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December 18th, 2007, 06:46 AM
December 18th, 2007, 06:53 AM
Cool! thx for sharing.
December 21st, 2007, 06:14 AM
Huge asteroid could be on collision course with Mars
By JOHN JOHNSON JR.
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES | An asteroid similar to the one that flattened forests in Siberia in 1908 could plow into Mars in the next few weeks, scientists say.
Researchers attached to NASA’s Near-Earth Objects Program, who like to call themselves the Solar System Defense Team, have been tracking the asteroid for days.
The scientists based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., put the chances that it will hit the Red Planet at about one in 300. That is better odds than any known asteroid has ever had of hitting Earth since the Siberian strike, the scientists said.
The unnamed asteroid is about 160 feet across, which puts it in the range of the famous Siberian rock. The largest impact in recent history, that explosion felled 80 million trees in an area of 830 square miles.
Concerns about another strike on Earth led to the creation of the Near-Earth Objects Program and the pursuit of research into possible ways of deflecting a killer asteroid.
Scientists say it is unclear what the effects of such an impact on Mars would be. The Martian atmosphere is so thin that an asteroid would probably plummet all the way to the surface instead of breaking up above ground, as happened in the Siberian event.
It would probably create a large crater and send dust high into the atmosphere, scientists said. Depending on where it hit, the plume could be visible through telescopes on Earth.
December 30th, 2007, 06:42 AM
NEW YEARS COMET: After a 13.6 year absence, Comet 8P/Tuttle is once again traveling through the inner solar system and on Jan. 1st and 2nd it makes its closest approach to Earth--only 24 million miles away. The emerald-colored comet will brighten to a predicted magnitude of 5.8, visible to the unaided eye from dark-sky sites and a fine target for backyard telescopes: sky map.
December 30th, 2007, 06:49 AM
Finally, the bad news: 2007 WD5 has only a 1-in-75 chance of actually hitting Mars, which means astronomers would be wise to be pessimistic. But the possibility of impact calls to mind a loosely related incident that occurred almost exactly 100 years ago, when something exploded above the Tunguska region of Siberia, flattening trees in a 25-mile radius, their trunks pointing outward from the epicenter of the blast. Scientists are pretty sure it was a comet or asteroid — about the same size as 2007 WD5, as it happens — that disintegrated from its own shock wave as it plowed through the atmosphere. (UFO enthusiasts have long been convinced it was a flying saucer that somehow made it across trillions of miles of interstellar space safely, only to blow up above Russia.) The scientific explanation would account for the aerial explosion, and also the fact that no crater has been found.
January 1st, 2008, 04:37 AM
SOLAR ACTIVITY: On Dec. 31st around 0110 UTC, something exploded just behind the sun's eastern limb. The blast unleashed a C8-class solar flare and hurled a bright CME into space. These events may signal the impending return of large sunspot 978, which has spent the past two weeks transiting the far side of the sun.
Almost a full day after the explosion, astrophotographer Gary Palmer of Los Angeles trained his SolarMax90 on the eastern limb of the sun and saw "no more flares, but plenty of undulating plasma."
The blast site is still seething with activity. But what is it? An old sunspot? An unstable magnetic filament? We should get a better view later today or tomorrow as the sun's rotation brings the tempest over
the limb into a direct line of sight from Earth. Stay tuned for updates
January 3rd, 2008, 04:52 AM
METEOR SHOWER: Earth is about to pass through a debris stream from near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH1, producing the annual Quadrantid meteor shower. Forecasters expect a brief but intense peak of 50+ meteors per hour over Earth's northern hemisphere sometime between 0200 UTC and 0700 UTC on Friday morning, Jan. 4th. (Subtract 5 hours to convert UTC to EST.) The timing favors observers in the eastern USA, Europe and western parts of Asia: sky map.
January 3rd, 2008, 04:53 AM
speed: 321.6 km/sec
density: 1.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1044 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A6 0550 UT Jan03
24-hr: A6 0550 UT Jan03
explanation | more data
January 7th, 2008, 04:31 AM
Is a New Solar Cycle Beginning?
SOLAR CYCLE 24 BEGINS: Solar physicists have been waiting for the appearance of a reversed-polarity sunspot to signal the start of the next solar cycle. The wait is over. On Jan. 4th, a magnetically reversed sunspot emerged at solar latitude 30 N, shown in this photo taken by Greg Piepol of Rockville, Maryland:
January 14th, 2008, 02:49 PM
this is some concern about this one
on this board that is
but i do not personally see tis as an issue
Jan. 2008 Earth-asteroid encounters: Asteroid Date(UT) Miss Distance Mag. Size
2005 WJ56 Jan. 10 10.9 LD 11 1.2 km
2008 AF3 Jan. 13 1.0 LD 14 27 m
1685 Toro Jan. 24 76 LD 13 6.2 km
2007 TU24 Jan. 29 1.4 LD 10 400 m
Notes: LD means "Lunar Distance." 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.
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