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Solar wind
speed: 433.9 km/sec
density: 3.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1701 UT Feb22
24-hr: C7
1550 UT Feb22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 22 Feb 14
Sunspot AR1982 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 152
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 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%)

22 Feb 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 157 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Feb 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.8 nT
Bz: 0.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 22 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: 02-22-2014 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Feb 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
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 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
10 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
30 %
25 %
50 %
20 %
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

WEEKEND OUTLOOK: NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of geomagnetic storms this weekend in response to CMEs due to arrive on Saturday and Sunday. Both CMEs are minor, but the 1-2 punch could cause magnetic disturbances around the poles. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice

RETURNING SUNSPOT STILL ACTIVE: Near the end of January, sunspot AR1967 emerged over the sun's eastern limb and unleashed almost two dozen M-class solar flares as it crossed the solar disk. Is it about to happen again? This weekend, the long-lived sunspot is due to return from the farside of the sun. Moreover, a farside CME that billowed over the eastern limb on Feb. 21st suggests that AR1967 is still active:

If AR1967 reappears as expected it will mark the third time the active region has crossed the face of the sun. The first time was in early January when it was called AR1944. Sunspots seldom last more than two or three weeks; two or three months is remarkable. By now the returning spot is probably a decayed shell of its former self, although the CME hints at some remaining potency. Stay tuned for updates as the sun's rotation turns the active region toward Earth in the days ahead. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

MYSTERY CLOUD (DE-MYSTIFIED): On the night of Feb. 20/21, photographer Dennis Mammana was stationed on Pedro Dome near Fairbanks, Alaska, in hopes of recording the Northern Lights. "I caught this instead—a tiny and bright cloud that rose from the western sky and spread slightly and faded over an hour or so," says Mammana. Here is a composite of two of his shots:

The cloud resembles a rocket fuel dump. Scientists from the University of Alaska frequently launch rockets from the nearby Poker Flat Research Range to study auroras. But on this night there were no rocket launches on Poker Flat.

Update: There was, however, a launch thousands of miles away. A Delta 4 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite.

Veteran satellite watcher Marco Langbroek says this is it: "The mystery object on the Mammana photo from Pedro Dome near Fairbanks, Alaska, is a fuel vent from the Feb 20 launch of GPS 2F-05 (USA 248, 20114-008A, #39533)."

"Although the satellite is in an orbit with a 54.98 degree inclination, that does not mean it was not visible from Mammana's location at 65N," he continues. "It is in a very high orbit and was at an altitude of over 20,000 km at that moment. At such an altitude it is visible from 65 N, low in the west in this case."

The attached sky map prepared by Langbroek shows the position of the satellite (labeled "Object A") in the sky above Alaska at the time Mammana photographed the cloud. The sky map and the photo are a good match.

Realtime Aurora 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

On Feb. 22, 2014, the network reported 5 fireballs.
(5 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. 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]

  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 22, 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
210 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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