is here, and it's a wonderful time for stargazing. Find
out what's up from Spaceweather
An explosion on the sun yesterday produced a burst of
18-22 MHz radio waves so intense "it sounded like
a freight train rolling through," says astronomer
He recorded the sounds using his shortwave radio telescope
in New Mexico: listen.
An eruption behind the sun's limb,
Nov. 7, 2006. Credit: SOHO.
source of the
blast was an active sunspot hiding just behind the
sun's eastern limb. For days it has been erupting and
throwing clouds of magnetized gas high above the sun's
surface where we can see them. Soon, we'll see the sunspot
itself. The sun's rotation is turning the spot toward
Earth and it could emerge later today. Stay
On Wednesday, Nov. 8th,
Mercury will pass directly in front of the sun--a rare
transit visible from the Americas, Hawaii and all around
the Pacific Rim. The action begins at 2:12 p.m. EST (11:12
a.m. PST) and lasts for nearly five hours.
The Transit of Mercury, simulated
by graphic artist Larry
Mercury is so small, only a tiny fraction of the sun will
be covered. So don't stare at the sun on Wednesday--it
will be as blinding as ever. Instead, try to view the
event through a properly-filtered solar
telescope. Mercury's tiny, jet-black silhouette passing
in front of solar prominences, filaments and sunspots
should be a marvelous sight.