NASA's GREATEST MISSION? The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has reached the final round of NASA's Mission Madness tournament where it is competing against upstart SPB, the Super Pressure Balloon, for the title "NASA's Greatest Mission." We endorse SOHO. Since the observatory was launched more than 13 years ago, it has revolutionized solar physics and the art of space weather forecasting--and the plucky spacecraft is still going strong. Vote now and help propel a spaceweather favorite to the championship: http://mission-madness.nasa.
VOLCANIC CLOUD UPDATE: Sulfur dioxide emissions from Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano are spreading. A doughnut-shaped cloud about 600 miles wide is now swirling through the stratosphere off the coast of California. Sulfur dioxide and associated aerosols have been known to produce sunsets of exceptional beauty. Check spaceweather.com for the latest sulfur dioxide maps to see if you should be looking for volcanic colors this evening: http://spaceweather.com.