Archive for Space Weather

Arctic Circle have reported nightly displays of bright noctilucent clouds.

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , on July 29, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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NASA’s AIM spacecraft took this picture of the entire Arctic surrounded by an electric-blue glow on July 24th

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS FROM SPACE: This week, sky watchers near the Arctic Circle have reported nightly displays of bright noctilucent clouds.  The silvery ripples of NLCs look amazing from the ground, but they look even better from space. 

Regular readers of Spaceweather.com have been waiting for this image since June. Normally, AIM  transmits pictures of NLCs every day, but the regular flow of data was interrupted months ago. The reason has to do with the spacecraft’s orbit. Since AIM was launched in 2007, its orbit has been precessing–that is, slowly rotating with respect to the planet below. Eventually, accumulated changes in AIM’s orbital elements required a new way of pointing the spacecraft’s instruments. Mission controllers have been working on that problem all summer long–and it has finally been solved.

TO BE CONTINUED ON
www.Spaceweather.com

 

A Hole in the Sun’s Atmosphere is Spewing a stream of solar wind as fast as 700 km/s (1.6 million mph)

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Extreme Weather, Galaxy with tags , , , , , , on June 14, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Spewing a stream of solar wind as fast as 700 km/s (1.6 million mph), a hole in the sun’s atmosphere is turning toward Earth.

Forecasters expect the stream to reach our planet on June 15th or 16th with a 40% chance of minor G1-class geomagnetic storms when it arrives. 

High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead, especially in the southern hemisphere where deepening autumn darkness favors visibility.

Visit Spaceweather.com for more information and updates. 

Meteors from Halley’s Comet

Posted in 2017, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , on May 2, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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A radar in Canada has detected radio echoes coming from the constellation Aquarius. This is a sign that the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower is underway.

In the days ahead ahead our planet will cross a network of debris streams from Halley’s Comet, producing a drizzle of eta Aquarids numbering 10 to 30 meteors per hour in the northern hemisphere and perhaps twice that number in the southern hemisphere.

These meteors are pieces of Halley’s Comet, hitting Earth’s atmosphere at 66 km/s and disintegrating ~100 km above Earth’s surface. In the days ahead our planet will cross a network of debris streams from the comet, producing a drizzle of eta Aquarids numbering 10 to 30 meteors per hour in the northern hemisphere and perhaps twice that number in the southern hemisphere.

Two leading meteor forecasters have noted the possibility of eta Aquarid outbursts. Mikhail Maslov says meteor activity could increase on May 4th (14h- 18h UT) when Earth grazes a dust trail released by Comet Halley in the year -616. Forecaster Mikiya Sato agrees that that Earth could encounter the -616 dust trail, but later onMay 5th (05h – 15h UT), possibly with such a gentle graze that no special increase is detectable. In most years the strongest activity is seen around May 6th, which may still prove true in 2017.

The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the dark hours just before dawn when the constellation Aquarius is rising in the east. Monitor the meteor gallery for sightings.

Usually, the eta Aquarid shower peaks around May 6th. This year, there might be an additional enhancement on May 4th or 5th.  Check today’s edition of Spaceweather.com for more information and observing tips.

http://spaceweather.com/

 

Green Comet Approaching Earth

Posted in 2017, Galaxy with tags , , , , on February 6, 2017 by theboldcorsicanflame

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This week, a small green comet named “45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova” (45P for short) is approaching Earth for one of the closest comet flybys of the Space Age.

On the nights around Feb. 11th, Comet 45P will be an easy target for binoculars and small telescopes, revealing itself in eyepieces as an emerald colored fuzzball.

Visit today’s edition of Spaceweather.com for sky maps and to find out what makes this little comet so green.

Not every colorful light in the night sky is an aurora

Posted in 2016, astronomy with tags , , , , on October 4, 2016 by theboldcorsicanflame

 

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Photo copyright Beletsky

Especially not in the South Pacific. Yuri Beletsky was on a beach in Easter Island, Chile, two nights ago when the starry canopy turned red:

There was no fire,” says Beletsky. “This is an amazing display of airglow.”

Airglow is aurora-like phenomenon caused bychemical reactions in the upper atmosphere. Human eyes seldom notice the faint glow, because it is usually very faint, but it can be photographed on almost any clear dark night, anywhere in the world.

Beletsky is a veteran photographer of airglow, having captured it dozens of times from sites in Chile and the South Pacific. “The intensity of airglow varies, and sometimes it can be more prominent, as it was on Oct. 2nd,” he says.

The curious thing about Beletsky’s photo is not the intensity of the airglow, but rather its color–red. Airglow is usually green, the color of light from oxygen atoms some 90 km to 100 km above Earth’s surface.

Where does the red come from? Instead of oxygen, OH can produce the ruddy hue. These neutral molecules (not to be confused with the OH- ion found in aqueous solutions) exist in a thin layer 85 km high where gravity waves often impress the red glow with a dramatic rippling structure.

Read about

SPRITES ABOVE HURRICANE MATTHEW

http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=04&month=10&year=2016

August is the month when noctilucent clouds (NLCs) typically begin to wane

Posted in 2016, astronomy with tags , , , on August 9, 2016 by theboldcorsicanflame

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NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS, WANING YET STILL IMPRESSIVE:

August is the month when noctilucent clouds (NLCs) typically begin to wane.

Indeed, images from NASA’s AIM spacecraft show the electric-blue oval around the north pole is beginning to recede.

Nevertheless, high-latitude sky watchers are still seeing some impressive displays.

TO BE CONTINUED ON

http://spaceweather.com

 

Cosmic rays in the mid-latitude stratosphere now are approximately 10% stronger than they were 1 year ago.

Posted in 2016, astronomy with tags , , on February 10, 2016 by theboldcorsicanflame

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Last month, spaceweather.com reported that cosmic rays are intensifying. Measurements so far in February 2016 indicate that the trend is continuing. In fact, the latest balloon flight over California on Feb. 5th detected the highest value yet……(together with human pollution…and methane leaks in LA…etc ….we sure have a winner!)

FULL ARTICLE ON

http://spaceweather.com

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