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Monday, May 2, 2011

Planet X Nibiru Nasa 2012 Doomsday Info Leaked

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

SHUTTLE LAUNCH UPDATE: Engineers are still working to repair a problem that delayed space shuttle Endeavour's scheduled launch on April 29th. Heaters on a fuel line for the shuttle's auxiliary power unit failed during the countdown, and it might take as much as a week to get them back online. NASA says the next launch attempt will occur no earlier than May 8th. Stay tuned for updates.

SOUTH POLE AURORAS: A solar wind stream that hit Earth's magnetic field during the weekend sparked auroras over both ends of the planet. "After a slow start to the aurora observing season, we are finally getting some beautiful Aurora Australis here at the geographic South Pole (90 degrees S. latitude)," reports J. Dana Hrubes, science leader at the Amundsen-Scott Station. He took this picture at the peak of the geomagnetic storm on May 1st:

"Red and green auroras were directly overhead and appeared to be 'raining' down on us," says Hrubes. "It was much too cold for rain, however; the air temperature outside was -85 F. The sun set on March 23rd and will not rise again until six months later, so we will surely see more of these lights in the dark nights ahead." 

Indeed, the solar wind continues to blow at high speed, and NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of more geomagnetic activity during the next 24 hours. High latitude sky watchers should remain alert for colorful 'rain.'

STS-134 Launch Scrubbed; Progress Docks to Station

STS-134 Launch Scrubbed; Progress Docks to Station

ISS Progress 42

The ISS Progress 42 cargo craft approaches the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV
Technicians and engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida have identified the likely source of what caused heaters on a fuel line for space shuttle Endeavour's auxiliary power unit-1 (APU-1) to fail on Friday, scrubbing the first launch attempt for the STS-134 mission. The failure appears to be a power problem within the aft load control assembly-2 (ALCA-2), a box of switches controlling power feeds.

Launch of space shuttle Endeavour is now set for no earlier than May 8.

The ISS Progress 42 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment on the International Space Station at 10:28 a.m. EDT Friday, less than six hours before space shuttle Endeavour’s scheduled launch to the station on the STS-134 mission.

The cargo ship launched at 9:05 a.m. Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 2,976 pounds of maintenance hardware, experiment equipment and resupply items for the Expedition 28 crew.

Current and Future Expeditions Gallery

International Space Station Sightings

International Space Station watchers are offered some great looks at the orbiting laboratory.

Bill Tracy, a flight dynamics officer in the Mission Control Center in Houston said: "Sightings of a wide variety of satellites are fairly common. Usually, however, sightings of the Station are limited to some parts of the country on some days, and other parts of the country on other days."

Full view of the International Space Station Image to right: Backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, this full view of the International Space Station was photographed by a crewmember onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Credit: NASA

"This week, the conditions all came together that will provide most of the continental United States with at least one sighting opportunity of the ISS on Wednesday or Thursday evenings -- with Thursday being the better of the two days," Tracy said.

NASA's Human Space Flight Web site provides lists of sighting opportunity times for hundreds of cities in the United States and the world. If a person cannot find a nearby location on the city list, the SkyWatch application allows a person to get ISS sighting times by providing some information. It will also provide sighting opportunity times for other satellites orbiting the Earth.

Because of the Station's orbit and the rotation of the Earth, the number of sighting opportunities and times will vary from location to location. For example on Thursday, Ruston, La., will have two 5-minute windows at 5:37 a.m. and 8:28 p.m. CDT. Salt Lake City will have one 6-minute opportunity at 4:32 a.m. MDT on Thursday and two evening opportunities -- at 9:03 p.m. for 4 minutes and at 10:37 p.m. for 5 minutes.

The Space Station will appear as a bright, slow, but steady moving star. Tracy said several conditions must occur for the sighting of the ISS or a satellite to take place in particular locations.

"First, obviously, the satellite must be above the horizon at the observer's location. That's easy enough," he said. "The second requirement is that the observer must be in darkness, when the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon. It may not be totally dark, but past experience shows that 6 degrees is about right.

"Third, the satellite itself must be lit by the sun. This means that the sun must be above the satellite's horizon. With the observer in darkness, sightings generally occur near sunrise and/or sunset at the observer's location. Finally, the lit side of the satellite must be facing roughly in the direction of the observer. Even if all other conditions are met, if the lit side of the spacecraft is facing away from the observer, then a sighting cannot take place."

Also, the ISS will appear in different parts of the sky from location to location. For example, Thursday evening Station gazers in Philadelphia should look for the ISS to appear at 9:32 p.m. EDT 10 degrees above the southwestern horizon and sail directly overhead before it disappears 11 degrees above the northeastern horizon.

If a location misses out on the ISS sighting opportunities this week, Tracy said there would be another excellent opportunity this summer. "There will be a few evening opportunities over the next two weeks," he said, "but the best evening sighting opportunities of ISS around the country will not occur again until mid-July of this year."

Royal Sighting Opportunities; Station Crew Sends Congratulations

Flight Engineers Cady Coleman, Paolo Nespoli and Ron Garan
Flight Engineers Cady Coleman, Paolo Nespoli and Ron Garan send a congratulatory message to the royal couple on behalf of the Expedition 27 crew. Photo credit: NASA

ISS006-E-22939 -- London at night
City lights of London, England were captured with a digital still camera by one of the Expedition Six crew members on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA
Crowds gathering around Buckingham Palace for the Friday wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton may have a special treat this week – royal sightings of the International Space Station, and if it launches, space shuttle Endeavour.

If weather conditions in London cooperate, there are excellent sighting opportunities Thursday and Friday as the space ships fly 220 miles above the United Kingdom. Two of the best opportunities for Londoners to see the space station are tonight at 9:09 p.m. London time and Friday at 9:32 p.m.

If Endeavour launches as planned Friday evening, the shuttle should be visible from London at 8:50 p.m. Saturday. Again, it’s a perfect pass and should be quite a sight.

Since the distance between the station and shuttle is so large at launch, the two will not be visible together until docking.

› Get help with sighting opportunities

In order for the space station, or any other orbiting spacecraft, to be seen by a ground observer, there are four conditions that must be met all at the same time. First, the satellite must be above the horizon with respect to the observer. People cannot see the satellite if it is below the horizon and blocked by the Earth. Second, the observer must be in darkness - that time when the sun is more than four degrees below the horizon.
If the sun is any higher than this, the sky is simply too bright for the spacecraft to be seen. Third, the spacecraft must be lit by the sun. In other words, the sun must be above the horizon with respect to the spacecraft and light must be shining on the spacecraft. Since satellites rarely provide their own lighting (at least lighting that can be seen on the ground), the sighting is made by the spacecraft reflecting sunlight toward the observer. Finally, even if sunlight is shining on the spacecraft, the fourth condition is that the side of the satellite that has sunlight on it must be facing roughly in the direction of the observer. If this condition is not met, then the observer is looking at the dark side of the spacecraft and it won’t be visible.

So when do all of these conditions come together? Since the satellite must be in daylight and the observer must be in darkness, this only happens near sunrise and at sunset. The rest of the conditions vary and depend on the positions of the observer, the spacecraft, and the sun. Many times, sightings can occur at both sunrise and at sunset on the same day depending on the geometry of the spacecraft with respect to the observer and the time of year. Sightings during the day are generally not possible without a telescope since the sky is too bright. Only very bright objects can be seen during the day (like the sun and the moon). Unfortunately, there is no Earth-orbiting spacecraft that can be seen unaided from the ground during daylight hours.