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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 349.2 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
1855 UT Feb13
24-hr: B5
1855 UT Feb13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Feb 12
The remains of old sunspot 1402, which unleashed an X2-class solar flare on Jan. 27th, have returned in the form of sunspot 1419. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 80
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Feb 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 12 Feb 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 110 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Feb 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.1 nT
Bz: 1.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Feb 12
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on Feb. 16-17. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Feb 13 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
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: 2012 Feb 13 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
30 %
MINOR
20 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
50 %
30 %
MINOR
30 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
 
Monday, Feb. 13, 2012
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

CHANCE OF AURORAS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% of minor geomagnetic storms on Feb. 13-14 in response to the possible arrrival of a CME that left the sun on Feb. 10th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Storm alerts: text, voice.

OLD SUNSPOT RETURNS: Sunspot AR1402, which unleashed an X2-class solar flare on Jan. 27th, has returned after a two-week transit around the far side of the sun. Two weeks of decay have greatly reduced the old active region:

The sunspot group, re-numbered AR1419 for its second apparition, is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. These flares are minor compared to the eruptions of January. The return of AR1402 is mainly significant for nostalgic reasons.

IRANIAN SATELLITE: On Feb. 3rd, Iran launched the country's third satellite. Named "Navid," the 110-pound mini-spacecraft is meant to stay in orbit for 18 months, sending back images to Iran as it completes a revolution of Earth every 90 minutes. On Feb. 10th, veteran satellite observer Marco Langbroek photographed Navid as it passed over his home in Leiden, the Netherlands:

"It was a clear evening and I had a 71 degree elevation pass of Navid, which moves in a 250 x 375 km orbit," says Langbroek. "The satellite was invisible to the naked eye (I estimate its magnitude as +7), but my camera was able to record its faint trail moving just south of the alpha Persei star association. Measuring only 50 x 60 cm, Navid is the smallest object in orbit I have ever photographed."

Readers, although you can't see Navid, you can find out when it is flying overhead and possibly photograph it as Langbroek did. Local flyby times are available from SpaceWeather's Simple Satellite Tracker and Flybys App.

THE VIEW FROM ABOVE: On Friday, Feb. 10th, NASA released a new set of videos from the International Space Station that officials said was among "the most spectacular night imagery ever taken from space of the United States." After watching the following movie (48 MB), you might find it hard to disagree:

NASA describes the footage: "The sequence of shots was taken January 30, 2012 from 06:13:36 to 06:23:09 GMT, on a pass from northern Mexico to northwest New Brunswick. The video begins looking northeast over Texas, where cities like San Antonio, Houston, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area can be seen. Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and St. Louis are easily distinguished as the ISS continues northeast over the Great Plains. The video concludes with Chicago illuminating the southern edge of Lake Michigan, and auroras shimmering in the distance over Canada."

The auroras in the video appeared on a relatively uneventful night, geomagnetically speaking, when a CME completely missed Earth. Apparently, even the quiet nights are spellbinding onboard the ISS.

January 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]


Comet Lovejoy Gallery
[previous comets: McNaught, Holmes, Lulin, Tuttle, Ikeya-Zhang]

  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 13, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 CL17
Feb 6
4.5 LD
--
31 m
2009 AV
Feb 16
44.9 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Feb 19
17.7 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 CP4
Feb 23
9.1 LD
--
255 m
2008 EJ85
Mar 6
9.1 LD
--
44 m
1999 RD32
Mar 14
57.9 LD
--
2.4 km
2011 YU62
Mar 16
73.4 LD
--
1.3 km
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
--
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
--
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
--
1.8 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.
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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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