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Solar wind
speed: 477.9 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1847 UT Mar02
24-hr: C1
1511 UT Mar02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Mar 13
Sunspot AR1682 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 88
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Mar 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
02 Mar 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 113 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Mar 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= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Mar 13
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Mar 02 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 Mar 02 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
40 %
25 %
 
Saturday, Mar. 2, 2013
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

SOLAR CYCLE UPDATE: Something unexpected is happening on the sun. 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max, but solar activity is lower than expected. At least one leading forecaster expects the sun to rebound with a double-peaked maximum later this year. [video] [full story]

SDO ECLIPSE SEASON BEGINS: Twice every year, around the time of the equinoxes, Earth can pass directly between the Sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), producing a series of beautiful eclipses from the point of view of the spacecraft. SDO's vernal eclipse season began this weekend, producing a partial blackout of the sun:

During the eclipse, which was centered around 0715 UT on March 3rd, Earth covered about half of the sun. Because these eclipses typically last for only minutes each day (maximum=72 minutes), there is still plenty of uninterrupted time for SDO to monitor activity on the sun. The ongoing eclipse season will end in approximately three weeks. Between now and then, stay tuned for some rare blackouts. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCES: A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. The sight of the bright green lights overhead is causing some onlookers to do unusual things in the snow:

"I can honestly say I've never seen anyone do The Pyramid under the Northern Lights before," says veteran aurora photographer Ronn Murray of Fairbanks, Alaska. "[On March 1st], I headed up to the top of Murphy Dome with this incredibly fun tour group. We had a blast making portraits under the aurora. The clouds would eventually take over, but we made the most of the show while it lasted."

More auroras are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% to 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on March 2-3 as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

COMET PAN-STARRS UPDATE: Comet Pan-STARRS, now visible in the southern hemispherre, is brightening as it plunges toward the sun, Amateur astronomer Ian Cooper sends this report from Glen Oroua, New Zealand: "Despite lingering evening twilight and the glare from a nearly full Moon, Comet Pan-STARRS is a 3rd-magnitude object with a fine orange dust tail visible in both binoculars and small telescopes." A 30-second exposure with his Canon 450D digital camera easily revealed the comet in the not-quite-dark sky:

In early March, the comet will pass about 100 million miles from Earth as it briefly dips inside the orbit of Mercury. At that time it is expected to brighten another three-fold to 2nd magnitude, about as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper. Whether Pan-STARRS will actually be visible to the naked eye through the glow of the nearby sun remains to be seen; this NASA video explores the possibilities. Whatever happens, observers in the northern hemisphere will have a front row seat as the comet crosses the celestial equator on March 12th. Stay tuned!

More about Comet Pan-STARRS: 3D orbit, ephemeris, light curves.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather 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 March 2, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 DS9
Feb 24
8.7 LD
24 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
2004 BV102
May 25
69.9 LD
1.4 km
1998 QE2
May 31
15.2 LD
2.2 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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