When Endeavour astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped
her toolbag during a spacewalk on Nov. 18th and it floated away,
mission controllers probably figured they'd seen the last of it.
Think again. Last night, Nov. 22nd, veteran satellite observer Kevin
Fetter video-recorded the backpack-sized bag gliding over his backyard
observatory in Brockville, Ontario: 900
kB video. "It was easily 8th magnitude or brighter as it
passed by the 4th magnitude star eta Pisces," he says. Spaceweather's
satellite tracker is monitoring the toolbag; click here
Japan's Hinode spacecraft is monitoring a dark hole on the sun--a
Coronal holes are places in the sun's atmosphere where
the magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. In
images taken by X-ray telescopes, such as the one Hinode uses, coronal
holes appear dark because the hot glowing gas which would otherwise
fill them has spilled out in the solar wind. A stream of gas flowing
from this particular hole is heading for Earth. High-latitude sky
watchers should be alert
for auroras when it arrives on Nov. 25th or 26th.
2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Novembers: 2007,
It masses 300,214 kg, has wings almost as wide as a football field,
occupies 12,626 cubic feet of living space--and now it's jumping
out of your computer screen. Put on your 3D
glasses and behold in the International Space Station:
view the full-sized 3D image
Graphic artist Patrick
Vantuyne of Belgium created the anaglyph using photos taken
from space shuttle Endeavour on Nov. 16th. Endeavour was hovering
near the ISS for a mutual inspection prior to docking hours later.
When Endeavour did link up, it added about 110,000 kg of mass and
23 meters of wingspan to the complex. If only a third spacecraft
had been present to take photos of that....
Docked together, Endeavour and the ISS are circling Earth and flying
over many towns and cities after dark. They're bright, eye-catching,
and if you look at them through a telescope, genuinely
3D. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker
for flybys of your hometown.