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Solar wind
speed: 520.8 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2351 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1849 UT Feb03
24-hr: C3
1053 UT Feb03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Feb 15
Departing sunspot AR2268 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares: Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 117
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Feb 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
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%)

Update 03 Feb 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 144 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Feb 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz: 2.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2351 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Feb 15
A Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this large southern coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds As of Nov. 22, 2014, the season for southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds is underway. The south polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-02-2015 16:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Feb 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
20 %
05 %
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: 2015 Feb 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
30 %
30 %
35 %
25 %
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015
What's up in space

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park.

Lapland tours

SNOW MOON AND JUPITER: There's a full Moon tonight, and according to folklore it has a special name: the Snow Moon, so-called because northern snow often falls most heavily in February. This year the Snow Moon is in conjunction with Jupiter. Look for the duo rising together in the east just after sunset on Feb. 3rd. [sky map]

Last night, Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, England, photographed the Moon and Jupiter surrounded by a 22-degree ice halo:

"A fabulous, long-lived lunar halo glowed through the night of Feb 2/3," says Lawrence. "The Moon's position meant that giant planet Jupiter was contained within this stunning ring of light, too. Sometimes tricky to fit inside a camera frame, the wide shot was taken with an 8mm fisheye."

Fitting the pair inside a camera frame will be even easier tonight, when Jupiter and the Moon converge within a tight 5-degree circle. Stay tuned for more photos.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SOLAR WIND SPARKS AURORAS: A stream of high-speed solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, and this is sparking bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. "A geomagnetic storm hit Alaska last night with huge activity seen from horizon to horizon," reports Sacha M. Layos, who sends this picture from Fairbanks:

Normally, full moonlight wipes out auroras, but these auroras were so bright they could be seen despite the glare. Moreover, the moon illuminated the snow-frosted trees, making a photogenic frame for the lights overhead.

More auroras are in the offing. NOAA estimates a 50% chance of continued geomagnetic storming on Feb. 3rd as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

CLOUDTOP GREEN FLASH: reader Mila Zinkova of San Francisco was photographing the sunset on Jan. 29th when a puff of sun detached itself and turned green. It was a rare cloud-top green flash:

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains what happened: "San Francisco and the Californian coast is a world top spot for green flashes. Air is cooled by the cold offshore current and topped by warmer air from inland to provide the ideal temperature profile for sunset mirages and flashes."

"Mila's flash might be something extra special - a 'cloud-top' flash.  These are seen as the sun's rays graze a distant cloud bank. Marine stratus can be trapped by temperature inversion layers which could generate some of the flashes. But that is not always the case; there is much unexplained about them.

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. 3, 2015, the network reported 13 fireballs.
(13 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 3, 2015 there were 1542 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 BE92
Jan 29
3.2 LD
10 m
2015 BD511
Jan 30
4.5 LD
19 m
2008 CQ
Jan 31
4.8 LD
36 m
2015 BF92
Feb 7
8.5 LD
63 m
2015 AZ43
Feb 15
7.7 LD
87 m
2000 EE14
Feb 27
72.5 LD
1.6 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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