Saturday, October 16, 2010

Solar Flare + Best Time to See Comet Hartley 2

Source - Space Weather News for Oct. 16, 2010:

SOLAR FLARE: The strongest solar flare in nearly three months erupted from sunspot 1112 on October 16th. Remarkably, the M1-class event did not disrupt a huge magnetic filament passing right by the blast site. Future eruptions might, however, if this active sunspot continues to grow as quickly as it has in the past few days. Visit to view movies of the event from the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

COMET 103P/HARTLEY AT ITS BEST: For backyard stargazers, the next few nights are the best time to see green Comet 103P/Hartley 2 as it approaches Earth for an 11-million-mile close encounter on Oct. 20th. Set your alarm for the dark hours before dawn, go outside, and look straight up. You will find Hartley 2 not far from the bright star Capella. Although the comet is barely visible to the unaided eye, it is easy to locate using binoculars and looks great through a backyard telescope. Sky maps and more information may be found at .

THE COMET HUNTER: Need a telescope for Comet Hartley 2? We recommend the David H. Levy Comet Hunter--on sale during Hartley 2's close encounter with Earth. Click here:

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