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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 325.2 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1938 UT Feb24
24-hr: M3
0735 UT Feb24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Feb 11
Sunspot complex 1161-1162 is leaving the solar disk. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 27
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Feb 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (2%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 23 Feb 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 89 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Feb 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2248 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 Feb 11
A large coronal hole is emerging over the sun's eastern limb. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Feb 24 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
40 %
40 %
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: 2011 Feb 24 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
What's up in space
 

Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.

 
Satellite flybys

LIFTOFF! The final voyage of space shuttle Discovery is underway. The orbiter lifted off at 4:53 p.m. EST Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a 12-day mission to deliver Robonaut 2 and supplies to the International Space Station. Check NASA's launch blog for updates.

EASTERN BLAST: The quiet didn't last long. Earth-orbiting satellites detected an M3-class solar flare at 0735 UT on Feb. 24th. The source was an active region located just behind the sun's eastern limb. The eruption produced strong radio emissions, a coronal mass ejection (not Earth directed), and this spectacular picture taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Movies of the event are now available. Pick your favorite format: 6 MB Quicktime, 1 MB iPad, 0.5 MB iPhone (more formats will be available soon). The instigating active region will emerge over the eastern limb during the next 24-48 hours, setting the stage for possible geoeffective solar activity. Stay tuned for updates.

SOLAR SAIL FLARE: Last night (Feb. 23), NanoSail-D sailed over Seinäjoki, Finland, and when it did, the spacecraft's reflective fabric caught a sunbeam and flared. "I've never seen anything like it," says Juha Peräsaari who recorded the event using a Canon 400D digital camera:


Photo details: Canon EOS 400D, 20mm lens, f2.8, ISO100, 10s exposure. [more]

"NanoSail-D 'flashed' just as it passed the star Procyon," he says. "For a moment, the sail was the brighter of the two." This means NanoSail-D can flare at least to magnitude +0.3 (the brightness of Procyon), or almost twice as bright as a first magnitude star.

Even brighter flares could be in the offing. The orbit of NanoSail-D is decaying as it skims the top of Earth's atmosphere. Sunglints from the descending sail could intensify to Venus-brightness and beyond. Anyone who photographs such an event could win $500.

NanoSail-D Photo Gallery
[NASA: Solar Sail Stunner] [Photo Contest]


February 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]


 

  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 24, 2011 there were 1198 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 CL50
Feb 19
6.2 LD
--
13 m
2003 YG118
Feb 20
67.7 LD
--
1.8 km
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
--
2.6 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
9 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 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.
  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
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
   
  more links...
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