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.
SAIL SIGHTINGS: NASA's NanoSail-D,
the first solar sail to orbit Earth, is making a
series of flybys over the United States this week.
Normally, the sail is barely visible to the naked
eye, but occaasionally sunlight glints off its reflective
fabric, causing bright flares in the night sky.
Check the Simple Satellite Tracker
(or your cell
phone) for flyby predictions. If you photograph
a flare, you could win
MOVIE: Space shuttle Discovery docked
to the International Space Station on Saturday,
Feb. 26, delivering humanoid Robonaut
2 to join the ISS crew. Just before docking,
observers in Europe witnessed a spectacular double
flyby of the converging spacecraft. French astrophotographer
Thierry Legault trained his telescope on the pair
for a close-up view; the movie he made is a must-see:
"I had to travel as far as Weimar, Germany,
to find a clear-enough sky to catch the ISS and
Discovery 30 minutes before docking," says
Legault. "The station fades near the end of
the video as the
sun sets on the ISS."
Another opportunity to see the spaceships arranged
in this way will come on or about March 6th when
Discovery undocks from the ISS. Until then, click
on the links for more double shots:
Rob Bullen of Forest of Dean, Gloucestershie,
Tamas Ladanyi of Veszprem, Hungary; from
Emmanuel Marchal of London, England; from
Anton Husek of Svihov, Czech Republic; from
Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from
Rafael Schmall of Hungary, Somogy, Kaposfo;
AND SUNSPOT: Big sunspot 1164 is
an attractive target for solar
telescopes. Amateur astronomer Howard Eskildsen
was monitoring the active region from his backyard
observatory in Ocala, Florida, on Feb. 27th when
an airplane flew by:
"Until now, I could only have
dreamed of such a composition," Eskildsen says.
He took the picture through a violet "Calcium-K"
filter that highlights bright magnetic froth around
the sunspot's dark core. NOAA forecasters say AR1164
has an unstable magnetic field that harbors energy
for powerful M-flares. Tomorrow's composition could
include a bright eruption. Stay tuned!
Sail Stunner] [Photo
2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Februaries: 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.
February 28, 2011 there were 1201
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