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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: 383.3 km/s
9.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2255 UT

X-ray Solar Flares

6-hr max:
C1 2120 UT Jun16
24-hr: C1 0330 UT Jun16
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 16 June '02
None of the spots on the Sun today have complex magnetic fields that harbor energy for powerful explosions. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

The Far Side of the Sun

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

Sunspot Number: 137
More about sunspots
Updated: 15 Jun 2002

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.0 nT
4.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2256 UT

Coronal Holes:

Solar wind gusts from the rightmost coronal hole could buffet Earth's magnetic field this weekend. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope.
More about coronal holes


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 2002 Jun 16 2200 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 20 % 25 %
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 2002 Jun 16 2200 UTC

0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 10 % 10 %
MINOR 01 % 01 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 15 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

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What's Up in Space -- 16 Jun 2002
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SUNSPOT ZERO: This weekend NOAA sunspot region numbers reached 9999 and (like a car's odometer) rolled over to 0000. Sunspot zero spans an area equal to approximately 0.5 planet Earths. It is not particularly large or active -- but it will be easy to remember.

QUIET SUN: None of the sunspots dotting the Sun today pose a threat for strong explosions. Solar activity should remain low for at least the next 24 hours.

RING OF FIRE: The June 10th solar eclipse was a partial one in the United States and Canada -- but in one tiny region of Mexico it was annular. The Moon glided dead-center in front of the Sun, and for less than a minute a "ring of fire" appeared. Mexicans Jimmy Herrera and Lonnie Pacheco were watching the eclipse from cloudy Playa San Carlos (not far from Puerto Vallarta) when they captured this picture of the setting sun at the moment of maximum eclipse. [photo gallery]


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 16 Jun 2002 there were 440 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

June 2002 Earth-asteroid encounters


2002 KJ4

 June 2

 26 LD

2002 LY1

 June 13

 29 LD

2002 KK8

 June 14

 25 LD

2002 LT24

 June 17

 23 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.

  • COMET IKEYA-ZHANG: The brightest comet in years delighted sky watchers in March and April 2002. [gallery]
  • GONE JUPITER: On Feb. 22, 2002, the Moon had a close encounter with Jupiter. [gallery]
  • GONE SATURN: On Feb. 20, 2002, the Moon glided in front of Saturn and its mysterious rings. [gallery]
  • HOT COMET: Periodic comet 96P/Machholz put on a dazzling show as it swung by the Sun on Jan. 8, 2002.
  • ASTEROID FLYBY: Asteroid 2001 YB5 raced past Earth on Jan. 7, 2002, only two times farther away than the Moon. [gallery]
  • SUBTLE ECLIPSE: The Moon dipped into the outskirts of Earth's shadow on Dec. 30, 2001. [gallery]
  • MOON & SATURN: The Moon keeps getting in the way of Saturn! See the series of close encounters here.
  • CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: On Christmas Eve, 2001, a solar wind stream triggered Northern Lights. [gallery]
  • SOLAR ECLIPSE: Sky watchers in Hawaii and most parts of North America experienced a partial solar eclipse on Dec. 14th. [gallery]
  • BRIGHT ASTEROID: Videos and images of 1998 WT24 -- a big and bright near-Earth asteroid that came close to our planet on Dec. 16, 2001. [gallery]
  • NORTHERN LIGHTS: On Nov. 24th a pair of coronal mass ejections swept past Earth and triggered worldwide auroras.
  • LEONIDS 2001: Some people saw it. Others heard it. In either case, they'll never forget it: The 2001 Leonid meteor storm.
  • PERSEIDS 2001: Perseid watchers on August 12th spotted meteors, auroras, and a disintegrating Russian rocket! [gallery]
  • MORNING PLANETS: In July and Aug. 2001, the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury put on a dazzling early-morning sky show. [gallery]
  • ECLIPSE SAFARI: Onlookers cried out in delight on June 21, 2001, when the Moon covered the African Sun, revealing the dazzling corona. [gallery]
  • TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Jan. 9, 2001, the full Moon glided through Earth's copper-colored shadow. [gallery]
  • CHRISTMAS ECLIPSE: Sky watchers across North America enjoyed a partial solar eclipse on Christmas Day 2000 [gallery]
  • LEONIDS 2000: Observers around the globe enjoyed three predicted episodes of shooting stars. [gallery]

Nov. 7 , 2001: What Lies beneath a Sunspot -- Awesome plasma hurricanes were one of the surprises revealed when scientists peered beneath the stormy surface of our star.

Nov. 7 , 2001: What Lies beneath a Sunspot -- Awesome plasma hurricanes were one of the surprises revealed when scientists peered beneath the stormy surface of our star.

Oct. 26 , 2001: 'tis the Season for Auroras -- Autumn is a good time to spot Northern Lights.

Oct. 17, 2001: Halley's Comet Returns ... in bits and pieces -- The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks on October 21st.

Aug. 9, 2001: Horse Flies and Meteors -- Like bugs streaking down the side window of a moving car, long and colorful Perseid Earthgrazers could put on a remarkable show on August 11th.

July 27, 2001: Meteorites Don't Pop Corn -- A fireball that dazzled Americans on July 23rd probably didn't scorch any cornfields, contrary to widespread reports.

June 12, 2001: The Biggest Explosions in the Solar System -- NASA's HESSI spacecraft aims to unravel an explosive mystery: the origin of solar flares.






Editor's Note: Space weather forecasts that appear on this site are based in part on data from NASA and NOAA satellites and ground-monitoring stations. Predictions and explanations are formulated by Dr. Tony Phillips; they are not official statements of any government organ or guarantees of space weather activity.

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.

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.

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.

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 Astronomical Unit, or AU?

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1999; 2000; Jan-Mar, 2001; Apr-Jun., 2001; Jul-Sep., 2001; Oct-Dec., 2001; Jan-Mar., 2002;

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars

Radio Meteor Rate
24 hr max:
29 per hr
Listen to the Meteor Radar!
Updated: 08 June 2002

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