We have some interesting nights coming our way, beginning tonight!
Perseid Meteors will cross the sky from time to time tonight, and under clear skies viewing conditions are great. The only negative factor will be the bright moon, but it will still be a good show. It gets even better tomorrow night and early [...]
I am a fan of Bing.com.¬† I mainly use it because of the pretty picture every day.¬† I like logging on and seeing something fresh to spice up my search a little.¬† Sometimes I actually learn something.¬† Every once in a while, Google changes their logo for something historic.¬† It’s called a ‘Google Doodle’ or at least that’s what I’ve always called them.¬† I think I heard that somewhere once.
Today’s doodle on Google.com celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first human space flight.¬† I figured I’d write about it because we sometimes deal with space here on the weather blog.
The guy’s name is Yuri Gagarin and on this date in 1961, he was the first human sent into space.
I normally don’t pay much attention to things pertaining to astronomy.¬† It’s not that it isn’t interesting, but I just don’t pay attention to it.¬† This morning, however, was a different story.
I got in and one of the first things I do is check out Facebook page.¬† This morning, there were posts about flooding and posts about being tired of snow but the most recent post stated:
Heard the radio station here talking about the Super Moon due March 19th. They knew this was coming. Lot’s of info online about it, and now with what has happened in Japan, makes you wonder. — Renee Kudrna
I didn’t know what Renee was talking about.¬† I had no idea what was happening in Japan and I hadn’t heard anything about a super moon.¬† The first thing I thought when I heard ‘super moon’ was that this was some sort of hoax like the Mars hoax.¬† I knew I had to do a little research on this ‘super moon.’
I have to give thanks to Tim Polcyn from Weather Central for posting this video on his Facebook page.¬ This is some cool stuff.¬ Basically, it’s exactly what the title of the post says… the space shuttle launch as viewed from an airplane.
Science@NASA reader Tamas Ladanyi took this picture of a friend photographing Jupiter over a lake in the Bakony mountains of Hungary on Sept. 5th. "The giant planet was remarkably bright," says Ladanyi.
If you enjoy looking up at the night sky, September 20th and 21st will be a great time to do so.¬† It’ll be the closest Jupiter will be until 2022.
So, what are you looking for?¬† Well, at midnight on September 20th and 21st, look directly overhead and the brightest object in the sky will be Jupiter (with the exception of the moon).
If you have a telescope, you might even be able to see the Great Red Spot and even Red Spot Jr.¬† With a telescope, you might also be able to see Uranus.
Take a look at the NASA page for more information.¬† Here’s a clip from the site… (Read More)
Ever think that we’re small when it comes to a worldwide scale? How about a galactic scale? Take a look at this:
En route to Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft has been searching for vulcanoids, a long-sought population of sun-grazing asteroids. In the lower left portion of this image, the Earth can be seen, [...]
How’s that for an alliteration?¬† You’ll need to go outside just after sunset on August 12th and 13th to see both of these events.
Let’s start by talking about the perfectly positioned planets.
You’ll need to look to the west just after sunset to be able to see three planets (Mars, Saturn, and Venus) all in very close proximity to one another.¬† If you look just to the right of that, you’ll also be able to see Mercury, as well.¬† The three planets will all be just above the crescent moon on Thursday and just to the right of it on Friday.
The best part is that no telescope is needed to enjoy this!¬† If you want a clearer and larger picture, however, it couldn’t hurt!
The next part of the post involves the Perseid meteor shower. (Read More)
Did you get the e-mail saying “Mars will be as big as the full moon?”
It seems like this e-mail goes around and around every year.¬† As a matter of fact, Tony did a blog post about the same topic last year around this time.¬† According to NASA, this is the 7th year for the e-mail.
The e-mail is a hoax!
Read on for more information from NASA about the hoax. (Read More)
If you’ve been on Google.com today, Saturday, you probably noticed the typical colorful Google typeface was replaced by a space-looking theme with a telescope in it.¬† That’s because it’s the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.
I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone has heard of Hubble.¬† However, not everyone has seen some of the incredible pictures that Hubble has provided through its 20 years of service.¬† These pictures are something out of your imagination or a kids movie.¬† They are not!¬† They are real.¬† Take a look at some of the pictures below.¬† I’ll post a link to more pictures and more information on the Hubble Space Telescope, too.
On May 24, 2006, a satellite was launched into space at Cape Canaveral, Florida.¬† It is the 13th geostationary operational environmental satellite to be put into orbit and this one is part of the 3rd generation of GOES satellites.¬† The satellite is made by Boeing after a merger with Hughes Corporation (no, they didn’t Rock the Boat!).¬† Now, it’ll replace the already-operational GOES12 on April 14th.
So, what does this mean to you?¬† Well, really it won’t mean much.¬† There are some changes compared to the currently-used satellite, GOES12, but they really won’t be extremely noticable to the general public.
According to the GOES13 Mission Booklet produced by Boeing, the mission of the satellite is…
The multimission Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) series N through P will be a vital contributor to weather, solar, and space operations and science.¬†¬†GOES N will provide more accurate prediction and tracking of severe storms and other weather phenomena, resulting in earlier and more precise warnings to the public. Supporting NOAA and NASA scientists collecting and analyzing real-time environmental data, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard searching the open seas, GOES N stands ready as the most advanced multimission weather and Earth observation satellite ever built for NOAA geosynchronous operations.
In the mission booklet, Boeing states that the GOES13 will provide more accurate information, including the location of storms.¬† This will allow the NWS to issue better warnings to the public.¬† (I think the improvement will be minor, but a step in the right direction.)
Noctilucent Cloud after Launch - courtesy: Spaceweather.com
The space shuttle Discovery lifted off on Monday and while the liftoff was uneventful, the sky told a different story.¬† Take a look at the pictures below and read what Jonathan Sabin of Ellenton, Florida had to say about the launch…
I’ve seen some truly spectacular Space Shuttle launches since the Columbia first rocketed into space in 1981, but the launch of STS-131 was in a whole new category. Standing alone at the edge of a deserted cow pasture, I watched in awe as the craft first appeared over a line of trees about a quarter mile away… and as it ascended towards space, was transfixed by the sight of a towering back-lit column of exhaust. And THEN… about half a minute or so after the SRBs separated, a plume appeared around the craft itself, and the view changed into something that I had never witnessed before. A moving, nebulous “blob” that expanded and twisted as the Shuttle arched its way back toward the horizon as it continued into orbit.
It truly is an amazing sight.¬† There are more pictures, too.¬† I’ve posted a couple of them below.
UPDATE:¬† I received an e-mail from Jonathan with a link to more pictures on his Flickr page.¬† Take a look.¬† There are some pictures that he didn’t send to spaceweather.com, too.