Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.
| || |
SUNDIVING COMET STORM: 2010 ended with an unprecedented flurry of small comets diving into the Sun. Researchers say this could herald a much larger comet still to come. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
MISSISSIPI FIREBALL: On Jan. 11th around 8:45 pm CST, many people in the southeastern USA saw something streak across the sky and explode. The blast produced infrasound waves detected as far away as Canada. Data from a University of Western Ontario monitoring station reveals the nature of the event: "It was a meter-size meteor with more than a metric ton of mass, exploding like 40 to 80 tons of TNT," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "This was one big rock, and the odds are good that there are fragments on the ground." An analysis of sightings by meteorite hunter Rob Matson suggests the fall zone is in central Mississippi, possibly around Jackson. People in the area should be alert for odd-looking rocks.
FARSIDE ACTIVITY CONTINUES: For the second day in a row, an active region on the far side of the sun is exploding and hurling CMEs into space. Click on the image to view a movie of the latest:
Today's eruption was almost as dramatic as yesterday's, and suggests that more eruptions are in the offing.
These explosions are occuring almost directly beneath NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft. An onboard telescope has recorded bright flashes of extreme UV radiation and shadowy shock waves emanating from the blast site (Jan. 13th movie). The telescope has also pinpointed the source: It is located just over the sun's eastern limb. Solar rotation is turning the region toward Earth, so geoeffective solar activity could commence within days. Stay tuned.
NORTHERN LIGHTS: Last night in Tromsø, Norway, the solar wind combined with moonlight and snow to produce a scene that had onlookers asking themselves, can it get any better than this? One of those onlookers was Thilo Bubek, and he took this picture:
"The whole evening was a perfect show with strong auroras in many colours," says Bubek. "We were able to capture some fantastic images."
But can it get any better? Maybe later today: A solar wind stream is due to hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 14-15, possibly sparking even stronger displays. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity when the solar wind stream arrives.
January 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]
Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse]
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 January 14, 2011 there were 1179 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 |