Canaveral Launch Success! (see comment 649)

By: LowerCal , 10:19 PM GMT on August 15, 2011

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On the east side of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) is a circular area of low clouds rotating counterclockwise. High clouds above it are moving clockwise. Deep convection is bursting near the center.

UPDATE: A satellite loop of the system described is in comment 1. Similar systems continue to appear. Below I've added self updating satellite images and surface maps of the area.

I'll add loops of similar systems that I see to the comments. Currently there are loops in comments 1 and 7.

Click on image for loop.


Click on image for loop.




Click on image for loop.







Locations of Visitors from the Past 24 Hours
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Grail Moonbound (Skyepony)
Last launch of a Delta II after 22 years. It was a Heavy so the sound rolled on a while. It is carrying twin satellites that are headed to survey The Moon. Beautiful launch NASA!
Grail Moonbound
Grail Moonbound on the last Delta II (Skyepony)
Last launch of a Delta II after 22 years. It was a Heavy so the sound rolled on a while. It is carrying twin satellites that are headed to survey The Moon. Beautiful launch NASA!
Grail Moonbound on the last Delta II
Precision (anvilhead)
A Super Scooper Fixed Wing Aircraft Makes A Water Drop Directly Behind A Home At The Wagon Fire.
Precision
Sunset Allure (anvilhead)
Sunset Allure
Development Of A Severe Thunderstorm (anvilhead)
I watched this storm develop for about an hour before it slowly bled off the mountains and turned severe in the Santa Clarita Valley. 60+ mph winds and dime sized hail. Wild weather day here !
Development Of A Severe Thunderstorm
Waxing Gibbous Moon (Ralfo)
Full Moon on 10,11,11
Waxing Gibbous Moon
Cagtripodi Sun Spots (Ralfo)
Mr. Cagtripodi discovered these sunspots on the Sun today from Italy as shown here earlier before on this site. This is a picture angled from Yonkers, N. Y. USA. All credit and thanks Must go to Mr. Cagtripodi for making us aware of the phenomena
Cagtripodi Sun Spots
Port St. John Fl. (joebed)
Atlas 5
Port St. John Fl.
Longs Peak beneath the lunar eclipse (PCG)
The moon is nearing entirely in the Earth's shadow as Longs Peak sits below.
Longs Peak beneath the lunar eclipse
()
Moonset (mcgino)
Another near infrared image. The bright part of the mountain is bright because it is covered in snow still.
Moonset
Almost Gone (MikePic)
Almost Gone
From the NW (kippic)
The clouds moved in and covered the moon just after I took this shot. Everett, WA
From the NW
Full Lunar Eclipse (catilac)
I had to bundle up this morning as temps were in the teens..
Full Lunar Eclipse
éclipse lunaire (anvilhead)
Over the Santa Clarita Valley
éclipse lunaire
Winter Solstice – The Shortest day of the Year (Ralfo)
Every Year on the Winter Solstice for many years now I have taken the Sunrise. It is always in the same spot behind that Evergreen Tree. This year there are some clouds but you can still see the Sun Blazing through. Today is the shortage amount daylight. The Good News! We will start picking up daylight from now on! Happy Holidays, Make it The Best Ever! P.S. In the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice starts: Dec. 22, 12:30 A.M. EDT (05:30 UT*), Sun enters sign of Capricorn; winter begins.
Winter Solstice – The Shortest day of the Year
Quadrantid meteor (LaddObservatory)
A very bright meteor from the Quadrantids at 3:00:08 am EST captured by the wide field sky camera on the roof of Ladd Observatory.
Quadrantid meteor
Delta 4 Rocket Launch (Skyepony)
Delta 4 rocket launching the Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM 4 military communications satellite.
Delta 4 Rocket Launch
Because the night belongs to lovers. (Altred)
Because the night belongs to lovers.
Natures night lite. (johngomes)
Not the best due to all the local light pollution but still better than a black sky. It was approximately 5 below with a slight wind while waiting for the lights to appear.
Natures night lite.
Green and clean. (Altred)
Green and clean.
Final Shuttle Launch (Skyepony)
I did this in Charcoal. It is ~6"X8". It should be the first in a series of three.
Final Shuttle Launch
Discovery Launch STS-120 (Skyepony)
I did this in pen & ink it is STS-120 Discovery, launched on October 23, 2007. It's ~6
Discovery Launch STS-120
Tonights Moon (Ralfo)
Full Moon Tomorrow. 2/7/12.
Tonights Moon
STS-1 (Skyepony)
I did this in pencil.
STS-1
Atlas V (Skyepony)
Atlas 5 rocket launching the Navy's MUOS 1 mobile communications satellite.
Atlas V

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211. Ylee
LC, I thought you'd like this webcam of the refurbishing of Endeavour for display.

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For Americans wondering, "What has NASA ever done for me?"

NASA Spinoff Homepage

Since 1976, NASA's Spinoff publication has featured over 1,750 NASA-derived technologies that improve your life.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Pat Thanks for that interesting story. Hubble, the gift that keeps on giving.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Astronomers Find Elusive Planets in Decade-Old Hubble Data
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Karen What a great response! Thanks for passing along the info on the naming contest of the twin Moon orbiters. I guess you just can't assume anyone already knows about it.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
LC - I also sent an email to one of my parent volunteers who has 3 kids - all really into science. I thought you'd appreciate her response:

That's very cool. Yes, my kids are into space as well as science. I'll have to show them this. What a neat idea to get kids involved! Btw, their interest in space kind of comes with the territory given that their dad is an aeronautical and aerospace engineer who helped design the guidance and navigational control systems of the International Space Station. FYI, my brother-in-law had much to do with designing and writing the software for the computer operating system that's aboard the twin Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. He takes great pride in the fact that they far outlasted their intended lifespans on Mars. :)
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Karen True that. Thanks for getting the word out. I should probably repeat it here.

Naming contest adds to Moon mission's outreach to kids
NASA is calling upon schoolchildren around the U.S. to help name the twin Moon-bound GRAIL spacecraft that will unravel mysteries of the lunar interior.

"A NASA mission to the moon is one of the reasons why I am a scientist today," said GRAIL Principal Investigator Maria Zuber from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "My hope is that GRAIL motivates young people today towards careers in science, math and technology. Getting involved with naming our two GRAIL spacecraft could inspire their interest not only in space exploration but in the sciences, and that's a good thing."
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
I sent an email out to our staff about the naming contest, just in case anyone is interested. Thanks for the link! You just never know!
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I fixed Space.com's link for the enlarged graphic in the previous comment. :^/
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Pat Thanks for the looks at the future and the past.

Click image to enlarge.
See how NASA's new mega rocket, the Space Launch System, measures up for deep space missions in this SPACE.com infographic.
Source: SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Sputnik 1 was launched this date October 4th, 1957



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
NASA successfully tested the pad abort system for the Launch Abort System developed for the Orion crew exploration vehicle at 9 a.m. EDT.

The 97-second flight test is called the Pad Abort 1 test, or PA1.

It is the first fully integrated test of the Launch Abort System developed for Orion.

The test took place at the U.S. Armys White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, N.M.

Source: NASA TV





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
One day we will see a New Rocket Painted in White and Black roll out from Michoud and Barge over to KSC for a shakedown flight.







Then we can get back into the Flying Business again,,and leave Low Earth Orbit too.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Pat Thank you for the ongoing items of interest. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Quoting Skyepony:
An amateur found this comet. the next day it hit the sun & caused a pretty big CME (explosion).. SDO caught it.. Second time since it has been observing that a little comet hitting the sun may unbalance the magnetic field so much that a CME occurs.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093


Artist's concept of the new Space Launch System rocket launching with the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Credit: NASA
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
We hoping they get the funding fer sure LC.

Here's the 7 sec test in Aug of the J-2X


J-2X Engine Test A2J003.wmv




NASA Tests Deep Space J-2X Rocket Engine at Stennis

NASA conducted a 40-second test of the J-2X rocket engine Sept. 28, the most recent in a series of tests of the next-generation engine selected as part of the Space Launch System architecture that will once again carry humans into deep space. It was a test at the 99 percent power level to gain a better understanding of start and shutdown systems as well as modifications that had been made from previous test firing results.

The test at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi came just two weeks after the agency announced plans for the new SLS to be powered by core-stage RS-25 D/E and upper-stage J-2X engines. The liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen J-2X is being developed for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Thanks for the tips on viewing the comet. If the nightly total overcast ever clears, I'll see what I can see in my somewhat darker skies.

I tried Stellarium awhile ago - years, maybe - and it wouldn't work. It was there but non-functional. Don't really remember what it did do. I would like to have it so will try again one day.

Good news and good work from WISE :)
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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

WISE - NASA Space Telescope Finds Fewer Asteroids Near Earth
PASADENA, Calif. -- New observations by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, show there are significantly fewer near-Earth asteroids in the mid-size range than previously thought. The findings also indicate NASA has found more than 90 percent of the largest near-Earth asteroids, meeting a goal agreed to with Congress in 1998.
....
Though the WISE data reveal only a small decline in the estimated numbers for the largest near-Earth asteroids, which are 3,300 feet (1 kilometer) and larger, they show 93 percent of the estimated population have been found. This fulfills the initial "Spaceguard" goal agreed to with Congress. These large asteroids are about the size of a small mountain and would have global consequences if they were to strike Earth. The new data revise their total numbers from about 1,000 down to 981, of which 911 already have been found. None of them represents a threat to Earth in the next few centuries. It is believed that all near-Earth asteroids approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) across, as big as the one thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs, have been found.

"The risk of a really large asteroid impacting the Earth before we could find and warn of it has been substantially reduced," said Tim Spahr, the director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

The situation is different for the mid-size asteroids, which could destroy a metropolitan area if they were to impact in the wrong place. The NEOWISE results find a larger decline in the estimated population for these bodies than what was observed for the largest asteroids. So far, the Spaceguard effort has found and is tracking more than 5,200 near-Earth asteroids 330 feet or larger, leaving more than an estimated 15,000 still to discover. In addition, scientists estimate there are more than a million unknown smaller near-Earth asteroids that could cause damage if they were to impact Earth.
....
Several very cool graphics and animations are linked at the end of the above article. Another cool animation is linked at the end of the following article.

WISE - Multimedia Gallery: Asteroid and Comet Census
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Pat Congratulations! Great news for New Orleans. Michoud is the obvious choice.

Congress, write the check!
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
NOLA gets it...again


NASA chooses Michoud for construction of heavy-lift rocket





WWLTV.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- NASA has chosen the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans East to construct components of its new heavy-lift rocket, a decision that could mean the creation of thousands of jobs at the facility.

NASA unveiled the design of the rocket earlier this month, claiming it will be the largest, most powerful space rocket ever built.
NASA's selection of Michoud is big, big news for southeast Louisiana, said Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
NASA says they will be building several components at MAF, including manufacturing core stage and upper stage, the instrument ring and integrating engines with core and upper stages.

The decision may mean thousands of jobs at Michoud, which lost most of its workforce after the end of the Space Shuttle program.
"I will say that the external tank at its peak employed about 2500 to 2800 people here in the facility," Steve Doering, NASA's director at Michoud, said on Sept. 14. "I don't see any reason to expect that we won't get back, if not at those numbers, somewhere close to those numbers."

Michoud was behind the assembly of the Saturn V rocket from the Apollo program and the Space Shuttle's external fuel tanks.

Vitter said that gave the assembly facility a unique advantage in wooing NASA to choose New Orleans.
Michoud is the only NASA facility that is currently ready to do the large manufacturing that will be required for the heavy-lift rocket," Vitter said.

"I've been working for years with the Louisiana delegation to ensure Michoud remains well positioned for this kind of work, and with local companies in the high-tech Stennis-Michoud corridor to ensure the area remains a vital part of the space program.

Congress still has to approve the project, which carries a price tag of up to $35 billion.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Karen "a needle in a haystack" is a good analogy. A needle in a hayfield is a better one.

Pat Thanks for bringing that great article. :^) You beat me to it so I'll just highlight a few points of interest regarding the future of human spaceflight.

China Space Station: Tiangong-1 Experimental Module Launched
....
In terms of technology, the launch of the Tiangong-1 places China about where the U.S. was in the 1960s during the Gemini program. While it is planning fewer launches than the U.S. carried out, the Chinese program progresses farther than the U.S. did with each launch it undertakes, said Joan Johnson-Freese, a space expert at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.

"China has the advantage, 40-plus years later, of not having to start at the bottom of the learning curve on its human spaceflight program," Johnson-Freese said.

China's authoritarian, centralized political system also offers the advantage of freedom from political wrangles over funding and clearly defines the program's long-term goals....

....habitual secrecy and the space program's close links with the military have inhibited cooperation with other nations' space programs – including the International Space Station.
....
China applied repeatedly to join the ISS, but was rebuffed largely on objections from the U.S., prompting it to adopt a go-it-alone strategy.
....
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RED DAWN,
China Embarks On Ambitious New Space Program




BEIJING: China launched an experimental module to lay the groundwork for a future space station on Thursday, underscoring its ambitions to become a major space power over the coming decade.

The box car-sized Tiangong-1 module was shot into space from the Jiuquan launch center on the edge of the Gobi Desert aboard a Long March 2FT1 rocket.

It is to move into an orbit 217 miles (350 kilometers) above the Earth and conduct surveys of Chinese farmland using special cameras, along with experiments involving growing crystals in zero gravity.

China then plans to launch an unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft to practice remote-controlled docking maneuvers with the module, possibly within the next few weeks. Two more missions, at least one of them manned, are to meet up with it next year for further practice, with astronauts staying for up to one month.

The 8.5-ton module, whose name translates as "Heavenly Palace-1," is to stay aloft for two years, after which two other experimental modules are to be launched for additional tests before the actual station is launched in three sections between 2020 and 2022.

"This is a significant test. We've never done such a thing before," Lu Jinrong, the launch center's chief engineer, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The space station, which is yet to be formally named, is the most ambitious project in China's exploration of space, which also calls for landing on the moon, possibly with astronauts.

In terms of technology, the launch of the Tiangong-1 places China about where the U.S. was in the 1960s during the Gemini program. While it is planning fewer launches than the U.S. carried out, the Chinese program progresses farther than the U.S. did with each launch it undertakes, said Joan Johnson-Freese, a space expert at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.

"China has the advantage, 40-plus years later, of not having to start at the bottom of the learning curve on its human spaceflight program," Johnson-Freese said.


China's authoritarian, centralized political system also offers the advantage of freedom from political wrangles over funding and clearly defines the program's long-term goals within Soviet-style five-year plans.

China launched its first manned flight in 2003, joining Russia and the United States as the only countries to launch humans into orbit and generating huge amounts of national pride for the Communist government.

However, habitual secrecy and the space program's close links with the military have inhibited cooperation with other nations' space programs %u2013 including the International Space Station.

At about 60 tons when completed, the Chinese station will be considerably smaller than the 16-nation ISS, which is expected to continue operating through 2028.

China applied repeatedly to join the ISS, but was rebuffed largely on objections from the U.S., prompting it to adopt a go-it-alone strategy.

While the program has proceeded with no apparent major problems, the launch of the Tiangong-1 module was delayed for one year for technical reasons, and then rescheduled again after a Long March 2C rocket similar to the Long March 2F failed to reach orbit in August. The incident with the rocket was investigated and problems were reportedly resolved.

Although experts see no explicit military function for the Chinese space station, the country's other space-based military programs, including the destruction of a defunct Chinese satellite with a rocket in 2007, have caused alarm overseas.

"It is a nation doing its own thing saying, 'OK, we can do what you did for our own country separate from cooperation, on Chinese terms,'" said Charles Vick, an expert on the Chinese space program with Globalsecurity.org, which tracks military and security news.

Numerous challenges lie ahead, including the attempt to dock remotely U.S. astronauts handled the maneuver from aboard their spacecraft. The Long March 5 rocket that is being prepared to launch the 20-ton modules for the actual space station also remains untested.

Still, Beijing is expected to press ahead whatever the difficulties as long as it continues to result in international prestige, domestic credibility, technological advancement, and economic spin-offs, Johnson-Freese and Vick said.

"Basically, they will get what they want regardless of how long or what it takes for the authoritarian state to accomplish the assigned tasks," Vick said.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Hi LC! I saw the video you posted in Shores blog - too funny! But I see they do actually know where it landed. Do you think someone will ever dive down to try to find remains? Or is that like looking for a needle in a haystack?

I'm sure you probably got warm today - and we never saw the sun :0(
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Quoting sp34n119w:
.... comet Garradd .... Let me know if you spot it (if the grrrray ever stays away) and I'll do the same. Mag 8 should be visible with binoculars (right?) if I can just find the right spot. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere at the moment. ....
I did look for it with my bigger 9x60 binoculars from my porch last night and couldn't see it.

It is "kind of in the middle of nowhere at the moment." You will need to know exactly where to look to have a chance of spotting it.

Here is a chart for last night. You can use recognizable star patterns to "hop" toward it from a bright star.

Thousand Oaks, CA at 2011 09/27 8:00pm

Image created with Stellarium.

If you don't have it already download and install Stellarium. Then add the following 19 lines to the end of your C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\Stellarium\data\ssystem.ini file and include a blank line before and after them.

[Garradd]
name = C/2009 P1 (Garradd)
parent = Sun
radius = 80
oblateness = 0.0
halo = true
color = 1.0,1.0,1.0
tex_halo = star16x16.png
tex_map = nomap.png
coord_func = comet_orbit
orbit_TimeAtPericenter = 2455919.17699
orbit_PericenterDistance = 1.5505338
orbit_Eccentricity = 1.001058
orbit_ArgOfPericenter = 90.7476
orbit_AscendingNode = 325.9977
orbit_Inclination = 106.1775
lighting = false
albedo = 1
orbit_visualization_period = 365.25

Holding the cursor in the lower left corner of the Stellarium window will cause all the menus to appear. Set your location or one nearby, the time and then use search to make the window center on C/2009 P1 (Garradd). The mouse wheel will zoom in or out.

Also try looking for Comet Garrad outdoors as soon as astronomical twilight ends (a little after 8:00pm for Santa Paula) when the comet is highest in the western sky.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
What is probably the final word:

NASA UARS Satellite Crash Site Confirmed in Pacific - ABC News
....
In an update, based on information from the Air Force Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA said, "The satellite entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean at 14.1 degrees south latitude and 189.8 degrees east longitude. This location is over a broad, remote ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere, far from any major land mass. The debris field is located between 300 miles and 800 miles downrange, or generally northeast of the re-entry point. NASA is not aware of any possible debris sightings from this geographic area."
....

shore I'm glad you enjoyed it. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
LowerCal ~ I couldn't wait for you to come by my place! That video of the "satellite" landing is absolutely the funniest thing I've seen in a good while - especially given the context. ;)

Very, very rarely is the ol' LOL really called for, but this was an extended LOL. Thanks!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
TacSat 4 has successfully adjusted its orbit.

Pat Thanks for those videos. A lot of painstaking effort just getting that satellite dressed for work.

poppy Yep, the bears don't have guns.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
My son who lives on Kodiak tried to go see the launch but was turned away. He will have to find another vantage point to see the next one. Contending with the bears might be easier then the security people around the launch!
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In this time-lapse video, the Naval Research Laboratory's Tactical Satellite IV (TacSat-4) is encapsulated inside the fairing (nose cone) of an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur-IV launch vehicle in preparation for a Sept. 27, 2011, launch from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex.



TacSat-4 is a Navy-led joint mission which provides 10 Ultra High Frequency channels and allows troops using existing radios to communicate on-the-move from obscured regions without the need for dangerous antenna positioning and pointing. To augment current geosynchronous satellite communication, the TacSat-4 spacecraft will be deployed into a unique, highly elliptical orbit with an apogee in the high latitudes of 12,050 kilometers.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored the development of the payload and the first year of operations. The Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office funded the launch that is managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate, a directorate of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
[Minotaur IV] Launch of TACSAT-4 on Minotaur IV Rocket

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
TacSat 4 confirmed functioning.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
TacSat 4 confirmed delivered to its preliminary orbit.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
If all has gone as planned the TacSat is deployed in the correct orbit now.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Fourth stage ignition in two minutes.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
The Minotaur IV is currently coasting until the 4th stage burn in about 13 minutes which will comlpete the job of inserting the TacSat into the desired orbit.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
T minus 10 minutes and counting.

All systems and constraints are "GO".
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:^D
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Lite Fuse, GET AWAY
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Launch of a Minotaur IV from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska is scheduled for 20 minutes from now.

Updates and live video at
Spaceflight Now | Minotaur Launch Report | Mission Status Center
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Pat Thanks for the solar weather alert. That could even delay the planned launch of a Minotaur IV from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska scheduled for 7:49am AKDT (11:49am EDT).

Spaceflight Now | Minotaur Launch Report | Mission Status Center


Other updates and forecasts of space weather can be found at
SpaceWeather.com.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
solarham.com





Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
Updated 2011 Sep 25 2205 UTC

Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
SDF Number 268 Issued at 2200Z on 25 Sep 2011

IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 24/2100Z
to 25/2100Z: Solar activity was high. Regions 1302 (N12E36) and
1303 (S28W79) each produced three M-class flares. The largest was
an M7/2N at 25/0450Z. A partial halo CME was observed at 24/1936Z
in LASCO C2 imagery which was likely associated with the M3 flare
from Region 1302 that occurred at 24/1921Z. The event had an
associated Type II (1369 km/s) and an approximate plane of sky speed
of 800 km/s using LASCO C3 imagery. Two more CMEs were observed at
25/0236Z and 25/0312Z off the Southwest limb in LASCO C2 imagery,
however they are not expected to be geoeffective.

IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to continue
at high levels with a chance for isolated X-class flares from Region
1302.

IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 24/2100Z to 25/2100Z:
The geomagnetic field was mostly quiet. A sudden impulse (SI) was
observed at the ACE spacecraft at approximately 25/1106Z. The IMF
Bt increased from approximately 5 nT to 10 nT while the field
density increased to around 7 p/cc. The greater than 10 MeV protons
event that began at 23/2255Z reached a peak of 27.3 PFUs at 25/2030Z
and continues to remain above the 10 PFU threshold.

IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is
expected to be at unsettled to minor storm conditions with major
storm periods possible at high latitudes on day 1 (26 September) due
to activity from the CME associated with the M7 flare that occurred
at 24/1320Z. Mostly unsettled conditions are expected on days 2-3
(27-28 September) due to continued activity from the CME as well as
a possible glancing blow from a weak CME on day 3. The greater than
10 MeV proton flux is expected to continue to remain above threshold
for the next three days.

III. Event Probabilities 26 Sep-28 Sep
Class M 80/80/80
Class X 40/40/40
Proton 99/99/80
PCAF yellow
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Karen I enthusiastically welcome your (and anyone else's) post on an astronomy event open to the public! :^) Your local Seal Beach Astronomy Night has been successful for some time now and I encourage anyone in the area to check it out.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Hope you don't mind me posting this copy of an email I received from my "Astrology" contact here. You never know who lurks in your blog - but surely folks who are interested in the sky. Feel free to delete if you don't want it cluttering up your blog - it won't bother me at all!

Greetings All -

It’s time for another Seal Beach Astronomy Night!

The news from Flagstaff, AZ
I just returned from four wonderful days volunteering and observing at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. The weather was perfect and the sky was clear on all the right nights. I was able to help out in the public program one night, spend a special night using the historic Clark 24” refractor with a group from the Leisure World Astronomy Club, and then one very special night hanging out with the instrument scientists at the new Discovery Channel Telescope which is in the testing phase. Check out the newly updated web site at: http://www.lowell.edu/ If you ever want to visit an observatory that gives normal people (OK - normal for astronomy nuts) easy access to cool large telescopes and smart astronomers, Lowell is the place! Just let me know if you are ever headed that way and I will help you plan an awesome visit. Lowell is a non-profit and if you join the Friends of Lowell at the “Primary” level (http://www.lowell.edu/join_fol.php), you will get invitations to talks and facility tours not offered to casual visitors.

Seal Beach Astronomy Night set for Saturday October 1 at 7:00 PM
Come join our group of dedicated volunteer astronomers as we share our powerful telescopes with the public. Tonight we will focus on a beautiful crescent moon early in the evening, then turn our attention toward the giant planet Jupiter. The craters and mountains along the terminator of the moon are stunning through large telescopes and the views of Jupiter should be great. Jupiter is an amazing sight because the telescope reveals the "Galilean" moons and many interesting patterns in the clouds encircling the planet. These events are co-hosted by Bogart's Coffee House, our favorite purveyor of hot drinks and goodies to keep you warm while you are waiting for your turn at the eyepiece. Bogart's is located at 905 Ocean Avenue just east of Main street (just left of the Seal Beach pier). Here is a link for more information about Bogart's: http://www.bogartscoffee.com/
If you have a telescope, feel free to bring it out to the star party. You don’t have to be an expert and it's fun to share anything you know with someone else. The star parties are great for kids of all ages and best of all provide serious entertainment at an unbeatable price. (Free, that is!)
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NASA's UARS satellite falls to Earth (UPDATED) | Space News
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"Because we don't know where the re-entry point actually was, we don't know where the debris field might be," said Nicholas Johnson, chief orbital debris scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

"If the re-entry point was at the (predicted time) of 04:16 GMT, then all that debris wound up in the Pacific Ocean. If the re-entry point occurred earlier than that, practically the entire pass before 04:16 ... is over water. So the only way debris could have probably reached land would be if the re-entry occurred after 04:16."

Johnson said amateur satellite watchers in the U.S. northwest and the Canadian southwest were "looking to observe UARS as it came over. Every one of those attempts came up negative. That would suggest that the re-entry did, in fact, occur before it reached the North American coast, which, again, would mean most of this debris fell into the Pacific."
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Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
sp "fish splash-down", you should copyright that. :^)

Heavens-Above doesn't update those mags very frequently. I put great stock in the British Astronomical Association number which is 7.

From the southern edge of the San Fernando Valley 7 is at the absolute limit my experienced eyes can manage with binoculars. Remember that the total light from a comet is not a point source like a star of the same mag. but spread out and therefore less intense. I'll use one of my telescopes if I try from home. Since you are not right on the doorstep of a huge light dome like the SF Valley then binoculars should enable you to spot a mag. 7 comet. The darkest viewing site that is convenient is my recommendation though.

Congrats on the rain. Thank your local mountains. With diffuse objects like comets transparency is as important as the absence of clouds. Mild Santa Ana conditions are a good setup and should be in place Monday or Tuesday evening.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
UARS Mission Updates
Update #16
Sat, 24 Sep 2011 08:37:25 AM PDT

NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite entered the atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States. The precise re-entry time and location of any debris impacts are still being determined. NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.

This is your source for official information on the re-entry of UARS. All information posted here has been verified with a government agency or law enforcement.
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Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
So it's a fish splash-down? Like a fish storm? Sorry, it's early for me, yet.

Heavens-above has comet Garradd, now that I look. Let me know if you spot it (if the grrrray ever stays away) and I'll do the same. Mag 8 should be visible with binoculars (right?) if I can just find the right spot. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere at the moment.

I got a little rain last night :)
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LOL!
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
Missed us here by, we'll, this much I'd say.

...yeah, datz da ticket.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093

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