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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

SpaceWeather.com
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.

SPACE WEATHER
Current
Conditions

Solar Wind
speed: 390.3 km/s
density:
5.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2243 UT

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
A1 1845 UT Feb19
24-hr: B7 0010 UT Feb19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 19 Feb '07

These sunspots pose no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 18 Feb 2007

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no spots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz:
2.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2244 UT

Coronal Holes:

Coronal hole data is temporarily unavailable while SOHO's ultraviolet telescope undergoes a CCD bakeout.


SPACE WEATHER
NOAA
Forecasts

Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2007 Feb 19 2203 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 2007 Feb 19 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 15 %
MINOR 10 % 10 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 20 % 20 %
MINOR 15 % 15 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 19 Feb 2007
Subscribe to Space Weather News

The space shuttle flies in March. Would you like a call when it soars over your backyard? Spaceweather PHONE!

MOON & VENUS: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west. Venus and the slender crescent moon are having a beautiful close encounter in the rosy glow of sunset: finder chart.

Ulrich Beinert of Achim, Germany, snapped this picture just hours ago:


Photo Details: Canon EOS 10D, 300mm lens, 2 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 400

Note the fuzzy glow surrounding Venus and the crescent. Those are faint coronas caused by water droplets in the atmosphere. The physics is basically the same as in the solar corona discussed below (see "Tree Rings").

more images: from Tunç Tezel of near Bolu, Turkey; from Manfred Molkenthin of Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Germany; from Rudolf Reiser of Miesbach, Germany; from Achim Schaller of Laufen, Germany; from Peter Naglic of near Celje, Slovenia; from Olivier Staiger of Geneva, Switzerland; from Panatpong Jantarawattanawanich of Bangkok, Thailand.

TREE RINGS: What's going on around the Sun? A good place to look is from the shadow of a tree.

"This bright solar corona appeared for only a few minutes over Arlington National Cemetery on Feb. 17th," says photographer Phil Yabut of Arlington, Virginia:


Photo details: Pentax *istD digital camera, ISO 200, f/13s

The colorful rings or "corona" are caused by tiny droplets of water in clouds. Sunlight is diffracted from the surfaces of the droplets, producing a colorful interference pattern around the Sun. Curiously, there is no need for the droplets to be either spherical, transparent or even made of water. Small ice crystals, pollen grains and large dust particles all form coronas.

Find a tree and take a look!

February Aurora Gallery
[aurora alerts] [night-sky cameras]



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 19 Feb 2007 there were 843 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

Feb-Mar 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters
ASTEROID

 DATE
(UT)

MISS DISTANCE

MAG.

 SIZE
2006 AM4

Feb. 1

5.2 LD

16

180 m
2007 BZ48

Feb. 7

4.5 LD

18

30 m
2006 VV2

Mar. 31

8.8 LD

9

2 km
Notes: LD is a "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 Environment Center -- The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.

Atmospheric Optics -- the first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

Recent Solar Events -- a summary of current solar conditions from lmsal.com.

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips: email


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