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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GOT CLOUDS? If you can't see this weekend's Perseid meteor shower, try listening instead. Each time a Perseid flies over Texas, the US Air Force's Space Surveillance Radar records a ghostly echo. Tune into Space Weather Radio for live audio.
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: The Perseid meteor shower is peaking today, August 13th, as Earth passes through a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Observers from the International Meteor Organization report rates as high as 60 meteors per hour and climbing.
David Blanchard sends this report from Sunset Crater National Monument in Arizona: "A nearly full Moon along with thin clouds wiped out many of the dimmer meteors, but the brightest Perseids were still easy to see." In this image he captured a Perseid almost criss-crossing the International Space Station:
The ISS is the brighter streak; the Perseid appears more clearly in this close-up. "It is one thing to photograph the ISS as it transits the sky. It is quite another to hope that a meteor will have the location and timing to be in the same image. So I consider myself quite fortunate to have captured an ISS-Perseid conjunction," says Blanchard.
More ISS-Perseid conjunctions could be in the offing as the space station continues to fly through the night sky during this period of high meteor activity. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for ISS flyby times--and be alert for Perseids.
What sat was that? The hours before dawn are a great time to see satellites. There are hundreds in Earth orbit, and you're sure to spot some of them while you're watching the Perseids. Your Android phone can tell you which ones you're seeing: Download WhatSat.
more Perseid images: from John Chumack of Dayton, Ohio; from Michal Lachký of Slovakia Skýcov, castle Hrušov; from Ferenc and Dr. Földesi of Veszprém-Csatár, Hungary; from Stefano De Rosa of Isola d' Elba (Italy); from Philippe Moussette of Valcartier Québec Canada; from Olivier Staiger of Vétroz in the Swiss Alps; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary
August 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]
2011 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009]
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 August 13, 2011 there were 1241 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.
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| ||3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory |
| ||Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. |
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