Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.
MOON AND MARS: Looking for Mars?
Tonight the Red Planet is easy to find less than
2o from the crescent Moon. Look for the
pair shining side-by-side in the western sky after
map. Images: #1.
ASTEROID: More than a week after
amateur astronomers witnessed an explosion in the
cloudtops of Jupiter more powerful than an atomic
bomb, no debris has appeared at the blast site.
"I took a picture of Jupiter on Sept. 15th
using the same telescope that I used to observe
the brilliant fireball flash above Jupiter's clouds
on the morning of Sept. 10th," reports Dan
Petersen of Racine, Wisconsin, the man who saw the
explosion first. "This photo shows that five
days after the explosion there was still no signature
debris cloud near 'ground zero.'"
The absense of debris suggests that
the source of the explosion, probably an asteroid,
was small. Studies
show that Jupiter is a frequent target for 10-meter
class space rock, and this is almost certainly another
example of Jupiter getting hit. The giant planet
absorbed the explosion and swallowed the remains
of the asteroid whole.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
LIGHTS: Northern autumn is only
days away, and that means aurora
season is underway. For reasons researchers
don't fully understand, equinoxes are the best times
to see Northern Lights. The show is well underway
at Summit Station, an NSF-sponsored research facility
on top of the Greenland ice sheet, where Ed Stockard
snapped this photo on Sept. 17th:
"The auroras came on fast and
furious, moving and dancing across the entire sky,"
says Stockard. "Aurora season has definitely
begun on top of the ice sheet. Bring on the lights!
Tonight's temperature was - 35F with five knots
of wind.... time to dress for the space weather."
NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% to
30% chance of strong polar geomagnetic storms for
the next three nights as a series of solar wind
streams gently buffet Earth's magnetic field. High
latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.
Aurora Photo Gallery
Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003,
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
all the time.
September 19, 2012 there were 1330
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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO
is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather