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Solar wind
speed: 353.1 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2351 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
1728 UT Feb12
24-hr: C6
0212 UT Feb12
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 12 Feb 15
Not one of these sunspots has the type of unstable magnetic field that poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is low.Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 76
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Feb 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

Update 12 Feb 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 131 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Feb 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.4 nT
Bz: 3.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2351 UT
Coronal Holes: 12 Feb 15
A Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Feb. 15-16.. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds As of Nov. 22, 2014, the season for southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds is underway. The south polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-12-2015 20:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Feb 12 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
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: 2015 Feb 12 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
25 %
25 %
20 %
20 %
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015
What's up in space

Come to Tromsø and share Marianne's passion for rural photography: invites you to experience "Heaven on Earth" with an aurora, fjord, fishing, whale watching, photography or sightseeing tour.

Chase the Light Tours

DEEP SPACE CLIMATE OBSERVATORY: For years, space weather forecasters have worried about the aging ACE spacecraft, which provides early warnings of CMEs and other solar storms bearing down on Earth. Launched in 1997, ACE could fail at any moment, leaving us blind to incoming storms. On Feb. 11th, NOAA, NASA and the US Air Force launched a replacement--the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

DSCOVR blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday at 6:03 p.m. EST atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Shortly after liftoff, an American Airlines flight en route from JFK to San Juan flew past the area. Passenger Tim Leavitt pointed his iPhone out the window and captured some remarkable shots of the rocket's exhaust:

"What an amazing vantage point--and a lucky shot," says Leavitt.

The spacecraft is now on its way to the L1 point where it will monitor the solar wind one million miles upstream from Earth. NOAA says DSCOVR is in good health. Its solar arrays have deployed and it is communicating with the ground. Approximately 150 days after launch, DSCOVR will replace ACE as our primary warning system for solar magnetic storms.

In addition to monitoring the solar wind, DSCOVR will also look back at Earth. The spacecraft's EPIC camera has ten filters for photographing our planet at wavelengths ranging from UV to visible light. True-color images of the full sun-facing side of Earth will be publicly available approximately 24 hours after they are taken. The first images will be posted approximately six months after launch. EPIC's observations will be used to measure ozone and aerosols, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth. Another instrument onboard, called NISTAR, measures solar energy reflected from the sunlit face of Earth. This will help climate scientists track changes in Earth's radiation budget caused by human activities and natural phenomena.

Got pictures of the launch? Submit them here.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SUPER SOLAR FILAMENT: It is, arguably, the second biggest thing in the solar system. A filament of magnetism almost 1,000,000 km long is stretching across the face of the sun. Only the sun itself is bigger. Yesterday in the Canary Islands, Frank A. Rodriguez used a Lunt Solar Telescope to photograph the super structure:

This is a solar filament, a tendril of plasma held suspended above the surface of the sun by magnetic forces. Filaments appear on the sun all the time, but this one is unusually large, 5 to 10 times longer than ordinary filaments. If it becomes unstable and erupts, it could hurl parts of itself into space. Pieces of the filament falling back to the solar surface would explode upon impact, sparking a Hyder flare.

Astronomers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the structure in the days ahead. A photogenic explosion may be in the offing.Solar flare alerts: text, voice

DON'T FORGET COMET LOVEJOY: Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is receding from Earth and fading. But good news: It is not fading as quickly as forecasters expected. "In fact," says Jan Curtis of Santa Fe, New Mexico, "if you know where to look you can still see it with the unaided eye." Curtis created this composite image showing Lovejoy on 5 consective nights under "near-perfect" New Mexico skies:

The comet's brightness is currently near 5th magnitude--barely above the threshold for human visibility. "Its close transit past 2nd magnitude star Almach in Andromeda helped me find it," says Curtis. "In binoculars, Lovejoy's tail was visible but considerably shorter than these 20 minute daily exposures reveal. "

The current spate of moonless nights sets the stage for good photography of this relatively bright comet. Lovejoy is currently passing through the constellation Andromeda, high in the northern sky after sunset. Finder charts from Sky & Telescope will help you find it. For pinpoint guidance of telescopes, use this ephemeris from the Minor Planet Center.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

On Feb. 12, 2015, the network reported 10 fireballs.
(10 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  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 12, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 CD1
Feb 7
2.1 LD
10 m
2015 BF92
Feb 7
8.5 LD
68 m
2015 CB1
Feb 8
8.8 LD
35 m
2015 CL
Feb 8
4.3 LD
36 m
2015 CM
Feb 9
8.4 LD
19 m
2015 CG
Feb 11
7.1 LD
33 m
2015 CS
Feb 15
3.4 LD
23 m
2015 AZ43
Feb 15
7.7 LD
87 m
2000 EE14
Feb 27
72.5 LD
1.6 km
2063 Bacchus
Apr 7
76 LD
1.6 km
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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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