Sunday, September 20, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery and a Farside Sunspot

Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 20, 2009:

BE ALERT FOR THE SPACE SHUTTLE: Space shuttle Discovery is flying across the United States today atop a specially modified NASA 747 airliner. The trip is necessary because at the end of its last mission Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California and must now be returned to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Sky watchers along the flight path (particularly in Texas, Louisiana and Florida) should be alert for the extraordinary sight of a spaceship flying through blue sky on top of an airplane. Check for details.

FARSIDE SUNSPOT: NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft is tracking an active region over the sun's eastern horizon that could be a large, new-cycle sunspot. We can't yet see it from Earth, but the sun's rotation is turning the region toward us, and it could pop into view as early as Sept. 21st. Readers with solar telescopes should monitor the sun's eastern limb for developments. Images and updates may be found at

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