Solar mass ejection 2013/10/08 (09:12 UT)
[gif 1] mounted with 20 images (10:18 to 11:06 UT) with its evolution
[gif 2] same gif but in negalive light and no color.
Taken with Coronado SolarMaxII 90 and ASI120MM from Málaga, España - Jose Cabello
Exoplanets are mysterious, bizarre and some are just a little bit scary. Here are some of the creepiest.
Voyager 1 is in interstellar space, but hasn’t left the solar system. Here’s why:
Based on new analysis of data collected by Voyager 1, NASA determined that it entered interstellar space on or about August 25, 2012. See this post or this post from earlier today for more. But it hasn’t exited the solar system.
There’s lots more detail in this article from NASA, but in essence interstellar space begins when our sun’s solar wind ceases to blow. Normally, its outward breath of charged particles inflates the inner solar system in a protective bubble, keeping interstellar wind from sterilizing the whole lot of the planets. That point at which the solar wind ceases to push outward and the charged particles of interstellar space take over is the border it’s just crossed.
But the solar system extends far beyond that. The Oort cloud is a proposed region nearly a light year away from the sun, dating from the formation of the solar system, full of icy debris and trapped comets, that is still subject to the gravitational effects of our home star (as well as neighboring stars). Sadly, Voyager 1 won’t reach the near border of the Oort cloud for at least 300 years, and its power source will be extinguished by 2025. Makes you wonder … where does the solar system really end?
So Voyager 1 is outside of the tent, but it’s still in camp.
It’s always a joy to see new views of the cosmos through a new telescope or instrument… and this is no exception — these are submillimeter-wavelength emissions from cool lanes of dust inside the Cat’s Paw Nebula, showing the locations of baby stars sparking to life. Read more about the new APEX instrument that is allowing astronomers to see deeper into the Cosmos than ever before.
Postcards from Mars
Some awesome Martian views for Tuesday morning.
2013 is going to be an amazing year.
Here’s the schedule for this comet.
August and September 2013. The comet should become visible in August and September 2013 to observers at dark locations using small telescopes or possibly even binoculars.
October 2013. Comet ISON should become visible to the unaided eye, but only barely in the early part of the month. The comet will be sweeping in front of the constellation Leo then. It’ll pass first near Leo’s brightest star Regulus, then near the planet Mars. Maybe these brighter objects will help you find it that month. Meanwhile, the comet itself will be getting brighter during October.
November 2013. Comet ISON will continue to brighten throughout the month as it nears its late November perihelion (closest point to our sun). Plus ISON will pass very close to the bright star Spica and the planet Saturn, both in the constellation Virgo. Its perihelion (closest point to our sun) on November 28 will be an exciting time. The comet will come within 800,000 miles (1.2 million km) of our sun’s surface. If all goes well, and the comet doesn’t break up (as comets sometimes do), the terrific heating Comet ISON will undergo when it’s closest to our parent star might turn the comet into a brilliant object. Some are predicting that ISON will become as bright as a full moon! That would make Comet ISON a daylight object, briefly. Remember, though, at perihelion, Comet ISON will appear close to the sun on the sky’s dome (only 4.4° north of the sun on November 28). Although the comet will be bright, you’ll need to look carefully to see it in the sun’s glare. Some expert help around this time might be called for, and we’ll announce comet-viewing parties as we hear about them.
December 2013. This may be the best month to see Comet ISON, assuming it has survived its close pass near the sun intact. The comet will be visible both in the evening sky after sunset and in the morning sky before sunrise. As ISON’s distance from the sun increases, it’ll grow dimmer. But, for a time, it should be as bright as our sky’s brightest planet, Venus, and it should have a long comet tail. People all over Earth will be able to see it, but it’ll be best seen from the Northern Hemisphere as 2013 draws to a close.
January 2014. Will ISON still be visible to the eye? Hopefully. And on January 8, 2014, the comet will lie only 2° from Polaris — the North Star.
If this doesn’t deserve a reblog I’m not sure what does.
For a cosmic rendition of seeing the proverbial forest, rather than the trees, take a look at Earth from the perspective of the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. From nearly 900 million miles away, Earth is just a dot of light and the moon is even smaller. Read more
Pulling from 20 years of research since the first discoveries of planets beyond our solar system, scientists have concluded that Earth and its sibling worlds comprise what appears to be a relatively rare breed in a diverse cosmic zoo that includes a huge variety of planet sizes, orbits and parent stars. Read more