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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 386.6 km/sec
density: 5.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
2059 UT Feb22
24-hr: C1
1222 UT Feb22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 22 Feb 13
Sunspot AR1678 poses a slight threat for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 75
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Feb 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

22 Feb 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 109 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Feb 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.8 nT
Bz: 4.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 22 Feb 13
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Feb 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
05 %
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: 2013 Feb 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
30 %
20 %
25 %
20 %
Friday, Feb. 22, 2013
What's up in space

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

Venus Transit metal posters

DECREASING CHANCE OF FLARES: Sunspot AR1678 is turning away from Earth, sharply decreasing the odds of a geoeffective eruption. Nevertheless, the sunspot still has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for significant flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class solar flares and a 10% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

LAST NIGHT IN ICELAND: No solar activity, no problem. The gentle buffeting of the solar wind continues to be enough to spark auroras around the Arctic Circle. Here was the scene last night in Iceland:

"Bright moonlight lit up the night like midday," says photographer Jónína Óskarsdóttir of Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland. "Nevertheless, the auroras were plainly visible."

The waxing Moon will brighten furthern tonight. Will the Northern Lights continue to penetrate the glare? Stay tuned: NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Feb. 22-23. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

TWO COMETS AND THE SOUTHERN LIGHTS: Two comets are now visible in the skies of the southern hemisphere: "Comet Lemmon and Comet PanSTARRS got close enough together on the morning of Feb. 17th to fit into single image with a 35mm lens," reports Alex Cherney of Flinders, Victoria, Australia. "A brief but reasonably strong aurora was a welcome bonus." Click to set the scene in motion:

"Both comets were faint but visible to the naked eye, C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) slightly brighter than C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)," says Cherney. "I would guestimate the visual magnitude of Comet Lemmon at +5.5 and PanSTARRS at +5." Also visible in Cherney's images are the Small Magellanic Cloud and the 47 Tuc globular star cluster.

Comet Pan-STARRS is heading for a close encounter with the sun just inside the orbit of Mercury that could significantly boost its visibility in early March. At that time, the comet will be visible to northern-hemisphere observers as well. A video from NASA explores the possibilities.

More about Comet Lemmon: 3D orbit, ephemeris, light curves; and Comet Pan-STARRS: 3D orbit, ephemeris, light curves.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 22, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 CE82
Feb 17
4.6 LD
53 m
2013 CW129
Feb 18
1.3 LD
12 m
2013 CZ87
Feb 19
7 LD
28 m
2013 DS9
Feb 24
8.7 LD
24 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 km
2010 GM23
Apr 13
3.9 LD
50 m
2005 NZ6
Apr 29
24.9 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr 30
74.3 LD
1.1 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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