CME IMPACT: As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field today (Feb.
27th @ 1645 UT), and the impact has triggered geomagnetic storms around
Earth's poles. The CME is an after-effect of the X4.9 class solar flare
reported on Feb. 25th.
NASA and JAXA are about to launch a new satellite that can see through
storms, tracking rain and snow around the globe better than any previous
observatory. The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory is
scheduled to lift off
from Japan on Feb. 27th.
Today, NASA announced a breakthrough addition to the catalog of new
planets. Researchers using Kepler have confirmed 715 new worlds, almost
quadrupling the number of planets previously confirmed by the
planet-hunting spacecraft. Some of the new worlds are similar in size
to Earth and orbit in the habitable zone of their parent stars.
X-FLARE: Long-lived sunspot AR1967 returned to the Earthside of the sun on Feb. 25th
and promptly erupted, producing an X4.9-class solar flare. This is the
strongest flare of the year so far and one of the strongest of the
current solar cycle.
ENCORE: It’s one of the biggest questions
you can ask: has the universe existed forever? The Big Bang is
supposedly the moment it all began. But now scientists wonder if there
isn’t an earlier chapter to our origin story. And maybe chapters before
What happened before the Big Bang? It’s the ultimate prequel.
Plus – the Big Bang as scientific story: nail biter or snoozer?
CME IMPACT: A minor geomagnetic storm was already in progress during the
early hours of Feb. 19th when a CME struck Earth's magnetic field. The
impact revved-up the storm and sent Northern Lights spilling across the
Canadian border into the United States. Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates and images of the display.
DID YOU MISS THE SHOW? Subscribers to SpaceWeather.com's aurora-alert
system did receive late-night text messages on Feb. 18-19 stating that a
geomagnetic storm was underway. You can sign up for these alerts at http://spaceweathertext.com (text) or http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).
What if a rock that looked like a jelly doughnut suddenly appeared on
Mars? That's just what happened in front of Mars rover Opportunity last
month. Researchers have since determined that the "doughnut" is a piece
of a larger rock broken and moved by the rover's wheels in early
With the International Space Station no longer "under construction," the
world's most advanced orbital laboratory is open for business. The
station has just received a 10-year extension from NASA, giving
researchers the time they need to take full advantage of its unique
Source - Space Weather News for Feb 14, 2014: http://spaceweather.com AURORAS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY?
Three CMEs are heading for Earth. Individually they are minor clouds.
However, by striking Earth's magnetic field in quick succession on Feb
14-15, they could cause significant geomagnetic activity around the
poles. Check http://spaceweather.com for updates about possible auroras on Valentine's Day. SOLAR FLARE ALERTS: Big sunspot AR1974 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong flares.
ENCORE: Computers and DNA
have a few things in common. Both use digital codes and are prone to
viruses. And, it seems, both can be hacked. From restoring the flavor
of tomatoes to hacking into the president’s DNA, discover the promise and peril of gene tinkering.
Plus, computer hacking. Just how easy is it to break into your neighbor’s email account? What about the CIA’s?
Also, one man’s concern that radio telescopes might pick up an alien computer virus.
George Weinstock – Microbiologist, geneticist, associate director at the Washington University Genome Institute, St. Louis
Jim Giovannoni – Plant molecular biologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cornell University campus
experiencing an extreme drought--by some measures the deepest in more
than a century. NASA researchers are investigating the underlying causes
as satellites, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons collect sobering
images of the desiccating landscape.
Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know
whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the
situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA's Kepler space
telescope. The planet wobbles wildly on its spin axis, much like a
Imagine not knowing where you are – and no one else knowing either.
Today, that’s pretty unlikely. Digital devices pinpoint our location
within a few feet, so it’s hard to get lost anymore. But we can still
A reporter onboard an Antarctic ship that was stuck for weeks in sea
ice describes his experience, and contrasts that with a stranding a
hundred years prior in which explorers ate their dogs to survive.
Plus, the Plan B that keeps astronauts from floating away forever …
how animals and plants hitch rides on open sea to populate new lands …
and the rise of the mapping technology that has made hiding a thing of
NASA researchers are planning to create the coldest spot in the known
Universe--inside the International Space Station. Their atomic
refrigerator, known as the "Cold Atom Lab," could lead to the discovery
of new forms of matter and novel quantum phenomena.