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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 386.4 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1857 UT Feb14
24-hr: B3
1857 UT Feb14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Feb 12
None of the these sunspots is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 59
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Feb 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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

Updated 13 Feb 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Feb 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.1 nT
Bz: 3.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 14 Feb 12
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on Feb. 17-18. However, the solar wind stream is likely to sail south of our planet, making little impact. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Feb 14 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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: 2012 Feb 14 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012
What's up in space

It's a Valentine's Gift from the stars: Authentic meteorite rings. Select your favorite from dozens of styles.

Meteorite rings

QUIET OUTLOOK: The sun is peppered with sunspots, but none of them is actively flaring. Solar activity should remain low for the next 24 hours with only a slight chance of M-class solar flares. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

ISS-VENUS ENCOUNTER: Last night, on Valentine's Eve, the International Space Station paid a visit to the Goddess of Love. "Just after sunset on on Feb. 13th, I saw the ISS pass directly in front of Venus," reports Glenn Wester, who photographed the encounter over Long Island, New York:

It could happen again tonight. The space station is making a series of bright passes over North America, zipping among the glittering stars and planets of the winter sunset sky. Local flyby times are available from SpaceWeather's Simple Satellite Tracker and Flybys App.

more images: from Malcolm Park of Cobourg, Ontario, Canada; from Robert Sparks of Tucson, Arizona

AURORA WATCH: A slight disturbance in the solar wind on Feb. 12-13 was enough to ignite auroras around the Arctic Circle. On Moose mountain, near Fairbanks Alaska, cross-country skiers Marketa Stanczykova and Ronn Murray stopped to photograph the display:

"The auroras were magical ... like always," says Stanczykova.

By all accounts, it was a good night to be out. "The sky was very clear, the moon had not yet risen, and above all it was warm: near +15!" reports LeRoy Zimmerman from Chandalar Ranch, also near Fairbanks. "There was a Japanese aurora tour on the property, and this was their first view of auroras. It is always great to be with a group of first-timers and hear the cheers and squeals as they see this wonder for the first time!" Zimmerman documented the event in a series of panoramic photos.

more images: from Lurie Belegurschi of Iceland; from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Yuichi Takasaka of Chandalar Ranch, Two River, Alaska; from Greg Lacy on the Yukon River 150 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska; from Carlos López of Karasjok, Norway

January 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]

Comet Lovejoy Gallery
[previous comets: McNaught, Holmes, Lulin, Tuttle, Ikeya-Zhang]

  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 14, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 CL17
Feb 6
4.5 LD
31 m
2009 AV
Feb 16
44.9 LD
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Feb 19
17.7 LD
1.0 km
2011 CP4
Feb 23
9.1 LD
255 m
2008 EJ85
Mar 6
9.1 LD
44 m
1999 RD32
Mar 14
57.9 LD
2.4 km
2011 YU62
Mar 16
73.4 LD
1.3 km
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
1.8 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
  more links...
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