They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
WATCH: NOAA forecasters estimate
a 15% to 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms
on Oct. 30th when a solar wind stream is expected
to brush against Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude
sky watchers should be alert for auroras. [gallery]
SATELLITE FLYBY: To catch one satellite
having a close encounter with a distant star requires
careful timing and a degree of luck. Last night,
Oct. 28th, Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario,
did it twice. Play the movie to watch two spacecraft
criss-cross Regulus in the constellation Leo:
The first satellite was SkyMed-2,
part of a constellation of Earth observing satellites
deployed by the Italian Space Agency. SkyMed satellites
are remarkable because they sometimes flare like
The second, brighter satellite in
the video is Tiangong 1, China's new space station.
The 8.5-ton module was launched on Sept. 29th on
a two-year training mission. Chinese spacecraft
and taikonauts will be visiting Tiangong 1 in the
months ahead to practice rendezvous and docking
maneuvers, to exercise space construction techniques,
and to learn to live onboard an orbiting outpost.
An unmanned probe, the Shenzhou 8, is due to launch
on Nov 1st for China's
first remote docking exercise.
This means more double flybys are
in the offing. Sighting times for Tiangong 1 and
companions are available from Spaceweather.com's
Satellite Tracker. Your smartphone
can tell you when
to look, too.
YOU MISSED IT: All sunsets are beautiful,
but the past two have surpassed themselves. On Oct.
27th and 28th, Venus, Mercury and the crescent Moon
gathered in the glow of the setting sun for a lovely
Luis Argerich sends the picture from
Buenos Aires, Argentina. "What a beautiful
view!" he says. Geometry favored observers
in the southern hemisphere where the trio stood
relatively high out of the sunset glow. The sun's
glare was more of a probem in the northern hemisphere;
nevertheless some observers there caught a glimpse
of the event, too. Browse the links below for a
selection of photos from both sides of the equator.
more sunset shots:
David Harvey of Tucson, Arizona; from
Enzo De Bernardini of San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina;
Jim Saueressig II of Burlington, Kansas; from
Mario J. Avila-Sobarzo of Santiago, Chile; from
Richard Glenn of Sun City, CA; from
Dennis Llante of Cainta, Rizal Philippines;
Amirreza Kamkar of Qayen, Iran; from
Erika Valdueza of Quezon City, Philippines;
2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2010,