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Mon, 20 Feb 2017
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Fire in the Sky


Mystery Flash of X-rays Reveals Plasma Blobs as Big as Planets Exploding on Sun

On June 7, 2011, Earth-orbiting satellites detected a flash of X-rays coming from the western edge of the solar disk. Registering only "M" (for medium) on the Richter scale of solar flares, the blast at first appeared to be a minor eruption until researchers studied the video images.

"We'd never seen anything like it," says Alex Young, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Half of the sun appeared to be blowing itself to bits."

NASA has just released new high-resolution videos of the event recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). "In terms of raw power, this really was just a medium-sized eruption," says Young, "but it had a uniquely dramatic appearance caused by all the inky-dark material. We don't usually see that."

This 13 MB extreme ultraviolet movie of the explosion shows a 'solar tsunami' wave billowing away from the blast site. Solar physicist Angelos Vourlidas of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC calls it a case of "dark fireworks. The blast was triggered by an unstable magnetic filament near the sun's surface," he explains. "That filament was loaded down with plasma, which exploded in a spray of dark blobs and streamers."


Recent Sun Activity: Plasma Fountains, Sun-Grazing Comet

Interesting activity captured on the Sun early today (July 12, 2011) showing an active region on the Sun's Eastern limb. Plasma was hurled very high above the stellar surface, but didn't have the needed escape velocity and most of the plasma "rained" back down in a fountain. The video shows the activity in different wavelengths.

See below for more views, including the first time a sun-grazing comet was seen disintegrating over the Sun's surface.

© Cesar Cantu from Monterrey, Mexico, and the Chilidog Observatory.
The Sun on July 11, 2011.
This great ground-based look at the Sun is from July 11, 2011. "A sun a little more active than the past few days, although with much mist in the city, making it impossible to get photos of larger increases," said Cesar Cantu from Monterrey, Mexico, with his Chilidog Observatory. See more at his website, Astronomía Y Astrofotografía.


Interview with Russian astronomer Leonid Elenin - The discoverer of Comet Elenin

Leonid Elenin
The following video is a full interview in the Russian language on NTV with the discoverer of Comet C/2010 X1 aka 'Elenin', astronomer Leonid Elenin. Below is the translation of the original interview's transcript available on the Russian TV website.

Comment: Indeed, the hysteria and lies surrounding comet Elenin are ridiculous, and could be dismissed as more "loony talk" if only the similar circus generated around comet Hale-Bopp 15 years ago hadn't led to tragic consequences. See Heaven's Gate mass suicide to understand where those pied pipers in the alt. community are leading the vulnerable.

It's an unfortunate fact that many people do have impressionable minds, easily influenced by paranoid fables bordering on the criminal. Some of them are also part of deliberately orchestrated COINTELPRO campaigns, which are intended to further muddy the waters. Read Elenin, Nibiru, Planet-X - Time for a Sanity Check article for some clarity on this mess.


Incoming Coronal Mass Ejection From Sunspot 1247

A coronal mass ejection (CME) that billowed away from sunspot 1247 on July 9th could hit Earth's magnetic field on July 12th. Because the CME was not squarely Earth-directed and is not traveling at great speed, only minor geomagnetic storming is expected when the cloud arrives. Nevertheless, high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

The explosion that launched the CME was recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO):

The movie is a composite of several extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths, invisible to the human eye but apparent to SDO's bank of EUV telescopes. Different colors trace different temperatures of solar plasma, mostly in the range 1 to 2 million K (blue to yellow); these data are invaluable to researchers working to understand the physics of solar explosions. Launched little more than a year ago, SDO is only beginning its investigations. One conclusion, however, is already clear: solar activity is beautiful.


New Zealand - Meteorite Puts on Pre-Dawn Light Show

© Unknown
Illustration only
Anyone up early on Saturday morning would have witnessed a rare event from outer space.

Neil Hart and his 10-year-old son Jayden left in the dark to go pig-hunting around 5.50am at Matawai.

As they were heading towards Ormond, they saw in the direction of Patutahi an extremely bright meteorite that lit up the early morning sky and all the hills around them.

Mr Hart's wife said the four of them in the car watched as it cut horizontally across the sky.

"It was quite spectacular - you could make out the rock with the sparks coming off it, it was very, very clear."

When the hunting group arrived at Matawai, the people they were meeting said they had heard a boom.


Probe Nears Target: Asteroid the Size of US State of Arizona

© NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / PSI
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image on June 20 on its approach to the protoplanet Vesta, the second-most-massive object in the main asteroid belt.
Dawn, first spaceship to visit Vesta, will enter into orbit next week for year's study

A NASA spacecraft is just 11 days away from a historic rendezvous with an asteroid the size of Arizona.

NASA's Dawn probe should enter into orbit around Vesta on July 16, becoming the first spacecraft to visit the 330-mile-wide space rock - the second-largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn is expected to spend a year studying the space rock from above, marking the first time a spacecraft has ever made an extended visit to a large asteroid.


Plan Now to Avoid "Deep Impact" Later

© Unknown
As President Barack Obama jump-starts his re-election campaign and declared or potential Republican candidates like Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry test-fly various strategies, it's a sure bet that not one of them will be breathlessly warning of an always pending and incalculably lethal threat to our troubled planet.

Too bad. They should be.


Sunspot Chain

Sunspot group 1247 is expanding rapidly and in an interesting way. The active region is organizing itself as a linear chain of sunspots, denoted by the rectangle in this July 10th image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

© Space Weather
From end to end, the chain stretches more than 200,000 km, which makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Some observers prefer H-alpha telescopes tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen, but for watching behemoth sunspots evolve, nothing beats a white light observing system. Monitoring is encouraged.


Georgia, US: Loud 'boom' rattles Gainesville area

© Unknown
Some people in the Gainesville area reported hearing a mysterious loud noise - like an explosion - Thursday morning.

AccessNorthGa.com received calls between 10:00 and 11:00, the first about 10:40 from the McEver Road/Browns Bridge Road area. The caller said it shook her house and wondered if it might have been a sonic boom, caused by a jet breaking the sound barrier.

A second caller, a few minutes later, said he was sitting by his pool on Mountain View Road, which is off McEver, and saw a "streak across the sky," followed by the loud noise, leading to some speculation that it was a sonic boom caused by a meteor entering the earth's atmosphere.

Bizarro Earth

Meteor / Fireball Over Georgia July 4, 2011 - Red Barn Observatory

Georgia meteor / fireball entering the atmosphere at 12:17:45 EST (04:17:43 UTC) on July, 4 2011. Approximate magitude -6.5 to -7.5. Recorded with a Sandia Laboratories Fireball Camera - located on site of the Red Barn Observatory MPC-H68 in Ty Ty, Georgia. Steve E. Farmer Jr.