Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.
METEOR UPDATE: According to worldwide
observers reporting to the International Meteor
Organization, there was indeed an outburst of Draconid
meteors on October 8th. Preliminary
counts suggest a peak rate of 660 meteors per
hour at 2010 UT (4:10 pm EDT).
Most Draconids in the outburst were
faint, but not all. Göran Fredriksson photographed
this fireball splitting the evening twilight over
The meteor rate and overall faintness
of the display was in good accord with predictions
by leading forecasters such as Jeremie Vaubaillon
of the Institute for Celestial Mechanics in France
and analysts at NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.
more images: from
Jesper Grønne of Silkeborg Denmark; from
Runar Sandnes of Reed, Norway; from
Frank Martin Ingilæ of Tana, Finnmark, Norway;
Ronny Tertnes of Bergem, Norway; from
Richard Klofac of Czech Republic, Zlechov; from
Thomas Hagen of Oslo, Norway; from
Adrian West of West Berkshire United Kingdom;
Pete Glastonbury of Devizes, Wiltshire, UK;
Jaromír Němec of Davle, Czech Republic
IN THE CRYSTAL BALL: On Oct. 6th,
Frank Olsen stood on the beach in Tromso, Norway,
watching the Northern Lights as Earth's magnetic
field reverberated from a CME impact one night earlier.
He was so impressed with the display, he decided
to photograph it through a crystal ball. Look to
the lower right of the image for the fortune-teller's
"This wasn't a major outburst,"
he says, "but at times the auroras were quite
And now for the fortune: Another display
is in the offing. A solar wind stream is heading
for Earth, due to arrive on Oct. 9-10.
NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of geomagnetic
storms. Aurora alerts:
more images: from
Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway; from
Michel Tournay flying over South Dakota
2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2010,
BONUS SHOTS: Red
Tide from Steve Shuey of San Diego, California
Halo from Jean-Paul Godard of Pic du Midi, France;
Rays from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas; Meteors
from Hal Yeager of Higden, Arkansas
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.
October 9, 2011 there were 1250
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