August 11, 2011
The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a severe solar storm that could create serious issues here on Earth. Catastrophic Solar Storm to Cause Global Disruptions; NASA Plans Emergency Steps | International Business Times explains:
The sun is entering an active phase of activity that might lead to a state of solar maximum by 2013. This normally occurs when a burst of charged particles ejected from the sun's corona slams into Earth's magnetic field at a rate of over 5 million miles per hour.
As the ejection moves towards Earth's surface, it might cause geomagnetic storm that may disrupt Earth's magnetic field. Due to this, there might be severe disruptions in radio and satellite transmission lines, power grids, airline communications and GPS applications.
It is believed that there might be a series of blackouts in different parts of the world that could last for even weeks or months. Banking and financial networks might go offline, disrupting commerce in a way unique to the Information Age.
To overcome such catastrophic situation, NASA researchers are trying to work out ways to overcome the possible situation.
The power grid failure could be repaired in days or...it could take years. Get ready! EMP Survival: :How to Prepare Now and Survive, When an Electromagnetic Pulse Destroys Our Power Grid.
May 11, 2011
On May 12 our four planetary neighbors--Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter--will be clustered within 6 degrees of each other in the dawn sky. In fact, every day this month, these 4 will be in conjunction in the low eastern horizon 20 to 45 minutes before your local sunrise. NatGeo has the scoop:
While this planetary alignment can be glimpsed from around the world, best views will be centered around the tropics, where the planets will shine brighter and higher in the predawn sky.
For observers in mid-latitude regions such as southern Canada, most of the continental U.S., and Europe, the planets will hug the eastern horizon very closely, making it more of a challenge to see the entire set.
To view the next big planetary conjunction including 5 planets and the moon we will have to wait almost 30 years until September 8, 2040.
Read article at NatGeo.
March 30, 2011
Mercury looks a lot like the moon in these first images, with gray terrain pockmarked by impact craters. Get the scoop at NASA.
March 18, 2011
The moon will look bigger and brighter this weekend by 10% - 15%. Saturday's full moon will be a super "perigee moon" -- the biggest in 18 years. The last full moon as large and as close to the Earth happened back in March, 1993 and won't happen again for another 20 years or so.
The moon's orbit has an elliptical shape. When a moon is at perigee, it is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than when it's at the farthest point of its orbit, known as apogee. Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the moons that occur on the apogee side of the moon's orbit according to NASA.
Look for this full moon rising in the east at sunset this weekend starting around 7pm EDT. Low-hanging moons look especially large due to a phenomenon known as the "moon illusion", not particularly understood by scientists. Read more at CNN.
[Photo: Curt Renz, Arlington Heights IL]
August 6, 2008
We're always fascinated with weather on other planets, and now we're really fascinated with tracking the weather on Mars daily. You can get the latest weather (Maximum and Minimum temperatures per Sol or Martian Solar Day) on Mars from the Phoenix Mars Lander delivered to your desktop from the Phoenix lander currently on Mars. The Phoenix Mars Weather Gadget is updated regularly - meaning as soon as the weather data is downloaded from the Phoenix Mars Lander.
At Track the Weather on Mars with the Phoenix Mars Weather Gadget
July 23, 2008
How cools is this? Spaceweather.com has a service that will call you with astronomy alerts via your phone.
Spaceweather PHONE is an astronomy alert service from the creators of Spaceweather.com. Sign up for our service --for yourself or as a gift for someone else-- and we'll phone you when things are happening in the sky.
When auroras appear over your hometown, your phone will ring. When the space station is about to fly over your back yard, your phone will ring. When planets align ... you get the idea. The voice you hear will be Dr. Tony Phillips telling you what to look for and when.
At Spaceweather PHONE
February 12, 2008
Space weather is always the most interesting weather. Sure it affects us, but it always looks so cool.
Here's a picture of a geomagnetic storm causing auroras to light up the sky over Newfoundland, as seen from the International Space Station. The International Space Station is actually at the same altitude in space as these auroras, and sometimes flies straight through the Northern Lights.
Images from NASA/ISS. [SpaceWeather]
January 5, 2008
We love all types of weather - especially space weather. NASA has just released these ultraviolet images of the sun. The non-artistic reason for the differing color spectrums is to show off a reversed-polarity sunspot, on the left. This sunspot marks the end of another cycle of waxing and waning solar flares, meaning the sun will begin climbing towards Solar Max, which it will reach in 2011 or 2012.
Via io9.com at Space Weather
September 12, 2007
People in Japan this past Saturday and Sunday evenings were treated to a “space fireworks” show consisting of three balls of red light in the sky, each glowing as bright as the moon. These luminous orbs are the result of three clouds of lithium vapor released into the ionosphere by a rocket launched in an experiment to study the atmosphere. The red glow will be caused by sunlight striking the lithium vapor clouds as they disperse. “In the first few seconds after each lithium release, the light should become as large and bright as the moon,” says team member Masayuki Yamamoto, a professor at Kochi University of Technology.
Via Pink Tentacle
May 11, 2007
Oh Mars - your weather just sucks. With tornados as tall as Mount Everest and hurricanes twice the size of Hurricane Andrew why do we even want to go there. Must be for the bad weather, because I can't see any other reason. Soon we'll be launching a robot to land where humans might colonize - I guess they'll just have to ride out terrible storms each day.
When the next mission to Mars lifts off in April, another robotic probe will be sent to learn more about conditions on aplanet where humans may one day live. One great reason that we send robots:They don't mind crummy weather. When we humans follow, to Mars or anywhere elsein the solar system, weather extremes like none we know await.
At Mars, Hurricane Andrew would stick in the memory as a gentle breeze. The discovery of the South Poleback on Earth would be retold as Roald Amundsen's pleasant summer stroll.And the oppressive heat and biting sandstorms of the Mojave? Hang on to yourcosmic hats.
Because the wildest,wackiest and worst weather known does not occur on Earth. For truly tempestuoustemperatures, take a trip to roasting Venus or frigid Pluto. Want some wind?The giant planets will blow you away.
And before you say,"But Mars is the planet we're most likely to colonize," consider tornadoes as tall as Mount Everest.
May 9, 2007
It's nice to see someone trying to take advantage of solar winds for spaceship propulsion instead of methane gas, nuclear cells, or other more mundane options. :-) This article over at Wired outlines a team from the Kumpula Space Center in Finland proposing a huge electronic sail for spacecraft that may dramatically reduce journey times across the solar system. Thank the gods! Anything to reduce time to get off this planet would be great. I'm in my mid-thirties now and the Moon is the best we can do? Come on solar winds...blow some seeds of change.
February 27, 2007
Space weather? We simply never thought about storms on the sun or the upper ionosphere being weather you could get data on reliably, but you can. Conditions on the Sun and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, and the ionosphere can also affect our lives through the effects they have on satellites, communications, navigation, and power systems. Scientists are now studying space weather with a wide range of tools to try to learn more about the physical and chemical processes taking place in the upper atmosphere and beyond. One of these tools is GPS.
Click on through for a full article on this amazing area of weather we had no idea about.
At Space Weather - Monitoring the Ionosphere with GPS