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Solar wind
speed: 461.7 km/sec
density: 2.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1717 UT Feb21
24-hr: C1
1118 UT Feb21
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 21 Feb 14
Sunspot AR1982 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 140
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 21 Feb 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

21 Feb 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 156 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 21 Feb 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.6 nT
Bz: 5.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 21 Feb 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 02-20-2014 10:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Feb 21 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
50 %
05 %
05 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Feb 21 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
20 %
20 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
20 %
30 %
55 %
50 %
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

STORMY SPACE WEATHER: For the past two days, space weather around Earth has been stormy, a situation that might continue through the weekend. CMEs struck Earth's magnetic field on Feb. 19th and 20th, producing G2-class geomagnetic storms and auroras over more than half a dozen US States. Another CME is due on Feb. 21st followed by another on Feb. 22nd. The incoming CMEs are minor, but their combined impacts could add up to something more. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Feb. 21st. Aurora alerts: text, voice

ARCTIC WILDLIFE UNDER THE LIGHTS: During a geomagnetic storm, both of Earth's poles light up with auroras. But how can you tell aurora borealis (north) from aurora australis (south)? Hint: The Northern Lights are the ones with the reindeer in front:

"On Feb. 20th, the sky exploded over northern Norway!" says photographer Ole Salomonsen. "In this shot I am laying on the frozen ground really close to the reindeer. He held still for a 1.6 second exposure."

Northern wildlife came out en masse to see the display. Other photographers caught a fox in Russia and an owl in Minnesota. Southerners may wish to try similar compositions as auroras have been sighted in New Zealand and Australia as well. Tasmanian Devil anyone? Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

RAINBOW, TWISTED: On Feb. 18th, a heavy rain shower passed through the Thames Valley in the South East of England. When the clouds parted, local resident Christine Palmer wasn't surprised to see a rainbow appear--but something about this rainbow was a bit odd:

Many rainbows are double, but "this one was twisted as well," says Palmer.

The phenomenon is called a "reflection bow." Sunlight reflected from the wet ground was refracted by raindrops, forming a rainbow at odd angles from the primary rainbow arcing across the sky. "Floods in the area are extensive at the moment, so we have plenty of wet surfaces to form such reflections," she says.

Rain + sunlight = a rainbow. Rain + floods + sunlight = a reflection bow. When it's very wet, be alert for both!

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

Note: Sometimes, because of cloud cover and other factors, a fireball is detected by only a single camera. Multiple cameras are required to triangulate an orbit. Single-camera detections in winter weather are the most common reason for mismatches between the total number of fireballs detected and the number of orbits displayed. Feb 21st is a good example:

On Feb. 21, 2014, the network reported 24 fireballs.
(24 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

On Feb. 20, 2014, the network reported 3 fireballs.
(3 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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 21, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 DC
Feb 16
5.7 LD
20 m
2000 EM26
Feb 18
8.8 LD
195 m
2014 BR57
Feb 20
4.4 LD
71 m
1995 CR
Feb 21
7.7 LD
215 m
2014 CR
Feb 24
8.3 LD
129 m
2000 EE14
Mar 6
64.6 LD
1.8 km
2014 CU13
Mar 11
8.1 LD
215 m
2003 QQ47
Mar 26
49.9 LD
1.4 km
1995 SA
Apr 2
73.1 LD
1.6 km
2000 HD24
Apr 4
42.2 LD
1.3 km
2007 HB15
Apr 28
6.7 LD
12 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 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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