Mar 312012
 
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another close encounter with an asteroid is about to happen again and this time it’s happening on April Fools Day but this is no joke. A passenger jet sized space rock discovered March 13th and referred to by astronomers as 2012 EG5 will come closer to Earth than the Moon is.
Don’t worry, NASA says it will not hit us though.
This makes the third asteroid to come close to Earth in less than 30 days. Two other asteroids passed close by us on March 26th (2012 FP35 within 96,000 miles and 2012 FS35 which passed within 36,000 miles of Earth).
We will see another close flyby on April 4th when 2012 FA57, discovered on March 28, will pass at a range just beyond the orbit of the moon.
Enhanced by Zemanta
Mar 172012
 

 

Arctic Sea ice concentration, biweekly norther...

Image via Wikipedia

Back on December 18th, 2011, we reported that scientists had recently discovered huge fountains of methane gas in the Arctic that could disrupt weather patterns across the globe (link appears below). Well things are heating up on this issue (literally). The BBC is reporting that scientists told UK members of parliament that something needed to be immediately in order to prevent a world climate disaster. With Arctic sea ice meting at record rates, methane trapped in this ice is being released into the atmosphere increasing the effects of global warming. Recent predictions are for ice to completely disappear from Arctic seas during the months of September in forthcoming years. Melting ice also contributes to rising sea height which could flood coastal cities.

 

BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17400804

 

 

Mar 102012
 
Artist's rendition of Earth's magnetosphere.

Image via Wikipedia

The sun has fired another blast directly at Earth. A class M8.4 solar X-ray flare just was just sent hurling in our direction at 12:44 PM (EST) today from sunspot (AR1429) again . This is a major flare that is just a couple of points short of an X-Class flare and it is directly facing Earth so we will feel it with full force. Our magnetosphere is already stressed from the recent barrage and this can’t make things any better. The chance of a strong geomagnetic storm is probable. This post will be updated as more details are determined. Sometime during the morning of March 12, a strong (K7 or higher) geomagnetic storm will arrive in the form of a magnetic cloud resulting from the full halo CME generated on March 9.

Mar 092012
 

 

The Crystal Ball

Image via Wikipedia

March 7th we predicted that a major solar flare would happen within 12-24 hours. It took 36 hours instead but an M6.3-Class flare has occurred from AR 1429 this morning. The resulting CME is directly facing Earth and will arrive  March 11th or early March 12th.   A major geomagnetic storm of Kp7 or greater will hit us potentially affecting radio, airline and GPS systems.