They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
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LAST FLIGHT OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE: Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center this morning on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Docking is scheduled for Sunday, July 10tth. Mission controllers say Atlantis is now safely in orbit. Is it about to pass over your backyard? Download the shuttle tracking app or check the Simple Satellite Tracker for farewell flyby predictions.
SOLAR STATIC: On July 7th, the sun produced a series of strong shortwave radio bursts. Click on the dynamic spectrum below to play a 21 MHz sample recorded by amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft in rural New Mexico. The action begins about 18 seconds into the 2 minute recording:
The roaring-static sound you just heard was a combo Type III-Type V solar radio burst caused by electron beams moving through the sun's outer atmosphere. The source of the electrons could be an newly-emerging sunspot group in the sun's southeastern quadrant, although this is not certain. The active region is crackling with C-class solar flares, and it could produce more radio sounds in the days ahead. Ham radio operators, point your Yagis toward the sun!
GREEN SKY: On July 5th, Carlton McMillan was camping along the shore of Fall Lake, Minnesota, when the water turned green. "It was just a reflection of the sky above," says McMillan, who captured the verdant glow in this 44-second exposure:
"We were camping with friends from Texas," he continues, "and they were happy to see the Northern Lights, however faint."
More green skies could be in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of minor geomagnetic storms on July 9-10 in response to an incoming solar wind stream. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.
more images: from Yuichi Takasaka of Sugar Lake, British Columbia, Canada; from Tony Wilder of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
2011 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009]
June 2011 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora alerts: text, voice] [previous Junes: 2010, 2008, 2001]
June 15th Lunar Eclipse Gallery
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 July 8, 2011 there were 1237 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 |
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