They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
EARTH THROUGH THE
RINGS OF SATURN: One month from
now, on July 19th, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will
photograph Earth from Saturn. The unprecedented
image will show the "Pale Blue Dot" in
natural color, as it would appear to the human eye,
framed by the rings of another world. Get the full
story from Science@NASA.
FARSIDE ACTIVE REGION:
Meanwhile on the farside of the
sun, an un-numbered active region is seething with
activity, and appears capable of significant eruptions.
NASA's STEREO-Behind spacecraft is stationed over
the sun's east limb with a good view of the hot
During the early hours of June 18th,
a long-duration flare from this active region hurled
a coronal mass ejection (CME) over the sun's eastern
limb. However, none of the rocky planets (Mercury,
Venus, Earth, Mars) were in the line of fire.
In a few days, the sun's rotation
will carry the active region around the eastern
limb and onto the Earthside of the sun. Then we
will have a direct view of the underlying sunspot
group and be able to better assess its potential
for future flares. Stay tuned.
Solar flare alerts:
Monitor the farside: You
can see an animation of today's flare and monitor
the active region in the days ahead by downloading
3D Sun app. It works on high-end iPhones (4s
and 5), iPad 2s, and mini-iPads.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
Consider it a solar eclipse ... of Jupiter. On June
19th the sun will pass directly in front of Jupiter,
completely eclipsing the giant planet. Coronagraphs
onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory are
monitoring the convergence:
The CME in the
movie was blasted into space by a farside active
region described in today's lead news item. Jupiter
appears to be in the line of fire, but it is not.
The cloud is merely passing in front of the planet;
even the CMEs are eclipsing Jupiter today. Updated
images of the "eclipse" may be found at
Realtime Images web page.
SPACE WEATHER BALLOON
LAUNCH: On June14th high school
students in Bishop, California, launched their seventh
"space weather balloon." Its mission:
To investigate the effect of solar flares and radiation
storms on Earth's ozone layer. The
group's mentor, Dr. Tony Phillips, photographed
the balloon moments before liftoff from their "Edge
of Space Port" in the Sierra Nevada mountains:
The balloon's payload carried two
cameras, an ozone sensor, a cryogenic thermometer,
and a GPS altimeter to an altitude of 110,000 feet
above Earth's surface. All of the payload's core
space weather instrumentation was built by the students
themselves. After the balloon popped, as planned,
the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing near
the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in California's
White Mountains. A recovery team has already retrieved
the payload, and students are inspecting the data
The students launched the balloon
on June 14th, a period of low solar activity, because
they wanted to compare quiet sun data with a similar
data set they collected on May 22nd during a strong
solar radiation storm. Stay tuned for their results!
a space weather balloon: Would you
like to sponsor a flight? The students, who call
to Sky Calculus, offer a service for sponsors
called "Edge of Space Advertising." During
the "ozone flight" on June 14th they flew
an ad for Interpret America (flight
photo), which paid for the helium in the balloon.
The students have also flown banners,
and other items. If there's something you'd like
to fly, please contact Dr.
Tony Phillips for rates and details.
Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003,
Aurora Photo Gallery
Comet Photo Gallery