DISCOVERY LAUNCH UPDATE: NASA engineers say they understand why space shuttle Discovery sprung a hydrogen leak on March 11th. Replacing a faulty junction in the shuttle's hydrogen vent line should solve the problem, putting Discovery back on track for a March 15th launch from Kennedy Space Center at 7:43 pm EDT. Stay tuned for updates.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A solar wind stream hit Earth last light, sparking a magnetic storm around the Arctic Circle. Rune Christianse sends this picture from Nuuk, Greenland:
"The Northern Lights were bright and quick-shifting," he says. "I photographed the display using my Canon 5D."
High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for more auroras tonight as the solar wind continues to blow. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of geomagnetic activity during the next 24 hours.
UPDATED: March 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Marches: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]
TITAN TRANSIT: Last night, March 12th, Saturn's giant moon Titan cast its shadow on the ringed planet's cloudtops. In the Phillipines, astrophotographer Christopher Go was waiting and took this well-timed shot through his 11-inch Celestron:
Click to view the movie
"Titan skimmed over Saturn's north pole with its shadow following behind," says Go. The ruddy disk of Titan is located just above the much darker shadow, he points out. "Also, I was also to capture the EZn white spot--a pale storm raging near Saturn's equator." To see it, play the movie.
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