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Jackolope
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #240 on: Oct 14th, 2010, 11:02am »

NEW SUNSPOT ERUPTS: New sunspot 1113 emerged over the sun's northeastern limb yesterday and immediately announced itself with a towering eruption. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the blast on Oct. 13th around 1600 UT:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/14oct10/ipad/ar1113eruption.m4v

Magnetic fields reconnecting above the sunspot produced a B4-class solar flare and hurled a narrow coronal mass ejection into space: SOHO movie. Earth was not in the line of fire--but this could change in the days ahead as the sunspot turns to face our planet

MONTANA AURORAS: On Oct. 11th, a bright curtain of Northern Lights unfurled along the US-Canadian border. Watching from Glasgow in northern Montana, Ben Fyngyrz took this picture:

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The display was triggered by a "south-pointing IMF." In other words, the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth tilted south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fueled a G1-class geomagnetic storm. The storm is over now, but the lights are still dancing in the gallery.

http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01oct10_page2.htm?PHPSESSID=5apimakfq7ib6vfsbgdk8f8ht3




ASTEROID FLYBY--DONE! Asteroid 2010 TD54 flew past Earth this morning (Oct. 12) at 6:50 am EDT only 46,000 km above the planet's surface. For comparison, geosynchronous satellites orbit at 36,000 km, so the asteroid was not far beyond Earth's satellite fleet. No damage was done--to spacecraft or to the planet below. Amateur astronomer Patrick Wiggins photographed the flyby using a 14-inch Celestron telescope: movie.
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PHOTOGENIC SUNSPOT: An enormous magnetic filament is perched directly above sunspot 1112 near the sun's southeastern limb. If the filament collapses (as they often do) and hits the sunspot below, the resulting explosion could be impressive. Actually, it's already impressive:

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Dutch amateur astronomers Jo Dahlmans and Wouter Verhesen took the picture yesterday using a Lunt solar telescope. "We inverted (made negative) the sun's surface for a stunning display of the snaking filament," says Dahlmans. "In the distance you can see prominences dancing like flames along the limb of the sun. What a vista!"


SDO SEES MOUNTAINS ON THE MOON: On Oct. 7th, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory observed its first lunar transit when the new Moon passed directly between the spacecraft and the sun. SDO's 16 megapixel cameras recorded the event in detail, revealing jagged lunar mountains backlit by solar plasma:

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High res
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/08oct10/lunarmountains.jpg

Beyond the novely of observing a such an event from space, these images have practical value to the SDO science team. Karel Schrijver of Lockheed-Martin's Solar and Astrophysics Lab explains: "The very sharp edge of the lunar limb allows us to measure the in-orbit characteristics of the telescope--e.g., light diffraction on optics and filter support grids. We can use that information to correct our data for instrumental effects and sharpen up the images to even more detail."

Ralph Seguin, also of Lockheed-Martin, has prepared a movie
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/08oct10/doubleeclipse.mov
of the transit which shows the Moon interrupting an eruption on the sun's northwestern horizon. Watch it again.
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/08oct10/ipad/doubleeclipse.m4v
Did you notice the brief blackout near the beginning of the movie? That was the Earth passing in front of the sun just before the Moon did--a double solar eclipse!

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #241 on: Oct 17th, 2010, 12:57am »




SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot 1112 erupted on Oct. 16th at 1910 UT, producing the brightest solar flare in nearly three months. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/16oct10/ipad/mflare.m4v



GREAT FILAMENT: A vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the sun's southern hemisphere today. Run a finger along the golden-brown line in this extreme UV image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and your digit will have traveled more than 400,000 km:

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http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/16oct10/euvfilament.jpg


A bright 'hot spot' just north of the filament's midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If the sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt.

UPDATE: Yesterday's M3-flare did not destabilize the filament. Stay tuned, however, because sunspot 1112 is growing and more activity is possible in the hours ahead. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

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TIME TO SEE COMET HARTLEY: For backyard stargazers, the next few nights are the best time to see green Comet 103P/Hartley 2 as it approaches Earth for an 11-million-mile close encounter on Oct. 20th. Set your alarm for the dark hours before dawn, go outside, and look straight up. You will find Hartley 2 not far from the bright star Capella: sky map. Although the comet is barely visible to the unaided eye, it is easy to find in binoculars and looks great through a backyard telescope.

Doug Zubenel sends this picture (Oct. 9) from the Monument Rocks National Landmark in Kansas:

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NASA scientists say 103P/Hartley 2 is one of the most active comets they've seen;
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/15oct_epoxi/
it has a big atmosphere and copious outgassing from jets in the nucleus.

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39655258/ns/technology_and_science-space/



http://www.news.com.au/technology/conspiracy-theorists-confident-photoshopped-nasa-image-is-a-cover-up/story-e6frfro0-1225936084529



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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #242 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 8:45pm »

Getting bigger..
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MEGA SOLAR FILAMENT: An awesome, monstrous, jaw-dropping, 400,000 km long filament of magnetism is stretched across the sun's southern hemisphere. If it collapses or erupts, as filaments often do, the result could be an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection.

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Sunspot 1112 produced an M3-flare and several C-flares over the weekend. Credit: SOHO/MDI.

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http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/18oct10/hmi_2day.mpg
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #243 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 9:13pm »

Update:
FILAMENT UPDATE: Magnetic instabilities in the filament caused an eruption today around 1600 UT. The filament was not destroyed, nor was material hurled toward Earth. SDO movies:

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/18oct10/filamenteruption.mpg

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/18oct10/ipad/filamenteruption.m4v
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #244 on: Oct 20th, 2010, 11:50am »

FILAMENT ERUPTION: For days, astronomers have been monitoring a "mega-filament" of magnetism splayed across the sun's southern hemisphere. Measuring more than 500,000 km from end to end, it spans a distance greater than the separation of Earth and the Moon. Oct. 18th the massive structure erupted:
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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/18oct10/filamenteruption.mpg

Instabilities in the filament sparked a C2-class flare and hurled a portion of the filament's own magnetic backbone into space. The blast was not Earth-directed. Remarkably, the structure survived mostly intact and is still visible in backyard optics. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Francesc-Pruneda-20101018_sol_1_1287421528.jpg

JUPITER-MOON CONJUNCTION: Look east after sunset. Jupiter and the Moon are having a close encounter (< 6o) in the constellation Pisces. The bright conjunction is visible even from light-polluted urban areas, no sky map required.


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Break from the scary news of the Sun...

Comets and Meteors!

SUNDIVING COMET: A newly-discovered comet is diving toward the sun. Chinese comet hunter Bo Zhou found it on Oct. 19th in SOHO coronagraph images. The comet is faint now, but it should brighten in the hours ahead as it heats up. To see it, first check the finder chart, then play the movie. That tadpole is a doomed comet. Updates will be posted as the view improves.

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ORIONID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from Halley's Comet, and this is causing the annual Orionid meteor shower. "The best time to look is during the hours before dawn on Thursday, Oct. 21st, and again on Friday, Oct 22nd," advises Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "Unfortunately, we have a bright Moon this year. Even so, I'd expect some bright Orionids to shine through the moonlight." An all-sky camera at the University of Western Ontario recorded this early Orionid fireball on Oct. 18th:
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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/20oct10/somn_orionid_2010Oct18_qt.mov

Orionid meteors stream from the elbow of Orion the Hunter: sky map. Because the shower's radiant point is close to the celestial equator, sky watchers in both hemispheres can enjoy the show. Moonlit meteor rates will probably be around a dozen per hour.
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COMET HARTLEY:

Rolando Ligustri has been observing the comet nightly using a robotic 14-inch telescope in New Mexico. Click on the image to view the most recent week, including last night:

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Mega picture:
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/19oct10/rolando-ligustri1.jpg

Many readers have asked, why is the comet green? Answer: Hartley 2's green color comes from the gases that make up its Jupiter-sized atmosphere. Jets spewing from the comet's nucleus contain cyanogen (CN: a poisonous gas found in many comets) and diatomic carbon (C2). Both substances glow green when illuminated by sunlight in the near-vacuum of space.
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #245 on: Nov 9th, 2010, 03:47am »

Been awhile since an update. I'll go from newest to oldest then random news articles at the end as usual.

Lets get started.

DISCOVERY POSTPONED: Bad weather in Florida has delayed the launch of space shuttle Discovery one more day. Liftoff is now scheduled for Friday, Nov. 5th, at 3:03 pm EDT


COMET ENCOUNTER UPDATE: This morning, NASA's Deep Impact (EPOXI) probe flew past Comet Hartley 2 only 435 miles from the comet's active nucleus. The spacecraft has since turned its high-gain antenna toward Earth and data are being transmitted to mission control at JPL. Even without processing, the first raw images are spectacular:
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UPDATE: At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, mission scientists discussed their first impressions. The comet has a dumbbell shape, they noted, with rough ends and a smooth middle. Jets come from rough terrain and seem to be correlated with specific topographic features. The middle is covered with some kind of fine dusty material that has collected in a topographic low point.

The images reveal a comet bristling with gaseous jets--even on the comet's nightside where volatile ices are temporarily protected from solar heating. Distinct lines of jets trace the comet's day-night terminator. Researchers again expressed their amazement at Comet Hartley 2's hyperactivity.

Stay tuned for more as the analysis continues.





FARSIDE FLARES--MORE TO COME? An active sunspot is about to emerge over the sun's southeastern horizon. It announced itself yesterday with a C4-class flare that hurled material high above the stellar surface, shown here in a movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/03nov10/ipad/farsideflare.m4v


Although the explosion happened behind the limb of the sun, it nevertheless yielded enough x-radiation to produce a wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere. Researcher Rob Stammes recorded a sudden ionospheric disturbance (SID)
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when the wave passed over his lab in Laukvik, Norway. (Learn more about SIDs here
http://solar-center.stanford.edu/SID/
.) Without even showing itself, the sunspot is already geoeffective.

The source of this activity appears to be old active region 1112. It crossed the Earth-facing side of the sun back in October, a sunspot dragging a magnificent filament of magnetism behind it. Two weeks later, AR1112 t is coming around for a second pass. Yesterday's eruption may be read as "hello, I'm back." Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Jo-Dahlmans-a-Wouter-Verhesen-hydrogen-inferno_1287165855.jpg

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Eric-Roel-Sol-del-15-de-octubre-del-2010-en-H-alfa-y-alta-resoluciAsup3n-s_1287173388.jpg

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Paul-Maxson-Sun101810-1112-6_1287430823.jpg

http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/large_image_popup.php?image_name=Michael-Borman-s101610spot1112ha_1287263212.jpg






RETURN OF THE MEGA-FILAMENT: Remember that spectacular mega-filament of magnetism sprawling across the sun's southern hemisphere in October? It's back....almost. For the past 10 days, the filament has been out of sight transiting the farside of the sun. This image from NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft suggests that the magnificent structure is about to return:

[img]http://www.spaceweather.com/submissions/pics/s/Stephen-W.-Ramsden-web-with-text-127-Jupiter0013-10-10-17-21-14-48_1287414721.jpg[img]

http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=16&month=10&year=2010

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STEREO-B is stationed above the sun's eastern limb with a good view of things just over the horizon. The ultraviolet hotspot pictured above is where the filament would be if it is still intact. A continuing series of eruptions like this one might have decimated the structure, leaving it in tatters. We'll find out soon enough. Solar rotation is turning the region toward Earth and it should begin to be visible around Nov. 5th. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.



Well I was all set to dig up past archives and post them but something big has happened. (Check back at 10 EST tonight for a sizable update to this post) *completed*

M5 SOLAR FLARE: Active sunspot 1121 has unleashed one of the brightest x-ray solar flares in years, an M5.4-class eruption at 15:36 UT on Nov. 6th. Click on the image to view a movie of the blast from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

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http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/06nov10/ipad/m5.m4v

Radiation from the flare created a wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere that altered the propagation of low-frequency radio waves. There was, however, no bright CME (plasma cloud) hurled in our direction, so the event is unlikely to produce auroras in the nights ahead. This is the third M-flare in as many days from this increasingly active sunspot. So far none of the eruptions has been squarely Earth-directed, but this could change in the days ahead as the sun's rotation turns the active region toward our planet

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SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE: After unleashing one of the brightest X-ray flares in years on Saturday, Nov. 6th, sunspot 1121 took Sunday off. No strong flares were recorded for the rest of the weekend. Nevertheless, the active region's magnetic field is complex and harbors energy for more eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate an 85% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours

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Also a new comet:
NEW COMET IKEYA-MURAKAMI: Newly-discovered comet C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami) is putting on a good show for anyone with a backyard telescope and an alarm clock. The clock is for getting up before dawn, and the telescope is for seeing this:

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Leonid Elenin took the picture on Nov. 7th using a robotic telescope in New Mexico. "The comet is rapidly changing," he reports. "The shape of its atmosphere reminds me of Comet Holmes after it had an outburst in 2007."

Indeed, Comet Ikeya-Murakami might be experiencing a similar event. The icy visitor from the outer solar system made its closest approach to the sun (1.7 AU) in late October, so it has recently received a strong dose of solar heating. Ice pockets could be evaporating, comet-caverns collapsing, who knows?

Amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor developments. Various reports put the brightness of the comet between 7th and 9th magnitude, invisible to the naked eye but an easy target for telescopes such as the Comet Hunter. It's easy to find, too, little more than a degree from Saturn in the eastern sky before dawn. Set your alarm and happy hunting!

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Back to the Sun currently,

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NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of X-class flares from sunspot 1121 during the next 24 hours. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movie

http://spaceweather.com/images2010/07nov10/hmi_2day.mpg







Now, I know - no one sits and reads these huge walls of text. My hope is that you scroll through and see something that grabs your attention. Every once in awhile though, a story that might be pretty important pops up. I think this might be one of them.



The International Space Weather Initiative
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/08nov_iswi/

[quote]
Nov. 8, 2010: Prompted by a recent increase in solar activity, more than a hundred researchers and government officials are converging on Helwan, Egypt, to discuss a matter of global importance: storms from the sun. The “First Workshop of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI)” meets Nov. 6th through 10th and is convened by the United Nations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

"Strong solar storms can knock out power, disable satellites, and scramble GPS," says meeting organizer and ISWI executive director Joe Davila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "This meeting will help us prepare for the next big event."

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A key problem organizers hope to solve is a gap--many gaps, actually---in storm coverage around our planet. When a big storm is underway, waves of ionization ripple through Earth’s upper atmosphere, electric currents flow through the topsoil, and the whole planet's magnetic field begins to shake.

"These are global phenomena," says Davila, "so we need to be able to monitor them all around the world."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #246 on: Nov 9th, 2010, 03:48am »


"These are global phenomena," says Davila, "so we need to be able to monitor them all around the world."

Industrialized countries tend to have an abundance of monitoring stations. They can keep track of local magnetism, ground currents, and ionization, and provide the data to researchers. Developing countries are where the gaps are, particularly at low latitudes around Earth's magnetic equator.

Although space weather is usually associated with Earth's polar regions--think, "Northern Lights"--the equator can be just as interesting. For example, there is a phenomenon in Earth's upper atmosphere called the "equatorial anomaly." It is, essentially, a fountain of ionization that circles the globe once a day, always keeping its spout toward the sun. During solar storms, the equatorial anomaly can intensify and shape-shift, bending GPS signals in unexpected ways and making normal radio communications impossible.

"International cooperation is essential for keeping track of the equatorial anomaly," he adds. “No single country can do it alone.”

It's no coincidence that the inaugural meeting of the ISWI is being held in Egypt, an equatorial country. Of 30 nations sending representatives to the ISWI, more than two-thirds are clustered around the magnetic equator. This could lead to a revolution in studies of low-latitude space weather.

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There is much to do beyond the equator, too. During the meeting, researchers and students will learn how they can set up monitoring stations for cosmic rays, ground currents, magnetic storms, and auroras. There’s a phenomenon for every latitude and level of expertise.

"We are offering a whole buffet of research opportunities," says Davila.

Researchers who miss the first meeting will get many more chances. The International Space Weather Initiative is an ongoing program with get-togethers planned on an annual basis at different spots around the world. The next meeting will be held in Nigeria in November 2011.

No country is too remote, too small, or too poor to participate. Indeed, notes Davila, "the smallest most out of the way places are often where data are needed most. Everyone is invited."

Interested? Details and contact information may be found at the ISWI home page: http://iswi-secretariat.org/


[/quote]

Sort of related to previous story.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/26oct_solarshield/



=======================================

Archive of last 15 days:


AMAZING HALOES: On Oct. 30th in Kittilä, Finland, photographer Sauli Koski witnessed a brief but unforgettable display when the rising sun shone through a morning cloud of wintery ice crystals. Fortunately he had his camera:

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"These were the best ice haloes I have ever seen," says Koski. "They were there for only about 10 minutes and then gone. What a delight!"

HALLOWEEN FLARES: After two days of quiet, big sunspot 1117 is once again crackling with solar flares. Magnetic fields around the active region became unstable on Oct. 31st, unleashing a C2-class flare at 0318 UT and a C6-class flare at 0431 UT. Movies: #1
http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/ssw/ssw_client/data/ssw_service_101030_203908_50209820/www/ssw_cutout_20101031_030809_aia_304_N21W70_20101031_030808_m.mpg
, #2
http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/ssw/ssw_client/data/ssw_service_101030_221941_49158338/www/ssw_cutout_20101031_041009_aia_304_N22W69_20101031_041008_m.mpg
.



GIANT SUN TWISTER: On Oct. 27th and 28th, a twisted filament of magnetism on the sun decided to untwist. The result was a spectacular eruption recorded in full-disk detail by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2010/28oct10/twister_2048.jpg

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At its peak, the twister--or rather, untwister--towered more than 350,000 km above the stellar surface. It appears to have hurled a fragment of itself into space, but not toward Earth; the blast was not geoeffective.

Now that the filament has relaxed, it is unlikely to erupt again. The next blast is more likely to come from big sunspot 1117, which NOAA forecasters say could produce an M-class solar flare.



DEAD SPACECRAFT WALKING: Two NASA spacecraft that were supposed to be dead a year ago are instead flying to the Moon for a breakthrough mission in lunar orbit. The research they conduct could lead to important advances in space weather forecasting. For more information, read "Dead Spacecraft Walking" from Science@NASA.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/27oct_artemis/




BIG SUNSPOT: Sunspot group 1117 continues to grow, more than doubling in area during the past 48 hours: movie. Each of the primary dark cores in this Oct. 26th snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory is fully as wide as Earth:

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http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/ssw/ssw_client/data/ssw_service_101025_222454_48467750/www/ssw_cutout_20101024_173009_AIA_304__20101024_173008_m.mpg

http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/26oct10/hmi_2day.mpg


The sunspot's magnetic field is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares: 36-hour movie. So far, these impulsive eruptions have not hurled any substantial clouds toward Earth. A big flare would be geoeffective, however, because the sunspot is almost-squarely facing Earth




ARCTIC AURORA OUTBURST: On Oct. 24th, an outburst of color bright enough to rival the Moon spread across the skies of Scandinavia. Thilo Bubek sends this picture from the outskirts of Tromsø, Norway:

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THE SURPRISING CONTENTS OF LUNAR CRATERS: Nearly a year after announcing the discovery of water molecules on the moon, scientists say there's more than just water hiding in cold lunar craters. Get the full story from

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/21oct_lcross2/

===========================================================

News:
November 6, 2010 - Discovery's Final Flight Delayed Again
By Large Hydrogen Gas Leak.

“It is a marvel of engineering. It will be, probably,
for a long, long time the only vehicle to bring that much
payload into low-earth orbit along with a crew and be able to return.”

- Bill Roberts, Boeing Project Manager, NASA Shuttle Retirement Program

NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery at the Kennedy Space Center,
Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday Nov. 4, 2010. A large hydrogen
gas leak forced yet another launch delay until at least the end of November -
the fourth postponement in a week. When it's finally allowed to blast off,
it will be Discovery's 39th flight after 26 years of space shuttle
service. Image © 2010 by Marta Lavandier, AP.
See more information at NASA.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11702015












http://www.space.com/news/mars-one-way-flight-space-colonization-101021.html

http://gizmodo.com/5672653/its-friggin-packed-with-stars-dave

http://gizmodo.com/5675916/stranded-stubborn-mars-rover-actually-makes-a-big-discovery

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/hubble-star-motion/

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827855.000-superearths-may-be-hostile-to-life.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1325931/Nasa-robot-moon-just-1-000-days.html

http://www.space.com/news/craig-venter-nasa-genetic-engineering-101101.html

http://gizmodo.com/5683444/dammit-im-supposed-to-be-in-space

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #247 on: Nov 12th, 2010, 1:06pm »


FRIDAY BLAST: Active sunspot 1123 erupted during the early hours of Nov. 12th, producing a C4-class solar flare and hurling a filament of material in the general direction of Earth. Click on the image to play a three and a half hour (0000 - 0330 UT) time lapse movie of the event:

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UPDATE: Coronagraph images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft show a faint coronal mass ejection emerging from the blast site and heading off in a direction just south of the sun-Earth line. The cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field sometime on Nov. 14th or 15th. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on those dates.



New sunspot 1123 is crackling with C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movi

http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/12nov10/hmi_2day.mpg



In short. INCOMING!
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #248 on: Nov 17th, 2010, 11:04am »

^ I gotta remember to not make commitments on a Friday X_x. lol. Here is the rest!


All of the spots on the Earth-facing side of the sun are quiet. They are not producing strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI.

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http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/17nov10/hmi_2day.mpg

AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking geomagnetic activity around the Arctic Circle. "I was driving through the countryside near Tromsø, Norway, on Nov. 14th when bright auroras burst through the clouds," reports Ole Christian Salomonsen. He quickly pulled over to take this picture:

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"The lights were amazing--green, white, purple, moving fast and strong," says Salomonsen. "I call the shot 'Colorful Clouds.'"

ACTIVE FILAMENT: A dark filament of magnetism is snaking around the sun's southwestern horizon, and it could be poised to erupt. The 600,000 km-long structure has shown considerable instability since it began lifting up from the stellar surface yesterday

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What happens next? The filament has several options: relaxing gently back into the sun, snapping explosively, or crashing down upon the stellar surface. Although an eruption from the area would likely not be Earth-directed, it could be very photogenic as tendrils of hot plasma fly into the black space above the edge of the sun


Is Jupiter's lost stripe making a comeback?
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/11/is-jupiters-lost-stripe-making.html
REVIVAL ON JUPITER: Think of the turmoil at the sea surface just before a massive submarine emerges from depth. Something like that is happening on Jupiter. A turbulent plume is breaking through the giant planet's cloudtops in the south equatorial zone, heralding the emergence of ... what? Scroll past this Nov. 14th photo from astrophotographer Paul Haese of Glenalta, South Australia for further discussion:

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The plume, circled in Haese's photo and known to astronomers as the "SEB Revival Spot," is a sign that Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt (SEB) is about to return. The great brown belt disappeared earlier this year, leaving Jupiter without one of its signature stripes. No one knows where the SEB went, although some researchers have speculated that it sank beneath high altitude clouds and might now be bobbing back to the top.


November 6, 2010 - M5 X-ray Solar Flare “One of Brightest in Years.”
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Active sunspot 1121 has just unleashed one of the brightest
x-ray solar flares in years, an M5.4-class eruption at 15:36 UT (11:36 AM Eastern)
on Nov. 6, 2010. Spaceweather.com reports: “Radiation from the flare created a
wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere that altered the propagation of low-frequency
radio waves. There was, however, no bright CME (plasma cloud) hurled in our direction,
so the event is unlikely to produce auroras in the nights ahead. This is the third
M-flare in as many days, and the strongest, from this increasingly active sunspot.
So far none of the eruptions has been squarely Earth-directed, but this could change
in the days ahead as the sun's rotation turns the active region toward our planet.




November 10, 2010 - Massive and Mysterious Gamma Ray “Bubbles”
Emanate from Milky Way Galaxy Center.

“Assuming the bubbles emanate from our Galaxy's center,
the scale of the bubbles is huge, rivaling the entire Galaxy in size,
and spanning about 50,000 light years from top to bottom ... cause unknown”

- NASA

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No one knew until now that huge bubbles emit gamma rays
from the galactic center. NASA reports: “As the data from the Earth-orbiting
Fermi satellite began accumulating over the past two years, a large and unusual
feature toward our Galaxy's center became increasingly evident. The two
bubbles are visible together as the red and white spotted oval surrounding the
center of the above all sky image released November 9, 2010. The plane
of our Galaxy runs horizontally across the image center. The cause of the bubbles
is presently unknown, but will likely be researched for years to come.
Image credit: NASA, DOE, Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope.



November 9, 2010 - Mysterious Large Missile Launch
North of Catalina Island, California.

“It wasn't our missile. There was no Navy activity
in the area Monday evening, Nov. 8.”

- Navy spokesperson, San Diego

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LINK
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40087187/ns/us_news-security/

Around 5 PM Pacific on November 8, 2010, this video was captured by a KCBS-TV News helicopter from Los Angeles that shows a large projectile launch that the Navy and other military agencies say is unknown. On Friday night November 5, California's Vandenberg AFB launched a Delta II rocket carrying an Italian satellite into orbit, but a sergeant at the base told KFMB-TV there had been no launches since then. No other known official launches are scheduled before December 2010 and that will be from Vandenberg AFB.



NASA's Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2010/sn1979c/




http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/11734434


http://news.discovery.com/space/pluto-might-be-bigger-but-eris-is-more-massive.html
Image

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40087187/ns/us_news-security/

http://gizmodo.com/5688488/constructing-a-570mp-dark-energy-camera-in-just-four-minutes


http://gizmodo.com/5690438/this-is-why-we-need-astronauts




http://gizmodo.com/5581096/hayabusa-space-probe-may-contain-asteroid-dust-or-just-normal-dust

http://gizmodo.com/5691545/hayabusa-probe-has-successfully-brought-back-first-asteroid-dust-to-earth

http://gizmodo.com/5691156/good-morning-earth

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #249 on: Nov 19th, 2010, 9:33pm »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1329943/Female-astronaut-looks-Earth-window-space-station.html

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #250 on: Nov 22nd, 2010, 10:07pm »

STRESS RELIEF: The tension was just too great. On Nov. 21st around 1600 UT, a twisted filament of solar magnetism suddenly untwisted, producing a towering eruption off the sun's northwestern limb. Click on the image to play a 6-hour time lapse movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

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Earth was not in the line of fire. No geomagnetic storms or auroras are expected as a result of the blast. Moreover, now that the filament has relaxed, it poses little threat for future eruptions. There is, however, another filament that bears watching. Stay tuned for updates.

AURORA WATCH: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Earth is entering a solar wind stream that could spark geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle.




HUGE story.
Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?
http://io9.com/5694701/does-cosmic-background-radiation-reveal-the-universe-before-the-big-bang

You can read all that and scratch your head or you can read my take on it.

Ok, so the basic theory of the big bang is that something exploded looong ago and everything came pouring out of it. Gasses, matter (solid liquid) and gave rise to the universe that we know today. But what the hell was it that exploded? No one knows.... until now. We all know what black holes are. Super MASSIVE stars (like Cygnis Cephi) explode and poke a hole in the universe. It begins eating all matter around it. Other stars, planets, gasses, atoms... hell, not even light can escape it. A black hole devours all. Also, at the center of most galaxies is a super massive black hole. It is what holds the galaxy together. A cosmic vortex that spins, churning all the gasses together as they spin around the central hole. Most stars die before being pulled into it, it takes a long time to get there. Well, eventually the galaxies will run out of gas and material to create new stars. Everything will expand and cool off before being sucked up by the black hole. Eventually - everything in the universe will be devoured by a black hole. They will begin to pull on each other. The only thing left will be black holes. These will then gather together and begin tearing each other apart. The moment all these black holes merge into one.... [b]they explode - and all the matter they have devoured over the course of billions of years pours out in an instant... in a massive explosion. This is the birth of a new universe. All the matter that was here before becomes recycled and re-used. It all starts again. How did they find this out? To imagine this. Think of your bath tub. The tub is the area the universe will be in. Fill it with water and soap and rubber duckies (very small ones.. lol). There is your big bang. The tub is filled. Now pull the plug, the water and soap (and tiny ducks) go down the drain. The drain is the black hole. Now, look at the sides of the tub. See where the water was before?. It probably left a bath tub ring. Now fill the tub again. Even though you filled the tub with new water.... you can still see the ring around the tub from the time before. In short. They may have found the bath tub ring from the old universe that was here before ours was.

Pretty damn neat, imo.


Now the rest of the news:


Extragalactic Exoplanet Found Hiding Out in Milky Way
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/exoplanet-different-galaxy/

Antimatter captured by CERN scientists in dramatic physics breakthrough
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8141780/Antimatter-captured-by-CERN-scientists-in-dramatic-physics-breakthrough.html

Surprise at a Comet Visited by NASA: A Snowstorm
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/science/space/19comet.html?_r=1

Close encounter with 3838 Epona (1986 WA)
http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=3838%20Epona&orb=1

US Spy Satellite Is the Largest Satellite In the World
http://gizmodo.com/5696611/us-spy-satellite-is-the-largest-satellite-in-the-world

Mars rover dead at Troy crater
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html

This Is Planet Earth By Van Gogh—or Viceversa
http://gizmodo.com/5694634/this-is-planet-earth-by-van-gogh++or-viceversa
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #251 on: Dec 2nd, 2010, 1:52pm »



NEW SUNSPOT: A sunspot is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb, and it appears to be one of the largest of the new solar cycle. This composite image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sunspot's dark core (inset) and plumes of plasma shooting up from the active region:

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It is too soon to say whether this sunspot poses a threat for strong solar flares. At the moment we are seeing the region almost edge-on, so the sunspot's magnetic field (the source of flares) is not fully available for inspection. One thing is certain: It's photogenic. Readers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to monitoor developments.

RETURN OF JUPITER'S MISSING STRIPE: The revival of Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt (SEB), missing for nearly a year, is now well underway. The roiling, turbulent disturbance that heralds the brown stripe's full return stretches almost halfway around the giant planet. "Here is a projection map showing the revival on Nov. 29th," says amateur astronomer Wayne Jaeschke of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Note the region bracketed by arrows:

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"I made the map by combining two pictures of Jupiter I took using my 14-inch Celestron telescope," says Jaeschke. "The disturbance has grown dramatically since it first appeared in late October." Indeed, it is now so large that even novice observers are starting to notice it in the eyepieces of backyard telescopes.

The spreading disturbance is not the SEB itself. Instead, it is thought to be a progressive clearing of high clouds that will eventually reveal the brown stripe hiding below. When the SEB finally returns, Jupiter will have two brown stripes again and the planet's appearance will return to normal. Meanwhile, amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor the revival. Point your optics south after sunset

POSSIBLE EARTH-DIRECTED ERUPTION: A magnetic filament in the sun's northeastern quadrant erupted during the late hours of Nov. 30th. Click on the image to play a movie recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory--and pay attention to the bright splash below the movie arrow:

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The blast produced a B-class solar flare and hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. Preliminary coronagraph images from NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft suggest that the cloud might be heading toward Earth. Further analysis is required, however, to confirm that the CME is coming our way. Stay tuned for updates.


SPACE PLANE SET TO LAND: The US Air Force's X-37B space plane is reportedly going to land at the Vandenberg AFB in California as early as this Friday, Dec. 3rd. The goal of the X-37B program is to trim turnaround time between space flights from months to days at a fraction of the cost of NASA's shuttle program. Prior to landing, the X-37B will make a series of nightime flybys over North America. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker or your cellphone for last-chance sighting opportunities. Update: Southern California residents might hear sonic booms when the X-37B comes in for landing.


NEWS:

Life discovered on Rea?



Quote:
NASA is holding a press conference on Thursday "to discuss an astrobiology finding." Are they going to announce that they've found evidence of extraterrestrial life?

Blogger Jason Kottke took a look at NASA's press release, which touts "an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life" (astrobiology, besides being a cool word, is "the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe"), and decided to investigate further by looking at the participants' resumes. So who are the participants?

* A geobiologist who's written about "geology and life on Mars";
* an oceanographer who's done extensive work on arsenic-based photosynthesis;
* a biologist examining Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, and its similarities to early Earth;
* and an ecologist investigating the "chemistry of environments where life evolves."

Now, yes, obviously, throw in a grizzled marine and you've got the making of an awesome movie about discovering aliens. But that's not (the only reason) why Kottke thinks the announcement will be about life on another world. Here's what he says:

So, if I had to guess at what NASA is going to reveal on Thursday, I'd say that they've discovered arsenic on Titan and maybe even detected chemical evidence of bacteria utilizing it for photosynthesis (by following the elements). Or something like that. (thx, sippey)

Of course, the announcement could be something totally different! Or, it could be that NASA has been contacted by a warlike race of space aliens and a certain-to-fail mission carried out by a ragtag bunch of scientists is our only hope of survival.


http://gawker.com/5701940/did-nasa-discover-life-on-one-of-saturns-moons
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/nov/HQ_M10-167_Astrobiology.html

http://kottke.org/10/11/has-nasa-discovered-extraterrestrial-life

So what does NASA have up its sleeve? The conference will be streamed online on Thursday at http://www.nasa.gov/. Until then, let the speculation fly!

http://kotaku.com/5702479/has-nasa-discovered-life-on-saturns-moon





http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/12/01/the-estimated-number-of-stars-in-the-universe-just-tripled/

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/22/faa-gives-spacex-the-first-ever-commercial-license-for-spacecraf/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11833356

http://gizmodo.com/5698734/russia-spending-2-billion-to-play-garbage-man-in-outer-space

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1332379/Brightest-starburst-spotted-space-huge-galaxies-collide.html








AURORA SURPRISE: A solar wind gust hit Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 27th, sparking a geomagnetic storm (Kp=6) and an outburst of auroras that surprised onlookers.

http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/images2010/27nov10/BjAcrn-JAcrgensen3_strip.jpg



http://gizmodo.com/5699838/the-real-story-behind-nasas-resurrected-space-plane

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #252 on: Dec 13th, 2010, 12:08am »



On Dec. 6th, a magnetic filament stretching more than 700,000 km around the sun's southeastern limb erupted, producing a blast of epic proportions. Earth was not in the line of fire
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Last night (Dec. 7th) a minor gust of solar wind gently buffeted Earth's magnetic field. At the Aurora Sky Station in Sweden, above the Arctic Circle, a gentle gust is all it takes to ignite auroras you can reach out and touch ... almost:

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MAGNIFICENT FILAMENT: A dark magnetic filament more than 400,000 km long is snaking around the sun's southeastern limb. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed it rotating into view during the early hours of Dec. 4th:

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In this extreme ultraviolet image, blues and yellows trace million-degree gas in the sun's atmosphere. Dense plasma bottled up inside the filament is about ten times cooler, so it appears dark in contrast to the hot atmosphere around it.

The arrival of the filament comes as no surprise. NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft has been monitoring the filament for days as it approached the sun's horizon from behind. So far the massive structure has hovered quietly above the stellar surface, showing no signs of instability. How long can the quiet last? Long filaments like this one have been known to collapse with explosive results when they hit the stellar surface below. Stay tuned!


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New sunspots 1132 and 1133 are crackling with minor B-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/04dec10/hmi_2day.mpg



TRIPLE ERUPTION: Solar activity surged on Sunday, Dec. 12th, when the sun erupted three times in quick succession, hurling a trio of bright coronal mass ejections (CMEs) into space. Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the action:

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A preliminary analysis suggests that none of the CMEs will be geoeffective. The expanding clouds should miss our planet.

Are these CMEs related? According to images from NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft and the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the clouds emerged from three distinct blast sites separated by great distances. In each case, a magnetic filament erupted--one near the sun's southeastern limb (CME#1), one near the north pole (CME#2), and one on the far side of the sun (CME#3). Because all three eruptions occurred within a matter of hours, the coronagraph images suggest a single 3-lobed cloud; in fact, they are distinct CMEs.

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http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/12dec10/hmi_2day.mpg


SPIRAL ASTEROID: On Dec. 12th, the International Astronomical Union issued a telegram (CBET nr.2583) announcing the discovery of a spiral structure around main belt asteroid (596) Scheila. Steve Larson of the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) found the curious shape in images obtained Dec. 11th through the Catalina 0.68-m Schmidt telescope. Other observers have since confirmed the phenomenon. The following picture was taken on Dec. 12th by Italian astronomers Ernesto Guido and Giovanni Sostero using a remotely-controlled 0.25m telescope in New Mexico:

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What's going on? There are at least two possibilities. (1) A small asteroid might have hit 596 Scheila, raising a cloud of dust which forms a nebula around the larger space rock. A 1-meter class impactor would be large enough to do the trick. (2) 596 Scheila might be a rare main belt comet, a body with the orbital characteristics of an asteroid and the physical characteristics of a comet. If so, a pocket of volatile ice might be vaporizing to produce the spiraling tail.

How the tail evolves in the days ahead could provide important clues. Amateur astronomers with experience in asteroid imaging are encouraged to monitor developments


http://remanzacco.blogspot.com/2010/12/comet-like-appearance-of-596-scheila.html




GEMINID METEOR UPDATE: Spotters for the International Meteor Organization are now counting more than 30 meteors per hour as the Geminid meteor shower intensifies. On peak night, Dec. 13th-14th, forecasters expect rates to soar as high as 120 per hour for observers with dark rural skies:
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BUSY ICE HALO: In Stockholm, Sweden, the sun was only up for a little while Wednesday, but it made good use of its time. Sunbeams lanced through ice crystals in the air, producing a busy halo of surpassing beauty:
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And now, the news:



December 11, 2010 - Darkest Moon in the Solar System.
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NASA: “Phobos, the largest and innermost of two Martian moons, is the darkest moon in the
entire Solar System. Its unusual orbit and color indicate that it may be a captured asteroid
composed of a mixture of ice and dark rock. The above picture of Phobos near the limb of Mars
was captured in November 2010, by the robot spacecraft Mars Express currently orbiting Mars. Phobos is heavily cratered and is covered by perhaps a meter of loose dust. Phobos orbits so
close to Mars that from some places it would appear to rise and set twice a day, but from
other places it would not be visible at all. Phobos' orbit around Mars is continually decaying.
It will likely break up with pieces crashing to the Martian surface in
about 50 million years.” Image by Mars Express.









December 9, 2010 - Space X Is First Private Company
to Recover A Spacecraft from Orbit.

“I'm sort of in semi-shock. It's just mind-blowingly awesome!”

- Elon Musk, CEO, Space Exploration Technologies Inc., Hawthorne, California

“We've arrived at the dawn of a new era in U. S. space exploration
that should ensure America remains a leader in space exploration.”

- U. S. Senator Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat
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Fully deployed, the three main parachutes gently lower
the Dragon spacecraft for a water splashdown on Wednesday,
December 8, 2010 - a milestone in Earth's space history since this is
the first time a private company has launched and retrieved
a space orbiter. Space X launched from USAF Station Launch
Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Image © 2010 by Chris Thompson/SpaceX.

Before December 8, 2010, only five nations - United States, Russia, China, Japan and India - had launched a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit and then retrieved the craft at a pre-determined location. This time a Space X capsule called “Dragon” came down on its target in the Pacific Ocean and was retrieved by its builder, Space Exploration Technologies Inc. SETI, or Space X, is run by CEO Elon Musk, founder of PayPal. With NASA's space shuttle phasing out and the federal space agency having to pay millions of dollars to Russia for upcoming space launches, will private Space X be the new path for American independence in space? For more information, see: Space X.

http://www.spacex.com/updates.php




Beyond Carbon-Based Life Forms -
How Different Could E. T. Be?

“We describe a bacterium, strain GFAJ-1 of the Halomonadaceae family,
isolated from Mono Lake, California, which substitutes arsenic for phosphorus
to sustain its growth. ...Exchange of one of the major bioelements may have
profound evolutionary and geochemical significance.”
Researchers working in the harsh, arsenic-rich environment of Mono Lake, California,
have discovered arsenic-eating bacteria called GFAJ-1 able to thrive and reproduce using arsenic, changing the fundamental knowledge about what comprises all known life on Earth. Image NASA.


- Felisa Wolfe-Simon, Ph.D., Biochemist, USGS; NASA Astrobiology Institute
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io9s take on it:
http://io9.com/5704600/everything-you-need-to-know-about-nasas-new-life
http://jezebel.com/5705496/the-impressively-young-woman-behind-arsenic-aliens-discovery

New Estimate of Stars in Universe:
300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (300 Sextillion).

“We're seeing 10 or 20 times more stars than we expected.”

- Pieter van Dokkum, Ph.D., Yale University Astronomer



First Oxygen in Atmosphere
Discovered Beyond Earth.

“The new results suggest that active, complex chemistry
involving oxygen may be quite common throughout the solar
system and even our universe.”

- Ben Teolis, Ph.D., Cassini Team, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

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Saturn's second largest moon, icy Rhea, now is confirmed by NASA's
Cassini spacecraft to have a tenuous atmosphere of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has a thick nitrogen-methane atmosphere,
but very little carbon dioxide and oxygen.

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #253 on: Dec 13th, 2010, 12:09am »

Fresh, Dark Sand Dunes in Martian Proctor Crater.
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Each blackness is at least 300 feet wide and is a dark,
rippled sand dune on the floor of Proctor Crater on Mars.
The lighter rock is older and the geography shifts with Martian winds.
NASA reports that similar long, dark sand dunes were first seen in
Proctor Crater by Mariner 9 some 35 years ago. Current image by
HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).






Giant Stealth Planet May Explain Rain of Comets from Solar System's Edge
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/secret-giant-planet-sun-companion-1011201.html

Gigantic hidden planet could be hurling comets at the rest of the solar system
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http://io9.com/5704871/gigantic-hidden-planet-could-be-hurling-comets-at-the-rest-of-the-solar-system



Books:
http://io9.com/5704788/6-new-science-books-to-help-you-understand-evolution-the-higgs-boson-and-why-pluto-had-to-die





Steamy alien planet reveals atmosphere of giant "super-Earth" for the first time ever
http://io9.com/5704466/steamy-alien-planet-reveals-atmosphere-of-giant-super+earth-for-the-first-time-ever



Planet made of Diamonds?
http://gizmodo.com/5711607/scientists-say-theres-a-planet-lined-with-diamonds

Why Armstrong didn't go running wild on the moon.
http://gizmodo.com/5710959/neil-armstrong-explains-why-he-didnt-run-wild-on-the-moon
http://www.space.com/news/neil-armstrong-moonwalk-response-101210.html

Space X successful!
http://gizmodo.com/5709477/why-the-dragon-spacecraft-success-opens-a-new-era-in-space-exploration

New era for NASA?
http://bigthink.com/ideas/25336

Another "Earth 2" discovered?
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208172320.htm

4 giant planets puzzle astronomers
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19834-quartet-of-giant-planets-puzzles-astronomers.html

More studies on that "new life form" found story
http://www.slate.com/id/2276919/pagenum/all/

X particle:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/x-particle/
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/03/5575877-could-x-particle-solve-two-puzzles

Remember that huge prominence on the sun?
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/12/06/a-huge-looping-prominence-on-the-sun/

Some news about Olympus Mons on Mars
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/12/101203-science-space-biggest-volcano-solar-system-mars/

Super Earth atmosphere measured.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11886942

How to save an astronaut that floated away
http://gizmodo.com/5712231/how-would-nasa-rescue-an-astronaut-who-floated-away-from-the-international-space-station

Shuttle film, everything you want to know about the shuttle.
http://gizmodo.com/5712103/watch-and-learn-everything-that-goes-into-launching-a-space-shuttle

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #254 on: Dec 15th, 2010, 12:03am »

MAGNETIC ERUPTION : On Dec. 14th around 1530 UT, a filament of magnetism lifted up from the surface of the sun and--snap!--erupted. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action:
Image
The blast produced an hours-long C2-class solar flare and hurled a magnificent CME into space: SOHO movie. Image
The expanding cloud is not heading directly toward Earth, but it might deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field two or three days hence. Stay tuned for a more refined analysis later today.

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http://www.spaceweather.com/images2010/14dec10/hmi_2day.mpg


GLOBAL ERUPTION ROCKS THE SUN: A global eruption on the sun has shattered old ideas about solar activity. Researchers presented their surprising findings at a press conference yesterday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/13dec_globaleruption/



GEMINID METEOR UPDATE: Although the peak of the Geminid meteor shower has probably passed, the show is not over. Earth is still inside a stream of debris from Geminid parent 3200 Phaethon, and bits of Phaethon-dust (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/06dec_geminids/)
are still streaking out of the constellation Gemini. Keep an eye on the sky after midnight--or try listening to the Geminids on Space Weather Radio. http://spaceweatherradio.com/

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