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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 366.7 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C7
2120 UT Feb08
24-hr: M3
0740 UT Feb08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Feb. 10
Behemoth sunspot 1045 has a beta-gamma magnetic field that harbors eergy for strong M-class solar flares. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 51
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Feb 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 2 days (5%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 07 Feb 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 90 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 Feb 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.8 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Feb. 10th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Feb 08 2211 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
70 %
70 %
15 %
15 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2010 Feb 08 2211 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
05 %
05 %
02 %
01 %
What's up in Space
February 8, 2010

SATELLITE FLYBYS APP: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested satellite tracker! presents the Satellite Flybys app.


LIFTOFF! Space shuttle Endeavour left Earth this morning at 4:14 am EST, beginning a 13-day mission to the ISS. A bone-rattling roar was heard for miles around as the shuttle lifted off Pad 39A in the final night launch of NASA's shuttle program. With only four shuttle missions left after this one, Endeavour delivered a beautiful parting shot. Launch photos: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8.

RADIO-ACTIVE SUNSPOT: Behemoth sunspot 1045 is crackling with M-class solar flares--and that's not all. "There have been many loud shortwave radio bursts over the past two days," reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico. "Some of the bursts have completely saturated my receivers." Just listen to the sounds coming from the loudspeakers in his observatory. (continued below)

Image credit: Alan Friedman of Buffalo, New York [details]

The roaring sounds you just heard were mainly Type III radio bursts, caused by beams of electrons streaming through the sun's outer atmosphere. Sunspot 1045 appears poised to explosively accelerate more electrons in the days ahead as the flare-show continues. Ham radio operators, point your Yagis toward the sun!

more images: from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Rogerio Marcon of Campinas Brasil; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Stefano Sello of Pisa, Italy; from James Kevin Ty of Manila, Philippines; from John Stetson of Portland, Maine; from Steve Riegel of Sanata Maria, CA; from Jo Dahlmans of Ulestraten, The Netherlands;

NORTHERN LIGHTS: "As the solar wind swept over our planet tonight (Feb. 7th), the silent winter landscape with its heavy snow-clad trees made me feel that our place in the solar system must be among the most beautiful," says Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway. He used a Nikon D3 to record the otherworldly scene:
Photo details: Nikon D3, Nikkor 20mm f72.8, 800 ISO, 10-15 sec

Arctic sky watchers should be alert for more auroras in the nights ahead. Sunspot 1045 hurled a CME toward Earth on Feb. 7th and it is due to arrive (along with an unrelated solar wind stream) on Feb. 9th to 10th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic actvity.

February Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Februarys: 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 8, 2010 there were 1094 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 AL2
Jan. 11
11.5 LD
23 m
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
1.1 km
2010 AL30
Jan. 13
0.3 LD
18 m
2010 AG3
Jan. 19
8.9 LD
14 m
2010 AN61
Jan. 19
8.0 LD
17 m
2010 AF40
Jan. 21
2.3 LD
43 m
2010 BC
Jan. 24
7.6 LD
160 m
2010 BU2
Jan. 27
6.4 LD
52 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.
  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, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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