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Solar wind
speed: 599.2 km/sec
density: 4.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1808 UT Jun10
24-hr: C6
0226 UT Jun10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Jun 15
Sunspot AR2360 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 110
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 Jun 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)

Updated 10 Jun 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 137 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 10 Jun 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Jun 15

There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is underway. NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted the first noctilucent clouds over the Arctic Circle on May 19th.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-09-2015 16:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jun 10 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: 2015 Jun 10 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
35 %
05 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
25 %
30 %
25 %
55 %
Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2015
What's up in space

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park, winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award 2015.

Lapland tours

INCOMING CME? A magnetic filament connected to sunspot AR2364 erupted on June 9th around 1900 UT, producing a C3-class solar flare. Material flying away from the blast site might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field later this week. This possibility is not yet confirmed by a complete set of coronagraph data. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

MICROBES IN THE STRATOSPHERE: On June 8th, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew another batch of halobacteria to the stratosphere onboard a suborbital helium balloon. Two species made the trip: Halorubrum lacusprofundi from Antarctica and NRC-1 from North America. Here is the view from the payload 106,661 feet above Earth's surface:

Tiny white vials on top of the payload (inset) contain the halobacteria--more than 1011 individual microbes. En route to the stratosphere they were exposed to temperatures as low as -63 C and cosmic radiation dose rates more than 100x greater than on the ground below. Amazingly, billions of the microbes survived this harsh treatment as the flight went on more almost three hours. The Antarctic microbes appear to be especially resiliant.

Astrobiologists have often asked themselves, could halobacteria survive on the planet Mars? Ultimately, balloon flights could help answer that question. Microbiologists Shil and Priya DasSarma are analyzing our flown samples at their NASA-supported laboratory at the University of Maryland. They may be able to unravel the high-altitude survival strategies of this amazing terrestrial extremophile.

HEY THANKS! The students wish to thank reader Stuart Bayne for sponsoring this flight. Stuart's $500 contribution paid for the helium and other supplies necessary to get the balloon off the ground. To say "thanks," we flew a picture of Stuart's older brother to the edge of space:

"My brother's birthday is next month," he explains. "I plan to use this picture to make an out-of-this-world birthday card."

Readers, if you would like to sponsor a launch, we can send your family to the edge of space, too. Contact Dr. Tony Phillips to book a flight.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

AURORAS AND LIGHTNING: A solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of June 7th, sparking a G2-class geomagnetic storm. In the United States, surprised sky watchers from Maine to Washington witnessed a rare display of summer auroras. Outside of Rochester, Minnesota, photographer Marcella Chester recorded the green glow alongside a June thunderstorm:

"I've never seen auroras and lightning visible side by side before," marvels Chester. "These photos were taken between 2 and 3 am on Monday, June 8th."

At about the same time in Hartford, Wisconsin, Jake Stehli witnessed a similar display. "The auroras were visible to the naked eye with lightning in a thunderhead on the horizon as well," he says.

Researchers have long known that geomagnetic storms happen most often in spring and fall. In other words, auroras prefer equinoxes. That's why seeing them so close to the summer solstice is remarkable.

The show is subsiding, but might not be finished. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on June 10th as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

MEANWHILE IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: The ongoing solar wind event is sparking auroras around both ends of the Earth. Before daybreak on June 9th, Taichi Nakamura of Dunedin, New Zealand, opened the shutter of his camera for a deep-sky exposure and recorded ... a sea lion:

"I met a cute new friend while observing a beautiful display," says Nakamura. "Overhead, widespread red auroras surrounded the Magellanic clouds. The red-rimmed Milky Way was beautiful as well."

Red auroras are not fully understood. They occur some 300 to 500 km above Earth's surface, much higher than ordinary green auroras. Some researchers believe the red lights are linked to low energy electrons from the sun, which move too slowly to penetrate deeply into the atmosphere. When such electrons recombine with oxygen ions in the upper atmosphere, red photons are emitted. At present, space weather forecasters cannot predict when this will occur. They are as unexpected as ... a sea lion in a geomagnetic storm.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

Realtime NLC 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. 10, 2015, the network reported 0 fireballs.
(0 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 10, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 KA122
Jun 6
3.3 LD
95 m
2015 KU121
Jun 7
7.5 LD
115 m
2015 LF
Jun 8
0.5 LD
22 m
2015 LH2
Jun 9
5.2 LD
26 m
2015 LH
Jun 10
3.7 LD
16 m
2012 XB112
Jun 11
10.1 LD
2 m
2015 LK
Jun 17
7.8 LD
39 m
2015 LG
Jun 18
8.8 LD
54 m
2015 KK57
Jun 23
8.3 LD
13 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.1 LD
73 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.4 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
565 m
2013 BQ18
Jul 20
7.9 LD
38 m
1999 JD6
Jul 25
18.8 LD
1.6 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 6
76.5 LD
1.4 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
Columbia Northern High School
  Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
  more links...
©2015 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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