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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 562.1 km/sec
density: 2.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Feb14
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Feb14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Feb 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 Feb. 2009
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
Bz: 2.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Feb 14 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2009 Feb 14 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
25 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
25 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
What's up in Space
February 14, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

 

AURORA WATCH: Arctic sweethearts, look up. Earth is entering a solar wind stream and, according to NOAA, there is a 35% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity. Valentine's Day could end with a sweet display of Northern Lights: gallery.

VENUS VALENTINE: The Goddess of Love is sending a message for Valentine's Day, and it's in Morse code:

"Lately, Venus has been spectacular as our Evening Star," says astronomy professor Jimmy Westlake of Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, CO. "I took advantage of moonlight on the snow and used the light from Venus, the mythological Goddess of Love, to create this 'Venus Valentine' to the world. The 'dots' were 30-second exposures and the 'dashes' were 3-minute exposures," he explains.

And now for the message:

..
.-..
---
...-
.
-.--
---
..-
I
L
O
V
E
Y
O
U

Happy Valentine's Day!

COLLIDING SATELLITES: For the first time ever, two large satellites have collided in Earth orbit. It happened on Tuesday, Feb. 10th, when Kosmos 2251 crashed into Iridium 33 approximately 800 km over northern Siberia. Both satellites were completely destroyed.


Click to view a 2.3 MB animation

U.S. Strategic Command is tracking hundreds of satellite fragments. In the 48+ hours since the collision, the debris swarm has spread around both orbits. Experts characterize the distribution as a pair of "clumpy rings"; one ring traces the orbit of Iridium 33, the other traces the orbit of Kosmos 2251.

This injection of debris substantially increases the population of space junk at altitudes near 800 km. Collisions are now more likely than ever. Fortunately, the International Space Station orbits Earth at a much lower altitude, 350 km, so it is in no immediate danger. The Hubble Space Telescope is not so safe at 610 km. In the days ahead, researchers will carefully study the make-up and dynamics of the debris cloud to estimate when bits will begin to drift down to lower altitudes.

LISTEN UP: The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar is monitoring the skies above Texas for echoes from satellite fragments. Try listening on Sunday, Feb. 15th between 4:18 and 4:28 pm CST (2218 - 2228 UT). That's when Kosmos 2251 would have passed over the radar intact had it not been shattered. UPDATE: A Valentine's Day overpass of possible Iridium 33 fragments produced this echo.


Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
[Comet Hunter Telescope] [NASA's story] [ephemeris]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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, 2009 there were 1025 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Feb. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 BK58
Feb. 2
1.7 LD
17
30 m
2009 BG81
Feb. 2
4.4 LD
19
12 m
2009 CC2
Feb. 2
0.5 LD
17
12 m
2009 BW2
Feb. 5
8.4 LD
20
40 m
2009 CP
Feb. 8
7.7 LD
19
20 m
2009 BE58
Feb. 10
8.6 LD
16
225 m
2006 AS2
Feb. 10
9.2 LD
15
370 m
2009 BL58
Feb. 11
4.8 LD
17
55 m
1999 AQ10
Feb. 18
4.4 LD
13
390 m
2009 CV
Feb. 23
4.8 LD
18
62 m
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.
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