Friday, November 19, 2010


"Apollo 8 Earthrise Photo"

The rising Earth is about five degrees above the lunar horizon in this telephoto view taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft near 110 degrees east longitude. The horizon, about 570 kilometers (250 statute miles) from the spacecraft, is near the eastern limb of the Moon as viewed from the Earth. On the earth, the sunset terminator crosses Africa. The south pole is in the white area near the left end of the terminator. North and South America are under the clouds.December 22, 1968 Credits: NASA JSC

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Alan Holmes
Image taken:
Nov. 5, 2010
Goleta, California at 7:20 PM 11/5/2010
Snakes in the sky! Delta 2 Launch from Vandenberg as seen in 2 minute All Sky camera exposure. My guess is a chase plane taking pictures of the launch made the snake-shaped track.

Anthony Galvan III
Image taken:
Nov. 5, 2010
Goleta, California
The launch of a COSMOS 2 satellite was finally realized this evening after many delays from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.


A minor geomagnetic storm on Nov. 4th made the ice crack in Norway.
Actually, it was the weight of the photographer that did it. Ole Christian Salomonsen walked out on the water's frozen surface to get this shot:

"I had to walk out on the ice," he explains, "because there were so many trees on shore blocking the view.
The temperature was below -10 degrees celsius.
You could see your breath turning to steam, and it was really silent in the woods.
The only thing you could hear was the ice cracking and freezing together--a really awesome sound!
The crisp clear ice made a lovely surface for catching the aurora's reflections."
The next chance for a shot like this could come on Nov. 9th when a solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field.

It's only a minor stream, but often that's enough for a vivid display around the Arctic Circle. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.


Active sunspot 1121 has just unleashed one of the brightest x-ray solar flares in several years, an M5.4-class eruption at 15:36 UT on Nov. 6th.
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.
Visit for a movie of the eruption and more information about 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.

Now might be a good time to sign up for space weather alerts.