Jump to content
RichP714

Space Weather

Recommended Posts

A Trans-Neptunian Comet is Approaching Earth

cometmovie_strip.gif orbits_strip.png 

Amateur astronomer Michael Jäger made the 41-minute movie at his private observatory in Jauerling, Austria. At the time, Comet Iwamoto was crossing the celestial equator, so there are many streaks in the movie from geostationary satellites. (Update: A new movie from Jäger shows even more satellites including one satellite flare.)

 

Discovered in Dec. 2018 by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto, this comet is a visitor from beyond the Kuiper Belt. It comes from the realm of Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects (ETNOs) more than 5 times as far from the sun as Pluto. This means it could be a relative of other ETNOS such as Sedna, 2012 VP113 ("Biden"), and 2015 TG387 ("Goblin"). 

 

Comet Iwamoto doesn't visit us very often. Following a highly elliptical 1371-year orbit, its last passage through the inner solar system was around 648 AD (unrecorded), and its next won't happen until 3390 AD. Therefore, if you want to see the comet, now is the time to look.

 

Shining with an astronomical magnitude of +6.5, the comet is invisible to the unaided eye. Nevertheless, it will be an easy target for backyard telescopes in the nights ahead as it glides through the constellation Leo the Lion high in the midnight sky. If you have a GOTO telescope, use this ephemeris to point your optics--and submit your images here.

 

http://spaceweather.com/

  • Thank You 4
  • That Rocks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

ATMOSPHERIC COSMIC RAYS ARE INCREASING:  http://spaceweather.com/

 

Cosmic rays in the stratosphere are intensifying for the 4th year in a row. This finding comes from a campaign of almost weekly high-altitude balloon launches conducted by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Since March 2015, there has been a ~13% increase in X-rays and gamma-rays over central California, where the students have launched hundreds of balloons.

neutronsandxrays3_strip.png

The grey points in the graph are Earth to Sky balloon data. Overlaid on that time series is a record of neutron monitor data from the Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory in Oulu, Finland. The correlation between the two data sets is impressive, especially considering their wide geographic separation and differing methodologies. Neutron monitors have long been considered a "gold standard" for monitoring cosmic rays on Earth. This shows that our student-built balloons are gathering data of similar quality.

Why are cosmic rays increasing? The short answer is "Solar Minimum." Right now, the 11-year solar cycle is plunging into one of the deepest minima of the Space Age. The sun's weakening magnetic field and flagging solar wind are not protecting us as usual from deep-space radiation. Earth to Sky balloon launches in multiple countries and US states show that this is a widespread phenomenon.

 

solarcycle_strip.pngCosmic rays are of interest to anyone who flies on airplanes. The International Commission on Radiological Protection has classified pilots as occupational radiation workers because of cosmic ray doses they receive while flying. A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that flight attendants face an elevated risk of cancer compared to members of the general population. They listed cosmic rays as one of several risk factors. There are also controversial studies that suggest cosmic rays promote the formation of clouds in the atmosphere; if so, increasing cosmic rays could affect weather and climate.

 

 

 

 

 

PHYSICS OF AN EXPLODING COSMIC RAY BALLOON:  http://spaceweather.com/

 

On Nov. 14, 2018, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a balloon to measure increasing levels of cosmic rays in the atmosphere. At the apex of the flight, the balloon exploded and the radiation sensors parachuted back to Earth. A video camera on top of the payload recorded the pop:

 

pop_tower_strip.jpg

Edited by RichP714
  • That Rocks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

Was confused by the term "Space Weather" since weather layer is the troposphere.

If earth weather allows, I'll look for the comet.

 

This low in the sunspot cycle means only long wave radio communication is possible.

No 10 meters.

 

Neat to see condensation as balloon's gas expands.  Moisture was probably inside the balloon.

 

  • Thank You 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

12 minutes ago, jvandyke_texas said:

Was confused by the term "Space Weather" since weather layer is the troposphere.

If earth weather allows, I'll look for the comet.

 

This low in the sunspot cycle means only long wave radio communication is possible.

No 10 meters.

 

Neat to see condensation as balloon's gas expands.  Moisture was probably inside the balloon.

 

 

The site typically focuses on solar disturbances.  We have to monitor the exposure of our sensitive arrays up there.  A reconnaissance satellite looks quite a bit like the Hubble space telescope, excepting that it is pointing back down.  That 'flip top' lid can cover and protect the optics if/when we needed to put the bird into safe mode.

  • That Rocks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

WATCH A SUNSPOT CRACK UP:

 

This weekend, one of the largest sunspots in recent years is directly facing Earth. The behemoth is not producing strong flares, but it is doing something rare and interesting. A canyon of light (called a "light bridge") is opening inside the sunspot's dark core, presaging a possible disruptive breakup. The scale of the spot makes it an easy target for amateur astronomers with properly-filtered backyard telescopes. Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to learn more.

 

lightbridge_strip.jpg

  • That Rocks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

On 2/21/2019 at 7:54 PM, RichP714 said:

A reconnaissance satellite looks quite a bit like the Hubble space telescope, excepting that it is pointing back down.

 

There's a very good reason for that.  Hubble is essentially a reversed Keyhole.  That's what caused it's early optical issues, and need for "glasses."  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Space Weather News for Aug. 8, 2019
http://spaceweather.com
https://www.spaceweatheralerts.com

BRIGHT MOON + JUPITER CONJUNCTION: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look south. The waxing gibbous Moon is approaching Jupiter for a beautiful conjunction alongside the red giant star Antares. Closest approach is Friday, August 9th. Visit Spaceweather.com for full sky maps and observing tips.

Aurora alerts: Sign up for
Spaceweather Alerts and get a text message when auroras appear in your area.

 

3939c313-54df-43ac-9596-872fcfd4c68a.png

 

Above: Jupiter and the Moon are having a close encounter in the constellation Scorpius. Visit our Realtime Photo Gallery for images from around the world.

  • That Rocks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

 

2c55767c-48ac-43a9-a87d-c9319458f7a9.jpg

Space Weather News for Aug. 9, 2019
http://spaceweather.com
https://www.spaceweatheralerts.com

A NEW SOURCE OF SPACE RADIATION: As if astronauts didn't have enough to worry about. Researchers at UCLA using NASA's THEMIS spacecraft have identified a new source of space radiation. A natural particle accelerator embedded in Earth's own magnetic field is shooting "killer electrons" at satellites and departing spacecraft. Their research is highlighted on today's edition of Spaceweather.com.

Aurora alerts: Sign up for
Spaceweather Alerts and get a text message when auroras appear in your area.

 

e0138d56-6938-4303-b059-b75d6b9fdd1a.png

 

Above: This diagram shows the location of a natural particle accelerator in Earth's magnetic field, spraying "killer electrons" into space. Get the full story.

  • That Rocks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

Space Weather News for Aug. 12, 2019
http://spaceweather.com
https://www.spaceweatheralerts.com

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: The Perseid meteor shower is peaking as Earth moves through the debris trail of parent Comet Swift Tuttle. Last night (Aug. 11-12), NASA meteor cameras recorded more than 76 Perseid fireballs over the USA, with an even greater number expected tonight (Aug. 12-13). When's the best time to look? Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for observing tips, live webcasts, and more.

Aurora alerts: Sign up for
Spaceweather Alerts and get a text message when auroras appear in your area.

 

6b456f06-f0e9-4111-95c6-9fa04b0605c1.jpg

 

Above: This image is real! On the morning of August 12th, Martin Popek of the Czech Republic photographed a cluster of jellyfish sprites alongside a rain of Perseid meteors. Browse Spaceweather.com's Realtime Photo Gallery for more.

  • That Rocks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stickers

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...