Information has been taken directly from NASA: The large-scale structure of clouds in and around Hurricane Irma is seen in this animation and still image created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The clouds are typical of tropical areas both nearby and away from tropical cyclones. Observations were taken at 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. UTC) on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, as Irma approached the Caribbean islands and was just becoming a powerful Category 5 storm. Each cylinder represents a volume of cloud detected by AIRS. The oval cylinder ends represent a region viewed by AIRS, with the oval sizes adjusted to reflect the proportion

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Information has been taken directly from NASA: The large-scale structure of clouds in and around Hurricane Irma is seen in this animation and still image created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The clouds are typical of tropical areas both nearby and away from tropical cyclones. Observations were taken at 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. UTC) on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, as Irma approached the Caribbean islands and was just becoming a powerful Category 5 storm. Each cylinder represents a volume of cloud detected by AIRS. The oval cylinder ends represent a region viewed by AIRS, with the oval sizes adjusted to reflect the proportion

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On September 4, the sun started sputtering. A moderately large flare (classified as an M5.5) erupted at approximately 18:30 UTC. It produced a coronal mass ejection aimed at Earth. The sun continued to flare on September 5. A solar energetic particle event from the previous day’s activity arrived at the Earth, where it likely affected radio communications as well as the health of satellite systems. On September 6, the sun produced two massive X-class flares. This is the category for the strongest of all solar flares. NASA announced one was the most powerful since at least 2008. It produced another coronal mass ejection. Over the next day, the same sunspots continued to spit out more solar flares. It

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On September 4, the sun started sputtering. A moderately large flare (classified as an M5.5) erupted at approximately 18:30 UTC. It produced a coronal mass ejection aimed at Earth. The sun continued to flare on September 5. A solar energetic particle event from the previous day’s activity arrived at the Earth, where it likely affected radio communications as well as the health of satellite systems. On September 6, the sun produced two massive X-class flares. This is the category for the strongest of all solar flares. NASA announced one was the most powerful since at least 2008. It produced another coronal mass ejection. Over the next day, the same sunspots continued to spit out more solar flares. It

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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will use its infrared capabilities to study the “ocean worlds” of Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, adding to observations previously made by NASA’s Galileo and Cassini orbiters. The Webb telescope’s observations could also help guide future missions to the icy moons.  One of the telescope’s science goals is to study planets that could help shed light on the origins of life, but this does not just mean exoplanets; Webb will also help unravel the mysteries still held by objects in our own solar system (from Mars outward). The scientists are the plumes of water that breach the surface of Enceladus and Europa, and that contain a mixture of water

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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will use its infrared capabilities to study the “ocean worlds” of Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, adding to observations previously made by NASA’s Galileo and Cassini orbiters. The Webb telescope’s observations could also help guide future missions to the icy moons.  One of the telescope’s science goals is to study planets that could help shed light on the origins of life, but this does not just mean exoplanets; Webb will also help unravel the mysteries still held by objects in our own solar system (from Mars outward). The scientists are the plumes of water that breach the surface of Enceladus and Europa, and that contain a mixture of water

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The Northern lights are often heard about, but not seen often here in parts of the US. This phenomenon describes the effects on Earth’s wider environment as it is constantly bombarded by particles and magnetic energy from the Sun. The impacts can damage satellites and even disrupt electricity grids. The Sun perpetually billows clouds of magnetic energy and plasma (a gas of electrically charged particles) in all directions. But often great eruptions of this emission are directed straight at Earth. When these interact with our planet’s own magnetic field and atmosphere, they set off all manner of disturbances. The Aurora Borealis is one such consequence, as particles are accelerated downwards to collide with

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The Northern lights are often heard about, but not seen often here in parts of the US. This phenomenon describes the effects on Earth’s wider environment as it is constantly bombarded by particles and magnetic energy from the Sun. The impacts can damage satellites and even disrupt electricity grids. The Sun perpetually billows clouds of magnetic energy and plasma (a gas of electrically charged particles) in all directions. But often great eruptions of this emission are directed straight at Earth. When these interact with our planet’s own magnetic field and atmosphere, they set off all manner of disturbances. The Aurora Borealis is one such consequence, as particles are accelerated downwards to collide with

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For the first time in U.S. history, a total solar eclipse that crosses the country from coast to coast will be visible only in America. The rare celestial spectacle in August has been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse.” No one outside the continental U.S. will be able to see the eclipse, which makes landfall on the West Coast near Salem, Ore. and continues diagonally across the country until it hits Columbia, S.C. In addition to being the first total solar eclipse with a trajectory exclusive to the U.S. since the birth of America in 1776, it’s also the first total eclipse of the sun that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. since 1979. The event

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For the first time in U.S. history, a total solar eclipse that crosses the country from coast to coast will be visible only in America. The rare celestial spectacle in August has been dubbed “The Great American Eclipse.” No one outside the continental U.S. will be able to see the eclipse, which makes landfall on the West Coast near Salem, Ore. and continues diagonally across the country until it hits Columbia, S.C. In addition to being the first total solar eclipse with a trajectory exclusive to the U.S. since the birth of America in 1776, it’s also the first total eclipse of the sun that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. since 1979. The event

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Scientists have just made a big discovery about 4,000 light years from Earth, literally. They’ve found a huge moon the size of Neptune orbiting a planet the size of Jupiter, albeit with 10 times the mass, and it is the first time astronomers have ever discovered a moon outside of our solar system. The so-called “exomoon” has been dubbed Kepler-1625b after the telescope that spotted it. Data from the Hubble Space Telescope also assisted in the search. Scientists have had trouble finding exomoons in the past because many of them are much smaller than planets, and it’s hard enough to find a planet outside of our solar system. To find a

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Scientists have just made a big discovery about 4,000 light years from Earth, literally. They’ve found a huge moon the size of Neptune orbiting a planet the size of Jupiter, albeit with 10 times the mass, and it is the first time astronomers have ever discovered a moon outside of our solar system. The so-called “exomoon” has been dubbed Kepler-1625b after the telescope that spotted it. Data from the Hubble Space Telescope also assisted in the search. Scientists have had trouble finding exomoons in the past because many of them are much smaller than planets, and it’s hard enough to find a planet outside of our solar system. To find a

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On August 21, a solar eclipse will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina providing a once in a lifetime view. The eclipse can impact us right here at home. During the solar eclipse, the Corona or the outside region of the Suns atmosphere will be exposed. This is a region where all of the “action” happens and that tends to impact us right here on earth. The Sun constantly throws off huge amounts of energy called solar flares and large amounts of solar material that can create a harsh environment for astronauts in space. That can interfere with technology, GPS systems, communication signals for ships and airplanes. In the worst case scenario,

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On August 21, a solar eclipse will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina providing a once in a lifetime view. The eclipse can impact us right here at home. During the solar eclipse, the Corona or the outside region of the Suns atmosphere will be exposed. This is a region where all of the “action” happens and that tends to impact us right here on earth. The Sun constantly throws off huge amounts of energy called solar flares and large amounts of solar material that can create a harsh environment for astronauts in space. That can interfere with technology, GPS systems, communication signals for ships and airplanes. In the worst case scenario,

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A geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for Sunday night through Monday, July 16-17, 2017. A large sunspot ejected energy in the past 24 hours, just as the sunspot was facing Earth. As this energy hits Earth, northern lights could develop. The sunspot is larger in diameter than Earth. The geomagnetic energy ejected from the sunspot is called a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME. The geomagnetic storm watch is for a class G2 strength geomagnetic storm. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center calls a G2 strength a moderate strength geomagnetic storm. The more intense the energy is as it hits the earth, the greater the chance for northern lights to be visible

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A geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for Sunday night through Monday, July 16-17, 2017. A large sunspot ejected energy in the past 24 hours, just as the sunspot was facing Earth. As this energy hits Earth, northern lights could develop. The sunspot is larger in diameter than Earth. The geomagnetic energy ejected from the sunspot is called a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME. The geomagnetic storm watch is for a class G2 strength geomagnetic storm. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center calls a G2 strength a moderate strength geomagnetic storm. The more intense the energy is as it hits the earth, the greater the chance for northern lights to be visible

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A medium-sized solar flare is hurtling toward Earth, set to arrive Sunday with intense solar particles of ionizing radiation lasting through Monday. This sounds scary, but Houston won’t feel much from this event. There will be no danger on the ground. For areas north of 55°N latitude, which includes much of Canada, Alaska, northern Europe and Russia, there could be interference in the shortwave radio bands affecting communications with commercial pilots flying over the north pole, en route to Asia from America and vice versa. In some cases, airlines can delay or cancel flights, fearing extended radio blackouts over desolate arctic terrain. (Imagine if there was an emergency and the pilot

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A medium-sized solar flare is hurtling toward Earth, set to arrive Sunday with intense solar particles of ionizing radiation lasting through Monday. This sounds scary, but Houston won’t feel much from this event. There will be no danger on the ground. For areas north of 55°N latitude, which includes much of Canada, Alaska, northern Europe and Russia, there could be interference in the shortwave radio bands affecting communications with commercial pilots flying over the north pole, en route to Asia from America and vice versa. In some cases, airlines can delay or cancel flights, fearing extended radio blackouts over desolate arctic terrain. (Imagine if there was an emergency and the pilot

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Often, when we think of weather, we think of moisture, atmospheric pressure, temperature and other qualifiers. However, many of these conditions don’t exist in the vacuum of space. The key components of space weather include electromagnetic energy (ie. light, x-rays), magnetic fields, and plasma – ionized or charged atomic particles. Below are some of the most prominent space weather phenomenon and some resources that you can use to monitor these events. Sunspots are cooler, darker areas on the sun’s surface. They are caused by intense magnetic activity. They are a sign of possible solar flares, coronal mass ejections, etc. They tend to cluster in bands just above and below the equator. Scientists have been

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Often, when we think of weather, we think of moisture, atmospheric pressure, temperature and other qualifiers. However, many of these conditions don’t exist in the vacuum of space. The key components of space weather include electromagnetic energy (ie. light, x-rays), magnetic fields, and plasma – ionized or charged atomic particles. Below are some of the most prominent space weather phenomenon and some resources that you can use to monitor these events. Sunspots are cooler, darker areas on the sun’s surface. They are caused by intense magnetic activity. They are a sign of possible solar flares, coronal mass ejections, etc. They tend to cluster in bands just above and below the equator. Scientists have been

Read more

Posted in Space Weather