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Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Latest Activity: Jun 10
Started by KMel_Tortelli Jan 13, 2011.
Started by William Elton Brantley. Last reply by Nathan Parker Jul 18, 2010.
Started by KMel_Tortelli. Last reply by Nathan Parker Apr 15, 2010.
From the desk to Space Weather dot com:
METEOR ALERT: Sky watchers in North America might see an outburst of meteors during the early hours of June 11th when Earth passes through a stream of cometary debris last seen in 1930. Forecasters Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute) and Esko Lyytinen (Helsinki, Finland) predict the return of the gamma Delphinid meteor shower this Tuesday morning around 08:30 UT (04:30 am EDT). The shower is expected to last no more than about 30 minutes with an unknown number of bright, fast meteors. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office will chat about the shower starting tonight at 11 PM EDT. [Meteor radar]
A couple interesting articles:
That is SO NEAT!
They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
CME AND RADIATION STORM: A solar radiation storm is in progress on May 22nd following an M5-class explosion on the sun's western limb. The source of the flare, which peaked at 1332 UT, was departing sunspot AR1745. SOHO coronagraphs observed a magnificent CME emerging from the blast site:
Play the movie again. The speckles dancing across the image are caused by high-energy solar protons striking the CCD camera in SOHO's coronagraph. Those protons were guided toward Earth by magnetic field lines that connect our planet to the blast site. The rain of protons is what forecasters mean by a "radiation storm." This storm ranks S2 on NOAA storm scales.
Update (May 22 @ 5:30 PDT): Although the explosion was not squarely Earth-directed, the CME will likely be geoeffective. The expanding cloud appears set to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 24th around 1200 UT. According to NOAA forecast models, the impact will more than double the solar wind plasma density around Earth and boost the solar wind speed to ~600 km/s. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
From the desk of Space Weather.com
An asteroid fell across the skies of Russia today. Here is some links for the event:
RUSSIAN METEOR UPDATE: On Friday, February 15th at 9:30 am local time in Russia, a small asteroid struck the atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk and exploded. According to reports from news organizations and Russian authorities, as many as 1000 people received minor injuries from the shock wave. This is the most energetic recorded meteor strike since the Tunguska impact of 1908.
Researchers including Prof. Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario along with NASA experts have conducted a preliminary analysis of the event. "Here is what we know so far," says Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "The asteroid was about 15 meters in diameter and weighed approximately 7000 metric tons. It struck Earth's atmosphere at 40,000 mph (18 km/s) and broke apart about 12 to 15 miles (20 to 25 km) above Earth's surface. The energy of the resulting explosion was in the vicinity of 300 kilotons of TNT." (continued below)
"A shock wave propagated down and struck the city below, causing large numbers of windows to break, some walls to collapse, and minor damage throughout the city," he continued. "When you hear about injuries, those are undoubtedly due to the effects of the shock wave, not due to fragments striking the ground. There are undoubtedly fragments on the ground, but as of this time we know of no recovered fragments that we can verify."
Videos of the event may be found here and here. In many of the videos you can hear the sound of windows shattering as the meteor's loud shock wave reaches the ground. Onlookers cry out in Russian as alarms and sirens sound in the background. This pair of wide-angle gif animations is also worth watching: #1, #2.
It is natural to wonder if this event has any connection to today's record-setting flybyof
asteroid 2012 DA14. Paul Chodas of the Near Earth Object Program at JPL says no. "The Russian fireball is not related to 2012 DA14 in any way. It's an incredible coincidence that we have had these two rare events in one day.
ORIONID METEOR SHOWER: Next weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Forecasters expect 25 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Oct. 21st. [video] [full story]
Space Weather News for Oct. 13, 2012 http://spaceweather.com
GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A persistent G1-class geomagnetic storm on Oct 13th (still underway as this alert is being written) has sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle, spurring reports of Northern Lights from Scandinavia, Greenland, Canada, and several northern-tier US states. More auroras are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of continued storms on Oct. 14-15 in response to a high-speed stream of solar wind. Check http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.
New Planet Found, Smaller Than Earth, Orbiting Distant Star (ABC News)
New Planet Found, Smaller Than …
Thirty-three light-years away, in the constellation Leo the lion, astronomers say they have found a world considerably smaller than Earth, orbiting a dim red-dwarf star.
That's something to think about. While scientists have confirmed the existence of more than 700 so-called exoplanets since 1995, most of them have been giant -- many considerably larger than Jupiter. This new world, say the researchers who found it, may be only 5,200 miles across, about two thirds as large as Earth.
"People have been picking at the low-hanging fruit, since Jupiter-sized planets are easier to see," said Kevin Stevenson, the young researcher at the University of Central Florida who led the team making the find. "Now we're really pushing the limits of what our telescopes can find."
The newly found world is, for now, called UCF-1.01, and Stevenson and his colleagues found it with NASA's Spitzer space telescope in Earth orbit. It orbits a star called GJ 436. They spent a year watching it to confirm that it was indeed a distant world. They are publishing their find online Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal.
UCF-1.01 is probably not a very nice place. Stevenson and his group calculated that it whips around its host star in only 1.4 Earth-days, at a distance of about 1.6 million miles (we're 93 million miles from our sun). Temperatures on its surface probably exceed 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, raising the possibility that some of it is molten, covered in lava. Any atmosphere would have boiled away long ago, said the researchers.
They could not see it directly -- its sun is nothing but a dot in a telescope -- but they could see a tiny dip in the star's brightness as the disc of UCF-1.01 passed in front of it. For now, they cannot even calculate its mass; current technology is not good enough for a reliable number.
Nobody will be launching a mission to UCF-1.01 anytime soon; there are other worlds, including moons of Jupiter and Saturn, that look much more promising as homes for living things. Still, the find suggests that if this world could be detected, others -- perhaps in the so-called habitable zones around their host stars -- may soon be found as well.
"The discovery was completely by accident," said Stevenson in a telephone interview with ABC News. They were looking at another, much larger planet orbiting the same star, "and there were these spurious signals we could not explain."
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