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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 346.8 km/sec
density: 4.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2000 UT Feb17
24-hr: M1
1550 UT Feb17
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 17 Feb 13
New sunspot AR1675 is growing rapidly and poses a threat for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 75
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 17 Feb 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update
17 Feb 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 103 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 17 Feb 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.6 nT
Bz: 5.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 17 Feb 13
Solar wind flowing from this sinuous coronal hole could reach Earth starting on Feb. 21st. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Feb 17 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
15 %
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: 2013 Feb 17 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
20 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
25 %
SEVERE
10 %
25 %
 
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013
What's up in space
 

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

 
Meteorite jewelry

JUPITER AND THE MOON: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look south. The Moon is passing Jupiter in the constellation Taurus. It's a pretty close encounter visible even through city lights. Sky maps: Feb. 17, Feb. 18.

M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: New sunspot AR1675 has just unleashed the most intense flare of the year so far, an M1.9-class explosion at 1550 UT on Feb. 17th. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a double-flash of extreme UV radiation from the explosion:

Update: First-look coronagraph images from SOHO and the twin STEREO probes suggest that this explosion did not produce a coronal mass ejection (CME). Geomagnetic storms are therefore unlikely. Earth's upper atmosphere, however, probably did experience a minor wave of ionization caused by the UV flash shown above. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

RUSSIAN METEOR STRIKE: On Friday, February 15th at 9:30 am local time in Russia, a small asteroid struck the atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk and exploded. According to reports from news organizations and Russian authorities, as many as 1000 people received minor injuries from the shock wave. This is the most energetic recorded meteor strike since the Tunguska impact of 1908.

Researchers have conducted a preliminary analysis of the event. "Here is what we know so far," says Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "The asteroid was about 15 meters in diameter and weighed approximately 7000 metric tons. It struck Earth's atmosphere at 40,000 mph (18 km/s) and broke apart about 12 to 15 miles (20 to 25 km) above Earth's surface. The energy of the resulting explosion was in the vicinity of 300 kilotons of TNT." (continued below)

"A shock wave propagated down and struck the city below, causing large numbers of windows to break, some walls to collapse, and minor damage throughout the city," he continued. "When you hear about injuries, those are undoubtedly due to the effects of the shock wave, not due to fragments striking the ground. There are undoubtedly fragments on the ground, but as of this time we know of no recovered fragments that we can verify."

Videos of the event may be found here and here. In many of the videos you can hear the sound of windows shattering as the meteor's loud shock wave reaches the ground. Onlookers cry out in Russian as alarms and sirens sound in the background. This pair of wide-angle gif animations is also worth watching: #1, #2.

It is natural to wonder if this event has any connection to today's record-setting flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14. Paul Chodas of the Near Earth Object Program at JPL says no. "The Russian fireball is not related to 2012 DA14 in any way. It's an incredible coincidence that we have had these two rare events in one day."

Realtime Asteroid Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Comet Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 17, 2013 there were 1382 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 BV15
Feb 13
3.7 LD
60 m
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
65 m
2013 DB
Feb 16
5 LD
29 m
2013 CE82
Feb 17
4.6 LD
49 m
2013 CZ87
Feb 19
7 LD
28 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 km
2010 GM23
Apr 13
3.9 LD
50 m
2005 NZ6
Apr 29
24.9 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr 30
74.3 LD
1.1 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
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
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