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Solar wind
speed: 348.7 km/sec
density: 5.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2154 UT Jun30
24-hr: C3
1318 UT Jun30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Jun 14
New sunspot AR2104 is large and could pose a threat for M-class solar flares. . Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 112
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Jun2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

30 Jun 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 126 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Jun 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Jun 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-30-2014 12:55:04
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jun 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
05 %
05 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Jun 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
20 %
05 %
20 %
Monday, Jun. 30, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

LAUNCH ALERT: NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 will blast off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on July 1st at 02:56:44 PDT (09:56:44 UTC). Because the launch occurs on a moonless night, the event could be visible to the naked eye for hundreds of miles - perhaps as far away as portions of Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico. If you see it, and photograph it, submit your images here.

SUNSPOTS AND A SPACESHIP: The sunspot number jumped for a fraction of a second this morning, June 30th, when a winged silhouette raced across the face of the sun. It was the International Space Station, and Maximilian Teodorescu of Magurele (Ilfov), Romania, captured the transit:

"The moment of transit was predicted by Calsky," says Teodorescu. "Together with my wife, I drove a few kilometers from my workplace and settled into a corn field in 30 degrees Celsius. When the moment came we both pushed our remote control buttons and got the dark silhouette of the ISS close to the freshly emerged sunspot groups AR2104 and AR2107. So for a very brief instant (0.6 seconds) there were three large sunspot groups on the Sun for us."

In New Hampshire, photographer John Stetson saw a similar transit just a few hours later. "International, indeed!" says Stetson.

The space station is gone, but sunspot AR2104 and AR2107 remain. The two active regions are crackling with minor C-class solar flares. They could, however, pose a threat for stronger eruptions as they turn toward Earth this week. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SPRITES AND GRAVITY WAVES: The sprite show continues. "Every day this week, I have been able to photograph red sprites shooting up from the tops of thunderstorms 400 miles away in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas," reports Jan Curtis of Santa Fe, NM. On June 27th he saw something more: "At around 10:30PM MDT, gravity wave clouds developed and intensified through midnight." This snapshot shows a red sprite cutting through the green ripples:

"While I could not detect them with my unaided eyes, time lapse video revealed that the waves were moving very slowly to the northeast," says Curtis.

The waves are, literally, the ripple effect of a powerful thunderstorm on the mesosphere some 80 km above Earth's surface. From space, these waves look like a giant atmospheric bull's eye. The green hue comes from airglow, an aurora look-alike that can be seen on very dark nights from any place on Earth.

Although airglow resembles the aurora borealis, its underlying physics is different. Airglow is caused by an assortment of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere driven mainly by solar ultraviolet radiation. Auroras, on the other hand, are fueled by gusts of solar wind. While auroras are confined mainly to polar regions, airglow makes a luminous bubble that surrounds the entire planet.

The undulations in the airglow Curtis photographed are caused by temperature and density perturbations rippling away from the central axis of the distant thunderstorm. Speaking simplistically, those perturbations alter chemical reaction rates in the upper atmosphere, leading to more-bright or less-bright bands depending on whether the rates are boosted or diminished, respectively.

Inhabiting the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere alongside meteors, noctilucent clouds and some auroras, sprites and mesospheric gravity waves are true space weather phenomena. Now is a good time to see them.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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. 30, 2014, the network reported 24 fireballs.
( 24 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 30, 2014 there were 1486 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 ME6
Jun 27
8.8 LD
33 m
2014 MG6
Jun 27
9.5 LD
26 m
2014 MV18
Jun 30
7.2 LD
86 m
2014 MJ26
Jul 2
9.7 LD
47 m
2013 AG69
Jul 8
2.7 LD
15 m
2014 MF6
Jul 9
9.1 LD
305 m
2011 PU1
Jul 17
7.9 LD
43 m
2002 JN97
Aug 2
61.4 LD
2.0 km
2001 RZ11
Aug 17
34.2 LD
2.2 km
2013 WT67
Aug 17
16.1 LD
1.1 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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