They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
CHANCE OF EARTH-DIRECTED
FLARES: Sunspot AR1682 has a 'beta-gamma'
magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class
solar flares. Because the sunspot is squarely facing
Earth, any eruptions today would be geoeffective.
NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of M-flares.
Solar flare alerts: text,
A magnetic filament curling around
the sun's southwestern limb erupted during the early
hours of Feb. 27th. As it flew away, it formed a
loop of plasma big enough to pass the entire planet
Jupiter. (Croquette anyone?) Click on the image
to set the scene in motion:
This eruption brings to an end a
that amateur astronomers had been monitoring for
days. Hopefully, they'll continue looking because
a new prominence appears to be forming from the
debris. Check the realtime
gallery for new images.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
UPDATE: Comet Pan-STARRS is brightening
as it plunges toward the sun just outside the orbit
of Mercury. Amateur astronomer Ian Cooper sends
this report from Glen Oroua, New Zealand: "Despite
lingering evening twilight and the glare from a
nearly full Moon, Comet Pan-STARRS is a 3rd-magnitude
object with a fine orange dust tail visible in both
binoculars and small telescopes." A 30-second
exposure with his Canon 450D digital camera easily
revealed the comet:
In early March, the comet will pass
about 100 million miles from Earth as it briefly
dips inside the orbit of Mercury. At that time it
is expected to brighten another two- or three-fold.
Whether Pan-STARRS will be visible to the naked
eye through the glow of the nearby sun remains to
be seen; this
NASA video explores the possibilities. Whatever
happens, northern hemisphere observers will have
a front row seat as the comet crosses the celestial
equator before the middle of March. Stay tuned!
More about Comet Pan-STARRS:
Comet Photo Gallery
Aurora Photo Gallery
Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003,
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.
February 27, 2013 there were 1381
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