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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: 371.1 km/sec
density: 6.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1940 UT Feb11
24-hr: C1
1940 UT Feb11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Feb. 10
Sunspots 1045 and 1046 are members of new Solar Cycle 24. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 55
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 Feb 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 2 days (5%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 10 Feb 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 91 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 10 Feb 2010

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: 5.3 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Feb. 14th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Feb 11 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
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: 2010 Feb 11 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
30 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
35 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
February 11, 2010

SATELLITE FLYBYS APP: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested satellite tracker! Spaceweather.com presents the Satellite Flybys app.

 

SDO DESTROYS A SUNDOG: The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) lifted off from Kennedy Space Center this morning at 10:23 am EST, kicking off a 5-year mission to study the variability of the sun. Moments after liftoff, SDO did something that astonished and delighted observers. It flew right through a bright, rainbow-colored sundog and destroyed it. Click on the image to launch a 10 MB Quicktime video recorded by13-year-old Anna Herbst of Bishop, California:

Sundogs are formed by ice crystals floating in cirrus clouds. "When SDO's Atlas V rocket penetrated the cirrus, shock waves went rippling through the cloud and destroyed the alignment of the ice crystals," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "This extinguished the sundog."

Play the movie again and this time turn up the volume to hear the reaction of the crowd when the waves hit the sundog. "I've never seen anything like it," said Anna's friend and traveling companion Amelia Phillips. "It was amazing!"

This was an auspicious beginning indeed for a mission designed amaze. Once it reaches its final orbit, SDO will make IMAX-quality movies of solar explosions and peer beneath the stellar surface to see the sun's inner magnetic dynamo. No one has ever seen anything like that either. Stay tuned for updates.

SUNSPOT WATCH: Sunspot 1045 is fading away, but sunspot 1046 is rapidly growing to take its place as behemoth du jour. This 2-day movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows the see-saw action:

Both sunspots pose a threat for isolated M-class solar flares. According to NOAA, the total probability of such an eruption in the next 24 hours is 30%. The chief effect of M-flares on Earth is to ionize our planet's upper atmosphere. This can alter the normal propagation of radio signals, boosting some frequencies while suppressing others. Radio listeners should be alert for blackouts and sudden ionospheric disturbances (SIDs).

recent SIDs: from Roberto Battaiola of Pantigliate, Milan, Italy; from Rob Stammes of Lofoten, Norway.


February Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Februarys: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

 
       
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 11, 2010 there were 1094 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 AL2
Jan. 11
11.5 LD
20
23 m
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
16
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
17
1.1 km
2010 AL30
Jan. 13
0.3 LD
14
18 m
2010 AG3
Jan. 19
8.9 LD
21
14 m
2010 AN61
Jan. 19
8.0 LD
20
17 m
2010 AF40
Jan. 21
2.3 LD
16
43 m
2010 BC
Jan. 24
7.6 LD
16
160 m
2010 BU2
Jan. 27
6.4 LD
17
52 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
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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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