Photo Op July 15 (see blog entry)

By: LowerCal , 10:40 PM GMT on February 26, 2012

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CURRENT MOON

moon phases

CURRENT PLANETS and brilliant stars in early July. Directions and times are for the northern subtropics and vary somewhat for other latitudes.
• Bright & golden Mercury is close to the western horizon at dusk, sets WNW after dark.
• Bright & orange Mars is SW at dusk, sets west near midnight.
• Bright & yellowish Saturn is SSW at dusk, sets west after midnight and is
accompanied very closely by the bright and blueish star Spica.
• Very brilliant off-white Jupiter rises ENE predawn, is low east late dawn.
• Extremely brilliant white Venus rises ENE predawn, is low east before sunrise and is
accompanied very closely by the bright and orange star Aldebaran.
• Brilliant & blueish star Sirius will rise before the Sun late July.
• Brilliant white star Canopus will peek above the horizon before the Sun around late August.


Scroll past the links below to find special events for current and future dates.
Scroll farther to find past events.


***** Links *****

Today - SpaceWeather.com
also EarthSky,
Astronomy Picture of the Day,
Lunar Photo of the Day,
365 Days of Astronomy
& Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
also Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
also HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
Anytime - Stellarium (free planetarium for your computer)
also Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart (online planetarium)

Visible Satellites:
Simplest - Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com
More satellites and more info - Heavens-Above.com.

Launches:
Spaceflight Now - Worldwide Launch Schedule
also Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule
& Wallops Flight Facility Launch Webcast & Blog
Reentries - Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies - Upcoming & Recent Reentries

Live Aurora Cams:
Sodankyla, Finland,
Kiruna, Sweden,
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 4),
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 5),
Abisko, Sweden,
Reykiavik, Iceland,
Yellowknife, Canada (click on CONNECT AURORAMAX LIVE),
& Poker Flat, Alaska


Most events described below can be viewed with your eyes alone.
Occasionally simple binoculars will improve the view and that will be noted.


***** Current & Future Events *****

Photo Op - Crescent & Morning "Stars"

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

July 15 before Dawn
ENE before dawn the bright & orange star Aldebaran and the ">" shaped Hyades star cluster will be visible close to extremely brilliant white planet Venus. The tiny dipper shaped Pleiades star cluster will be visible well above very brilliant off-white Jupiter.

Even in the very bright dawn shortly before sunrise the thin crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter will still be visible.


Events earlier than those listed below will be found in previous blog entries.

***** Past Events *****

Moon Rides with Jupiter (& Jupiter's Moons)

WunderPhoto: Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon....Day 2 by rds817 — Sunday February 26, 2012

February 26 after Sunset
A crescent moon will travel beside the brilliant off-white planet Jupiter. Below them is the brilliant white planet Venus. Jupiter and Venus will appear very close March 12 & 13.

As the sky darkens through binoculars as many as four of Jupiter's largest moons can be seen.

Interactive Animation of Jupiter's Moons
- Current, Past and Future


Jupiter & Venus' Cozy Evenings

WunderPhoto: Jupiter & Venus from the Front Yard by phnielsen — Monday March 12, 2012

March 12 & 13 after Sunset
Brilliant off-white planet Jupiter travels close to even more brilliant white planet Venus.

As the sky darkens through binoculars as many as four of Jupiter's largest moons can be seen.

Interactive Animation of Jupiter's Moons
- Current, Past and Future


Virginia Nightlight Cloud Launches

Milky white tracer clouds from a prior mission.
Credit: Miguel Larsen/Clemson Univ

Mission: Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX)
Launch Vehicle: Terrier-Improved Malemute
Launch from Wallops Flight Facility, Virgina
March 23
12:00-3:00am EDT
March 25
morning

March 27
12:00-5:00am EDT
2:00-5:00am EDT


".... where the rockets may be visible while the motors are burning ...."
Credit: NASA/Wallops


".... the projected area in which the chemical tracers released from the rockets may be visible ...."
Credit: NASA/Wallops

The Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) will study the 200-300mph ultra-high level jet stream at the edge of space 60-65 miles above the Earth's surface. For details on the mission see
NASA - NASA Jet Stream Study Will Light up The Night Sky.


Crescent & Planets PhotoOps
(and beautiful binocular & naked eye views too.)

March 24-27 after Sunset
There will be good photo opportunities with the crescent moon in the western sky. (See the series of images just below.) Total darkness comes about 1½ hours after sunset. Between half an hour to an hour after sunset are some nice twilight skies. You can step outside any evening starting now, see the brilliant planets Jupiter and Venus, get an idea of lighting at various times and take some test shots.

After dark the two star clusters closest to Earth are easily seen above Jupiter and Venus. To the naked eye the Pleiades cluster appears as a tiny white dipper shaped pattern of stars standing above brilliant white Venus. The Hyades cluster appears farther above as a larger V-shaped pattern of stars with the bright and orangeish star Aldebaran at one corner. Binocular views of these star clusters are spectacular.

Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 24, 2012 45 min. after Sunset


Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 25, 2012 45 min. after Sunset


Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 26, 2012 45 min. after Sunset


Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter - March 27, 2012 45 min. after Sunset

Images created with Stellarium, a free download.


Vandenberg Delta IV Launch

Photo credit: USAF/Airman 1st Class Lael Huss

Mission: National Reconnaissance Office Launch 25 (NROL-25)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Medium+ (5,2)
Launch from Vandenberg AFB, California
March 29
2230-(March 30)0015 GMT
6:30-8:15pm EDT
3:30-5:15pm PDT (local time).
March 30
2238-(March 31)0023 GMT
6:38-8:23pm EDT
3:38-5:23pm PDT (local time).
April 2
2304-? GMT
7:04pm-? EDT
4:04pm-? PDT (local time).

April 3
2312-? GMT
7:12pm-? EDT
4:12pm-? PDT (local time).

The smoke column produced by two solid rocket boosters will be easily visible for this afternoon launch.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.

More details and updates appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find a live launch webcast at
United Launch Alliance.


Annular Solar Eclipse

Photo Credit: sancho_panza
May 20
Partial begins: 2056 GMT
Annular begins: 2206 GMT
May 21
Annular ending: 0139 GMT
Partial ending: 0249 GMT

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VIEWING THE ECLIPSE:
"....no matter what, do not use "filters" such as smoked glass, stacked sunglasses, polarized filters, camera filters, candy wrappers, or compact discs. They might reduce the Sun's glare, but enough harmful radiation can sneak through to damage your eyes. Only use materials specifically manufactured for safe solar viewing, or #14 arcwelders glass."

That quote is from Safely View the Upcoming Eclipse and Transit - Observing Highlights - SkyandTelescope.com which gives directions for additional methods for viewing the Sun such as projecting an image, etc.


Map credit: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC
For a explanation of all the lines and terms on the map see
NASA - Key to Solar Eclipse Maps.

See a zoomable and clickable NASA - Annular Solar Eclipse Map that will show specific times and amount of Sun eclipsed for any locations you select.

Some phase of the eclipse will be visible for most of North America before or during sunset. The path of annularity (where the Sun will appear as a "ring of fire" arround the Moon) is at least 150 miles wide. The path of annularity makes landfall at the California-Oregon border and continues into NW Texas. See the general visibility map for North America.


Cape Canaveral Falcon 9 Launch

Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Kevin O'Connell

Mission: Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demo Flight 2
Spacecraft: Dragon C2+
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
May 19
0855 GMT
4:55am EDT (local time)
1:55am PDT.
no earlier than (NET)

May 22
0744 GMT
3:44am EDT (local time)
12:44am PDT.

Berthing at the International Space Station (ISS)
May 22
1505 GMT
11:05am EDT
8:05am PDT.

Departure from ISS
May 31
1000 GMT
6:00am EDT
3:00am PDT

Deorbit burn
May 31
1451 GMT
10:51am EDT
7:51am PDT

Splashdown west of central Baja California
May 31
1542 GMT
11:42am EDT
8:42am PDT (local time)

If all the ambitious mission goals are met the SpaceX Dragon capsule will be the first private commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and it will also return cargo to Earth.

Launch status updates are at
Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.

More details and updates appear on a launch blog at
Spaceflight Now | Dragon Mission Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find a live pre-launch and launch broadcasts at
NASA TV via cable, satellite or internet and
SpaceX.


Partial Lunar Eclipse

WunderPhoto: Lunar Eclipse by jajayy

June 4
Partial eclipse begins 1000 GMT
Partial eclipse ending 1206 GMT


Map credit: F. Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

The partial lunar eclipse will be in progress at moonset/sunrise for all but the most eastern and northern area of the Americas. The entire eclipse sequence will be visible from nearly all the Pacific Ocean including eastern Australia and eastern Indonesia. The partial lunar eclipse will be significantly in progress at moonsrise/sunset for the most eastern areas of the Asia.


Transit of Venus (across the Sun)

Photo credit: Jan Herold

June 5/6
First contact
2209 GMT
6:09 EDT
3:09 PDT

Final contact
0449 GMT


Map credit: Fred Espenak, NASAs GSFC

The transit of Venus will be visible on June 5 until sunset for the 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii will be able to observe the entire transit. Starting west of the International Date Line (IDL) the transit will be visible on June 6. Farther west the transit will be in progress at sunrise.

You can find timetables for major cities at 2012 Transit of Venus - Cities.

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VIEWING THE TRANSIT:
"....no matter what, do not use "filters" such as smoked glass, stacked sunglasses, polarized filters, camera filters, candy wrappers, or compact discs. They might reduce the Sun's glare, but enough harmful radiation can sneak through to damage your eyes. Only use materials specifically manufactured for safe solar viewing, or #14 arcwelders glass."

That quote is from Safely View the Upcoming Eclipse and Transit - Observing Highlights - SkyandTelescope.com which gives directions for additional methods for viewing the Sun such as projecting an image, etc.

I was able to buy a pair of eclipse shades like this...

... for $1 at a local camera & telescope store.


JPL Open House


June 9 & 10
9AM - 4PM

The annual Open House at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., welcomes over 38,000 visitors. This year's theme is "Great Journeys," inviting visitors to share in the wonders of space through high-definition and 3-D videos, live demonstrations, interactions with scientists and engineers, and a first look at JPL's new Earth Science Center.

Find directions and other vital info at Open House - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Cape Canaveral Atlas V Launch

Image credit: NASA/JPL/KSC/Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Mission: National Reconnaissance Office Launch 38 (NROL-38)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
June 20
1228-1327 GMT
8:28-9:27am EDT (local time)
5:28-6:27am PDT.

With no smoke producing solid rocket boosters the launch vehicle will rise on a bright flame with a long barely visible tail. A condensation trail may form at higher altitude.

You can find status updates and launch coverage at
Spaceflight Now | Atlas Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find more information and a live webcast starting a 8:08am EDT on launch day at
United Launch Alliance.


Skinny Moon & Mercury - 20 June 20 min. after Sunset looking WNW

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

Binoculars can help you find both or just offer another interesting view if you can find them with your eyes alone.


Skinny Moon & Planet Mercury - 21 June 20 min. after Sunset looking WNW

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

The crescent moon should be more obvious this evening but binoculars still might be needed find Mercury 20 minutes after sunset. Binoculars will also give an improved view of the craters and mountains in the Moon's thin crescent.

By about 45 minutes after sunset Mercury should be obvious to the right of the thin crescent. The pair will make a nice photo op against a twilight sky with silhouettes on the horizon below.


Cape Canaveral Delta IV Launch

Image credit: US Air Force

Mission: National Reconnaissance Office Launch 15 (NROL-15)
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Heavy
Launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
June 28
Target
1016 GMT
6:16am EDT (local time)
3:16am PDT,

June 29
Target
1013 GMT
6:13am EDT (local time)
3:13am PDT,

Window?
0930-1430 GMT
5:30-10:30am EDT (local time)
2:30-7:30am PDT.

The beginning of the previously announced launch window is early dawn. The Delta IV Heavy configuration uses two additional first stage engines as strap on boosters. The three RS-68 liquid hydrogen-oxygen engines create long orange flames and water vapor exhaust that shows up as a heavy condensation trail.

The announced target time of launch is about 10 minutes before sunrise. This could result in a condensation trail that rises from low light into bright and reddish sunrise colors - a nice photo op.

You can find status updates and launch coverage at
Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center.

You can find more information and a live webcast on launch day at
United Launch Alliance.


Past 24 Hours Visitors
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Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon (rds817)
Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon
Important Sunspot Up Date 3/11/12 (Ralfo)
Up Date Photo 3/11/12 . VERY IMPORTANT NEWS. Photo taken at 10:05A.M. What is going on now is the #1 event of importance regarding the Sun and Earths Weather and conditions for now and future. I am and have been entering Photos to advise. Below is a copy of updates and interest info! Sunspots - News Results Solar Storms Continue, Northern Lights Increase WebProNews - Mar 09 08:55am Earth Braces for Geomagnetic Storming After More Solar FlaresPC Magazine - Mar 10 02:48pm Biggest solar storms.
Important Sunspot Up Date 3/11/12
()
Ice and light (Altred)
Ice and light
MidnightDance! (katy99780)
Dynamic, bright, and moving 'at the speed of light.' Constant motion, fast as a shiver in the cold, shimmering in the night sky. 18 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, wee hours this morning.
MidnightDance!
Planets at Night (SBKaren)
I believe these are Jupiter (below) and Venus (above). Just shot this photo without taking any kind of care. I wasn't even sure if they would turn out.
Planets at Night
Red and green (Altred)
Red and green
()
()
Early Evening Conjunction (CameraGuy)
This evening's beautiful conjunction of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and the Pleiades.
Early Evening Conjunction
Moon & planets form Tringle while Corn Takes Over. (Skyepony)
All hail the corn, it's 8' high & the planets & moon have aligned to form a triangle, with Jupiter sitting with the moon & Venus above. Got 0.21" of rain, followed by perfect weather.
Moon & planets form Tringle while Corn Takes Over.
()
ATREX Misson (Maciejewski)
WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – NASA successfully launched five suborbital sounding rockets this morning from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of a study of the upper level jet stream. The first rocket was launched at 4:58 a.m. EDT and each subsequent rocket was launched 80 seconds apart. Each of the rockets released a chemical tracer that created milky, white clouds at the edge of space.
ATREX Misson
Jupiter, Moon and Venus (CecileWNC)
Jupiter, Moon and Venus
Coastal Flooding (SunsetSailor)
This is the road to my house. We only get this kind of flooding when hurricanes are off shore. Tides were 4-6 ft above normal this evening due to the gravitational pull of the moon.
Coastal Flooding
Fireflies (PruzenskiPhotos)
A sure sign that summer is on it's way. A view from Canadice Lake early this morning revealed fireflies dancing infront of the Milky Way.
Fireflies
Oregon Annular (silverbeaver59)
Oregon Annular
2 hours of the annular eclipse of the sun (redtim)
from Pyramid Lake, NV
2 hours of the annular eclipse of the sun
Solar Sunset Eclipse (LianesLightroom)
View of the partial solar eclipse from the Manhattan Beach Pier. Edited using special filters from NIK Software.
Solar Sunset Eclipse
Annular Eclipse Sunset over Mt. Taylor (witokazu)
Absolutely awesome event. Shot from Albuquerque, NM, USA on I-40 Frontage Rd on MM-245. Nikon D300 and 50mm (non-DX) @ f/5.6 at 3-min intervals centered at mid-annularity.
Annular Eclipse Sunset over Mt. Taylor
Sunset Eclipse (Mousecrafter)
2012 Solar eclipse sunset overlooking Lake Ray Hubbard with clouds.
Sunset Eclipse
Moon Eclipse 3 (gilg72)
Partial Eclipse. Was cloudy all the way thru. Had to wait for clouds to move enough for photos. Different settings etc.
Moon Eclipse 3
walkabout (cyril8)
partial eclipse still visible as the full moon sets
walkabout
VENUS TRANSIT & MANY SUNSPOTS (Ralfo)
Cloudy most of the day but got a break in between clouds. Took this picture at 6:37P.M. with many Sunspots. One of the rarest solar system events (only seven have happened since Galileo's time). Venus' transit of the Sun
VENUS TRANSIT & MANY SUNSPOTS
Delta IV Heavy (Skyepony)
Excellent rumble.
Delta IV Heavy

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Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 241 - 191

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9Blog Index

241. Patrap
2:31 AM GMT on May 21, 2012
May 20th 2012 Solar Partial Annular Eclipse, Audubon turn, NOLA

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
240. SBKaren
2:29 AM GMT on May 21, 2012
Just back from watching the partial solar eclipse down at the pier. I posted some pictures and put them in my blog. It was pretty cool! Hope you got some good views!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 197 Comments: 14642
239. Patrap
2:26 AM GMT on May 21, 2012
Sunset with Partial Solar Annular Eclipse, Miss River near Audubon Park, NOLA

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
238. Patrap
1:38 AM GMT on May 21, 2012
Was awesome here as the Moon got 20 percent coverage as Sol Slipped under the Horizon over the Miss River.

Will upload later.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
237. shoreacres
1:10 AM GMT on May 21, 2012
My Gosh! We had a beautiful view of it. It started just about 20 minutes or so before sunset, and there was enough humidity/haze that the sun was dimmed considerably. It was easy to watch as the moon slipped "into" the sun and gave it that marvelous crescent shape.

What an experience - and there were a good number of eclipse watchers. Like, six. ;) No mind - I got to see it. Wonderful experience, and my third solar eclipse. Back in the 80s - maybe 83 - there was a significant one that created the most amazing double shadows, and the birds did all start roosting.

I hope everyone in the path has good viewing conditions!

Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
236. LowerCal
11:22 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
Rob Thank you. I'll be heading out for a spot with an unobstructed western horizon pretty soon.

Check out the new WunderPhoto I added at the end of the blog entry.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
235. RobDaHood
11:10 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
Happy watching my friend.
Can't see it from here, but the potential for a nice sunset nonetheless. Looking forward to your report!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33553
234. LowerCal
10:39 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
Where to See the Annular Solar Eclipse Online - News Blog - SkyandTelescope.com
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
233. LowerCal
10:31 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
A partial solar eclipse in progress should be visible at sunset from Dallas and Houston with a clear and flat WNW horizon (prairie or bay).
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
232. LowerCal
10:09 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
For the Southern California area the partial phase of today's solar eclipse begins about 5:20pm PDT and reaches a maximum about 6:40pm PDT.

Some phase of the eclipse will be visible for most of North America before or during sunset. See the general visibility map for North America.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
231. LowerCal
8:26 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
Links and info on the annular solar eclipse of 20/21 May are in comments 205 & 206.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
230. LowerCal
8:24 PM GMT on May 20, 2012
Rob I'm glad the dog enjoyed the launch attempt. :^)

Here's the current status.

Spaceflight Now | Dragon Mission Report | Mission Status Center
1920 GMT (3:20 p.m. EDT)
SpaceX has replaced a check valve in one of the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage engines, but analysis continues before the company proceeds with another launch attempt Tuesday morning.

Engineers traced the cause of Saturday's aborted launch countdown to a valve in engine No. 5, the center engine in the Falcon 9 rocket's tic-tac-toe layout of Merlin engines on the first stage.

Computers detected higher-than-allowable pressures inside the engine's thrust chamber after ignition and ordered a cutoff of the countdown a half-second before liftoff.

The launch opportunity Tuesday comes at 3:44:38 a.m. EDT (0744:38 GMT).

The Falcon 9 rocket remains vertical at Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
229. RobDaHood
9:51 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
LOL
I'll read about it later.
Going to wash the mud from between my toes and try to sleep a little.

Catch ya later!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33553
228. LowerCal
9:25 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
Pat, Rob Thanks for covering. Post SCRUB news conference scheduled for 6:30am EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
227. RobDaHood
9:07 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
Aborted in final minute of the countdown.

0858 GMT (4:58 a.m. EDT)
The launch team is safing the rocket and Dragon spacecraft after this morning's abort. The next launch opportunity is Tuesday morning at 3:44 a.m. EDT (0744 GMT), assuming whatever issue caused the abort is resolved in time.

0856 GMT (4:56 a.m. EDT)
It's not clear what caused the abort just before liftoff, but this will mean Falcon 9 will not launch today. The rocket had a near-instantaneous launch window in which it could fly today.

0855 GMT (4:55 a.m. EDT)
ABORT. The ignition sequence started, but there was a countdown cutoff before launch.

0854 GMT (4:54 a.m. EDT)
T-minus 60 seconds and counting. In the final minute of the countdown, the flight computer will command checks of the first stage Merlin engine steering system and the Falcon 9 propellant tanks will be pressurized for flight. Thousands of gallons of water will also be dumped onto the launch pad deck to suppress the sound and acoustics of liftoff.

The command to start the ignition sequence for the first stage will be issued at T-minus 3 seconds, triggering the Merlin engines' TEA-TEB ignitor source moments before the powerplants actually ramp up to full power.


Oh, well...the dog thought it was great fun going out for a walk before sunrise.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33553
226. Patrap
8:56 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
Cutoff, Launch Abort
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
225. Patrap
8:54 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
Good Luck Up and over the Hill Falcon/Dragon
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
224. RobDaHood
8:26 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
0818 GMT (4:18 a.m. EDT)
T-minus 37 minutes. All downrange tracking stations report they are ready to support today's launch, and winds aloft are acceptable for liftoff.

0815 GMT (4:15 a.m. EDT)
T-minus 40 minutes. Countdown activities have resumed after a lull following fueling.

0813 GMT (4:13 a.m. EDT)
T-minus 42 minutes. The precise launch time targeted this morning is 4:55:26 a.m. EDT (0855:26 GMT), the moment Earth's rotation brings the plane of the space station's orbit over the Complex 40 launch pad.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33553
223. Patrap
7:44 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
222. LowerCal
2:14 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
You got it, Pat. :^)

Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
221. Patrap
1:46 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
Let's put this Chevy in Orbit fella's.

America needs a good story, to prove the Lil Guy can still dream big and deliver.

Go Falcon, Go Dragon


..someone Brew a couple pot's of Java Dark Roast.

..where's my pen?





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
220. LowerCal
1:20 AM GMT on May 19, 2012
Rob I'd only consider the early wakeup if I knew it was going to be clear and even then... ;^)

What I'm looking forward to with great anticipation is the potential docking with the ISS, early Tuesday morning if I recall correctly. It could be the start of a real paradigm shift.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
219. RobDaHood
9:39 PM GMT on May 18, 2012
Mmmmm....4:55 am.
That might be kinda tough on a Saturday.
We'll see.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33553
218. LowerCal
9:27 PM GMT on May 18, 2012
BTW links and info on the annular solar eclipse of 20/21 May are in comments 205 & 206.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
217. LowerCal
9:23 PM GMT on May 18, 2012
Rob Thanks! I hope the clouds don't block your view of the launch tomorrow morning unless of course you're just planning on sleeping in. ;^)


Pat Thanks for keeping us posted on human spaceflight. Docking was successful and the new crew members will be waiting on the Dragon cargo ship that launches tomorrow morning.

Spaceflight Now | Expedition 31 | Three-man crew docks at International Space Station


airman Thanks for sharing your experience. I plan to enjoy an 85% partial view of this Sunday's annular eclipse from somewhere nearby. However I plan to spare no effort to see the total eclipse that will cross the 48 states August 21, 2017!

Click image for full size map.

Attribution: Eclipse predictions courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
216. Patrap
3:16 AM GMT on May 15, 2012
215. airman45
6:16 PM GMT on May 14, 2012
I have seen two solar eclipses in my life. First was an annular eclipse in 1984 across the Southeast (Pensacola, FL).

But the biggie was the total solar eclipse across Europe in August 1999. I lived near Munich and the path of totality was across England, Stuttgart to Munich and beyond. We drove to a point near the Munich airport which was the center of totality. Unfortunately the weather was bad with thunderstorms and rain across much of northern Europe. As totality began clouds covered the eclipse. Suddenly, about one minute into it, the clouds parted and we had a great view for about 30 seconds. Got video of it. Just wish I could find it now!
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3509
214. Patrap
4:30 PM GMT on May 14, 2012
The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft sits atop the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls




Station Residents Await Launch of Crewmates

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, final preparations are under way for the launch of Flight Engineers Joe Acaba, Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft on Monday at 11:01 p.m. EDT. The three crew members conducted their final "fit check" inspection Friday of the Soyuz vehicle in its assembly building. On Saturday, the Soyuz will be mated to its booster before being rolled out by rail to the launch pad Sunday. The trio will join their Expedition 31 crewmates aboard the station after the Soyuz docks to the Poisk module at 12:38 a.m. Thursday.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
213. RobDaHood
4:14 PM GMT on May 13, 2012
Quoting LowerCal:
There's a little black spot on the Sun today...


LOL

Nice!
Why didn't I think of that when I was here a couple days ago!

So, You're all set up for the eclipse!
That's good. Happy viewing!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33553
212. LowerCal
11:10 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
I got my eclipse shades from my local Camera & Telescopes store this morning.

With them I was able to see the the large spot on the Sun (NOAA Region 1476). I'll also be using them to see May 20th's Annular Eclipse of the Sun of course (see also comment 205) and also the Transit of Venus: June 5-6, 2012.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
211. LowerCal
10:43 PM GMT on May 12, 2012
Spaceweather.com Saturday, May. 12, 2012
INCOMING CME (UPDATED): On May 11th at 23:54 UT, a coronal mass ejection raced away from the sun faster than 1000 km/s. The fast-moving cloud will deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 14th around 14:30 UT, according to a revised forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab. ....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
210. LowerCal
6:33 PM GMT on May 11, 2012
There's a little black spot on the Sun today...
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
209. LowerCal
6:32 PM GMT on May 11, 2012
Spaceweather.com Friday, May. 11, 2012
CHANCE OF FLARES, EARTH-DIRECTED: NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-class solar flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Any eruptions are likely to be geoeffective because the source, sunspot AR1476, is directly facing our planet.
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
208. LowerCal
1:07 AM GMT on May 11, 2012
Pat The Hawaii Sunspot, 12 times as wide as the Earth.

Thanks for the movie.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
207. Patrap
11:45 PM GMT on May 10, 2012
The Hawaii Sunspot 1476

Doom

www.solarham.com







Published on May 10, 2012 by ve3en1

Full disk movie showing an M5.7 Solar Flare around Sunspot 1476 during the early hours of May 10, 2012.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
206. LowerCal
11:16 PM GMT on May 10, 2012
sp If the sunspot is the source of a huge outburst but it isn't directed at Earth, so what? If a large sunspot is "pointed" toward Earth but there is no outburst, again so what? However a large sunspot is rotating toward a close alignment with earth.

Spaceweather.com has a more dramatic presentation.
SOLAR ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES: Huge sunspot AR1476 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing something even stronger. The sunspot's 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field harbors energy for X-class flares, the most powerful kind. Earth is entering the line of fire as the sunspot rotates across the face of the sun.

....NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of more M-class flares and a 10% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
Today's NOAA forecast will be found here when archived. The current forecasts are found at Latest SWPC 3-day Space Weather Forecast.


Thanks for the research and links on the upcoming solar eclipse. It happens late Sunday afternoon here in the American West and could function as an excuse for a trip to Reno where it will be annular with ~96% of the Sun covered by the Moon.

Annular Solar Eclipse

Photo credit: sancho_panza

We'll probably view the partial eclipse from at or near a local beach with ~85% of the Sun covered by the Moon.

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VIEWING THE ECLIPSE:
"....no matter what, do not use "filters" such as smoked glass, stacked sunglasses, polarized filters, camera filters, candy wrappers, or compact discs. They might reduce the Sun's glare, but enough harmful radiation can sneak through to damage your eyes. Only use materials specifically manufactured for safe solar viewing, or #14 arcwelders glass."

That quote is from Safely View the Upcoming Eclipse and Transit - Observing Highlights - SkyandTelescope.com which gives directions for additional viewing methods such as projecting an image, etc.

Your surest bet for buying eclipse glasses/shades at this late date is from your nearest camera/telescope store. The price runs about $1.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
205. sp34n119w
9:48 PM GMT on May 09, 2012
Is it time for the tin-foil hats, then? Didn't seem quite that dire when I read the linked info, but, I'm not sure.

Speaking of the sun ... did you all know that there will be an annular eclipse on the 20th? Well, you do now :)

Wikipedia

NASA's supercool interactive google map

National Park Service map highlighting from which NPs the partial/total eclipse will be visible, and a link to download a PDF that has good info on events at those parks.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
204. LowerCal
6:54 PM GMT on May 09, 2012
Reload/Refresh for latest image. Click for full size image.

Image credit: SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory)

From NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center
2012-05-09 13:58 UTC Increased Activity Looming

NOAA Region 1476, now poised just to the east of center on the solar disk, .... is quite prominent, although just one-third in area of the large regions of the Halloween Storms in 2003, and exhibits a slight degree of magnetic complexity. It will be in direct alignment with earth in a few days, so CME's then would be likely to spawn geomagnetic activity. ....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
203. LowerCal
6:52 PM GMT on May 09, 2012
SunsetSailor I really admire your WunderPhoto contributions and would be very grateful for the notifications. :^) I'm glad to hear you have an astronomer in your pocket.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
202. SunsetSailor
7:14 PM GMT on May 08, 2012
Thanks for leaving a comment on my coastal flooding photo and for including it in your blog. I peek into the blog side from time to time...next time I see something relevant to your blog interests, I'll take more photos and let you know. I recently got the Night Sky app for my iphone and am having lots of fun on clear nights.
Member Since: June 22, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 2265
201. LowerCal
6:50 PM GMT on May 08, 2012
The Super Moon tides conspired with the local coastal configuration and earlier onshore breezes to cause some overnight flooding in Brunswick, GA. See the WunderPhoto Coastal Flooding series by SunsetSailor. I added one of the series photos at the bottom of the blog entry. (Also see comments 179 & 195.)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
GG Obviously a good thing you didn't see a full moon then. ;^)

Pat Thanks for the overview of the next Cape Canaveral launch.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
...rog-o', copy dat!!!


SpaceX Launch Set for May 19
Dragon will carry 1,200 pounds of supplies.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
The super moon was eclisped by clouds and family obligations. I did however get to see an older mariachi fellow stand on a chair and shake his booty at the restaurant we were at.
That perhaps will be my best memory of the 2012 super moon ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
sp Although it doesn't happen very often I do enjoy being surprised by a full moon at the horizon. It's the only time I experience the moon illusion.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
*clap*clap*clap*clap*clap*clap* for pat :)

I like that pic that shows the difference in moon size. The problem is that there are so many months between perigee and apogee that it is impossible to see it with the naked eye. Unless you really pay attention and have a good memory!
I know you aren't a big fan of full moons, LC, but hope you enjoyed it some - at least the skies were clear :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
gamma Thank you, it's almost time for the moon to rise here. I'm glad you're enjoying your moon.


GeorgiaStormz It's like I said in comment 179 so here's your side by side comparison.


Source: Bad Astronomy


Thank you, Frank, and lets have a round of applause for our musical director, Patrap.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303
..hit it Frank

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting seflagamma:
Hi,

The Super Moon is giving us a beautiful showing down here in SE Florida.. it is still in the Eastern Sky.. not expected to "top out" around 11pm tonight..

but still a beautiful Moon right now... My camera does not take night sky pictures so tried but they did not come out..
I have a point and shoot..

Good luck when it gets to your part of the country!!!


doesnt look much different than ordiary full moons here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi,

The Super Moon is giving us a beautiful showing down here in SE Florida.. it is still in the Eastern Sky.. not expected to "top out" around 11pm tonight..

but still a beautiful Moon right now... My camera does not take night sky pictures so tried but they did not come out..
I have a point and shoot..

Good luck when it gets to your part of the country!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BTW I updated the CURRENT PLANETS finder section at the top of the blog entry.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9303

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