You are viewing the page for Feb. 13, 2008
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 637.6 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2245 UT Feb13
24-hr: A0
2245 UT Feb13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2245 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Feb 08
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Feb 2008
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:

Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.4 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2008 Feb 13 2203 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: 2008 Feb 13 2203 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
35 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
05 %

What's up in Space
February 13, 2008
Where's Saturn? Is that a UFO--or the ISS? What's the name of that star? Get the answers from mySKY--a fun new astronomy helper from Meade.   mySKY

AURORA WATCH: Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should remain alert for auroras. A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing high-latitude geomagnetic storms: gallery.

WHAT'S FOLLOWING THE ISS? Two nights ago the International Space Station (ISS) flew over the Netherlands. The ISS is very bright and many people saw it. What few people noticed was a small spaceship following the space station. Ralf Vandebergh, however, did. He trained his telescope on the pursuing craft and took this picture:

What is it? A garbage truck. "It is a Russian Progress cargo vessel loaded with trash that undocked from the ISS on February 4th," explains Vandebergh. The Progress P27 (M-62) will eventually burn up in Earth's atmosphere; until then it trails the space station at a safe distance. "Catching details of the Progress through my telescope was a hard job, much harder than the ISS. Not only is the Progress much smaller and fainter, but also its speed seemed higher, indicating that it is set in a lower orbit"--the better to burn up in.

more images: from Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands

LOWER SUN PILLAR: A gust of wind on a freezing day can hurl stinging crystals of ice into the air and right ... at ... you. Open your eyes! Those painful crystals may be creating a beautiful display. On such a day last week in Quebec, this sun pillar appeared in midair before photographer David Swan:

"The temperature was -29C and the air was filled with tiny ice crystals," says Swan. Plate-shaped crystals fluttering nearly parallel to the ground reflected the overhead sun and spread its rays into a luminous column of light. "This pillar came from crystals that were so close, some of the individual motes are visible in the photo!"

Now that didn't hurt so much, did it?

more images: from Mike Conlan skiing down Whistler Mountain, British Columbia, Canada

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. [comment]
On February 13, 2008 there were 925 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Feb. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2008 CT1
Feb. 5
0.3 LD
13 m
2007 DA
Feb. 12
9.8 LD
140 m
4450 Pan
Feb. 19
15.9 LD
1.6 km
2002 TD66
Feb. 26
16.7 LD
440 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 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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  From the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.