Archive for the Galaxy Category

Upper atmospheric lightnings : a new kind of sprite spotted over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Barely 30 years ago, many researchers did not believe that upper atmospheric lightning existed—until 1989 when researchers from the University of Minnesota captured them on video tape. Now there is a menagerie of accepted forms: sprites, elves, gigantic jets, gnomes. These “transient luminous events” (TLEs) appear above thunderclouds, reaching toward space rather than lancing down to the ground like regular lightning.

On Aug.14th, Thomas Ashcraft may have spotted a new kind of sprite. “I was photographing a cluster of sprites over a thunderstorm in western Oklahoma when something curved snaked up behind the main cluster.” This frame from his video of the event shows the strange form

TO BE CONTINUED ON
http://www.spaceweather.com/

August 31st: Polar geomagnetic storms (G1-class)

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 30, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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A canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere is spewing solar wind toward Earth. Estimated time of arrival: August 31st.  NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of polar geomagnetic storms (G1-class) when the gaseous material arrives. Auroras, anyone? Free: Aurora Alerts

http://spaceweather.com/

With little warning, an unexpected geomagnetic storm occurred on August 23rd 2017

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags on August 26, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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With little warning, an unexpected geomagnetic storm occurred on Aug. 23rd, ringing Earth’s poles with the luminous glow of auroras. Peter Sayers photographed the display from the banks of the Forth River in Tasmania, Australia

“These fantastic auroras came out of left field while I was watching the southern horizon,” says Sayers. “There were beams like search lights for hours–a beautiful naked eye display.”

What happened? The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth tipped south, opening a crack in our planet’s magnetosphere. Solar wind blew in through the opening and fueled the display.

http://spaceweather.com/

August 21, 2017The USA is about to experience an historic solar eclipse

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy, Uncategorized with tags on August 21, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

Image Credit & Copyright: Tunç Tezel (TWAN), Alkim Ün

The USA is about to experience an historic solar eclipse. In most places, the eclipse will be partial–that is, the Moon will cross the sun off-center leaving only a crescent-shaped portion of the solar disk exposed. Is it really worth the trip to the path of totality when you can see most of the sun covered from the comfort of your own home? Pulitzer prize winner Annie Dillard witnessed both types of eclipse in 1979, and her comparison might help you make up your mind:

“A partial eclipse is very interesting. It bears almost no relation to a total eclipse. Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him, or as flying in an airplane does to falling out of an airplane.”

During the minutes of totality, the whole world changes. Saying that day turns into night barely scratches the surface of it. The shadow of the Moon lances down to Earth from a quarter million miles away. On one end is you; on the other end is a million square miles of dusty lunar terrain. You’re connected, and you can feel the cold.

Darkness inside the path of totality has an alien quality. Because the shadow is only 70 miles wide, you can see daylight at the edges even while you stand in the dark core. This distant scattered light produces a slight reddish glow and unusual shadow effects. Many birds stop singing, daytime flower blossoms begin to close as if for the night, and bees return to their hives.

“What you see in an eclipse is entirely different from what you know,” says Dillard, whose brilliant essay “Total Eclipse” is a must-read for anyone deciding whether to stay home … or have their minds blown.

http://spaceweather.com/

NEW PREDICTIONS FOR THE SOLAR ECLIPSE: Next Monday, Aug. 21st, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun producing an historic solar eclipse over the USA.

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags on August 16, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

NEW PREDICTIONS FOR THE SOLAR ECLIPSE: Next Monday, Aug. 21st, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun producing an historic solar eclipse over the USA.  Millions of people inside the path of totality will catch a glimpse of the sun’s gossamer outer atmosphere, the corona. In centuries past, the appearance of the corona was unpredictable from one eclipse to the next. But now researchers have developed supercomputer codes to forecast its shape. New predictions for the “Great American Solar Eclipse” are highlighted on today’s edition of Spaceweather.com .

Remember, SpaceWeather.com is on Facebook!

Above: NASA-supported researchers at Predictive Science Inc. have just issued a physics-based model of the sun’s corona as it will appear during the Great American Solar Eclipse. [more]
MORE INFO ON 

Spaceweather.com

Lunar Eclipse: When the full Moon rose over Europe last night, it wasn’t its usual self

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags on August 9, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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The normally bright lunar disk was dipped in shadow–a lunar eclipse. Elias Chasiotis photographed the Moon hanging over the ancient Greek temple of Poseidon at Sounion, Greece

“The temple was open to the public and crowded with people who gathered to enjoy the eclipse,” says Chasiotis.

The Moon grazed the shadow of our planet for nearly two hours, giving sky watchers in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia a leisurely view of the event.  At maximum, about 25% of the full Moon’s terrain was darkened. Browse the realtime photo gallery for more views from the eclipse zone:

http://www.spaceweather.com/

 

NOAA forecasters say there is an 80% (not a typo!) chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Aug. 4th 2017

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , on August 3, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH (G2-CLASS)

NOAA forecasters say there is an 80% (not a typo!) chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Aug. 4th when a solar wind stream is expected to envelop Earth’s magnetic field. The wind is flowing from a canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere, shown here in an extreme ultraviolet image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

This is a coronal hole (CH), a region where the sun’s magnetic field peels back and allows gaseous material to escape. The resulting solar wind is traveling toward us faster than ~600 km/s. Geomagnetic storm levels could reach G2-category (moderately strong) during the late hours of Aug. 4th, subsiding to G1-category (minor) on Aug. 5th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras mixed with waxing gibbous moonlight. Free: Aurora Alerts

http://spaceweather.com/

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