http://spaceweather.com/ - 02/13/16 08:09:05 - 12/01/04 00:53:58
360.6 20.5 Updated: Today at 2152 UT C6 1721 UT Feb12 Updated: Today at: 2100 UT2 16.7 7.4 Updated: Today at 2151 UT
VALENTINE'S DAY IN THE STRATOSPHERE: Are you still searching for a last-minute Valentine's gift? How about sending yourself and a loved one to the stratosphere? On. Feb 13th, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus plan to launch a space weather balloon to monitor cosmic rays over California. For $500, you can send a Valentine's photo along for the ride. Imagine your picture in front of this background:
Sponsors will receive an HD video of their flight along with still-frame highlights on the evening on Feb 13th--just in time for Valentine's Day. This out-of-this-world gift comes with the satisfaction of contributing to important crowd-funded space weather research. Contact Dr. Tony Phillips to take advantage of this Valentine's Special.
We also plan to launch space weather balloons during and after the expected CME strike of Feb. 15th, to monitor the effect of the solar storm cloud on Earth's cosmic ray environment. Stay tuned!1675
353.2 8.7 Updated: Today at 1742 UT C2 1059 UT Feb12 Updated: Today at: 1700 UT3 quiet14.1 8.3 Updated: Today at 1741 UT Updated at: 02-12-2016 16:55:02
EARTH-DIRECTED CME: . NOAA analysts say it should reach our planet on Feb. 15th, possibly sparking minor geomagnetic storms.
EARTH-DIRECTED FLARE (UPDATED): Sunspot AR2497 erupted on Feb. 11th (2103 UT), producing a solar flare and hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) in space. Newly-arriving images from SOHO show that the CME does have an Earth-directed component: movie. NOAA analysts are working now to determine the arrival time and possible effect of the CME's impact. Stay tuned.
Solar activity was low on Feb. 10th. An outburst of auroras appeared over Tromso, Norway, anyway. Michael Zawadzki photographed the explosion of green from the aurora-shadow of the EISCAT radar:
349.1 3.1 Updated: Today at 0432 UT
Sunspot number: 6814.2 11.0 north Updated: Today at 0431 UT
338.5 2.0 Updated: Today at 0022 UT C8 2103 UT Feb11 C8 2103 UT Updated: Today at: 2359 UT4 unsettled Kp= 4 unsettled12.6 6.9 Updated: Today at 0022 UT Updated at: 2016 Feb 11 2200 UTC
Updated at: 2016 Feb 11 2200 UTC
15 % 15 %
Friday, Feb. 12, 2016
EARTH-DIRECTED FLARE: Sunspot AR2497 erupted on Feb. 11th (2103 UT), producing a C9-class solar flare and, very likely, an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME). Extreme UV radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere. That caused a minor shortwave radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean: map. Stay tuned for updates about the CME.
SPY SATELLITE, LAUNCHED AND SPOTTED: On Feb. 10th, just a few hours before sunrise in California, a Delta 4 rocket blasted off from the Vandenberg AFB carrying a spy satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office. "It was thrilling to see the launch from the Marin Headlands near San Francisco," reports Kenneth Sperber. "The engine plume outshone the stars, disappearing after about 3 minutes." He stacked a series of 10 second exposures to create this launch tableau:
The rocket's payload (officially designated NROL-45) is believed to be a Topaz radar-imaging satellite. It is a successor to the line of Lacrosse spy satellites, which use synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to map the Earth with a resolution comparable to optical cameras. Unlike optical cameras, however, synthetic aperture radar can penetrate clouds--a big advantage for a spysat.
Approximately, 18 hours after it was launched, NROL-45 was spotted racing among the stars over Leiden, the Netherlands:
"I could not see it with the naked eye (it was too faint even though the sky was very clear)," says photographer Marco Langbroek. "In a few days from now, after the SAR antenna has been unfolded, it will become brighter and visible with the naked eye on a good night."
Langbroek is one of a network of international observers who have sighted NROL-45. Combining their data, they will be able to calculate the satellite's orbit and keep track of it as it circles our planet. (So much for stealth.) More information about this may be found on Langbroek's web siteOn February 12, 2016 there were