Sunday, August 8, 2010

Solar action brings aurora even down to Germany - bye, bye, minimum!

The coronal mass ejection(s) of August 1 briefly mentioned last time have turned out to be surprisingly effective: They caused a geomagnetic storm lasting for half a day, leading e.g. to the first directly visible aurora over (Northern) Germany in some 5 years during the night 3/4 August. The best pics from Germany, esp. these, radio effects, Scandinavian views, a global gallery and more pictures and videos (alt., alt.). The best source - in German - when things 'turn on' was once again the AKM Forum. The solar activity and effects were also covered by NASA (apparently earlier wording and earlier release plus a hi-res SDO video from Aug. 1), the CfA (earlier) and the SPWC on Aug. 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.

The solar & earthly events led to ample coverage in media, blogs and websites over almost a week, e.g. on SpaceWeather (on a later flare w/o likely terrestrial consequences; earlier, still earlier), BAA Blog, NASA FB, Nightsky Guy, Sky & Tel., BBC, Telegraph (earlier), Discovery, Daily Mail, Universe Today, Cosmic Log (earlier), Time,, New Scientist, Starts with a Bang, Bad Astronomy, Astronomy Now (earlier), CNet, Boston Globe, 3News, Science Journalism Tracker, Space Today, DLF, Spiegel (früher), n-tv, Astrodicticum. There is also a primer on aurora forecasting, a portrait of sunspot 1092 which caused it all, thoughts on spot 1093 and the cycle's rise, also covered in the Chandra Blog - and a huge review of solar magnetic field issues.

More interesting pics of the total solar eclipse of the 11 July have emerged (or been 'discovered') - including a view from Tahiti just outside the track of totality but the corona is seen! Or the eclipse from Hao as shot by one of the Google founders (another report), many views from Tatakoto or from the air or Rapa Nui (also a slide show and a report on Catalan TV). From Argentina's El Calafate a remarkably video of the corona sitting on the Andes (also here) and a wide-angle video from above the town. From the Cuesta de Miguez farther east your's truly is now on APOD (German version), and there is a great wide-angle video of the Moon's shadow in the sky, plus a hi-res video. The eclipse was also covered in a Catalan newspaper - and its live webcasts were screen-grabbed here.

In other news images of soon-to-be-visited comet 103P/Hartley 2 of August 8 and August 1, a weak detection of 2P/Encke at perihelion in SOHO's FOV. • The Perseids - more previews here, here, here, here and hier - are already in the 20s ZHR-wise, and we have video of a -5 mag. PER from the night August 5/6 and a picture of a -10 from August 7/8 - plus a NASA Release on one. • Also a bolide spectrum and thoughts on meteorite prices ...

• Finally of the great planet triangle in the evening - mentioned here, here, here and here - pictures of Aug. 7 from the U.S. and India (w/Mercury, also earlier views), of Aug. 6 from the U.S. (again), Brazil (w/Mercury), Germany and Italy, from Aug. 5 from the U.S. (again) and Australia), from Aug. 4 from the UK and Australia (more), from Aug. 3 from Brazil, the U.S. and Australia, from Aug. 2 from Brazil (w/Vesta), the U.S. and the UK and from Aug. 1 from Austria - where all 7 planets were imaged in one night. Plus more from late July. Next show: The lunar crescent passes the trio Aug. 12-14!

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