Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.
| || |
QUIET SUN: With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun's x-ray output has flatlined. Solar activity is very low, and likely to remain so for the next 24 hours.
SUNSET CONJUNCTION: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west. An exquisitely-slender crescent Moon is passing to the left of Venus. A small telescope pointed at Venus shows that it is a crescent, too. [sky map]
NOON CONJUNCTION: Mercury, Jupiter and the Pleiades are converging for a beautiful three-way conjunction. Unfortunately, it's happening in broad daylight. The two planets and the star cluster are only a few degrees from the sun. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) photographed the encounter on May 22nd:
SOHO uses a coronagraph to block the glare of the sun, revealing what the human eye cannot see. Later today, Mercury and Jupiter will pass in the noon sky less than 1/3rd a degree apart. Join SOHO for a ringside seat.
FANTASTIC ECLIPSE: The Moon passed in front of the sun on Sunday, May 20th, producing a deep solar eclipse visible across the Pacific side of Earth. Sunlight dimmed, the air cooled, ordinary sunbeams turned into fat crescents and rings of light. And the sunset was definitely different. Jacob Thumberger sends this picture from Gail, Texas:
Many more pictures of the eclipse may be found in our new realtime photo gallery. It's an experimental service, so feel free to report problems. Start clicking for rings of fire:
Space Weather Real Time Image Gallery
[Submit your photos] [NASA video: Solar Eclipse over the USA]
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 May 22, 2012 there were 1293 potentially hazardous asteroids. 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.
| ||The official U.S. government space weather bureau |
| ||The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena. |
| ||Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever. |
| ||3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory |
| ||Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. |
| ||from the NOAA Space Environment Center |
| ||the underlying science of space weather |