Solar wind
speed: 406.6 km/sec
density: 5.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2311 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2244 UT Feb06
24-hr: C1
2244 UT Feb06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Feb 16
AR2494 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 113
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Feb 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 0 days (0%)
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 06 Feb 2016


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 120 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Feb 2016

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
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.8 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2311 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Feb 16

There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Dec. 13, 2015. The coverage of NLCs over Antarctica is rapidly multiplying in 2016.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-06-2016 16:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2016 Feb 06 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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: 2016 Feb 06 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
30 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
30 %
SEVERE
20 %
40 %
 
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
What's up in space
 

Marianne's Heaven On Earth Aurora Chaser Tours Chasethelighttours.co.uk invites you to join them in their quest to find and photograph the Aurora Borealis. Experience the winter wonderland in the Tromsø Area.

 
Chase the Light Tours

CELESTIAL TRIANGLE: This weekend, Mercury, Venus and the slender crescent Moon have converged for a beautiful conjunction in the pre-dawn sky. The trio form a bright triangle shining through the rosy glow of sunrise. Set your alarm for about 1/2 hour before dawn, and look east for a beautiful view: sky map, photo gallery.

GREEN REINDEER: Last night, Feb. 5th, not far from Skulsfjord, Norway, the snowy landscape turned green when a bright band of auroras stretched across the sky. "A small reindeer came to investigate me and my camera while I was photographing the beautiful scene," says Terence Murtagh. The reindeer looked a bit green, too:

The display was caused by a stream of solar wind pressing against Earth's magnetic field. Earth is expected to exit the stream on Feb. 6th, so the lights should subside later today.

The next outburst of auroras could come on Feb. 8th when Earth crosses through a fold in the heliospheric current sheet--a so-called "solar sector boundary crossing." NOAA estimates a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the crossing occurs. Aurora alerts: text or voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SEA LAUNCH OF A SPACE WEATHER BALLOON: For the first time, a space weather balloon has been launched from the deck of a moving ship. Led by Earth to Sky Calculus graduate Aaron Lamb, students at the California State University Maritime Academy did it on Feb. 3rd:

"It was a complicated launch, but we pulled it off," says Midshipman Lamb. "We sailed with the wind to nullify the effect of wind gusts on the balloon. This allowed us to release it with a minimum of chaos. A second boat followed us to photograph the launch and to provide any necessary rescues in case of 'men overboard.'"

This sea launch is good training for next year's Solar Eclipse Balloon Network: In Aug. 2017 there will be a total eclipse of the sun across the continental United States. Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus plan to launch a dozen balloons from the path of totality to record the eclipse from the stratosphere, creating a unique movie of the Moon's shadow sweeping across the American continent. To fully capture the eclipse from coastal areas in Oregon and South Carolina, a sea launch may be necessary.

"We are also working on a sea landing," adds Lamb. "That is, we plan to build a payload that can land in water and float after returning from the stratosphere."

The flexibility to launch and/or land in water could open new doors for experiments in space weather ballooning. Congratulations to the students of Earth to Sky Maritime for their innovative work!

Realtime Spaceweather Photo Gallery


Realtime Comet 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 Spaceweather.com.

On Feb. 6, 2016, the network reported 11 fireballs.
(11 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 February 6, 2016 there were 1671 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2016 BE
Feb 1
5.9 LD
86 m
2016 BA15
Feb 1
2.9 LD
19 m
2015 XA379
Feb 7
8.1 LD
38 m
2016 BQ
Feb 7
11.1 LD
21 m
2014 QD364
Feb 7
14 LD
16 m
2013 VA10
Feb 8
12.5 LD
165 m
2016 BQ15
Feb 8
8.5 LD
44 m
2014 EK24
Feb 14
13.8 LD
94 m
2010 LJ14
Feb 16
68.5 LD
1.2 km
1999 YK5
Feb 19
51.7 LD
2.0 km
2010 WD1
Feb 22
12.3 LD
22 m
1991 CS
Feb 23
65.5 LD
1.4 km
2011 EH17
Mar 1
11.1 LD
52 m
2013 TX68
Mar 5
0.044 LD
30 m
2001 PL9
Mar 9
77.6 LD
1.2 km
2010 FX9
Mar 19
6.9 LD
62 m
252P/LINEAR
Mar 21
13.9 LD
0 m
2016 BA14
Mar 22
9.2 LD
540 m
1993 VA
Mar 23
59.6 LD
1.6 km
2001 XD
Mar 28
64.5 LD
1.0 km
2016 BC14
Mar 29
9.9 LD
280 m
2002 AJ29
Apr 6
55.2 LD
1.5 km
2002 EB3
Apr 8
55.6 LD
1.2 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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere
Situation Report -- Oct. 30, 2015 Stratospheric Radiation (+37o N)
Cosmic ray levels are elevated (+6.1% above the Space Age median). The trend is flat. Cosmic ray levels have increased +0% in the past month.
Sept. 06: 4.14 uSv/hr (414 uRad/hr)
Sept. 12: 4.09 uSv/hr (409 uRad/hr)
Sept. 23: 4.12 uSv/hr (412 uRad/hr)
Sept. 25: 4.16 uSv/hr (416 uRad/hr)
Sept. 27: 4.13 uSv/hr (413 uRad/hr)
Oct. 11: 4.02 uSv/hr (402 uRad/hr)
Oct. 22: 4.11 uSv/hr (411 uRad/hr)
These measurements are based on regular space weather balloon flights: learn more.

Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly "space weather balloons" to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Our measurements show that someone flying back and forth across the continental USA, just once, can absorb as much ionizing radiation as 2 to 5 dental X-rays. For example, here is the data from a flight on Oct. 22, 2015:

Radiation levels peak at the entrance to the stratosphere in a broad region called the "Pfotzer Maximum." This peak is named after physicist George Pfotzer who discovered it using balloons and Geiger tubes in the 1930s. Radiation levels there are more than 80x sea level.

Note that the bottom of the Pfotzer Maximim is near 55,000 ft. This means that some high-flying aircraft are not far from the zone of maximum radiation. Indeed, according to the Oct 22th measurements, a plane flying at 45,000 feet is exposed to 2.79 uSv/hr. At that rate, a passenger would absorb about one dental X-ray's worth of radiation in about 5 hours.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

  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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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