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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 285.9 km/sec
density: 2.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Feb09
24-hr: A0
0220 UT Feb09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Feb 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Feb. 2009
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.2 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Feb. 13th or 14th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Feb 09 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2009 Feb 09 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
February 9, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

 

COMET LULIN UPDATE: Experienced observers report that Comet Lulin has brightened to naked-eye visibility from dark-sky sites. It looks like a pale "fuzzy patch" in the constellation Libra before dawn. Backyard telescopes pointed at the patch reveal a lovely green comet with a rapidly re-growing plasma tail. Browse the gallery for latest photos.

SUBTLE LUNAR ECLIPSE: Earlier today, the full Moon passed through the outskirts of Earth's shadow producing a subtle "penumbral" lunar eclipse. Christopher Calubaquib photographed the event from El Sobrante, California:

Normal full Moons are fully lit, yet this one has a dusky shading across the north pole. That was the eclipse.

"It was not really a sight that would stop someone in their tracks, but I did find it to be much darker than I imagined," reports Navneeth Chandrasekaran from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. "This photo was taken about 10 minutes before maximum eclipse."

more images: from Pam Haley of Kailua, Hawaii; from Yandong Hu of Changzhou, Jiangsu, China; from Wah! of Hong Kong; from Miyagi Takafumi of Okinawa Japan; from Karzaman Ahmad of Langkawi National Observatory, Malaysia; from Andy Yeung of Hong Kong; from Rob Kaufman of Bright, Victoria, Australia; from Grahame Kelaher of Perth, Australia; from Ben Levis of Carmel, Perth, Western Australia;

TITAN TRANSIT: Saturn's rings are nearly edge-on to Earth and this is giving astronomers a chance to see unaccustomed things. On Feb 8th, Christopher Go of the Philippines photographed one of them--a transit of Titan.

"I woke up at 1 o'clock in the morning to photograph Titan's passage across the disk of Saturn," says Go. "The sky was overcast from around 1am to around 1:50am. I was fortunate to see the end of the transit which is really stunning as it gave Titan a 3D effect!" He combined several photos taken through his 11-inch Celestron telescope to produce this animation:

Titan passes in front of Saturn fairly often, but the transits are usually hidden from view by Saturn's broad rings. Only when the rings are edge-on does the giant moon's silhouette reveal itself to backyard telescopes.

"There will be two more transits visible this year: Feb 24th and March 12th," notes Go. "The one on Feb 24th is special as it will be a quadruple transit of Titan, Mimas, Dione and Enceladus. At around 14:25UT on that day, all four moons will be within Saturn's disk."

Feb 24th is special for another reason: Comet Lulin makes its closest approach to Earth on that date, coincidentally just a few degrees away from Saturn: sky map. In one quick sweep of a backyard telescope, you'll be able to see Titan, Saturn's edge-on rings, and a green comet with an active tail. Mark your calendar!


February 2009 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Februaries: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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 9, 2009 there were 1025 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Feb. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 BK58
Feb. 2
1.7 LD
17
30 m
2009 BG81
Feb. 2
4.4 LD
19
12 m
2009 CC2
Feb. 2
0.5 LD
17
12 m
2009 BW2
Feb. 5
8.4 LD
20
40 m
2009 CP
Feb. 8
7.7 LD
19
20 m
2009 BE58
Feb. 10
8.6 LD
16
225 m
2006 AS2
Feb. 10
9.2 LD
15
370 m
2009 BL58
Feb. 11
4.8 LD
17
55 m
1999 AQ10
Feb. 18
4.4 LD
13
390 m
2009 CV
Feb. 23
4.8 LD
18
62 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 Links
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  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
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