Solar wind
speed: 399.1 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0540 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2105 UT Feb13
24-hr: M1
1524 UT Feb13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2359 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Feb 16
AR2497 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 46
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 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 14 Feb 2016


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 110 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 14 Feb 2016

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.7 nT
Bz: 3.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0542 UT
Coronal Holes: 14 Feb 16

Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole could reach Earth on Feb. 16-17. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds began on Dec. 13, 2015. It is expected to end in late February 2016.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-12-2016 16:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2016 Feb 13 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
35 %
35 %
CLASS X
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: 2016 Feb 13 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
40 %
MINOR
15 %
20 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
30 %
30 %
SEVERE
50 %
60 %
 
Sunday, Feb. 14, 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

AURORAS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY? NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Valentine's Day. This in in response to a CME, expected to strike Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of Feb. 14th. Sunday could bring a romantic evening to the Arctic Circle.

Last night, Feb. 13th, a rosy display of auroras appeared over Thule, Greenland:

"We were out exploring some old buildings and got surprised by some nice pink auroras," says photographer Shane Martin. "These were different as they were north and directly overhead. Thule's lights are usually south of our base."

More pink lights could be in the offing on Feb. 14th as the CME approaches. High latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text or voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

ACTIVE SUNSPOT: Today, Feb. 13th, on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, Mark Townley bent over the eyepiece of his backyard solar telescope, then stood up in surprise. "I couldn't believe my eyes," he says. "Sunspot AR2497 was shining brightly as an M1.8 solar flare was taking place. It looked fantastic!" He captured the event in this picture:

Actually, catching this sunspot in mid-flare is not as surprising as one might suspect. AR2397 is crackling with explosions in its unstable magnetic canopy. Pulses of UV radiation from the site are causing minor shortwave radio blackouts, and it has already hurled one CME toward Earth (due to arrive on Feb. 15th).

NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of additional M-class flares in the next 24 hours, so monitoring is encouraged. Solar flare alerts: text or voice

Realtime Spaceweather Photo Gallery

SPY SATELLITE, LAUNCHED AND SPOTTED: On Feb. 10th, just a few hours before sunrise in California, a Delta 4 rocket blasted off from the Vandenberg AFB carrying a spy satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office. "It was thrilling to see the launch from the Marin Headlands near San Francisco," reports Kenneth Sperber. "The engine plume outshone the stars, disappearing after about 3 minutes." He stacked a series of 10 second exposures to create this launch tableau:

The rocket's payload (officially designated NROL-45) is believed to be a Topaz radar-imaging satellite. It is a successor to the line of Lacrosse spy satellites, which use synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to map the Earth with a resolution comparable to optical cameras. Unlike optical cameras, however, synthetic aperture radar can penetrate clouds--a big advantage for a spysat.

Approximately, 18 hours after it was launched, NROL-45 was spotted racing among the stars over Leiden, the Netherlands:

"I could not see it with the naked eye (it was too faint even though the sky was very clear)," says photographer Marco Langbroek. "In a few days from now, after the SAR antenna has been unfolded, it will become brighter and visible with the naked eye on a good night."

Langbroek is one of a network of international observers who have sighted NROL-45. Combining their data, they will be able to calculate the satellite's orbit and keep track of it as it circles our planet. (So much for stealth.) More information about this may be found on Langbroek's web site.

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. 13, 2016, the network reported 17 fireballs.
(17 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 14, 2016 there were 1678 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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