Earth Weather / Space Weather

Northern Lights

By: Susie77, 3:59 AM GMT on February 28, 2010

Weather Underground isn't the only place with beautiful photos of the earth we share....

Aurora Gallery


NASA & Global Warming

By: Susie77, 8:08 PM GMT on February 23, 2010

An interesting collection of articles and statistics.
New NASA Web Site

Feb. 23, 2010

Steve Cole
Headquarters, Washington



WASHINGTON -- Will 2010 be the warmest year on record? How do the
recent U.S. "Snowmageddon" winter storms and record low temperatures
in Europe fit into the bigger picture of long-term global warming?
NASA has launched a new web page to help people better understand the
causes and effects of Earth's changing climate.

The new "A Warming World" page hosts a series of new articles, videos,
data visualizations, space-based imagery and interactive visuals that
provide unique NASA perspectives on this topic of global importance.

The page includes feature articles that explore the recent Arctic
winter weather that has gripped the United States, Europe and Asia,
and how El Nino and other longer-term ocean-atmosphere phenomena may
affect global temperatures this year and in the future. A new video,
"Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle," illustrates how NASA
satellites monitor climate change and help scientists better
understand how our complex planet works.



By: Susie77, 12:24 AM GMT on February 23, 2010

Oh goodie, a rumor of actual sunshine here for the next few days. We'll see.....
This has been the cloudiest winter I can remember. What about where you are?


Active Sun!

By: Susie77, 2:40 PM GMT on February 21, 2010

From Space Weather

PLASMA PLUMES: On Feb. 15th and 16th, NASA's STEREO Ahead spacecraft observed a remarkable series of eruptions from decaying sunspot 1045.

The active region's unstable magnetic field spat more than a dozen plasma plumes into space over a two day period. The temperature of the gas in these plumes was at least 60,000 C. None of the plumes will impact Earth because the sunspot was facing away from us at the time of the eruptions. Nevertheless, it is a compelling reminder that solar activity is on the rise. Stay tuned for more plasma!


Snowpocalypse from Space!

By: Susie77, 10:10 PM GMT on February 09, 2010

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this true-color image on February 7, 2010, showing part of the region affected by heavy snowfall. Snow blankets the area hundreds of kilometers inland from the Atlantic coastline. Along the latitude of New York City, however, snow cover thins considerably. Credit: NASA


Earthly and Solar Storm Warnings!

By: Susie77, 11:01 PM GMT on February 06, 2010

STL under Winter Storm Watch for Sunday night into Tuesday.... yay! And this just in to our news desk! Triple Yay!!! I loves me some storm warnings. :)

Issued by Solar Terrestrial Dispatch, 06 Feb 2010
Space Weather


A new active region has developed in the northern solar hemisphere and has
been responsible for producing a class M2.97 solar flare at 18:59 UTC on 06
February. This event has been preceded by a steady increase in the
background x-ray flux. Magnetic flux emergence within the new spot cluster
suggests a possible magnetic delta configuration may be forming, which
would provide suitable impetus for potential major levels of x-ray flare
activity, particularly if growth continues.

We believe a sufficient number of criteria have been met to warrant this
warning. This active region may be capable of producing minor to major
levels of solar x-ray flare activity during the next week to 10 days,
particularly if growth persists. Additionally, the active region is
currently well placed for producing earthward-directed coronal mass
ejections (CMEs). At the present time, it does not appear as though
today's fairly strong minor M-class flare event was associated with a

** End of Warning **


Asteroid Collision

By: Susie77, 1:13 PM GMT on February 03, 2010


Hubble Sees Suspected Asteroid Collision

February 2, 2010: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought that the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never been seen before.

The object, called P/2010 A2, was discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) sky survey on Jan. 6. At first, astronomers thought it might be a so-called "main belt comet"--a rare case of a comet orbiting in the asteroid belt. Follow-up images taken by Hubble on Jan. 25 and 29, however, revealed a complex X-pattern of filamentary structures near the nucleus:

"This is quite different from the smooth dust envelopes of normal comets," says principal investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles. "The filaments are made of dust and gravel, presumably recently thrown out of the nucleus. Some are swept back by radiation pressure from sunlight to create straight dust streaks. Embedded in the filaments are co-moving blobs of dust that likely originated from tiny unseen parent bodies."

Hubble shows the main nucleus of P/2010 A2 lies outside its own halo of dust. This has never been seen before in a comet-like object. The nucleus is estimated to be 460 feet in diameter.

Normal comets fall into the inner regions of the solar system from icy reservoirs in the distant Kuiper belt and Oort cloud. As comets approach the sun and warm up, ice near the surface vaporizes and ejects material from the solid comet nucleus via jets. But P/2010 A2 may have a different origin. It orbits in the warm, inner regions of the asteroid belt where its nearest neighbors are dry rocky bodies lacking volatile materials.

This leaves open the possibility that the complex debris tail is the result of an impact between two bodies, rather than ice simply melting from a parent body.

"If this interpretation is correct, two small and previously unknown asteroids recently collided, creating a shower of debris that is being swept back into a tail from the collision site by the pressure of sunlight," Jewitt says.

Asteroid collisions are energetic, with an average impact speed of more than 11,000 miles per hour--five times faster than a rifle bullet. The main nucleus of P/2010 A2 would be the surviving remnant of this so-called hypervelocity collision.

"The filamentary appearance of P/2010 A2 is different from anything seen in Hubble images of normal comets, consistent with the action of a different process," Jewitt says. An impact origin also would be consistent with the absence of gas in spectra recorded using ground-based telescopes.

The asteroid belt contains abundant evidence of ancient collisions that have shattered precursor bodies into fragments. The orbit of P/2010 A2 is consistent with membership in the Flora asteroid family, produced by collisional shattering more than 100 million years ago. One fragment of that ancient smashup may have struck Earth 65 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But no such asteroid-asteroid collision has been caught "in the act"--until now.

At the time of the Hubble observations, the object was approximately 180 million miles from the sun and 90 million miles from Earth. The Hubble images were recorded with the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Earth Weather / Space Weather

About Susie77

Sometimes I complain about the earthly weather, but mostly I like to post about astronomy and space events. Hope you enjoy the articles.

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