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.
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SUPER FULL MOON: On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
PARTING SHOT: Departing sunspot 1169 erupted during the late hours of March 16th and hurled a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) over the sun's western limb. Click on the image to play a movie of the expanding cloud:
Only a week ago, sunspot 1169 was squarely facing our planet. If the eruption had occurred then, we'd be expecting bright auroras and geomagnetic storms before the weekend. Instead, this CME will sail wide right of Earth with negligible effect. Maybe next time.
more images: from John Nassr of Baguio, Philippines; from Monty Leventhal OAM of Sydney. Australia.
EQUINOX SOLAR ECLIPSE: It must be spring. This is the time of year when the sun, Earth, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in geosynchronous orbit can line up for spectacular sun-Earth eclipses. Only around equinoxes does this phenomenon occur. SDO took this picture of the sun partially blocked by our own planet on March 13th:
Every day from now until April 2, 2011, there will be a short break in the data flow as the Earth moves between SDO and the sun. The length of an eclipse can be as long as 72 minutes and they happen at about midnight at the SDO ground station in Las Cruces, NM (0700 UT). Never before has missing data looked so good.
March 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Marches: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]
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 March 17, 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.
| ||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 |