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Solar wind
speed: 403.0 km/sec
density: 1.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C5
2130 UT Feb12
24-hr: M3
0425 UT Feb12
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 12 Feb 14
Sunspot AR1974 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 151
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Feb 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

12 Feb 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 172 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Feb 2014

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: 6.4 nT
Bz: 2.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 11 Feb 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 02-12-2014 10:55:01
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Feb 12 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
10 %
10 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Feb 12 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
40 %
01 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
15 %
25 %
05 %
60 %
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

AURORAS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY? Two minor CMEs that left the sun on Feb. 11th are expected to merge and hit Earth's magnetic field on Feb. 14th. The combined impact could spark geomagnetic storms and auroras around the Arctic Circle on Valentine's Day. Aurora alerts: text, voice

INCREASING CHANCE OF FLARES: Sunspot AR1974 is growing rapidly and poses an increasing chance of Earth-directed flares. Click to view 48 hours of developments:

During the past two days, the sunspot has sprouted dozens of new dark cores under an increasingly complex magnetic canopy. The region's unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field harbors energy for strong explosions, prompting NOAA forecasters to boost the daily odds of M-flares to 45%, and X-flares to 10%. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

'MAGICAL' ICE HALOS OVER CALGARY: On Sunday, sky watchers around Calgary, Canada, witnessed a magnificent display of ice halos around the sun. "It was magical--the best I've ever seen," reports photographer Dee Cresswell, who needed four exposures to capture all of the glowing arcs:

"The temperature was around -22 C, with a windchill in the mid minus thirties," she continues. "You could actually see the ice crystals shimmering in the air. There was a 22° halo, a 46° halo, infralateral arcs, tangent arcs, circumzenithal arc, a parhelic circle and more."

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley created a diagram labeling the halos: click here. He says they were created by a special kind of ice crystal called "diamond dust."

"Diamond dust--that is, low level ice crystals shaped as hexagonal plates and columns--make the very best halos because the crystals are large and of good optical quality," explains Cowley. "Plates made the bright sundogs and the circumzenithal arc while column crystals generated the upper tangent arc and the rarer supralateral and infralateral arcs. More peculiarly oriented columns gave the not often seen Parry arc. A few randomly tilted crystals produced the faint 22-degree halo and only a hint of the 46-degree circle. Supralateral arcs and the rarer 46° halo can be hard to tell apart."

"Even though wintry diamond dust is the king of halos,ordinary ice crystals in high clouds can give fine displays all year long," he says. "No matter where you live, or what time of year, keep an eye out for halos."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet 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, 2014, the network reported 6 fireballs.
(6 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]

On Feb. 11, 2014, the network reported 4 fireballs.
(4 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, 2014 there were 1457 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 BP43
Feb 8
5.5 LD
22 m
2014 CF13
Feb 10
9.6 LD
44 m
2006 DP14
Feb 10
6.2 LD
730 m
2014 BT43
Feb 11
9.8 LD
31 m
2014 CB3
Feb 12
8.8 LD
26 m
2000 EM26
Feb 18
8.8 LD
195 m
2014 BR57
Feb 20
4.4 LD
68 m
2014 CL13
Feb 21
7.7 LD
180 m
2014 CR
Feb 24
8.3 LD
123 m
2000 EE14
Mar 6
64.6 LD
1.8 km
2003 QQ47
Mar 26
49.9 LD
1.4 km
1995 SA
Apr 2
73.1 LD
1.6 km
2000 HD24
Apr 4
42.2 LD
1.3 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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