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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 461.4 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1958 UT Feb02
24-hr: C2
1958 UT Feb02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Feb 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 65
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Feb 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update
02 Feb 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 104 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Feb 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.4 nT
Bz: -0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Feb 13
Solar wind flowing from these coronal holes should reach Earth between Feb. 4th and 6th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Feb 02 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
CLASS X
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: 2013 Feb 02 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
25 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
35 %
35 %
 
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013
What's up in space
 

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

 
Meteorite jewelry

QUIET SUN: With no sunspots actively flaring, solar activity continues to be low. NOAA forecasters estimate a slim 5% chance of M-flares and a 1% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

DEEP SKY AURORAS: Just because you can't see the Northern Lights doesn't mean they're not there. Last night in Babbitt, Minnesota, photographer Heidi Pinkerton pointed her camera at the sky to record the Milky Way and found band of green under the arch of stars:

"The temperature was -24˚F," she says. "[Staying outside for a long-exposure deep-sky photo was a little uncomfortable, but the results were worth it.]"

These faint auroras, visible to the camera but not to the naked eye, were sparked by a medium-speed (425 km/s) solar wind stream, which is gently buffeting Earth's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of polar geomagnetic storms tonight, but the odds improve to 35% later this weekend when a faster stream of solar wind is due to arrive. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

COMET LEMMON UPDATE: Glowing much brighter than expected, Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) is gliding through the skies of the southern hemisphere about 92 million miles (0.99 AU) from Earth. Amateur astronomer Rolf Wahl Olsen sends this picture from his backyard in Auckland, New Zealand:

"I took this image of Comet Lemmon on the 28th of January," says Olsen. "It has become quite bright now and has also grown a beautiful tail."

Discovered on March 23rd 2012 by the Mount Lemmon survey in Arizona, Comet Lemmon is on an elliptical orbit with a period of almost 11,000 years. This is its first visit to the inner solar system in a very long time. The comet is brightening as it approaches the sun; light curves suggest that it will reach 2nd or 3rd magnitude, similar to the stars in the Big Dipper, in late March when it approaches the sun at about the same distance as Venus (0.7 AU).

At the moment, the comet is glowing like a 7th magnitude star, just below the limit of naked-eye visibility. To capture the faint details of the comet's filamentary tail, Olsen used a 10-inch telescope, a sensitive CCD camera, and an exposure time of 1 hour 17 minutes. Complete photo details are given here.

Lemmon's green color comes from the gases that make up its coma. Jets spewing from the comet's nucleus contain cyanogen (CN: a poisonous gas found in many comets) and diatomic carbon (C2). Both substances glow green when illuminated by sunlight in the near-vacuum of space.

Northern hemisphere observers will get their first good look at the comet in early April; until then it is a target exclusively for astronomers in the southern hemisphere.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 2, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 BB74
Jan 28
9.3 LD
24 m
1999 HA2
Feb 5
58 LD
1.3 km
2013 BA74
Feb 6
4.5 LD
42 m
2013 BS45
Feb 12
4.9 LD
31 m
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
2013 BV15
Feb 13
3.7 LD
64 m
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
58 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 km
2010 GM23
Apr 13
3.9 LD
50 m
2005 NZ6
Apr 29
24.9 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr 30
74.3 LD
1.1 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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
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