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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 403.7 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1803 UT Feb03
24-hr: C8
0610 UT Feb03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Feb 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 54
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 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
03 Feb 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 112 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Feb 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
Bz: 1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 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 03 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
25 %
CLASS X
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: 2013 Feb 03 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
20 %
SEVERE
35 %
15 %
 
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013
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

SUNSPOT OF INTEREST: A break in the quiet could be in the offing. Sunspot AR1667 is crackling with C-class solar flares and appears capable of producing an even stronger M-class eruption. The sunspot is turning toward Earth, so future blasts would likely be geoeffective. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

LOUD SOLAR RADIO BURST: Yesterday, Feb. 2nd, the solar activity forecast called for "quiet." In fact, says amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft, "it was really loud. There were several strong solar radio emissions including one super-strong Type III burst at 1954 UT. I captured it at 28 MHz and 21.1 MHz as it totally drowned out a short wave voice transmission." Click on the image to listen:


Dynamic spectrum credit: Dick Flagg, Windward Community College Radio Observatory, Oahu, Hawaii

The source of the burst was sunspot AR1667, which unleashed a C2.9-class solar flare just before the roar emerged from the loudspeaker of Ashcraft's radio telescope. Type III solar radio bursts are produced by electrons accelerated to high energies (1 to 100 keV) by solar flares. As the electrons stream outward from the sun, they excite plasma oscillations and radio waves in the sun's atmosphere. When these radio waves head in the direction of Earth, they make themselves heard in the loudspeakers of shortwave radios around the dayside of the planet.

More radio bursts could be in the offing. Sunspot AR1667 is crackling with C-class solar flares and seems poised for even stronger M-class eruptions. Solar flare 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 3, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 CY
Jan 28
0.9 LD
10 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
30 m
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
2013 BV15
Feb 13
3.7 LD
61 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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