Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.
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HANG AN EXPLOSION ON YOUR WALL: The solar super-explosion of June 7, 2011, has been turned into a unique metallic wall hanging now available from the Space Weather Store. Take a look.
SPACE STATION FLYBY: On June 12th through 17th, the ESA's Kepler robotic supply ship used its engines to boost the altitude of the International Space Station by a whopping 35 km, from 345 km to 380 km above Earth. Despite the record-setting increase in distance, the behemoth ISS was visible in detail last night when it orbited over Europe. Germany astronomer Dirk Ewers recorded the flyby through his 5-inch refracting telescope:
"I worried that the 10% increase in altitude would diminish the visibility of fine details," he says. "I needn't have worried. The space station looked crisp and clear as it sparkled in the full sunlight of the summer solstice."
Even the relatively small Kepler is visible in the video docked to one end of the space station's backbone. Not for long, though. Kepler is scheduled to undock on June 20th in preparation for a suicide plunge into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on June 21st. Check the Kepler home page for updates.
ISS flyby predictions: Simple Satellite Tracker, Simple Flybys smartphone app
SOLSTICE SOLARGRAPHS: Last December, the staff of the Philippus Lansbergen Observatory in Middelburg, the Netherlands, invited members of the general public to join them for a solargraph-making party. A solargraph is a simple pinhole camera made from a soda or beer can lined with a piece of photographic paper. About a 100 cans were deployed around the observatory and, six months later, here are the results:
Each blue square shows the daily path of the sun across the skies of the Netherlands. The lowest arcs were traced by the winter sun of Dec. 2010. The highest arc was made by the sun just yesterday, June 19th, only two days before the 2011 summer solstice. Occasional gaps are caused by clouds.
"As you can see," says a member of the observatory staff, "we had one of the sunniest springs ever in our province. It was even sunnier than in southern Spain!"
6-month Solargraph How-to Guides: #1, #2, #3
June 15th Lunar Eclipse Gallery
June 2011 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora alerts: text, voice] [previous Junes: 2010, 2008, 2001]
Midnight Solar Eclipse Gallery
[NASA: A Rare Eclipse of the Midnight Sun]
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 20, 2011 there were 1224 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 |
| ||for out-of-this-world printing and graphics |