Stunning video of the transit of Venus
by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
On July 5th the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory
) captured video
of a comet, known as a sungrazer
, in route to collide with our star. SOHO is equipped with an occluding coronograph
that blocks direct sunlight and reveals the corona
, but also prevents direct study of the terminal impact of sungrazers. But on July 6th, with the help of the Solar Dynamics Observatory
were able to observe the comet (slyt)
streaking in front of the surface of the sun for the first time in history. It likely disintegrated before impact due to extreme heat and radiation.
The Voyager I spacecraft, 33 years into its mission, "has outrun the solar wind" and is exiting the solar system.
This nice article explains what this means, and has a bunch of wonderful details and interviews with the original mission scientists. [more inside]
Staring at the sun.
YouTube video of solar flares, made from images captured by the SOHO satellite
. Yes, there is more
Have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse would look like from space? The STEREO
(Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) has just sent back its view (awe-inspiring video included).
It has also sent back some gorgeous pictures
of our sun (and the McNaught Comet). For more media, check out the other galleries
(including some 3D images). For more about the project, see NASA's STEREO homepage
. Be sure to also stop by the Johns Hopkins University STEREO Page,
where you can download a mission guide (pdf), view animations, watch a video of the launch,
or even make your own papercraft STEREO model (pdf).
You can also learn more in six minute segments with their series of short educational videos.
Because spaceflight, in and of itself, is just way to easy.
On 08 August 2001, NASA launched Genesis
. It was a spacecraft that would spend 1125 days in space, including 884 days collecting 0.4 milligrams of solar particles. At that point, it would launch a 500 lbs return vehicle that would travel 600 mph back to earth. When it enters the atmosphere, at approximately 11:55am EST on Wednesday of this week, it will be going close to twenty-five thousand
mph. Oddly enough, this is the easy part of the mission.
Because then, two minutes later, NASA is going to catch it. In mid-air. With a helicopter. Really.