Posts Tagged ‘Space’
NASA: A NASA satellite has captured the first occurrence this summer of mysterious shiny polar clouds that form 50 miles above Earth’s surface.
The first observations of these “night-shining” clouds by a satellite named “AIM” which means Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, occurred above 70 degrees north latitude on May 25. People on the ground began seeing the clouds on June 6 over Northern Europe. AIM is the first satellite mission dedicated to the study of these unusual clouds.
These mystifying clouds are called Polar Mesospheric Clouds, or PMCs, when they are viewed from space and referred to as “night-shining” clouds or Noctilucent Clouds, when viewed by observers on Earth. The clouds form in an upper layer of the Earth’s atmosphere called the mesosphere during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer season which began in mid-May and extends through the end of August and are being seen by AIM’s instruments more frequently as the season progresses. They are also seen in the high latitudes during the summer months in the Southern Hemisphere.
Doomdaily: Sunspot 1024 is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. The activity is so intense, astronomers can’t seem to take a picture of the sunspot without catching a flare in action.
Pete Lawrence sends this example from his backyard observatory in Selsey, UK:
“Active region 1024 is putting on a fantastic show,” says Lawrence. “The center of this region is incredibly bright and fluctuating.”
Solar observers haven’t seen an active region like this one in more than two years. It is big, complex, and rapidly growing: movie.