VENUS AND MERCURY: Venus and Mercury are crossing paths today; Mercury is heading away from the Sun, Venus toward it.
Pete Lawrence photographed them both in broad daylight from his backyard observatory in Selsey, UK:
The big disk of Venus has transformed into a slender crescent as the planet turns its night side toward Earth ahead of the June 5th solar transit. The crescent could soon become a ring.
When Venus is less than few degrees away from the sun, the horns of the crescent sometimes reach around and touch, producing a complete annulus. The effect is caused by particles in upper layers of Venus's atmosphere which scatter sunlight around the circumference of the planet.
Keep an eye on SpaceWeather's realtime photo gallery to see how Venus shape-shifts in the days ahead.
CORONAL HOLE: Spewing solar wind, a yawning dark fissure in the sun's atmosphere is turning toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the "coronal hole" during the early hours of June 1st.
Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows the solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole will reach Earth on June 5th - 7th, possibly stirring geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.