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Solar wind
speed: 387.0 km/sec
density: 11.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2247 UT Feb28
24-hr: B7
1601 UT Feb28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Feb 13
Sunspot AR1682 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 61
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 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
28 Feb 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 102 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Feb 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.3 nT
Bz: 6.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Feb 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on March 2-3. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Feb 28 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 28 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
25 %
SEVERE
20 %
25 %
 
Thursday, Feb. 28, 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

NEW RADIATION BELT DISCOVERED: NASA's twin Van Allen Probes, launched just last August, have revealed a previously unknown third radiation belt around Earth. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

CORONAL HOLE: A dark, V-shaped gap in the sun's atmosphere has opened up, and it is spewing solar wind into space. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the coronal hole during the early hours of Feb. 8th:

Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field spreads apart and allows solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this particular coronal hole should reach Earth on March 2-3. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% to 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the solar wind arrives. 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 February 28, 2013 there were 1381 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 CZ87
Feb 19
7 LD
28 m
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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