MAPS OF THE SOUTH ATLANTIC ANOMALY: Scientists have long known that our
planet's inner Van Allen Belt dips down toward Earth over South
America, creating a zone of high radiation known as the South Atlantic
Anomaly. A new study, just published in the AGU journal Space Weather
Quarterly, reveals that the anomaly is moving and that it varies with
seasons in a way that researchers don't fully understand.
SOLAR WIND ENGULFS EARTH: As predicted, a high speed solar wind stream
has surrounded Earth and it is buffeting our planet's magnetic field on
Sept. 28th. Bright auroras have been sighted around the Arctic Circle
in response to G2-class geomagnetic storms. This is a broad stream of
solar wind, and its influence could persist for 2 or 3 days.
CORONAL HOLE TURNS TOWARD EARTH: A large coronal hole is turning toward
Earth, and it is spewing a stream of high-speed solar wind. NOAA
forecasters expect the stream to reach our planet on Sept. 28-29 with a
50% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms when it arrives. Stay tuned
to Spaceweather.com for the onset of auroras.
ENCORE: Are you skeptical? Sure,
you raise an eyebrow when some Nigerian prince asks for your bank numbers, or
when a breakfast cereal claims that it will turn your kid into a professional
But what do you really know about the
benefits of organic milk? Or the power of whitening ingredients in your
toothpaste? How credible is what you read on Twitter?
Today, information overwhelms us, and
the need to keep our skeptical wits about us has never been greater. We
follow Seth around as he faces the daily onslaught of hype and hokum.
It’s Skeptic Check, our monthly look
at critical thinking … but don’t take our word for it!
Novella – Assistant professor of neurology at Yale University
School of Medicine and host of the “Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe” podcast
TO SEE THE NEW CHINESE SPACE STATION: Amateur astronomers have spotted
China's new Earth-orbiting space station, which was launched just last
week. Although it is only a fraction of the size of the ISS, the
Tiangong-2 is visible to the naked eye from dark-sky sites. Visit
today's edition of Spaceweather.com for observing tips and a video of
the outpost gliding across the night sky.
NEW! RADS ON A PLANE:
Spaceweather.com is now reporting data you won't find anywhere else:
Regular measurements of cosmic radiation at aviation altitudes. When
you visit the home page, scroll down to the section entitled "Cosmic
Rays in the Atmosphere" for the latest data at 25,000 ft and 40,000 ft
COMES THE SOLAR WIND: The Arctic Circle is about to turn green.
Forecasters say there is a good chance of bright auroras around the
poles on Sept. 20th when a solar wind stream engulfs Earth's magnetic
field. Researchers have long known that auroras favor equinoxes. The
timing of the stream could scarcely be better as it is expected to
arrive only two days before the beginning of northern autumn.
Birds do it, bees do
it, but humans may not do it for much longer. At least not for having
children. Relying on sex to reproduce could be supplanted by making
babies in the lab, where parents-to-be can select genomes that will ensure ideal
physical and behavioral traits.
Men hoping to be
fathers should act sooner rather than later. These same advancements in
biotechnology could allow women to fertilize their own eggs, making the need
for male sperm obsolete.
animals already reproduce asexually. Find out how female African bees can
opt to shut out male bees intent on expanding the hive.
Will engineering our
offspring have a down side? Sex creates vital genetic diversity, as
demonstrated by evolution of wild animals in urban areas. Find out how
birds, rodents and insects use sex in the city to adapt and thrive.
Schilthuizen – Biologist and ecologist, at the Naturalis Biodiversity
Center and Leiden University in The Netherlands. His New
York Times op-ed, “Evolution is Happening Faster Than We
Thought,” is here.
ECLIPSE OF THE HARVEST MOON: According to folklore, this Friday's full
Moon is the Harvest Moon. For many observers, the usual luster of the
silver orb will be dimmed by a spooky shadow as the Moon experiences a
"penumbral lunar eclipse."
EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD CAUGHT RINGING
LIKE A BELL: This week a magnetic observatory in Norway recorded
almost pure sinusoidal oscillations in Earth's magnetic field--a
phenomenon unlike normal geomagnetic storms. The magnetic "ringing" was
accompanied by equally sinusoidal electric currents flowing through the
ground. The data and underlying physics are highlighted on today's
edition of http://spaceweather.com.
ENCORE: Darwinian evolution is adaptive and slow …
millennia can go by before a species changes very much. But with the tools of
genetic engineering we can now make radical changes in just one generation. By
removing genes or inserting new ones, we can give an organism radically
different traits and behaviors. We are taking evolution into our own hands.
It all began with the domestication of plants and
animals, which one science writer says created civilization. Today, as humans
tinker with their own genome, is it possible we will produce Homo sapiens
Also, what happens to those species who can’t
control their destiny? How climate change is forcing the biggest genetic
reshuffling in recorded history.
Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 11, 2016: http://spaceweather.com
OF STORMS: A solar wind stream traveling ~550 km/s is expected to
engulf Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of Sept. 11th. Its
arrival could spark polar geomagnetic storms and high-latitude auroras
on Sept. 11th and 12th. Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates.
IMAGES FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE: Last week, a pair of space weather
balloons were launched from opposite sides of the USA to measure cosmic
rays in the atmosphere. During the flights, a spherical camera
captured unique images of Earth from the stratosphere. Click here
to experience a fully-interactive, spinnable, zoomable view of the
Atlantic Coast from an altitude of 108,000 feet. First-look results
from the radiation experiment may be found on http://spaceweather.com
DOUBLE FLYBY: On Sept. 7th, a newly discovered asteroid about the size
of a large grey whale flew over the south pole of Earth only 25,000
miles away. For scale, that's only a few thousand miles above the
orbits of typical geosynchronous satellites. After the Earth flyby, the
space rock turned and headed in the general direction of the Moon,
executing a wider flyby of 179,000 miles on Sept. 8th. Where will this
asteroid go next? Visit http://spaceweather.com for answers and photos of today's encounter with Earth.
AURORAS: A broad solar wind stream hit Earth on Sept. 1st, sparking a
display of bright auroras around the Arctic Circle that is only now
fully subsiding. Did you miss it? Browse our Aurora Photo Gallery for highlights.
STORM: A G1-class geomagnetic storm is underway on Sept. 5th as Earth
moves through a broad stream of solar wind. This is the same stream
that sparked bright auroras around both poles (and some US states) over
SOUNDS FROM AURORAS ON JUPITER: On Aug. 27th, NASA's Juno spacecraft
swooped low over the poles of Jupiter. Not only did the spacecraft
snap incredible photos of the most powerful auroras in the solar
system, but also it recorded some strange sounds.
Everyone knows that a big rock did in the dinosaurs, but smaller
asteroids are millions of times more common and can also make a violent
impact. Yet unlike the bigger asteroids, we’re not tracking
them. Find out what we’d need to keep an eye on the size of space rocks
such as that which exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia. And how an
asteroid whizzed by Earth in late August 2016, only hours after it had
Asteroids are the one natural disaster we can defend against,
but an economist explains why humans are reluctant to invest in protection
against “low probability, high impact” threats.
Also, how to authenticate that chunk of asteroid that you found
in a field and NASA’s first ever return mission to an asteroid. It plans
to bring some fresh samples back to Earth.
AURORAS: A stream of very fast moving (700 km/s) solar wind has
surrounded Earth, sparking geomagnetic storms on Sept. 3rd. Bright
auroras are being reported around the Arctic Circle, with sightings in
some northern-tier US states as well. Because this solar wind stream
is wide, its influence could continue throughout the weekend.