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ERUPTION: A huge filament of magnetism
and hot plasma blasted off the sun's southwestern
limb today, March 19th, at around 1200 UT. The eruption
was not Earth-directed, but it was iconic. Just
look at this snapshot recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics
to view a full-disk, high-resolution image
Many amateur astronomers in Europe witnessed the
blast and said it was the biggest one they'd ever
seen. This event continues the recent trend of increasing
solar activity, and shows anew that Solar Cycle
24 is gaining steam after a long period of relative
more images: from
P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from
Sebastien Kersten of Le Cocq, Belgium; from
Steve Wainwright of Gower S.Wales UK; from
Strikis Iakovos - Marios of Athens Greece; from
Günther Strauch of Borken, NRW, Germany; from
Peter Desypris of Athens,Greece; from
Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands;
MOON: Watch out for the Moon on
Saturday night. It's the biggest full Moon in 18
years. Astronomers call it a "perigee Moon,"
and it raises extra-high perigean tides. Contrary
to some reports, however, this event will not trigger
any natural disasters. Science@NASA has the full
On March 18th, "Supermoon's Eve," something
told Tom Wagner he should stop for a quick photo
of the waxing lunar disk:
"I can't wait to see the real
thing on March 19th," he says.
more moonshots: from
Rick Ellis of Toronto, Canada; from
Anthony Ayiomamitis of Athens, Greece; from
David Dickinson of Hudson, Florida; from
John Stetson of Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth,
Martin McKenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, Ireland;
Mark Seibold of Sandy, Oregon;
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 19, 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