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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 460.2 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C6
2033 UT Feb15
24-hr: X2
0156 UT Feb15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Feb 11
Big sunspot AR1158 poses a threat for Earth-directed X-flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 90
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 Feb 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (2%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 14 Feb 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 113 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 14 Feb 2011

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: 3.5 nT
Bz: 2.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 15 Feb 11
There are no large equatorial coronal holes on the Earth-side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Feb 15 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
60 %
60 %
CLASS X
20 %
20 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2011 Feb 15 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
25 %
MINOR
01 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
45 %
MINOR
05 %
25 %
SEVERE
00 %
05 %
 
Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store. They make a unique Valentine's gift.

 
Own your own meteorite

COMET FLYBY: First images from last night's Stardust-NExT flyby of Comet Tempel 1 are coming in now. Tune into NASA TV for a press conference beginning at 12:45 pm PST (3:45 pm EST).

FIRST X-FLARE OF THE NEW SOLAR CYCLE: Sunspot 1158 has unleashed the strongest solar flare in more than four years. The eruption, which peaked at 0156 UT on Feb. 15th, registered X2 on the Richter scale of solar flares. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, circled below:


movie formats: 5 MB gif, 1.3 MB iPad, 0.6 MB iPhone

X-flares are the strongest type of solar flare, and this is the first such eruption of new Solar Cycle 24. In addition to flashing Earth with UV radiation, the explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) in our direction. The expanding cloud may be seen in this movie from NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft. Geomagnetic storms are possible when the CME arrives 36 to 48 hours hence. Stay tuned for updates.

SWEET AURORAS: Last night, as predicted, a gust of solar wind hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking bright Valentine's auroras around the Arctic Circle. Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen sends this picture of the sweet lights over Bø in Vesterålen, Norway:

"It was a short but beautiful blast of Northern Lights," says Ingvaldsen. "Perhaps this is a preview of things to come later this week." Indeed, a series of CMEs en route to Earth from exploding sunspot 1158 are expected to arrive on Feb. 15th-17th, prompting bright displays at even lower latitudes. Sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

more images: from Gabi and Gunter Reichert of Sundklakkstraumen, Norway; from Tom Eklund of Valkeakoski, Finland; from Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway; from Martin McKenna of Glenshane Pass, N. Ireland; from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Conor McDonald of Maghera, Northern Ireland; from B.Art Braafhart of Salla - Sallatunturi, Finnish Lapland;


February 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2010, 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 15, 2011 there were 1198 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 CZ3
Feb 10
2.5 LD
--
24 m
2011 CD66
Feb 13
7.2 LD
--
18 m
2011 CL50
Feb 19
6.2 LD
--
13 m
2003 YG118
Feb 20
67.7 LD
--
1.8 km
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
--
2.6 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
9 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 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
Science Central
   
  more links...
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