You are viewing the page for Feb. 27, 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: 672.9 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Feb27
24-hr: A2
0715 UT Feb27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Feb 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 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= 3
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: 3.6 nT
Bz: 3.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about March 2nd. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Feb 27 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 27 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
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
February 27, 2009

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

 

PRETTY SKY ALERT: When the sun goes down on Friday, Feb. 27th, look west into the sunset. The Moon and Venus are converging there for a conjunction of rare beauty. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SATELLITE DEBRIS: US Strategic Command is still cataloguing debris from the Feb. 10th satellite collision over northern Siberia. "The count is now at 109 catalogued fragments for Iridium 33 and 245 for Kosmos 2251," says satellite observer Daniel Deak, who has prepared some 3D maps of the debris for readers of spaceweather.com. Click on the image to view a snapshot of Kosmos fragments on Feb 26th:

A similar image shows Iridium 33 debris, and other views are available, too: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

These maps reveal in full what earlier, less complete maps strongly hinted: Kosmos debris is scattered more widely than Iridium. "Kosmos fragments range in altitude from 250 km to 1690 km," says Deak. For comparison, "Iridium fragments range only from 525 km to 1092 km." Kosmos fragments descend all the way down to the 350 km orbit of the ISS. The space station is in little danger, however; most of the Kosmos scatter is over the Antarctic where the ISS does not go.

The fragment count now stands at 354. Says Deak, "there are surely more to come."

FEB 27th UPDATE: Since these maps were posted on Feb. 26th, the catalogued fragment count has jumped from 354 to 414.

COMET TAILS: Have you been wondering why Comet Lulin has two tails--and why one of them disappeared on Feb. 24th just as the comet was passing Earth? Science popularizer Borja Tosar of Spain has created a series of diagrams to answer these questions. Click on this image to begin:


View the complete set: #1, #2, #3, #4

The nucleus of Comet Lulin spews a mixture of dust and gas into space. Quickly, the mixture separates into two distinct tails: The gaseous "ion tail" is pushed straight away from the sun by solar wind. The weightier dust tail resists solar wind pressure and aligns itself more or less with the comet's orbit.

The next image shows why the ion tail disappeared: It is temporarily hidden behind the comet's head. And finally we see Tosar's prediction for the future: The ion tail will re-appear during the early days of March. The two tails, ion and dust, and sometimes called the tail and the antitail.

UPDATED: Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
[Comet Hunter Telescope] [Sky maps: Feb. 27, 28]


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 27, 2009 there were 1032 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
2009 DU10
Feb. 24
2.3 LD
16
18 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.