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Jackolope
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #225 on: Aug 5th, 2010, 11:16pm »

MORE AURORAS IN THE OFFING? Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from the CME impact of August 3rd, which sparked auroras as far south as Wisconsin and Iowa in the United States. Analysts believe a second CME is not far behind it, due to arrive on August 5th. A second impact could re-energize the fading geomagnetic storm and spark a new round of Northern Lights. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

At the height of the August 3rd display "the whole sky over northern Quebec filled with green and purple," says photographer Michel Tournay. "I couldn't decide where to point my camera!" Fortunately, he had a wide-angle lens:

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Gallery!
http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01aug10.htm

AURORA AUSTRALIS: Not all the lights in the sky this week were Northern. The geomagnetic storm of August 3rd and 4th also triggered a ring of Southern Lights (aurora australis) around Antarctica. Australian researcher Tom Luttrell sends these snapshots from Casey Base on the Antarctic coast.

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Tom-Luttrell-_MG_4158_1281016824.jpg






EARLY PERSEID FIREBALL: This week, Earth is entering a stream of dusty debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the parent of the annual Perseid meteor shower. We're only in the outskirts of the stream now. The shower won't peak until August 12th and 13th when we're much deeper inside. Nevertheless, sky watchers are already seeing some early Perseids. This one, recorded by a NASA meteor camera in Alabama on August 3rd, was a doozy:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/05aug10/perseidfireball.mov

"On Monday night, a Perseid meteoroid, about 1 inch in diameter and traveling at 134,000 mph, entered the atmosphere 70 miles above Paint Rock, Alabama," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "Moving at such a tremendous speed, the meteor cut a path some 65 miles long above that state, finally burning up 56 miles above Macay Lake. It was 6 times brighter than the planet Venus--a good start to the Perseid meteor shower!"




Daily Sun: 05 Aug 10
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Sunspots 1092 and 1093 pose a threat for C-class solar flares. Two small, un-numbered sunspots may be found at the circled locations. Credit: SDO/HMI

More of the Sun:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/solar-eruption-video/


http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/sunearthsystem/main/News080210-cme.html


Now the other news:

Solar cycle may drive Venice's floods
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727714.300-solar-cycle-may-drive-venices-floods.html

NASA's Robotic Spaceman Has A Twitter Addiction
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http://kotaku.com/5603640/nasas-robotic-spaceman-has-a-twitter-addiction

Photos of the Antenna galaxies
http://gizmodo.com/5605433/the-universe-will-never-cease-to-amaze-me

With a Glimmer of a Chance, Stardust Is Identified
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/science/space/03stardust.html

A universe could exist 'inside every black hole,' claims scientist
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7918978/A-universe-could-exist-inside-every-black-hole-claims-scientist.html

Cooling Pump Malfunction Shuts Down Parts of the ISS
http://gizmodo.com/5601741/cooling-pump-malfunction-shuts-down-parts-of-the-iss

Future Solar Cells Will Be Made From Fly Eyes To Maximize Efficiency
http://gizmodo.com/5601526/future-solar-cells-will-be-made-up-of-fly-eyes-to-maximize-efficiency

AWESOME VIDEO
Exploding star 'viewed in 3D'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10867687

Giant balloons could clear out space junk
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19262-giant-balloons-could-clear-out-space-junk.html
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #226 on: Aug 7th, 2010, 11:18am »

FAREWELL SOLAR MINIMUM: Solar activity is picking up and that gives some astronomers reason to wake up in the morning. "Ah the dawn of a new day... and what a day it was!" says Wouter Verhesen of the Netherlands, who took this picture of the morning sun on August 6th:

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"There were massive prominences sticking out of the sun everywhere, sunspots galore, and even a small flare in AR1093," says Verhesen. "I can't remember the last time I had so much to do with my small solarscope. Farewell solar minimum, you will not be missed!"

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/f_304_211_171.jpg

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Alan-Friedman-sun_080510_1281068382.jpg
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #227 on: Aug 7th, 2010, 9:15pm »

M-FLARE: At 1825 UT on August 7th, Earth-orbiting satellites detected a long-duration M1-class solar flare. The source of the blast was sunspot 1093. Several amateur astronomers caught the active region in mid-flare. First-look data confirm that the blast produced a CME, but the cloud is not heading directly toward Earth. A glancing blow to our magnetic field on August 9th or 10th might produce auroras, but this does not appear to herald a major space weather event at Earth. Stay tuned for updates.

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #228 on: Aug 22nd, 2010, 11:18pm »

Quote:
"Greetings, greetings, fellow star gazers!"

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June 11, 1938 – August 20, 2010

I think I can personally trace my interest in space back to this guy.
Sometime in the years of 1986-88 I was 4-6 years old.. sitting in front of the TV watching PBS. I had probably just finished playing Mario or Atari and decided to watch Mr. Rogers or Contact 3 2 1, then I met this man. I had been wondering what all that scary stuff in the sky was. Those balls of light that I had been told were other Suns just farther away. This man explained to me what was out there and what their names were. On certain dates there would be alignments and it would be pretty. Thanks, Jack. You will be missed. <S>

Story:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/20/1785712/star-gazer-connected-us-to-the.html






Back to the news! Sorry its been so long.. life is... interesting...

I'll go from the news that was oldest and work up. I have much to post in the next 24 hours.. Sunday rawks!


Aug 10th:

INCOMING CME: The solar eruption of August 7th might affect Earth after all. Newly-arriving data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) show a CME heading our way with a significant Earth-directed component. Click on the image to launch a "difference movie" of the expanding cloud:
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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/09aug10/cmediff.mpg
The impact of this lopsided CME probably won't trigger a major geomagnetic storm---but the SOHO data show it could be bigger than expected. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the cloud arrives probably on August 10th

Gallery:
http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01aug10_page4.htm?PHPSESSID=erjv5d7pf2kvjir702psfu43n4&PHPSESSID=a5638ca3vhn0nko7m7vo7n1ml1


Aug 13th:
SUNSPOT TWINS: Sunspot 1093 is splitting in two. "Pass the cigar," says photographer Alan Friedman, "it's twins!" He sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Buffalo, New York:
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During the past 48 hours, the dark core of the sunspot has divided itself into two Earth-sized pieces. The process resembles cellular mitosis. Whether this event heralds the breakup and eventual quieting of the active region--or conversely, a multiplication of its size and activity--remains to be seen.



PERSEID RECAP: According to the International Meteor Shower, the Perseid meteor shower peaked on August 12th around 1800 UT with a maximum of 117 meteors per hour (ZHR). The nearly new Moon provided dark skies for excellent viewing, so the shower was widely observed. Browse the updated gallery for snapshots from around the world.
http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/gallery_12aug10.htm



BIG PERSEID: The vast majority of meteoroids that hit Earth's atmosphere during last week's Perseid meteor shower were mere specks of comet dust, massing no more than a fraction of a gram. This one was a big exception:
http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/17aug10/bigperseid.mov
"The University of Western Ontario network of all-sky cameras captured this Perseid on August 13th," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It weighed in at about 1.5 kilograms." The 14-cm comet chunk hit Earth's atmosphere at 140,000 mph, creating a flash of light about as bright as a quarter Moon. "Now that was a Perseid!"

"There is another somewhat dimmer Perseid fireball just below it," points out Cooke. "It massed only 2 grams--but that was still enough to make a flash as bright as Venus. In this one image," he marvels, "we see two meteoroids with a mass ratio of 750:1."

Aug 15th:
SUNSPOTS ERUPT IN TANDEM: On August 14th around 1005 UT, magnetic fields connecting sunspot 1093 and 1099 erupted, producing a two-sunspot solar flare (C4-class) and hurling a huge blob of plasma into space. Click on the image to launch a Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) movie of the event:
http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/14aug10/c4.mpg

The explosion lasted for more than two hours, giving many amateur astronomers time to catch the eruption in action. UPDATE: New data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) show a coronal mass ejection (CME) emanating from the blast site. The cloud is not heading directly for Earth, but it could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on August 17th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity when it arrives.



IONOSPHERIC DISTURBANCE: The C4-class solar flare of Aug. 14th bathed Earth's upper atmosphere in X-rays and caused a wave of ionization to sweep over Europe. This improved the propagation of low-frequency radio signals which use the ionosphere as a reflector to skip over the horizon. A SID monitor operated by Jan Karlovsky of Hlohovec, Slovakia, recorded the effect:
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"SID" stands for Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance, and a "SID monitor" is a radio receiver that monitors ~20 kHz signals from distant transmitters. "My system easily detected the effects of the solar flare," says Karlovsky. "I monitor two stations: DHO38 in Germany (23.4 kHz) and GQD in Great Britian (22.1 kHz). The German signal was most strongly boosted."





Aug 17th:
SPACECRAFT APPROACHES VENUS: A Japanese spacecraft named "Akatsuki" is approaching Venus on a mission that planetary scientists say could end up teaching us a great deal about Earth. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/16aug_vco/


GREEN SNOW: Tonight's weather forecast in Antarctica calls for a 35% chance of green snow. Yes, green. It turns that color during geomagnetic storms, as shown in this August 1st photo from Nick Roden of Australia's Davis Station on the Antarctic coast:
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"We've had some fantastic aurora displays lately--bright enough to reflect from the snow," says Roden. In addition to the green auroras, there is also a green laser lancing up from the research station in the background. "That's our LIDAR, which we use to study the upper atmosphere."

A new episode of green may be in the offing. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Aug. 17th or 18th, and NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of polar geomagnetic activity when the cloud arrives.


Last weeks:
AURORAS UNDERFOOT: On August 13th a minor solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field. The impact did not trigger widespread displays of auroras on Earth, but the view from orbit was sublime:
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NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock took the picture from the International Space Station and quickly tweeted it down to Earth, captioned by lyrics from the Don McLean ballad "Vincent" (aka "Starry Starry Night"). Note how the planet directly below the auroras is partially sunlit. The auroras are nevertheless visible against the black, starry backdrop beyond the planet's limb. The ISS is a nice place for sky watching!



CORONAL HOLE: A coronal hole on the sun is turning to face Earth. Coronal holes are places in the sun's atmosphere where the magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. Here is a magnetic map of the hole from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:
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ultra high res:
http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/20aug10/coronalhole.jpg

In the image, magnetic field lines are color-coded. White field lines are closed; they hold the solar wind in. Golden field lines are open; they allow the solar wind out.

A stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole is expected to reach Earth on or about August 24th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when it arrives.


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http://spaceweather.com/images2010/21aug10/f0193pfss.jpg




FIREBALL ON JUPITER: On August 20th at 18:22 UT, amateur astronomer Masayuki Tachikawa of Kumamoto city, Japan, video-recorded an apparent impact on Jupiter. Click on the image to view a movie of the fireball:
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http://libra-co.com/Jupiter2010Aug20182212UT.wmv

This is the third time in only 13 months that amateur astronomers have detected signs of impact on Jupiter. The earlier events occurred on July 19, 2009, and June 3, 2010. This weekend's impact, if that's what it was, has not been confirmed by multiple observers, but it resembles the uncontroversial impact of June 3, 2010, and appears to be genuine.

"Like the event of June 3rd, this fireball did not produce any visible debris," notes John Rogers, director of the British Astronomical Association's Jupiter section. "Here are some hi-resolution images taken 1-2 rotations before and 1-2 rotations after the event. As the observers commented, there was no visible mark (not in RGB, nor UV, nor methane), post-impact. Dark brown spots on the North Equatorial Belt were already there before the fireball."
Image
http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/22aug10/rogers.jpg




In the news:


Solar Sails:
http://gizmodo.com/5617082/what-is-this


Universe will expand forever:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7955379/The-universe-will-expand-forever-new-Nasa-study-on-dark-energy-concludes.html

Moon is shrinking? There goes my theories:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19342-shrinking-moon-may-explain-lunar-quakes.html

Remember, Keep looking up...
« Last Edit: Aug 23rd, 2010, 1:46pm by Jackolope » User IP Logged

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #229 on: Sep 1st, 2010, 7:58pm »

This...well....is just very cool...and somewhat scary......



Quote:
I hadn't quite finished this, I wanted to record a voiceover, but a friend submitted it before I was ready.

So essentially the video shows asteroids which are known, so in the early portions around 1980 we have less than 10,000 and by the start of this month we have over half a million. Asteroids are highlighted on discovery and within a second they fade to the colour appropriate to their orbit (Green, Yellow and Red), asteroids are usually observed intensely around discovery and once an orbit is determined observers can go back and follow up to refine the exact elements, I only show the discovery, not follow up measurements. This does mean that a number of the objects that are being plotted have orbits that may be so poorly determined that they are 'lost in space' because they were only observed for a short time and by the time people attempted to follow up they were lost.

At the start of the videos, the 1980's, CCD's weren't used for astronomy, photographic plates were the primary technology for imaging the sky, furthermore, there were no digital systems for identifying asteroids on these plates, so while many asteroids were no doubt imaged they were generally not of interest to the observers who were probably taking nice pictures of nebula or other photogenic phenomena. Many of the discoveries in the 1980's were still made visually by minor planet hunters who knew what they were looking for. One of the earliest 'bursts' in the video is most likely related to observations of Jupiter searching for new moons around the giant planet, they'd look for objects moving on the plates and then make an orbit determination to see if it was a moon, it's waaaaay cooler to find a moon since they're a rarer commodity, but if you merely find an asteroid at least you get a chance to name it.

By the time we get to the mid 1990's we start to see automated sky search programmes like LINEAR, LONEOS, Spacewatch and the Catalina Sky Survey and these are primarily searching for asteroids in opposition since they're closer to Earth and at peak brightness so you can see a discovery cluster radiating out from the Earth.

In the last 8 months you see WISE which is a satellite performing a full sky survey in the Infrared, its scans the sky at 90 degrees to the sun, so its discovery pattern is very distinctive.





-TheSkyIsFallingBird!
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“God made man
But he used the monkey to do it
Apes in the plan
We're all here to prove it
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Talk like an ape
Do what a monkey can do
God made man
But a monkey supplied the glue.” – DEVO










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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #230 on: Sep 5th, 2010, 4:08pm »

Wow! Nice find! I been re-running it for 30 mins!

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #231 on: Sep 11th, 2010, 10:56pm »

Love that video in HD! SCARY!


Anyway - the news will go like this... newest Sun activity going from oldest to about a week and a half ago. I know it may seem silly to post old Sun news but hey, it is cool stuff and the pictures are great. Then lastly I'll post general NEW space news. Enjoy.

TODAY (Sept 11, 2010)
NEW ERUPTION--UPDATE: During the waning hours of Sept. 10th, a magnetic filament erupted in the sun's northern hemisphere: SDO movie. Newly-arriving data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory clearly show a CME emerging from the blast site: SOHO movie. Although the CME is not heading toward Earth, the outskirts of the expanding cloud could hit our planet's magnetic field during the late hours of Sept 12th or Sept. 13th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
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Movie:
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/11sep10/redsea.mpg


SUNSET SKY SHOW: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and face west.
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ALIEN BEAUTY: Multiwavelength images of the sun beamed to Earth by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) have a beauty that can only be described as ... alien. We've never seen the sun quite like this before. Consider the following movie of the Sept. 8th eruption of departing sunspot 1105:

Movie:
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/09sep10/bullet_3color.mov

SDO sees the sun through a set of extreme ultraviolet filters that go far beyond the limits of human vision. That's good because extreme UV is where the action is; it's the kind of radiation that solar activity loves to emit. But sometimes it looks a little unfamiliar.

Today's highlighted movie was created by Ralph Seguin of Lockheed-Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Lab. He combined data from three of SDO's extreme UV filters, chosing wavelengths (211 Å, 193 Å, and 171 Å) favored by plasma in the temperature range 1 to 2 million degrees K. Hot stuff! Another movie at 304 Å shows cooler gas, around 80,000 K. By comparing the hot movie
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/09sep10/bullet_3color.mov
vs. the cool movie
http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/SunInTime/2010/09/08/aia_cme_20100908-H2300_304_720p.mov
, researchers hope to learn much about the underlying physics of the eruption.



EARTH DODGES ANOTHER BULLET: Just as sunspot 1105 was turning away from Earth on Sept. 8th, the active region erupted, producing a C3-class solar flare (peak @ 2330 UT) and a fantastic prominence. Here is a snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/09sep10/1105flare.jpg

The eruption also hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space: SOHO movie. The expanding cloud is heading into a part of the solar system not currently occupied by any planet--it's going to miss everything, including Earth. If such a CME did hit Earth's magnetic field, it would probably trigger strong geomagnetic storms. Maybe next time...
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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/09sep10/bullet304.mpg
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/09sep10/bullet_3color.mov
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A MAGNETIC FILAMENT ERUPTS: Yesterday, Sept. 7th, a long, dark magnetic filament on the sun became unstable and--snap!--it erupted. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/08sep10/snap304.mpg

One of the amazing things about SDO is that it acts like a thermometer. Using special extreme ultraviolet filters, the observatory can distinguish cool (~80,000 K) vs. hot (1,000,000 K) plasma, revealing physics that previous solar observatories could not. Look at the difference between the cool movie and the hot movie. Researchers may be able to use this information to figure out what triggered the eruption and how it unfolded.

Curiously, the eruption was mostly "empty." It did not propel a substantial cloud toward Earth. There is, however, a hint of a faint coronal mass ejection (CME) in SOHO coronagraph data. The diaphanous CME could bump into Earth's magnetic field on or about Sept. 10th, boosting any ongoing geomagnetic activity.


HURRICANE SEASON: "Sometimes the stormy seas surrounding solar active regions remind me of hurricanes... especially in September," says astrophotographer Alan Friedman of Buffalo, New York. "Here is a photo of swirling sunspot 1101, taken through a red H-alpha filter, but tinted ocean blue."
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SOLAR FLARE: 6th at 1500 UT, magnetic fields above sunspot 1105 reconnected, producing a brief but explosive C1-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a bright flash of extreme UV radiation from the blast site: 0.7 MB movie. Sunspot 1105 is growing rapidly and seems poised to produce more flares in the hours ahead.
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/06sep10/cflare171.mpg

RASH SUNSPOT: It looks like the sun has developed rash. Sunspot group 1105 consists of more than 25 tiny spots scattered across an area some 40,000 km wide. Sascha Somodji sends this picture of the busy active region from his backyard observatory in Krefeld, Germany:

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LIMB EXPLOSION: On Sept. 4th around 1600 UT, a magnetic filament erupted and hurled a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) off the sun's northwestern limb. Click on the image to view a close-up movie of the blast from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:
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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/04sep10/limbflare.mpg
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from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) shows the CME billowing into space. The cloud is not heading toward Earth, and no geomagnetic storms are expected from this blast.

However, space weather could be in the offing for a different reason. A solar wind stream is heading for Earth and it could spark auroras when it arrives on Sept. 5th or 6th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of geomagnetic activity at high latitudes. People in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Antarctica should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.




BLOWING BUBBLES: 3rd Emerging sunspot 1105 erupted today at 1520 UT, producing a B2-class solar flare. The minor blast blew a bubble in the sun's atmosphere more than 50,000 km wide. The action unfolds in this extreme ultraviolet movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/03sep10/b2bubble.mpg

The bubble is the dark crescent-shaped void expanding to the upper left of the sunspot's bright magnetic canopy. Several copies of our entire planet Earth could fit inside that volume with room to spare. What seems huge by Earth-standards, however, is miniscule on the sun. At maximum, the bubble occupied a volume less than 0.003% of the total solar globe. It's all relative, after all.
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FARSIDE ACTIVITY CONTINUES: For the second day in a row, NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft has detected a strong solar flare on the far side of the sun. Click here to view the flash of extreme UV radiation, which peaked at 21:55 UT on Sept. 1st. The blast also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) over the sun's southwestern limb:
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The cloud is heading in the general direction of Saturn and poses no threat to Earth. Like the similar flare reported yesterday, today's event was centered on old sunspot group 1100. Solar rotation will turn this active region back toward Earth for possible geoeffective action in about 7 to 9 days. Stay tuned!

FARSIDE FLARE: The sun is not so quiet after all. On Aug. 31 at 2055 UT, NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft observed a strong solar flare on the far side of the sun. The flash of electromagnetic radiation briefly saturated several pixels in the spacecraft's extreme UV camera:

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Earth-orbiting satellites did not detect this flare at all. The entire body of the sun shielded us from the radiation. Only STEREO-A, hovering over the farside of the sun, was able to observe the event.

The source of the blast appears to be old sunspot 1100. Solar rotation will turn this active region back toward Earth for possible geoeffective action in about 8 days. Stay tuned.





And now the NEWS:
NASA discovers 'bridge' on far side of Moon
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/nasa-has-dicovered-a-bridge-formation-on-the-far-side-of-the-moon/story-e6frfro0-1225916369458#ixzz0zHGHjLba


Are we living in a designer universe?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7972538/Are-we-living-in-a-designer-universe.html

A Chrome Marble Floating In Deep Space
http://gizmodo.com/5628974/a-chrome-marble-floating-in-deep-space


This Is How a Supernova Shockwave Looks
http://gizmodo.com/5629800/this-is-how-a-supernova-shockwave-looks
Image

See that pink ring glowing in the middle of space? That's the shockwave of Supernova 1987A hitting a gas ring that was ejected from the dying star 20,000 years before the fiery explosion. It's one light year across.


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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #232 on: Sep 11th, 2010, 10:58pm »

Exotic New Mars Images From Orbiting Telephoto Studio
Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/new-mars-image-gallery/?pid=52&pageid=28254&viewall=true#ixzz0zHP4XtuN
about 5 awesome pictures in here.. check them out!


Nasa hopes to send a craft into the Sun's atmosphere
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11181567


Glint of Starlight Could Reveal Liquid Oceans on Exoplanets
Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/glint-exo-oceans/#ixzz0zHPNtBgS


Two asteroids approach Earth
http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1009/07asteroids/



FIREBALLS LIGHT UP JUPITER: In a paper published Sept. 9th in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, a group of professional and amateur astronomers announced that Jupiter is getting hit surprisingly often by small asteroids, lighting up the giant planet's atmosphere with frequent fireballs: full story.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/09sep_jovianfireballs/



SPACECRAFT TO PLUNGE INTO THE SUN: NASA's daring plan to visit the sun took a giant leap forward this week with the selection of five key science investigations for the Solar Probe+ spacecraft. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/02sep_spp/




Sunspots squeeze and stretch the day
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727754.000-sunspots-squeeze-and-stretch-the-day.html
Quote:
MOST of us don't notice it, but not all days are the same length. Now it seems that sunspotsMovie Camera - dark regions that emerge on the sun's surface - may be partly responsible for the millisecond fluctuations in the time it takes Earth to rotate once on its own axis. The finding could help to steer spacecraft more accurately.

There are already explanations for why the exact length of a day varies. Changes in winds and ocean currents cause the Earth's spin to slow slightly or speed up to compensate, preserving the planet's total angular momentum. Meanwhile, shifts in how matter is distributed around the planet due to climate change may also affect the speed of Earth's spin.

The latest association, between sunspots, whose abundance rises and falls on an 11-year "solar cycle", and the Earth's spin rate, is perhaps the most bizarre yet.

Researchers have long observed that the spin rate fluctuates with the seasons, in response to shifting wind patterns. Now, a team led by Jean-Louis Le Mouël at the Paris Institute of Geophysics in France has found that this seasonal effect also grows and shrinks in an 11-year cycle, rather like sunspots. Seasons have a bigger effect on spin rate when sunspots are scarce, and a smaller effect when spots are abundant, according to an analysis of data from 1962 to 2009 (Geophysical Research Letters, vol 37, L15307).

The team suspects that this link between sunspot abundance and spin rate is due to sunspots somehow altering wind patterns on Earth. One way this might occur is through sunspot-mediated changes in the ultraviolet brightness of the sun. Since UV light heats the stratosphere, sunspots could plausibly alter wind patterns, says Steven Marcus of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who was not involved in the study.

He says researchers need to better pin down where and when wind changes occur and determine if they tie in with these UV fluctuations. "This is an intriguing result, but some major pieces of the puzzle are still missing," Marcus says.

Filling in those pieces could pay dividends by improving predictions of when and how the rotation rate will change. These are important when using Earth-based radio dishes to track spacecraft. A 1-millisecond error in the rotation period can skew calculations of spacecraft locations by thousands of kilometres at the distance of Mars, Marcus says, "an important difference when trying to land on or even orbit the planet".


Grabbed the whole thing. I don't normally do that but it was such an ODD story.
Going to grab another whole story as well. WARNING, scary story coming up:




Massive solar storm to hit Earth in 2012 with 'force of 100m bombs'
http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100826/981/tsc-massive-solar-storm-to-hit-earth-in_1.html
Quote:
Melbourne, Aug 26 (ANI): Astronomers are predicting that a massive solar storm, much bigger in potential than the one that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month, is to strike our planet in 2012 with a force of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

Several US media outlets have reported that NASA was warning the massive flare this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet's power grid.

Despite its rebuttal, NASA's been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US this week claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates - 2012.

Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale. The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.

"The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years," News.com.au quoted astronomy lecturer and columnist Dave Reneke as saying.

"A bold statement and one taken seriously by those it will affect most, namely airline companies, communications companies and anyone working with modern GPS systems.

"They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year," added Reneke.

No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today's digital-reliant society.

Dr Richard Fisher, director of NASA's Heliophysics division, told Reneke the super storm would hit like "a bolt of lightning", causing catastrophic consequences for the world's health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause "1 to 2 trillion dollars in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery".

The reason for the concern comes as the sun enters a phase known as Solar Cycle 24.

Most experts agree, although those who put the date of Solar Max in 2012 are getting the most press.

They claim satellites will be aged by 50 years, rendering GPS even more useless than ever, and the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

"We know it is coming but we don't know how bad it is going to be," Fisher told Reneke.

"Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the Earth and it's rapid, just like a lightning bolt. That's the solar effect," he added.

The findings are published in the most recent issue of Australasian Science. (ANI)





Moving right on to the next story

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer attached to ISS to find "Anti Universe"
http://gizmodo.com/5622452/goatee+bearded-evil-you-could-be-detected-by-alpha-magnetic-spectrometer




Double meteorite strike 'caused dinosaur extinction'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11112417
So the asteroid that KO'd the dinosaurs broke in two and one hit in Yucatan and the other hit in Ukraine?
Whoa, time to update our text books.




Remember, keep looking up.
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #233 on: Sep 12th, 2010, 1:49pm »


AURORA WATCH: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Sept. 12th and 13th. That's when a coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of geomagnetic activity during the next 24 hours.

PARTING OF THE RED SEA: The source of the incoming CME is a magnetic filament on the sun, which erupted during the late hours of Sept. 10th. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast:

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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/11sep10/redsea.mpg

Shortly after the filament erupted, the plasma sea underneath it seemed to open a fiery-red fissure. This is a common manifestation of explosions on the sun. In the aftermath of a flare, magnetic loops form over the blast site. Hot plasma sliding down the sides of these loops hits the stellar surface, creating a light show that resembles a "parting of the red sea."

No fewer than three spacecraft (STEREO-A, STEREO--B, and SOHO) observed a coronal mass ejection (CME) emerging from the blast site: SOHO movie. An analysis of the CME from multiple points of view suggests that a portion of its southern flank was Earth-directed. People in Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland and Scandinavia could see Northern Lights when the cloud arrives on Sept 12th or 13th. Stay tuned!

http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/loopslcn.mov
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VENUS AND THE MOON: Around the world on Sept. 11th, sky watchers marveled as Venus and the Moon converged for a beautiful close encounter. In South Africa, it was a full-fledged occultation. "The Moon passed directly in front of Venus, completely covering the planet," reports Kerneels Mulder. "I was lucky enough to capture a series of images as Venus re-appeared from behind the Moon in broad daylight." See below:

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Take a close look at Venus in the full-sized composite. Like the Moon, Venus has phases, and on Sept. 11th it was only 35% illuminated. With the Moon itself at 19%, this was a close encounter of crescents.

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #234 on: Sep 18th, 2010, 11:03am »

BIG SUNSPOT: One of the biggest sunspots of new Solar Cycle 24 is rotating around the sun's southeastern limb. Presenting ... active region 1108:
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Rogerio Marcon took the picture yesterday from his backyard observatory in Campinas, Brasil. Although the sunspot is big---the primary core is twice as wide as Earth--it has not yet produced any significant eruptions, only a smattering of B-flares and one C-class event. The quiet may be temporary. The sunspot's magnetic field harbors energy for major activity. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of an M-flare during the next 24 hours.

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #235 on: Sep 21st, 2010, 11:52pm »

Eruptions abound... Well.. sort of..

19th
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Sept. 19th around 0200 UT, magnetic fields around the sun's north pole became unstable and erupted. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:

This was an "empty eruption"--it did not hurl a significant cloud of plasma away from the blast site. Even if it had, Earth would not be in the line of fire.

This event shows that sunspots are not required for explosions on the sun. Sunspots are rare at the sun's poles (indeed, a polar sunspot has never been observed) and there was no sunspot at the base of this eruption. Even when sunspots are absent, the solar disk is festooned with twisted, writhing magnetic filaments that can become unstable and erupt at any time. The sun's underlying magnetism drives many forms of space weather: X-ray flares, coronal mass ejections, solar tsunamis. Add spotless polar blasts to the list!



FAILURE TO LAUNCH: Sept. 21st began with a eruption on the sun's northeastern limb that ... couldn't ... quite ... lift off. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/21sep10/bounce.mpg

The one-hour blast produced neither a bright flash of electromagnetic radiation (a "solar flare") nor a substantial coronal mass ejection (CME). It just bounced up and down above the stellar surface. More potent events may be just around the corner. A magnetic active region crackling with B- and C-class solar flares is about to emerge over the northeastern limb. Indeed, this event probably came from its leading edge. Stay tuned for solar activity.









Other news:
CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH JUPITER: Tonight, Earth and Jupiter converge for their closest encounter until 2022. The giant planet will soar overhead at midnight, outshining everything except the Moon itself. At this time, even a small telescope pointed at Jupiter will reveal the planet's moons, cloud belts and swirling storms. Take a look!

If Jupiter is up at midnight, it must be opposite the sun: diagram. Indeed, astronomers call this "Jupiter's night of opposition." The effect of opposition may be seen in the shadow of Jupiter's moon Io, shown here in a photo taken last night by Anthony Wesley of Australia:

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"Io was almost on top of its own shadow," points out Wesley. "This is due to the near-perfect alignment of Jupiter, Earth and the sun."


"I couldn't resist aiming my laser at Jupiter, knowing that it had to travel 75 million km less than usual to reach the planet," says Pete Glastonbury who sends this picture from Devizes, Wiltshire, UK:
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Astronomers who aimed their telescopes instead got an eyeful of alien moons, swirling storms and cloud belts. "What a night," he says.

I can't help but feel this might trigger an earth quake... just saying

In a coincidence of interplanetary proportions, Uranus is also at opposition tonight. This rare double opposition of two giant planets is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Unlike Jupiter, Uranus is barely visible to the naked eye, a result of its smaller size and greater distance. It looks great, however, through a small telescope. Just point your optics at Jupiter and you will find emerald Uranus about 1o away

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SPACE STATION RADAR ECHO: The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar is scanning the skies above the USA for Earth-orbiting objects. Yesterday, Sept. 19th at 16:09 UT, the International Space Station flew through the radar's primary beam, producing a strong echo. Click on the dynamic spectrum to listen:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/20sep10/issradar.wav

The sound you just heard came from the loudspeaker of a receiver in Roswell, New Mexico, operated by radio engineer Stan Nelson. "The ISS was passing over Lubbock, Texas--midway between me and the Air Force radar," he says. "It was the perfect geometry for catching the echo."

As the ISS raced through the radar beam at 17,000 mph, its velocity vector rotated with respect to the transmitter below. That's why the echo sounds like the frequency-shifting whistle of a passing train. It's the Doppler effect, working in space the same way it does on Earth.

The space station will be making more passes through the radar beam in the days ahead. Next up: Sept. 24 @ 2142 UT (1642 CDT)


Pretty Aurora:
http://gizmodo.com/5642766/this-aurora-photo-is-the-most-insane-ive-ever-seen
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This is from that eruption last week. Nice show!

The Night When NASA Let People Watch as They Fired Lasers at the Moon
http://gizmodo.com/5642625/the-night-when-nasa-let-people-watch-as-they-fired-lasers-at-the-moon
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Jupiter And Saturn Played Pong With Uranus
no, srsly.
http://gizmodo.com/5641776/jupiter-and-saturn-played-pong-with-uranus
Quote:
New simulations suggest that Jupiter and Saturn may have played a bit of planet Pong with Uranus. That is, Uranus got in Saturn's orbit so it was tossed to Jupiter's orbit and then tossed back and forth until it finally settled.

Neat theory.

Earth 2 to be discovered next May?
http://gizmodo.com/5641705/will-we-discover-an-earth+like-planet-by-may-2011

Hubble Spots Ghostly Space Spiral
http://news.discovery.com/space/hubble-spots-ghostly-space-spiral.html
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Anyone think this looks just like the Norway spiral last year?
Building Hubble's heir in deep space
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727776.500-nobel-physicist-building-hubbles-heir-in-deep-space.html

Very nice picture
http://gizmodo.com/5634770/oh-man-those-astronauts-have-the-best-views

Just because you need to check this site out.
http://hubblesite.org/

Strange stepp shaped hills found on Mars
http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/2003/12/01/index.html
HD-
http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/2003/12/01/2003.12.01.R1002850.gif

Zany Scientists Claim the Laws of Physics Change Throughout the Universe
http://gizmodo.com/5635559/zany-scientists-claim-the-laws-of-physics-change-throughout-the-universe
I believe they are on to something with this... and it isn't drugs.. lol. It would make sense why thy CENTER of our glalaxy looks younger than the outer arms. Time flows slower there. Time is only constant and normal to US... out there... laws do not apply..

And finally, something controversial



God didn't create universe- Steven Hawking
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/god-didnt-create-universe-says-hawking-2068289.html
So the universe created God? Interesting concept. It is an odd statement coming from the man who built the LHC in his mind..


Thats all this time.. remember, "Keep looking up!"
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #236 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:56am »

Daily Sun: 22 Sept 10

GLOBAL ERUPTION: This morning between 0230 UT and 0600 UT, the northern hemisphere of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. At least two dark magnetic filaments became unstable and lifted off the stellar surface, a B8-class solar flare flashed from sunspot 1109, and a bright coronal mass ejection billowed into space (SOHO movie)
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pay attention to the circled regions:


The eruption is reminiscent of the global event of August 1st, which hurled a CME toward Earth and sparked Northern Lights in the United States as far south as Iowa. This time, however, the CME will miss Earth (unless it veers off course) so there should be no resulting geostorms.



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Emerging sunspot 1109 poses a greater than 40% chance of C-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Credit: SDO/HMI.



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A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Sept. 22nd or 23rd. Credit: SDO/AIA

Other news:

WATCH OUT FOR THE SUPER HARVEST MOON: For the first time in almost 20 years, northern autumn is beginning on the night of a full Moon. The coincidence sets the stage for a "Super Harvest Moon" and a must-see sky show to mark the change of seasons. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/22sep_harvestmoon/





SOUTHWESTERN FIREBALL: Last night (Sept. 21st) around 09:01 pm MDT, a dazzling fireball glided across the skies of New Mexico and west Texas. "We’ve been getting a lot of calls in the newsroom about an object – maybe a meteorite – falling from the sky," says Peter St. Cyr of KOAT TV in Albuquerque. An all-sky camera outside Santa Fe caught the object in flight. Click on the image to launch a 5 MB movie:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/22sep10/fireball_highres.mp4

Quote:
"It took 23 seconds to cross the sky and was nearly as bright as the full Moon," says Thomas Ashcraft, who operates the camera. "The fireball made a sonic boom loud enough to be heard inside above fan noise and household din. At first I thought it was thunder."

After passing over New Mexico, the fireball apparently continued on to Texas. "At 10:05 pm CDT, my wife and I witnessed a slow moving fireball coming from the west," reports Matthew Byrd of Amarillo. And then a second fireball appeared: "About 7 or 8 min later we saw another fireball moving in the same direction directly over Amarillo. It was bright white and shedding white sparks."

US Space Command reports no satellites or pieces of space junk decaying at the time of the sightings. This was probably a random meteoroid--and maybe two--disintegrating in Earth's atmosphere.





September 21, 2010 - Aurora Borealis Webcam Now Online.
“Yellowknife is situated perfectly underneath the aurora oval,
which is this zone of geomagnetic activity. ... The idea is if we can watch the
sun and the aurora, we can learn about the relationship between
sunspot activity and auroral activity.”
- James Pugsley, Astronomy North
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Swirling, green aurora borealis over Yellowknife in Northern Territories
north of Alberta, Canada. The Canadian Space Agency launched on
September 20, 2010, a new AuroraMax website that shows real-time images of
auroras so common over Yellowknife. AuroraMax is being launched in time for
scientists to observe the solar maximum, now expected to take place
in 2012-2013.
http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/default.asp




Crater Dunes On Mars.
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The image above shows a dune field on a crater floor
made by an asteroid impact. High Resolution Imaging Science
Experiment (HiRISE) camera is currently the most powerful camera on any
NASA spacecraft and has been circling Mars on the Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter since 2006. Image: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona.
A new batch of Martian close-ups taken between July 8 and July 31, 2010, by NASA's HiRISE camera was released on September 1st. The camera can focus on objects the size of a beach ball from more than 180 miles away. NASA is encouraging the public to suggest new terrain to explore using their “HiWish” feature
http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/releases/hiwish.php
and more images: NASA/JPL/Univ. of Arizona. http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/katalogos.php



September 21, 2010 - Methane Surprise in Martian Atmosphere.

“The source of the methane could be geological activity
or it could be biological – we can’t tell at this point.”

- Sergio Fonti, Ph.D., Universita del Salento, Italy

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Map of methane concentrations in Martian autumn at three locations:
Tharsis where Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system;
Arabia Terrae and Elysium. Mars Global Surveyor image below. Scientists Sergio
Fonti (Università del Salento) and Giuseppe Marzo (NASA Ames) reported their
findings of methane evolution over three Martian years at the European
Planetary Science Congress held this week in Rome, Italy.
Credit: NASA/Università del Salento.

A new methane puzzle in the Martian atmosphere is that the gas's lifetime is even shorter than originally thought. Using July 1999 to October 2004 Mars Global Surveyor data, scientists have determined Martian atmospheric methane lasts less than one year. So, what keeps replenishing it - biological or geothermal sources? Dr. Sergio Fonti from Italy's Universita del Salento told the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome on September 20, 2010, “It’s evident that the highest concentrations are associated with the warmest seasons and locations where there are favorable geological – and hence biological – conditions such as geothermal activity and strong hydration. The higher energy available in summer could trigger the release of gases from geological processes or outbreaks of biological activity.”



This last one bugs me a bit.. I'll tell you why but you guys are going to think I'm nuts. I got this weird theory that the Sun's cycles (and specifically this 22K year cycle) causes planets to create more hydrocarbons and methane. I started thinking this earlier this year when the gulf oil well ruptured and poured out for months. During all those studies lots of new info came out on previously DRY oil wells. They were filling up again.. and it wasn't just here it was all over the world. Things like this:
http://inhabitat.com/2010/08/16/rwanda-taps-volcano-power-beneath-exploding-lake/
Lakes filling up with methane and could explode. There was a time that a 20 mile wide bubble was seen under the oil spill in the gulf.. the bubble was made of methane. The cause of the oil rupture was most likely a methane explosion on the rig. Also things like the natural gas line rupture and explosion in Southern Cal. My theory is somehow the suns radiation makes these gasses expand, force to surface or even be produced (abiotic oil). I had this theory a while back and thought "if it is happening here... it has to happen else where too.." Then I read the article about Mars.. Something to think about. I'm in no way an expert on any of this.. just a guy who reads news articles like this and thinks out side the box while trying to connect the dots. Other theories are welcome! More to come later -



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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #237 on: Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:14am »

Movies & Pix from SDO

Grab your shades, folks. ")

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_1024_0193.mpg

This video cuts out at some of the eruption moments.. Why, I have no idea.. The rest looks awesome though.

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http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_1024_0304.mpg

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http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_1024_0094.mpg

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http://jsoc.stanford.edu/data/hmi/movies/latest/M_2d.mpg
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #238 on: Sep 29th, 2010, 03:20am »

SOLAR FLARE: This morning at 0948 UT, tiny sunspot 1110 unleashed a C1-class solar flare (SDO movie). The sunspot has started to grow and this event could herald a period of higher activity from the region.

http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/ssw/ssw_client/data/ssw_service_100928_031627_39142637/www/ssw_cutout_20100928_093309_aia_304_N19W21_20100928_093308_m.mpg

Following story I thought was odd.. I thought SDO was closer to the sun than we were... guess not..

ECLIPSE SEASON FOR SDO: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is in a geosynchronous orbit around Earth, always hovering directly above a ground station near Las Cruces, New Mexico, where two large dish antennas receive SDO's record-breaking data stream. Most of the time, this is a great place to be; SDO can see the sun and transmit data non-stop. But not now. Ralph Seguin of the Lockheed-Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab explains: "SDO has entered eclipse season. Around the time of the equinoxes, the spacecraft, Earth, and sun can line up almost perfectly. Once a day for about an hour, Earth blocks SDO's view of the sun." This occasionally produces strange results:

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this is a composite of multiwavelength images and a magnetogram taken by SDO just as the sun was emerging from its daily blackout. "Magnetograms are computed from a series of images taken over a short time span. The ribbons of color result from Earth's motion across the sun during the series of exposures."

Seguin has prepared a movie showing what an eclipse looks like at one of SDO's extreme ultraviolet wavelengths: click to play.
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/28sep10/sdoeclipse.mov?PHPSESSID=s54s9odm614t323b3usnr31d44

"Eclipse season will be over on Oct. 6th," he says. Meanwhile, stay tuned for strange.




SUNSPOT MIRAGE: Lately, sunspot 1109 has been attracting the attention of sunset sky watchers. When the sun is dimmed by haze and low clouds, the behemoth spot can be seen and photographed as a dark mark on the solar disk. Yesterday evening in San Francisco, the spot got even bigger when it was stretched and distorted by a lovely sunset mirage:
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Sunspot 1109, which stretches more than 100,000 km from end to end, is slowly growing as it transits the solar disk. The forecast calls for another week of sunset sunsets before the region disappears over the sun's western limb.




SOLAR WIND: A ~500 km/s solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should be alert for Northern Lights.

CRACKLING SUNSPOT: During the past 24 hours, sunspot 1110 has increased in size more than 10-fold. A white-light camera onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture during the early hours of Sept. 29th:

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bigger:
http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/29sep10/hmi4096_blank.jpg

Although it is still small compared to behemoth sunspot 1109 right behind it, sunspot 1110 is much more active. Reconnection events in the sunspot's magnetic canopy have produced at least two C-class solar flares since yesterday (SDO movies: #1
http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/ssw/ssw_client/data/ssw_service_100928_031627_39142637/www/ssw_cutout_20100928_093309_aia_304_N19W21_20100928_093308_m.mpg


, #2
http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/ssw/ssw_client/data/ssw_service_100928_153930_39300108/www/ssw_cutout_20100928_220009_aia_304_N19W30_20100928_220008_m.mpg

). The eruptions were brief and did not hurl significant clouds of plasma toward Earth. If the sunspot continues to grow, however, future eruptions could become geoeffective.




And now the other news:

Earth's pulse felt at hot spots
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39305620/ns/technology_and_science-science/


And now a bit of news that seems like the start of a joke... but it isn't.. Grab your tin foil hats, folks.

United Nations to appoint space ambassador to act as first contact for aliens visiting Earth

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1315336/United-Nations-appoint-space-ambassador-act-contact-aliens-visiting-Earth.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz10ttCs3t7
shocked


Mars Dust-Devil Mystery Solved on Earth
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/bright-dust-devil-tracks/

Get ready for hype-
New Lunar landing tapes found, will release next week to public:
http://www.bootsandsabers.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/new_footage_of_moon_landing_found/
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #239 on: Oct 8th, 2010, 12:31am »

There is a lot going on up there, lets take a look.

First our Sun:

FILAMENT ECLIPSE: At this time of year, near the autumnal equinox, the Earth can pass directly between the sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, producing a brief eclipse. Yesterday this happened just as a magnetic filament was flying off the sun's northeastern limb. The advancing edge of the Earth cut the sun in half at the moment of maximum eruption:

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Even by the lofty standards of SDO, this is a shot of rare beauty. A 5 1/2 hour movie sets the scene in motion; you can see the big-picture (5 MB gif)
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or a close-up (2 MB mpeg)
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/07oct10/filamenteclipse.mpg
of the filament. Another movie
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omits the Earth-shadows; it is easier to follow the filament, yet somehow less photogenic.

The eruption hurled a coronal mass ejection into space (SOHO saw it) but not toward Earth. No geomagnetic storms are expected as a result of the blast.




And that is pretty much it for out Sun. It is getting quiet! And now for what else is up there:

NEW COMET!

APPROACHING COMET: Green comet 103P/Hartley 2 is approaching Earth for a close encounter on Oct. 20th. At that time, the comet will be only 11 million miles from Earth and should be dimly visible to the naked eye from dark sky sites. It already looks great through backyard telescopes:
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MEGA IMAGE
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/03oct10/rolando-ligustri1.jpg


Amateur astronomer Rolando Ligustri took this picture on Oct. 2nd using a 14-inch Global Rent-a-Scope in New Mexico. It shows Comet Hartley beside the spectacular Pacman Nebula (NGC 281), a star-forming cloud some ten thousand light years from Earth. "This is a very nice comet for telescopes and binoculars," says Martin Gembec who took a similar picture from his backyard observatory in the Czech Republic last night. "It has a [green atmosphere] almost 0.5 degrees wide and shines like a 7th magnitude star."

Two weeks after Comet Hartley has its close encounter with Earth, NASA will have a close encounter with the comet. The EPOXI spacecraft (formerly known as Deep Impact) is hurtling toward Comet Hartley now, and on Nov. 4th it will fly 435 miles from the comet's active icy nucleus. The encounter will mark only the fifth time in history that a spacecraft has been close enough to image a comet's core.


CHART:
http://media.skyandtelescope.com/images/CometHartley2-bw.jpg
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COMET HARTLEY 2 UPDATE: Is Comet Hartley 2 sprouting a tail? A series of five-minute integrations taken last night by Gregg Ruppel of Ellisville, Missouri, seems to show a growing elongation of the comet's atmosphere: images.
http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Gregg-Ruppel-103P-Hartley_100210_1286126379.jpg




















LOST AND FOUND: XSS-11 SPYSAT: On Sept. 20, 2010, amateur satellite watcher Kevin Fetter was monitoring the traffic over his home in Brockville, Canada, when a bright flash attracted his attention. "It can be seen at the beginning of this video," says Fetter. "At first I had no idea what it was." A rough orbit calculated by Fetter with refinements added by sat-tracking expert Ted Molczan suggested an intriguing possibility: Could it be long-lost military satellite XSS-11? Indeed it was. Follow-up sightings by Alberto Rango (Sept. 29) and Russell Eberst (Sept. 30) confirmed the recovery, and on Oct. 3rd Fetter video recorded the XSS-11 again. Click on the image to set the satellite in motion:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/04oct10/XSS11_recovery.wmv

The washing-machine-sized spacecraft was launched by the US Air Force in April 2005 to demonstrate "autonomous rendezvous and proximity maneuvers." In other words, it would approach, investigate, and photograph other spacecraft in Earth orbit. The mission was controversial because it aimed to prove technologies that could potentially be used for anti-satellite weapons.

For some 18 months in 2005 and 2006, amateur satellite watchers kept track of the XSS-11 as it visited at least two other orbiting objects: the body of the Minotaur rocket that launched it and a military DMSP weather satellite. "XSS-11 soon completed its mission, and in December 2006, it was manoeuvred into a disposal orbit, i.e. one with a sufficiently low perigee to reduce the time to decay from centuries to decades," recalls Molczan. "The dimensions and inclination of the new orbit were made public, but without complete orbital elements, it would have been difficult to find. I expected that eventually, it would be spotted as an unknown object, which is what happened on 2010 Sep 20 UTC, when Kevin Fetter noticed something make a brief, bright flash on his monitor."

"Except for the ISS toolbag, this is the smallest satellite I have ever recorded," says Fetter. "I might not have found it except for that flash. At maximum, it was about 4th magnitude, visible to the naked eye in a good dark sky." Presumably, some flat surface on the XSS-11 is glinting in sunlight, attracting a degree of attention that belies the satellite's modest dimensions.

Don't count on this thing always being where it is suppose to be. It changes (surprising all) because it can actually be flown by remote to other areas. Nifty!






ONE YEAR UNTIL THE METEOR OUTBURST: Every year around Oct. 8th, Earth passes through a minefield of dusty debris from Comet Giacobini-Zinner, source of the annual Draconid meteor shower. This year, forecasters expect Earth to narrowly miss several of the debris streams, resulting in no appreciable display for 2010. Next year, however, could be different. On Oct. 8, 2011, Earth will have a near head-on collision with a tendril of dust, setting off a strong outburst of as many as 750 meteors per hour. People in Europe, Africa and the Middle East will have a front-row seat for what could be the strongest shower since the Leonid storms a decade ago. Mark your calendar and, meanwhile, follow these links for more information: Draconid
http://www.imo.net/imc2010/talks/Vaubaillon.pdf
forecasts; sky map;
http://www.imo.net/calendar/2010#dra
history;
http://meteorshowersonline.com/showers/draconids.html





In other news (with some pix!)

http://gizmodo.com/5657686/how-could-this-photo-of-saturn-be-real
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New 1.4 Gigapixel Asteroid Hunter Finds Object Headed For Earth
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http://gizmodo.com/5651063/a-telescope-created-to-find-asteroids-finds-an-asteroid-headed-for-earth

Venus has a vortex at its south pole... revealing the ground is FROZEN?
http://gizmodo.com/5650142/looks-like-venus-needs-an-endoscopy

New Galaxy found, baffles astronomers
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1747.html
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Time lapse vidoes of Earth from Space
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=28A7BECF2E4C24F7

Earth and the Moon, the view from Mercury:
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http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100901.html



Saturn's Southern Aurora in Infrared.
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http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/imagedetails/index.cfm?imageId=4143


Has An Earth-like Exoplanet Been Found? Earth 2-Gliese 581
http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/


Future explorers could reach the Earthlike planet Zarmina in just 6.1 years
http://io9.com/5656375/future-explorers-could-reach-the-earthlike-planet-zarmina-in-just-61-years



This Is Russia's Next Space Station for Tourists
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http://gizmodo.com/5654897/russia-putting-up-their-own-space-station-for-tourists


And speaking of stuff in the sky:
Metal From "Outer Space" Falls Down on Chinese Villages
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http://gizmodo.com/5654871/metal-from-outer-space-falls-down-on-chinese-villages




Remember, keep looking up.
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