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xx Re: Explosion on the sun. new sunspot
« Reply #60 on: Mar 25th, 2008, 9:27pm »

Its that time again...

The sun has been quiet for most of 08. Today that changed.

SOLAR FLARE: A new sunspot emerging over the sun's eastern limb unleashed an M2-class solar flare today at 1856 UT. This is the biggest flare of the year and it signals a significant increase in solar activity. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of more M-flares during the next 24 hours.

Just a few days ago the sun was blank--no sunspots. But now, with little warning, three big active regions have sprung into view.
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xx Re: Explosion on the sun. new sunspot
« Reply #61 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 12:57am »

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xx Re: Explosion on the sun. new sunspot
« Reply #62 on: Mar 26th, 2008, 03:34am »

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SOLAR ACTIVITY ALERT: With little warning, three big sunspots have materialized and on March 25th one of them (989) unleashed an M2-class solar flare. This is the biggest flare of the year and it signals a significant increase in solar activity. The eruption also produced a coronal mass ejection (CME), but auroras are unlikely because the cloud is not heading toward Earth

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LISTEN: During the M2-flare, radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft heard a curious "heaving sound" coming from the loudspeaker of his 21 MHz radio telescope in New Mexico LISTEN "It was a Type II solar radio burst," he explains. Such bursts are generated by shock waves at the leading edge of CMEs.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of more M-flares during the next 24 hours. Readers, if you have a solar telescope, now is a good time to monitor the sun.

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« Last Edit: Mar 26th, 2008, 03:36am by Jackolope » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Explosion on the sun. new sunspot
« Reply #63 on: May 13th, 2008, 01:17am »

on top of everything else...

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SOLAR ACTIVITY: Is something lurking just over the sun's eastern limb? Yesterday's impressive display suggests the answer is yes. Amateur astronomers in Europe and North America witnessed fountains of hot, magnetized gas surging over the eastern edge of the sun. "My hard drive is full of movies," says Didier Favre of Brétigny sur Orge, France, who counted no fewer than seven eruptions.

Veteran observer Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK, took the picture above. "This is the first time I've ever seen material moving visually away from the surface of the Sun,"

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HUGE Frame by frame picture

Oddly enough.. this whole thing lasted only 45 minutes....at roughly the same time the quake happened. Related? I think so... Stay tuned for more on this... This isn't a normal solar flare.. Its more like a volcano on the sun.. Scientists have never seen this before..



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xx Re: Explosion on the sun. new sunspot
« Reply #64 on: May 25th, 2008, 11:54pm »

MAGNETIC RAIN: There's a rainstorm underway on the sun's eastern limb. You'd better bring your asbestos umbrella, though, because the "droplets" are Texas-sized blobs of hot plasma:
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This is prominence finery at its best," says photographer Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK. "Small bright points within the prominence that were seen on the capture screen have been recorded as blurs due to the rapid motion of material in just a few seconds!"

Prominences are clouds of hydrogen held above the surface of the sun by magnetic fields. While this particular cloud appears to be raining like a summer shower on Earth, the true situation is more complicated. Look carefully: Some of the plasma raindrops are falling "up." That's because the motions are controlled by not only gravity but also magnetism, a force of little importance in terrestrial rainstorms. The solar magnetic field is rooted below the sun's visible surface; roiling motions in the body of the sun itself cause magnetic fields high overhead to shift, wriggle, and "rain" in all directions. No wonder prominences are so much fun to watch.


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Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope


HOT COMET: On May 23rd, a comet plunged toward the sun, overheated, and disintegrated. A coronagraph onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) saw the whole thing:
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The kamikaze comet was a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. Named after a 19th century German astronomer who studied them in detail, Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a giant comet at least 2000 years ago. Several of these fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most are too small to see, but occasionally a big one catches our attention.

Note: In the movie, the passage of the comet seems to trigger a coronal mass ejection (CME): diagram. This is almost certainly a coincidence. The comet was at least a million kilometers above the surface of the sun at the time and there is no known mechanism for a comet to trigger a magnetic explosion across such a gulf.

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xx Re: Explosion on the sun. new sunspot
« Reply #65 on: Jun 17th, 2008, 01:26am »

Heres some space news updates!

Heres a neat one.

June 11, 2008 - Dextre Robot Working On
International Space Station (ISS).

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Earth's blue atmosphere is at top of frame and the ISS Dextre robot
works on the space station, which is about 217 miles (350 kilometers) above Earth
traveling at 17,210 statute mph (27,700 kilometers/hour). Image credit:
STS-124 Crew, Expedition 17 Crew, NASA.


NASA: “Last week, Dextre was imaged moving atop the Destiny Laboratory Module of the International Space Station (ISS), completing tasks prior to the deployment of Japan's Kibo pressurized science laboratory. Dextre, the Canadian-built Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator, has arms three meters in length and can attach power tools as fingers. Behind Dextre is the blackness of space, while Earth looms over Dextre's head. The Kibo laboratory segment being deployed during space shuttle Discovery's trip to the ISS can be pressurized and contains racks of scientific experiments that will be used to explore how plants brace themselves against gravity, how water might be inhibited from freezing in cells under microgravity and much more.”



NEWS! This ones big..

PROMINENCE ALERT: A massive prominence has just popped up over the sun's southeastern limb. It's taller than a planet and moving very rapidly. This is a nice target for backyard solar telescopes; if you have one, take a look!

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Sunspot 999 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI


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Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope



Current Auroral Oval
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SUNGRAZING COMET: Note to comets: Don't get too close to the sun. Yesterday, June 16th, one did and suffered the consequences, disintegrating as the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) looked on:

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The comet goes in but nothing comes out. It's what usually happens when fierce sunlight beats down on the fragile, icy nucleus of a kamikaze comet. This one was probably a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. Named after the 19th century German astronomer who studied them in detail, Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a giant comet 2000+ years ago. Every day, one or two fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate. Most are too small to see, but occasionally a big one catches our attention--all the more reason to keep an eye on the sun.


Older story but just found it.
SPACESHIP CROSSING: With solar activity at low ebb, the sun is nearly blank--no sunspots. That makes it easy to pick out the spaceships. On June 13th, John Stetson and students (E. Signorelli and C. Ryder) photographed space shuttle Discovery and the ISS transiting the sun:

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Phoenix Update
No water found in the easy bake oven!
June 16, 2008 - No Water in First Martian Test Scoops.
But Phoenix scoop arm is targeted now on white “Wonderland”
soil that might be water ice? A salt? Salty water ice?

“I am itching to get some of the white stuff we think
might be ice into the TEGA machine.” - Ray Arvidson, Ph.D.,
Lead Scientist, Phoenix Robotic Arm

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June 13, 2008, Phoenix Surface Stereo Imager of two test trenches,
“Dodo” (left) and “Goldilocks” (right), in colored elevation map and normal image.
Trenches at deepest are only 2.7 to 3 inches. White patches dubbed “Wonderland” will be
Phoenix robot's next target for analysis. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University
of Arizona/Texas A&M University/NASA Ames Research Center.
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #66 on: Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:21am »

Voyager Spacecraft Reveals Solar System Edge
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Artist's rendering depicts the Voyager 2 spacecraft as it studies the outer limits of the heliosphere - a magnetic 'bubble' around the Solar System that is created by the solar wind. Scientists observed the magnetic bubble is not spherical, but pressed inward in the southern hemisphere. Credit: NASA/JPL

Voyager 2's journey toward interstellar space has revealed surprising insights into the energy and magnetic forces at the solar system's outer edge, and confirmed the solar system's squashed shape.

Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 continue to send data to Earth more than 30 years after they first launched. During the 1990s, Voyager 1 became the farthest manmade object in space.

Each spacecraft has now crossed the edge of the solar system, known as termination shock, where the outbound solar wind collides with inbound energetic particles from interstellar space. The termination shock surrounds the solar system and encloses a bubble called the heliosphere.

"The solar wind is blowing outward trying to inflate this bubble, and the pressure from interstellar wind is coming in," said Edward Stone, physicist and Voyager project scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. He and other researchers published a series of studies in the journal Nature this week that detail the Voyager findings.

This way and that

Voyager 2 reached the southern edge of the solar system 7 billion miles (76 AU) from the sun, closer than Voyager 1 which had reached the northern edge 7.8 billion miles (84 AU) from the sun. That confirms earlier suspicions about the heliosphere bubble being squashed at its southern region.

The reason for that asymmetrical shape rests with an interstellar magnetic field that puts more pressure on the southern region of the solar system — something that may change over 100,000 years as that magnetic field experiences turbulence, Stone said.

Comparing the Voyager 1 crossing in December 2004 with the Voyager 2 crossing in August 2007 allowed scientists to confirm that the second sibling actually crossed the termination shock and passed into the heliosheath, an outer layer of the heliosphere. But Voyager 2 also carries more working instruments that show the termination shock in full detail.

"We're actually seeing the shock for the first time," said John Richardson, principal scientist for Voyager's Plasma Physics instrument at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

Voyager 1's plasma detector failed after it passed Saturn, so Voyager 2 provided the first glimpse of what happens to the solar wind's energy as it slams into interstellar space. The solar wind travels outwards from the sun at supersonic speeds, and at temperatures near 17,540 degrees Fahrenheit (10,000 degrees Kelvin).

Scientists had predicted that the solar wind would simultaneously slow down and heat up to a temperature near 1.8 million degrees F (1 million degrees Kelvin), but instead found that it reached just 180,000 degrees F (100,000 degrees Kelvin) at the solar system boundary.

Hitching a ride

The solar wind's missing energy ended up hitching a ride with interstellar intruders, Richardson said.

Neutral atoms that flowed in from outside the solar system became energized upon entering the heliosheath layer, and then ended up stealing 80 percent of the energy from the solar wind. Researchers have yet to puzzle out the significance of this.

An added mystery remains as to why the solar wind slows down early, as though anticipating running headlong into the termination shock. Researchers have begun looking into whether the solar wind somehow sheds energy ahead of time.

"Somehow the solar wind knows the shock is coming before it gets there, and theory says that shouldn't be," Richardson noted, adding that the solar wind speed drops from its supersonic speed of about 248 miles per second (400 km/s) to 186 miles per second (300 km/s) even before hitting the edge of the solar system. That speed falls more noticeably to about 93 miles per second (150 km/s) after the termination shock.

Even as researchers continue parsing the Voyager findings, both spacecraft plow onward toward deep space — and beyond all expectations of their original mission.

"My guess is five to seven years to reach interstellar space," Stone said. "There's a very good chance that Voyager I will send the first data back from there."



This one can be a bit.... SCARY...

Earth's Cries Recorded in Space
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Listen here but wait till after the commercial..

Earth emits an ear-piercing series of chirps and whistles that could be heard by any aliens who might be listening, astronomers have discovered.

The sound is awful, a new recording from space reveals.

Scientists have known about the radiation since the 1970s. It is created high above the planet, where charged particles from the solar wind collide with Earth's magnetic field. It is related to the phenomenon that generates the colorful aurora, or Northern Lights.

The radio waves are blocked by the ionosphere, a charged layer atop our atmosphere, so they do not reach Earth. That's good, because the out-of-this-world radio waves are 10,000 times stronger than even the strongest military signal, the researchers said, and they would overwhelm all radio stations on the planet.

Theorists had long figured the radio waves, which were not well studied, oozed into space in an ever-widening cone, like light from a torch.

But new data from the European Space Agency's Cluster mission, a group of four high-flying satellites, reveals the bursts of radio waves head off to the cosmos in beam-like fashion, instead.

This means they're more detectable to anyone who might be listening.

The Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR), as it is called, is beamed out in a narrow plane, as if someone had put a mask over a torch and left a slit for the radiation to escape.

This flat beam could be detected by aliens who've figured this process out, the researchers say. The knowledge could also be used by Earth's astronomers to detect planets around other stars, if they can build a new radio telescope big enough for the search. They could also learn more about Jupiter and Saturn by studying AKR, which should emit from the auroral activity on those worlds, too.

"Whenever you have aurora, you get AKR," said Robert Mutel, a University of Iowa researcher involved in the work.

The AKR bursts -- Mutel and colleagues studied 12,000 of them -- originate in spots the size of a large city a few thousand miles above Earth and above the region where the Northern Lights form.

"We can now determine exactly where the emission is coming from," Mutel said.

Our planet is also known to hum, a mysterious low-frequency sound thought to be caused by the churning ocean or the roiling atmosphere.
Earth Hum Sound



Planets Align for the 4th of July

The show gets going on Friday, July 4th. Red Mars and ringed Saturn converge just to the left of the bright star Regulus. The three lights make a pretty 1st-magnitude line in the heavens:
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But that is just the beginning. On Saturday, July 5th, with weekend fireworks at fever pitch, a lovely crescent Moon joins the show. Saturn, Mars, and the Moon trace an even brighter line than the night before:
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Scan a small telescope along the line. You'll see Saturn's rings, the little red disk of Mars, a grand sweep of lunar mountains and craters, and just maybe—flash!—a manmade incendiary. How often do you see fireworks through a telescope?

This is, however, more than just a flashy gathering of planets—it is also a gathering of spaceships and robots.

Each of the three worlds is orbited or inhabited by probes from Earth. Saturn has the Cassini spacecraft, studying the gas giant's storms, moons and rings. The Moon has two probes in orbit: Kaguya from Japan and Chang'e-1 from China. The pair, operating independently, are mapping the Moon and scanning for resources in advance of future human landings. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will join them later this year.

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An artist's concept of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter slated to launch later this year.

Mars has more probes than the others combined. Three active satellites orbit the red planet: Europe's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The three not only study Mars with their own instruments, but also form a satellite network in support of NASA's Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity and Mars lander Phoenix.

None of these mechanical specks are visible in a backyard telescope, but they are there, heralds of a growing human presence in the solar system. Tell that to your buddy at the fireworks show!

During the short night of July 5th, the Moon glides past Mars and Saturn so that nightfall on Sunday, July 6th, brings a different arrangement—a scalene triangle. The triad is easy to find in the hours after sunset. Look west and let the Moon be your guide

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #67 on: Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:24am »


In the nights that follow, the Moon exits stage left, leaving the others behind. Don't stop watching, though. Saturn and Mars are converging for their closest encounter of the next 14 years. After nightfall on Thursday, July 10th, the two planets will be just ¾ of a degree apart, snug enough to fit behind the tip of your pinky finger held at arm's length:

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Now that's spectacular—no fireworks required.

Kinda related.. its about black holes here..

Earth 'not at risk' from black hole collider


Then.

Astronomers on Verge of Finding Earth's Twin


NOW A FANTASTIC STORY!

Minerals Needed for Life Found on Mars
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander found evidence of mineral nutrients essential to life in Martian dirt, mission scientists announced Thursday.

After performing the first wet chemistry experiment ever done on another planet, Phoenix discovered that a sample it dug of Martian dirt contained several soluble minerals, including potassium, magnesium and chloride. Though the data is preliminary, the results are very exciting, scientists said.

"We basically have found what appears to be the requirements for nutrients to support life," said Phoenix's wet chemistry lab lead, Sam Kounaves of Tufts University. "This is the type of soil you'd probably have in your backyard. You might be able to grow asparagus pretty well, but probably not strawberries."

Asparagus, which thrives in alkaline soil, would like the Martian dirt, which Phoenix measured to have a very alkaline pH of between eight to nine. Strawberries, meanwhile, like acidic soil, he said.

The finding comes a week after the lander discovered water ice in the same dirt.

On June 25, the probe placed a cubic centimeter sample of Martian dirt in its onboard wet chemistry laboratory for the first time. The lab, part of Phoenix's suite of instruments called the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, was designed to test Mars' dirt for salts, acidity, minerals and conductivity.

After mixing the dirt with water Phoenix brought from Earth in one of MECA's teacup-sized beakers, the instrument measured various characteristics of the solution to learn about the properties of the dirt.

MECA includes four beakers, each of which can be used only once. The inside of each beaker contains 26 sensors designed to study red planet material, NASA officials have said.

"We're making mud, we're stirring it up, we're measuring it with sensors," said Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Michael Hecht, lead of the MECA instrument.

Habitable world

The new findings help fulfill Phoenix's main purpose: to search for signs that the red planet's northern polar regions could have been habitable to life. The probe landed in the arctic plains of Mars May 25 to begin what is now a planned four-month mission. It is not equipped to find life itself.

The soluble mineral nutrients it found, and the dirt's hospitable pH level, are both promising signs. However the MECA instrument is not able to test for organic compounds, such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, which are also necessary for life as we know it.

"We did find basically that there's nothing about [the dirt] that would preclude life," Kounaves said. "In fact it seems very friendly."

Though the dirt itself seems to be hospitable, Kounaves pointed out that the very top layer at the surface is exposed to high levels of harsh UV light that is damaging to organic compounds, so may not be able to support life.

"There could be microbes living meters and meters underground," he said. "They would be very happy."

Water ice

Phoenix also recently found another promising sign that this Mars environment could be habitable to life. In a major success last week, the probe photographed what scientists say must be water ice: a few bright crumbs that evaporated over four days from a trench in the ground. The scientists think it's water, and not some other material such as carbon dioxide, because of the time frame over which it vaporized. The local temperatures are too warm for carbon dioxide to remain frozen for even one day, scientists said.

Launched in August 2007, Phoenix includes cameras, a scoop-tipped robotic arm, weather station and ovens in addition to its wet chemistry lab.

The probe's oven instrument, the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA), also recently completed an experiment in which it heated up a sample of Martian dirt to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit). When the sample was heated, the instrument measured signs of water, which researchers think was probably emitted when minerals melted that contained chemically-bound water. This water would have been bonded to other molecules in the minerals, rather than existing on its own in the dirt.

"This is the first time anybody's ever heated up part of a planet to such high temperatures," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for TEGA. "When we heated up the sample we got some modest amounts of water vapor. This is what we were hoping to see."

Though further analysis is needed to determine the source of the water vapor for sure, "what we can say now is that the soil clearly has interacted with water in the past," he said.

The results of both the TEGA and MECA tests are showing scientists that it's possible Mars may indeed have hosted, or be hosting, some form of life.

"Over time I've come to the conclusion that the amazing thing about Mars is not that it's an alien world but that it's actually very Earth-like," Kounaves said.



This is an amazing story, I give it 5 months then they will tell us that either life DID exist on Mars or is STILL living on Mars. Think about it, our dirt now is the product of billions of years worth of living creatures decaying in our dirt. Thats how it got to the condition that it is today. Rich with minerals and nutrients. The soil on Mars is the SAME seems like a "no duh" that life has existed there before for the dirt to be in that condition.

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #68 on: Jul 4th, 2008, 09:57am »

I stumbled across this and thought of you...FLARES!..enjoy!

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“God made man
But he used the monkey to do it
Apes in the plan
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But a monkey supplied the glue.” – DEVO










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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #69 on: Jul 4th, 2008, 1:19pm »

Hmmmmmm, the Bird has a new toy!
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #70 on: Jul 13th, 2008, 7:19pm »

on Jul 4th, 2008, 09:57am, Yardbird wrote:
I stumbled across this and thought of you...FLARES!..enjoy!

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That is AWESOME! I LOVE IT! cool

Dropping this in my list of avvys. TY!

And now the news!

COLLIDING STORMS ON JUPITER: For the past few months, astronomers have been monitoring not one but three red spots on Jupiter: the familiar Great Red Spot plus two younger, smaller upstarts known as Oval BA and the Little Red Spot (LRS). Last week the three storms collided. Amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley of Australia photographed their convergence:

The 3 Red Spots must see



Picture Warning quite large


On July 1st, with clouds blocking Wesley's view from Australia, the Little Red Spot (1) got squeezed like toothpaste between the Great Red Spot (2) and Oval BA (3). Did the little spot survive? Maybe, maybe not. A July 5th photo by Wesley seems to show only two storms emerging from the clash. But a July 7th photo taken by Christopher Go of the Philippines suggests "the LRS survived the gauntlet" and may be reforming.

Survival wouldn't be a surprise. Even a "little" storm on Jupiter is huge. The LRS is about the size of Mars and may be able to withstand considerable abuse from its larger siblings. The monitoring continues; stay tuned for updates.

BINARY ASTEROID: Asteroid 2008 BT18 is gliding past Earth this weekend and astronomers have just discovered that it is a binary system. "The sizes of the two components are 600 m for the primary and >200 m for the secondary," says Lance Benner of JPL. "The primary looks spheroidal, but we don't yet know about the shape of the secondary." Benner and others using a giant radar in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, obtained this "delay-doppler" image of the pair on July 7th:

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"We're also getting images from NASA's Goldstone radar in the Mojave desert of California," he adds. That radar is smaller than Arecibo but it is still registering a strong echo that should reveal much about the target, including the binary orbit, masses and bulk density of the components.

About 16% of all near-Earth asteroids are binaries, but only a handful have come this close. "2008 BT18 is giving us a good look at a double asteroid," says Benner. Studying the make-up and dynamics of these systems may help researchers figure out how to deflect binaries on a collision course with Earth. 2008 BT18 poses no threat, but some undiscovered binary asteroid, one day, might. "The Arecibo observatory, where 53% of all near-Earth binaries have been discovered, is crucial to these studies."

Southern hemisphere readers, you may be able to observe this double-rock using your own backyard telescope and CCD camera. At closest approach (1.4 million miles) on July 14th, 2008 BT18 will flit through Canis Major heading south and glowing like a 13th magnitude star: ephemeris, 3D orbit.

Orbit


LITTLE RED SPOT DESTROYED: Last month, Jupiter had three red spots. Today there are only two. "The 'Little Red Spot' is gone," reports Christopher Go who took this picture on July 10th from his backyard observatory in the Philippines:

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His photo shows two and only two storms: the Great Red Spot (center) and Oval BA just above it. Missing is the Little Red Spot (LRS), a young upstart of a storm that had the temerity to crash into its older siblings on July 1st-3rd. Bad weather at key observing sites hid the crash from many astronomers, leaving the fate of the LRS uncertain until now. "The LRS has dissipated," says Go. "Its remnant can be seen just east of the Great Red Spot."

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Go uses an 11-inch Celestron telescope to monitor events on Jupiter. Much is visible these days because Jupiter is at its closest to Earth for all of 2008. If you have a backyard telescope, point it southeast after sunset. Jupiter is there blazing brighter than any star

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #71 on: Jul 14th, 2008, 10:45am »

ERUPTION:

Solar activity may be low, but it's not zero. This morning the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded a spectacular eruption on the sun's eastern limb: image. An unstable magnetic filament flung itself into space, traveling as fast as a million mph, something that can happen without the aid of a sunspot. Even during solar minimum, it pays to keep an eye on the sun.


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OVER THE MOON: No, it's not a cow. The solar arrays rule that out:

HUGE PICTURE

"It's the International Space Station (ISS)," says Leonardo Julio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. "We photographed it last night, July 13th, gliding past lunar crater Tycho. Julio's team, which included friends Enzo De Bernardini and Adriana Fernández, used an 8-inch Meade LX90 equipped with a Canon 20D digital camera to capture the flyby.

The ISS has grown so large in recent years that a backyard telescope is all you need to see its details. The solar arrays span 80 meters, about the same as 30 cows lined up single file. The station's habitable volume, 425 m3, equals the combined volume of about 100 dairy cows, while the mass of the station, 280,000 kg, equals 400 cows.

So, no it's not a cow. It's more like a whole herd.

STAMPEDE! This week the space station begins a series of bright evening flybys over North America. If you live in that part of the world, check the Simple Satellite Tracker to find out when to look.
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #72 on: Jul 14th, 2008, 12:46pm »

on Jul 14th, 2008, 10:45am, Jackolope wrote:
OVER THE MOON: No, it's not a cow. The solar arrays rule that out:

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"That's no moon. It's a space station."
wink
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Mayans off a year?

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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #73 on: Jul 14th, 2008, 11:20pm »

lol


Update!

ASTEROID MOVIE: Binary asteroid 2008 BT18 flew past Earth on July 14th only 1.4 million miles away. Amateur astronomer John Drummond recorded its passage using a 16-inch telescope in Gisborne, New Zealand. "The asteroid was 14th magnitude and traveling at 1.2 degrees an hour," he says.

Click here for more info and home site of the photographer

Click here to watch movie of Astroid BT18
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xx Re: *The Solar News Thread* 56kers beware..
« Reply #74 on: Jul 30th, 2008, 01:44am »

Been slacking on REAL updates. Sorry yall.

PARTIAL ECLIPSE, : This Friday, August 1st, millions of people in China will witness a well-publicized total eclipse of the sun. Less widely reported, however, is the partial eclipse, which billions of people across three continents can observe and enjoy. Fun tips and animated eclipse maps are available from Science@NASA:

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/29jul_solareclipse.htm

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SHAGGY PROMINENCE: On an otherwise featureless sun, Alan Friedman of Buffalo, NY, has spotted man's best friend. "Yesterday, I was looking through my telescope (filtered with a Coronado SolarMax90) and found this delicate prominence with more than a passing resemblance to a Scottish terrier."

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Scottish terriers are known for their dashing beards. This Scottie's beard is made of gaseous hydrogen shaped into hairy forms by solar magnetic force fields towering 30,000 km above the surface of the sun. That's right, Scottie is more than twice as tall as Earth itself. "It's a real shaggy dog story," says Friedman.

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SPACE STATION RADIATORS: Last week, the International Space Station flew directly over the Netherlands where Ralf Vandebergh was ready with his 10-inch telescope. "I've waited years for this one--a perfect 90o pass!" says Vandebergh. "The station was at its closest distance as it passed directly overhead." Guiding the optics by hand, he centered the spaceship in his viewfinder and snapped this picture:

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The close-up photo shows the space station's gleaming backbone, its solar wings, science labs and docked cargo ships--but best of all, says Vandebergh, "it gave a very nice view of the station's fully-deployed thermal radiators (denoted by boxes)."

When the marvels of the ISS are discussed, radiators are seldom mentioned, yet they are one of the space station's truly critical systems. Indeed, the crew couldn't live without them. Because the space station is superbly insulated against the cold of space, heat generated by people and electronics inside the station has a hard time getting out. Left unchecked, the buildup of heat would literally cook the contents of the ISS. Radiators provide relief. The cooling system works much like a car radiator except that it uses 99.9% pure ammonia instead of water, which would freeze in pipes outside the space station.

The silvery radiators are also good reflectors, adding significantly to the brightness of the space station and making it a lovely sight in the night sky
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