6,000 km/hr. Whether it tumbles and bounces along the lunar surface or runs headlong into some towering crater wall, no one can say. Clues to the end of Kaguya will come on June 10th in the form of an explosive flash (or lack thereof) and high-res images of the crash site taken by future lunar orbiters.

The impact is not accidental. The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has long planned to end the mission in this fashion. Kaguya has been in lunar orbit since Oct. 2007; it has searched dark craters for evidence of frozen water, mapped the moon's gravitational field, and taken some of the all-time prettiest pictures of Earth's satellite.

Farewell, Kaguya! Links for observers: #1: #2, #3.

LUNAR OCCULTATION: Over the weekend, an unscheduled lunar occultation occurred over Brisbane, Australia. Amateur astronomer Stephen Mudge was outdoors for an stroll and had the presence of mind to snap this picture:

"I came across this rare astronomical event on the evening of June 7th. The nearly-full Moon was neatly covered by a native brushtailed possum wandering along the telephone wires on my street."

Brushtailed possums are nocturnal marsupials common throughout Australia. Their habitat ranges widely from eucalyptus forests to urban vegetable gardens. The furry creatures have even been known to break and enter kitchens for a midnight snack. Astronomy is hungry work!

"This possum seems to be enjoying the view of the rising Moon," notes Mudge, "while its tail nicely matches that of Scorpius in the background!"

more moon shots: from Martin Stojanovski of Rudine, Macedonia; from John Stetson of Sebago Lake, Maine; from Stephen W. Ramsden of Atlanta, Georgia; from Elias Chasiotis of Sounio, Greece;

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

Explore the Sunspot Cycle

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 10, 2009 there were 1062 potentially hazardous asteroids.
June 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 KR21
June 1
0.7 LD
21 m
2009 KL8
June 1
5.1 LD
63 m
2003 QO104
June 9
36.8 LD
2.9 km
1994 CC
June 10
6.6 LD
1.2 km
2001 FE90
June 28
7.0 LD
435 m
2002 KL6
June 28
57.5 LD
1.4 km
2006 MV1
June 30
9.6 LD
20 m
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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
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