They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.
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AURORA WATCH: Geomagnetic activity is subsiding as Earth exits a high-speed solar wind stream. Auroras are possible tonight, but only observers at the highest latitudes are likely to see bright displays. Aurora alerts: text, voice.
SUNDIVING COMET: A comet is diving into the sun today. Discovered just yesterday by amateur comet hunters Michal Kusiak of Poland and Sergei Schmalz of Germany, the icy visitor from the outer solar system is expected to brighten to first magnitude before it disintegrates during the late hours of Sept. 14th. Click to view an updated movie of the comet's death plunge:
The doomed comet appears to be a member of the Kreutz family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a single giant comet many centuries ago. They get their name from 19th century German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in detail. Several Kreutz fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most, measuring less than a few meters across, are too small to see, but occasionally a big fragment like this one attracts attention. Check SOHO for the latest images.
GARDENING IN THE MOONLIGHT: According to folklore, this week's full moon is the Harvest Moon. It got its name before the days of electricity from farmers who relied on "Harvest Moonlight" to gather their crops after sunset. In modern times, some people still prefer to do their gardening in the moonlight. French photographer Laurent Laveder caught his friend Michel hard at work on Sept. 13th:
"Michel was very busy digging, watering, pruning--all by the light of the Moon," says Laveder, who arranged the images on a beach in Treguennec, Brittany, France. "We had so many tools to bring to the dunes, that I forget my tripod! Fortunately, we had a small stepladder and I used it to stabilize the camera."
more moonshots: from Martin McKenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland; from Jeff Berkes of West Chester, PA; from Francis Anderson of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories Canada; from Geoff Chester of Washington, DC; from Alan Conrad of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada
September 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004]
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 14, 2011 there were 1244 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 |
| ||the underlying science of space weather |
| ||for out-of-this-world printing and graphics |