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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 497.1 km/sec
density: 1.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2255 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C7
2219 UT Feb07
24-hr: C7
2219 UT Feb07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Feb 12
Departing sunspot AR1410 is crackling with C- and M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 27
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Feb 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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

Updated 06 Feb 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 112 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Feb 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 4.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2259 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Feb 12
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Feb. 10th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Feb 07 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
01 %
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: 2012 Feb 07 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
20 %
20 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
50 %
30 %
30 %
05 %
05 %
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012
What's up in space

Don't just watch shooting stars. Wear them! Authentic meteorite jewelry for Valentine's Day is now available in the SpaceWeather Store.

Meteorite jewelry

FULL SNOW MOON: There's a full Moon tonight. According to folklore it is the "Snow Moon," named by Native Americans after the heavy snows of February. In North America, snow has been in short supply, but the white tide is turning in Europe as winter storms sweep across the continent. Wherever you are, enjoy the cold moonlight.

M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Departing sunspot AR1410 is growing in size and magnetic complexity as it approaches the sun's northwestern limb. The region is now crackling with solar flares, highlighted by this M1-class eruption on Feb. 6th at 20:01 UT:

NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of more M-flares during the next 24 hours. Any eruptions from AR1410 are unlikely to be Earth-directed as the active region continues to turn away from our planet. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

NORTHERN SNOWSCAPE: A solar wind stream of medium velocity (400-500 km/s) is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and stirring up auroras around the Arctic Circle. Nenne Åman witnessed this scene last night from the Galtispouda mountain near Arjeplog, Sweden:

"The winter landscape was so beautiful, and tonight's auroras made it stunning together with the moon light," says Åman. "Another wonderful night in northern Sweden!"

High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for more moonlit auroras on Feb. 7th as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

more images: from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Arild Heitmann of Tennevik River, Skånland, Troms, Norway; from Andy Keen of Inari, Northern Lapland, Finland; from Neal Cheeseman of Arvidsjaur, Sweden

January 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]

Comet Lovejoy Gallery
[previous comets: McNaught, Holmes, Lulin, Tuttle, Ikeya-Zhang]

  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 7, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 AV
Feb 16
44.9 LD
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Feb 19
17.7 LD
1.0 km
2011 CP4
Feb 23
9.1 LD
255 m
2008 EJ85
Mar 6
9.1 LD
44 m
1999 RD32
Mar 14
57.9 LD
2.4 km
2011 YU62
Mar 16
73.3 LD
1.4 km
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
8 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.
  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
Trade Show Displays
  more links...
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