You are viewing the page for Feb. 13, 2009
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 306.1 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2250 UT Feb13
24-hr: B2
0545 UT Feb13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Feb 09
Old-cycle sunspot 1012 is fading away. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 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= 1 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: 6.4 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT north
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. 14th or 15th. Credit: Hinode X-ray Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Feb 13 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 13 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
35 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
35 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
What's up in Space
February 13, 2009

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

 

VALENTINE'S AURORAS: Arctic sweethearts, take note. A solar wind stream is heading toward Earth and there is a 35% chance of geomagnetic activity when it arrives on Feb. 14th. Valentine's Day could end with a sweet display of Northern Lights: gallery.

COLLIDING SATELLITES: For the first time ever, two large satellites have collided in Earth orbit. It happened on Tuesday, Feb. 10th, when Kosmos 2251 crashed into Iridium 33 approximately 800 km over northern Siberia. Both satellites were completely destroyed.


Click to view a 2.3 MB animation

U.S. Strategic Command is tracking hundreds of satellite fragments. In the 48+ hours since the collision, the debris swarm has spread around both orbits. Experts characterize the distribution as a pair of "clumpy rings"; one ring traces the orbit of Iridium 33, the other traces the orbit of Kosmos 2251.

This injection of debris substantially increases the population of space junk at altitudes near 800 km. Collisions are now more likely than ever. Fortunately, the International Space Station orbits Earth at a much lower altitude, 350 km, so it is in no immediate danger. The Hubble Space Telescope is not so safe at 610 km. In the days ahead, researchers will carefully study the make-up and dynamics of the debris cloud to estimate when bits will begin to drift down to lower altitudes.

LISTEN UP: The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar is monitoring the skies above Texas for echoes from satellite fragments. Try listening on Saturday, Feb. 14th between 2:18 and 2:28 am CST (0818 - 0828 UT). That's when Kosmos 2251 would have passed over the radar intact had it not been shattered.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot 1012 is crackling with B-class solar flares. Yesterday, Feb. 12th at 1625 UT, one such eruption propelled a "solar tsunami" through the sun's lower atmosphere. An ultraviolet telescope onboard NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft recorded the faint yet powerful wave:

The low latitude and magnetic polarity of this sunspot identify it as a member of old Solar Cycle 23. It is, in other words, a fossil, albeit a relatively active one. Stay tuned for more flares.


Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
[Comet Hunter Telescope] [NASA's story] [ephemeris]


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 13, 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
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.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.