AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE
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THIS PLANET SMELLS FUNNY: An alien world in the constellation Leo is breaking the rules of giant-planet chemistry, prompting researchers to re-think the make-up of exoplanet atmospheres. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
SUNSPOT WITH A TAIL: Sunspot 1106 is coming around the sun's southeastern limb, and it seems to be dragging a magnetic filament behind it. Michael Borman sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Evansville, Indiana:
If the tugging of the sunspot makes the filament unstable, it could erupt and crash to the stellar surface with a bang that would be very satisfying to photograph. Good news for photographers: The filament is more than 100,000 km long, making it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. If you have one, take a look!
more images: from Jo Dahlmans of Ulestraten the Nethetlands; from SDO in Earth orbit; from Steve Rismiller of Milford, Ohio; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Brian Woosnam of Old Colwyn North Wales UK
VENUS AND THE MOON: Around the world on Sept. 11th, sky watchers marveled as Venus and the Moon converged for a beautiful close encounter. In South Africa, it was a full-fledged occultation. "The Moon passed directly in front of Venus, completely covering the planet," reports Kerneels Mulder. "I was lucky enough to capture a series of images as Venus re-appeared from behind the Moon in broad daylight." See below:
Take a close look at Venus in the full-sized composite. Like the Moon, Venus has phases, and on Sept. 11th it was only 35% illuminated. With the Moon itself at 19%, this was a close encounter of crescents.
Other, less-close encounters were equally beautiful. Browse the links for global examples: from Marc Rouleau of Dubai, UAE; from Miguel Claro of Lagoa de Albufeira, Portugal; from Mohamad Soltanolkottabi of Esfahan, Iran; from Azhy Hasan of Al-Muhandeseen Q.-Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq; from Amir H. Abolfath of Firuzkuh, Tehran, Iran; from Aymen Ibrahem of Giza, Egypt; from M. Raşid Tuğral of Mogan Lake, Ankara-Turkiye; from Stefano De Rosa of Viverone Lake, Italy; from Gustavo Rojas of Passa Quatro, Brazil; from Moulley Charaf Chabou of Algiers, Algeria;
UPDATED: Sept. 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000]
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 September 13, 2010 there were 1144 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 |
| ||from the National Solar Data Analysis Center |