The sun emitted two significant solar flares on the morning of Sept. 6, 2017. The first peaked at 5:10 a.m. EDT and the second, larger flare, peaked at 8:02 a.m. EDT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of both events. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
The long slow decline to solar minimum has now shown itself. Up until now, the ramp down from solar maximum had been fast and steep, unlike past solar cycles where the ramp down is slow and steady. The last few months the ramp down had practically ceased. In this August graph the ramp down turned into a temporary ramp up. Considering the strong activity going on right now as well as the past week, I expect the September numbers to also show this increase.
** “The International Space Station’s external cameras captured a dramatic view of Hurricane Irma as it moved across the Atlantic Ocean Sept. 5. The National Hurricane Center had recently upgraded Irma to a Category 5 storm with hurricane warnings issued across the Caribbean.”
** “Watch Hurricane Irma Turn Into Category 5 Storm From Space”
** “Satellite Animation Sees Major Hurricane Irma Approaching Leeward Islands”
** “In the second episode of Space Craft, Loren Grush learns how NASA trains its astronauts before sending them to space. Simulating the space environment — either with a giant pool or with virtual reality — helps astronauts prepare for scenarios both planned and unplanned.” – Walking through space in NASA’s Virtual Reality Lab – The Verge
** “The environment of the International Space Station isn’t exactly hospitable to the human body. In this episode of Space Craft, Loren Grush tries out some of the specialized machines astronauts use to workout in space to stay healthy in microgravity.” – How do astronauts exercise in space? – The Verge
This week we bring on guest Dave Masten to get an update of the happenings at Masten Space Systems. In addition to an update on the XS-1 project, we also talk about how Dave and crew is using additive manufacturing (3D printing) to create entire rocket engines. Interview starts at 16:59
Space news topics:
01:44 – ISRO suffers PSLV failure 05:18 – The End Is Near Cassini! 09:02 – Dreamchaser Completes Captive Carry Flight ahead of Free Flight 12:35 – Best Ever Images of A Star’s Surface And Atmosphere
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