They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
Decaying sunspot AR1618 (not to be confused with
growing sunspot AR1620) erupted on Nov. 27th (1557
UT), producing a last-gasp solar flare ranking M1.6
on the Richter
Scale of Flares. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory
recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:
The movie shows a twisted plume of
plasma flying away from the blast site, but only
temporarily. The sun's gravity pulled the plume
back to the stellar surface before it could escape.
Extreme UV radiation from this explosion created
some ripples of ionization in Earth's atmosphere
above North America and Europe. Otherwise, the blast
was not geoeffective. Solar
flare alerts: text,
SUNSPOT KEEPS GROWING: Sunspot
AR1620 doubled in size again yesterday. It is now
a behemoth almost 10 times as wide as Earth. A movie
from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the
sunspot materializing over the past 48 hours:
So far the sunspot has been relatively
quiet, producing no strong flares. However, the
sunspot's magnetic field is rapidly changing as
the sunspot grows, and rapidly-changing magnetic
fields have a tendency to reconnect
and erupt. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance
eruptions in the next 24 hours.
flare alerts: text,
Space Weather Photo Gallery
CONJUNCTION: As dawn begins on
Wednesday morning, look southeast to find Venus
and Saturn less than 2° apart in the constellation
Virgo. Venus is very bright, Saturn much less so.
A small telescope will reveal the rings of Saturn
and the gibbous
phase of Venus. Sky maps: Nov.
Cole Clark of Big Lake, MN, photographed
Venus passing by Saturn on the morning of Nov. 27th:
"Venus and Saturn were less than
1 degree apart," says Cole. "The morning
was so beautiful with the nearly full Moon setting,
the ISS gliding overhead, and Venus and Saturn in
conjunction. It was a moment to live for...."
Conjunction Photo Gallery
Aurora Photo Gallery
Eclipse 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.
November 27, 2012 there were 1353
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