They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store. They make a unique Valentine's gift.
Earth-orbiting satellites have just
detected an impulsive X1-class solar flare.
Stay tuned for analysis.
CORONAL MASS EJECTION: A coronal
mass ejection (CME) exploded from the vicinity of
sunspot 1164 during the late hours of March 7th.
It leapt away from the sun traveling ~2200 km/s,
making it the fastest CME since Sept. 2005. A
movie of the cloud prepared by Karl Battams
of the Naval Research Lab shows a possibly substantial
Earth-directed component. This CME and at least
one other could brush against Earth's magnetic field
on March 9th or 10th. High-latitude sky watchers
alert for auroras.
CONJUNCTION: On March 7th, shortly
after space shuttle Discovery undocked from the
International Space Station, the two ships flew
directly in front of the sun over Europe. Catalin
Fus of Krakow, Poland, had his solar-filtered
telescope trained on sunspot 1166 and recorded this
"I was surprised that I could
see Discovery flying around the station," says
Fus. "The shuttle is so small compared to the
ISS." Nevertheless, both silhouettes were clearly
visible alongside the sunspot. Browse the links
for more transit images: from
Jérôme DELPAU of Coemont, Sarthe, France; from
Jan Eric Krikke of Heerenveen, The Netherlands;
Pawel Warchal of Cracow, Poland.
WATER DUMP: At the end of the day
on March 8th, a strange curlicue-shaped comet appeared
in the twilight skies of Europe. It was space shuttle
Discovery performing a dump of waste water. Crystals
of flash-frozen urine and other substances glistened
in the sunlight, putting on an impressive show.
Click on the image to view of a movie of the event
recorded by Jens Hackmann of Weikersheim, Germany:
Discovery landed safely this morning at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida, bringing the orbiter's
final mission to an end. The spacecraft will now
be retired as part of NASA's wind-down of the shuttle
program. Farewell, Discovery, and thanks for everything--water
dumps and all.
more images: from
Ralf Vandebergh of the Netherlands
2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Marches: 2010,
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
all the time.
March 9, 2011 there were 1204
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.
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
out-of-this-world printing and graphics