Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.
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TAIKONAUTS IN SPACE: China's march into space is quickening. On June 15th, the Chinese space agency launched the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft with three taikonauts on board. One of them, fighter pilot Liu Yang, is the first Chinese woman in space. The Shenzhou 9 is scheduled to dock with China's Tiangong 1 space station later today. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker or your smartphone for sighting opportunities.
SUBSIDING STORM: A geomagnetic storm that began on June 16th when a double CME hit Earth's magnetic field is finally subsiding. At the height of the disturbance on June 17th, Northern Lights descended as far south in the USA as Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Utah, Maryland, Nebraska, Washington, and the Dakotas. Brad Goldpaint sends this picture from Crater Lake, Oregon:
Although the storm is mostly over, it could re-ignite as magnetic knots in the wake of the CME drift past Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of more high-latitude geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
FIRE LIT BY THE TRANSIT OF VENUS: Around the world on June 5th and 6th, millions of people watched the Transit of Venus. Only one man used it to light a candle. Christopher Handler of Adelaide, South Australia, explains how it was done: "The flame that burns in this lantern was lit with photons of light, of which about 0.001% had skipped through the atmosphere of another planet." (continued below)
"While watching the transit with my wife and son, I began to write words on a piece of wood with a magnifying glass, while explaining to my son that some of the sunshine we were using had bounced off the clouds of Venus only minutes earlier. Before long, we had lit a small fire in some kindling and from that lit several candles around the house. The hours passed by and the transit was over, yet we still have the flame. Captivated by the thought that it will take another 105 years before it could be done on Earth again, I feel almost compelled to keep it alight, even now, many days later."
A thousand more unique photos of the event may be found in the Transit of Venus gallery. Note: When you're browsing the gallery, please vote for your favorite images. We'll be creating a gallery of the most popular shots--and your votes count.
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 June 18, 2012 there were 1315 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 |