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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 335.2 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
2110 UT Feb26
24-hr: B1
1225 UT Feb26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Feb. 10
Sunspots 1050 and 1051 are quiet and pose no immediate threat for strong solar flares. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 30
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Feb 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 2 days (4%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 25 Feb 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 83 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Feb 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Feb 26 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
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: 2010 Feb 26 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
February 26, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.


A MONTH OF SUNSPOTS: February 2010 is on the verge of a three-year "first." It's the first month since January 2007
with sunspots every single day. It's been a long solar minimum, but solar activity is on the rise again. Today, NASA's STEREO mission is tracking at least six active regions around the circumference of the sun. Check them out on the 3D Sun.

MARTIAN CONJUNCTION: Last night's conjunction of Mars and the Moon was so big and bright, anyone could see it--no telescope required. A telescope could still come in handy, though. It made nice scenery for the photo-op:

Tamas Ladanyi took the picture from his backyard in Veszprem, Hungary. "As a matter of fact," he says, "I was putting my telescope to good use. It was scanning the Moon." He video-recorded the scan using a Canon EOS 500D; click here to watch the movie he calls Moonwalk.

In case you missed it, another Moon-Mars conjunction is less than a month away. On March 24th, the two worlds will gather together only 5o apart. Reminder calls may be had from Spaceweather PHONE.

more images: from Nazanin Beyzaie of Sydney, Australia; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Mark Arzadon of San Jacinto, Pangasinan, Philippines; from M. Raşid Tuğral of Ankara, Turkey; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden;

SOUTH POLE SUN HALO: It's a fact: You're more likely to see a sun halo if the sun is up 24 hours a day. Such is the case at the South Pole where Cody Lee Meyer took this picture on Feb. 26th:

"The autumnal equinox is coming up for folks living at the South Pole Station (90 S latitude)," says Meyer. "We are blessed to witness sun shows nearly every day as the sun hangs around 9.3 degrees above the horizon and ice lingers in the sky."

Of course, you don't have to be at the South Pole to see a sun halo. Click on the links for examples: from Mustafa Erol of Antalya/Turkey; from Jose R Gonzalez of Miami, Florida; from Paul Osimo of Providence, Rhode Island; from Teresa Hernandez of Ramos Mejía, Buenos Aires, Argentina; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from Michael Boschat of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada;

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 26, 2010 there were 1103 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Feb. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 UN3
Feb. 9
14.3 LD
1.2 km
2010 CK19
Feb. 17
0.9 LD
11 m
2001 FD58
Feb. 19
58.5 LD
0.9 km
2010 CJ18
Feb. 19
3.3 LD
20 m
2002 EZ11
Feb. 24
77.5 LD
1.0 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 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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