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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 339.9 km/sec
density: 2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1900 UT Feb05
24-hr: B3
1900 UT Feb05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Feb. 10
Decaying sunspot 1043 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 Feb 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 2 days (6%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 04 Feb 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 74 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 04 Feb 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Feb. 10th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Feb 05 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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: 2010 Feb 05 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
35 %
01 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
40 %
01 %
30 %
01 %
05 %
What's up in Space
February 5, 2010

SATELLITE FLYBYS APP: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested satellite tracker! presents the Satellite Flybys app.


THE SUN IS A VARIABLE STAR: The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), slated for liftoff on Feb. 9th, will make IMAX-quality movies of solar explosions, peer beneath the stellar surface to see the sun's inner dynamo, and--researchers hope--unravel the mysteries of solar variability. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

EARTH-DIRECTED ERUPTION? NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft is tracking four active regions strung across the eastern hemisphere of the sun. Click on the image below to set the scene in motion--and keep an eye on number 4.

Credit: STEREO-B extreme ultraviolet telescope, 195 Angstroms

The movie shows an eruption of unstable magnetic loops. The blast occured around 0130 UT on February 5th and may have hurled some material in the general direction of Earth. (Our planet is off the right edge of the image.) The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has a direct view of the blast site and it may be able to help evaluate this possibility.

UPDATE: There is a gap in SOHO image data spanning the time of the eruption. At present, there is no sign of a major CME heading toward Earth, but a lesser cloud could be en route. Polar sky watchers should be alert for auroras on or about Feb. 8th.

LAST NIGHT LAUNCH OF THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM: On Sunday morning, February 7th, at 4:39 am EST, space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled lift off from Kennedy Space Center on a 13-day mission to the ISS. There are only five missions left before NASA ends the shuttle program, and this will be the last one to launch at night. Endeavour's previous night launch looked like this:

The spectacle attracted sightseers from hundreds of miles around. If you plan to be in Florida this weekend, here are some places you can watch the launch in person. Otherwise, tune in to NASA TV for full coverage.

Endeavour Launch Blog
[recommended viewing sites] [NASA TV]

February Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Februarys: 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 5, 2010 there were 1094 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 AL2
Jan. 11
11.5 LD
23 m
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
1.1 km
2010 AL30
Jan. 13
0.3 LD
18 m
2010 AG3
Jan. 19
8.9 LD
14 m
2010 AN61
Jan. 19
8.0 LD
17 m
2010 AF40
Jan. 21
2.3 LD
43 m
2010 BC
Jan. 24
7.6 LD
160 m
2010 BU2
Jan. 27
6.4 LD
52 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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