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OUTBREAK ON JUPITER: The return
of Jupiter's lost stripe (the South Equatorial Belt)
is proceeding apace. At least three energetic plumes
are breaking through the cloudtops of Jupiter's
south equatorial zone, shown
here in a weekend photo from Brian
Combs of Buena Vista, Georgia. Researchers believe
these plumes herald the emergence of the globe-straddling
belt, mysteriously absent for nearly a year. more
RELIEF: The tension was just too
great. On Nov. 21st around 1600 UT, a twisted filament
of solar magnetism suddenly untwisted, producing
a towering eruption off the sun's northwestern limb.
Click on the image to play a 6-hour time lapse movie
from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:
Movie formats: 3
MB gif, 1.2
MB iPad, 0.3
MB iPhone, 1
MB hi-res still frame
Earth was not in the line of fire.
No geomagnetic storms or auroras are expected as
a result of the blast. Moreover, now that the filament
has relaxed, it poses little threat for future eruptions.
There is, however, another
filament that bears watching. Stay tuned for
vs. BLUE MOON: By some
reckonings, last night's full Moon was a Blue
Moon. The moonrise over Korinthos, Greece however,
had a distinctly different hue:
"The orange Moon rising over the Saronic Gulf
near Korintthos was a beautiful sight," says
Konstantinos Christodoulopoulos, who took the picture
using a Canon
Blue Moons are creatures of folklore, having little
to do with actual color. A true-blue moon is a rare
sight indeed. Orange moons, on the other hand,
are commonplace. Scattering of moonlight by aerosols
and air molecules gives the moon an orange tint
via the same physics that colors sunsets.
So, actually, that was an ordinary moonrise
over Greece. Not bad. Browse the links below for
more "ordinary" moons from the weekend
of Nov. 20-21.
more images: from
Louis Suarato of Catskill Mountains, NY; from
P. Nikolakakos of Sparta Greece; from
Jin Lu of Tempe, AZ; from
Lauri Kangas of Caledon, Ontario, Canada; from
Peter Barvoets of Schenectady. NY; from
Pete Griffith of Newport, UK
2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2009,
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
all the time.
November 22, 2010 there were 1164
potentially hazardous asteroids.
Notes: LD means "Lunar
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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most
advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather