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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 415.2 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1811 UT Feb24
24-hr: B6
0221 UT Feb24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Feb 12
These sunspots pose no threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 52
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 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 23 Feb 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 103 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Feb 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.0 nT
Bz: 5.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Feb 12
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Feb. 25-26. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Feb 24 2200 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: 2012 Feb 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
Friday, Feb. 24, 2012
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

RADIATION STORM HITS MARS ROVER: En route to the red Planet, Mars rover Curiosity has experienced the strongest solar radiation storm since 2005. The rover is okay. Researchers say this is a normal part of Curiosity's job as 'stunt double' for human astronauts. [full story] [video]

CANYON OF FIRE: A magnetic filament snaking over the sun's northeastern limb rose up and erupted during the early hours of Feb. 24th. The eruption split the sun's atmosphere creating a "canyon of fire," shown here in a movie captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

The glowing walls of the canyon are formed in a process closely related to that of arcade loops, which appear after many solar flares. Stretching more than 400,000 km from end to end, the structure traces the original channel where the filament was suspended by magnetic forces above the stellar surface.

As erupting magnetic filaments often do, this one launched a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. The Solar and Heliospheric Observary recorded the expanding cloud: movie. The CME does not appear to be heading for Earth or any other planet.

WEEKEND SKY SHOW: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west. Jupiter, Venus and the crescent Moon are converging for a beautiful three-way encounter in the sunset sky. Just hours ago, Rafael Schmall photographed the trio over Somogy, Hungary:

From upper left to lower right, the lights are Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon--all three bright enough to beam through wispy clouds.

On Saturday, Feb. 25th, the line will collapse to form a skinny triangle: sky map. It happens again on Sunday, Feb. 26th, with shifted vertices: sky map. Try to look before the sunset sky fades completely black. Venus, Jupiter and the Moon surrounded by twilight blue is an especially beautiful sight. This is such a nice event, NASA has issued a news release and video about it.

more images: from Azhy Hasan of Erbil city, Kurdistan, Iraq; from Marek Nikodem near Szubin, Poland; from Bernard Durand of Serre-Ponçon, France; from Russell Cockman of Black Rock, Melbourne, Australia; from Stefano De Rosa of Turin, Italy; from Mike O'Hara of Charlotte, North Carolina; from Ravindra Aradhya of Bangalore, India; from Kosma Coronaios of Louis Trichardt, South Africa; from Maximilian Teodorescu of Dumitrana, Romania; from Wienie van der Oord in the Negev desert; from Ali Al-Hajari of Isa Town, Bahrain; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden;

February 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2011, 2010, 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 24, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2000 ET70
Feb 19
17.7 LD
1.0 km
2012 DY13
Feb 20
0.3 LD
11 m
2012 DF4
Feb 21
3.4 LD
31 m
2012 DX
Feb 21
2 LD
17 m
2012 DZ
Feb 22
2.5 LD
26 m
2011 CP4
Feb 23
9.1 LD
255 m
2012 DY
Feb 24
9.2 LD
21 m
2012 DX13
Feb 25
4.9 LD
70 m
2012 CS46
Feb 25
2.7 LD
12 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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