Solar science: Two giant solar flares today + Update on the solar cycle

A couple of giant flares erupted on the sun today: Two Significant Solar Flares Imaged by NASA’s SDO | NASA

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.


Here is Bob Zimmerman’s latest update on the solar cycle and the number of sunspots: Sunspot update for August 2017 | Behind The Black

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.

Videos: Views of Hurricane Irma from space

** “Hurricane Irma 2017 Live Satellite Monitor – Huracan Irma – Latest Update”

** “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

** “GOES-16 vs GOES-13 Imagery of Hurricane Irma”


Videos: “Star Craft” with Loren Grush of The Verge

Loren Grush, who reports on spaceflight at The Verge, has started a video series called Star Craft. Here are the first set of shows:

** “In the season premiere of our new show Space Craft, Loren Grush tries on innovative Mars and Moon space suits at the University of North Dakota campus, learning just how complex and restrictive a space suit can be.” – These next-generation space suits could allow astronauts to explore Mars – The Verge

** “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 

** “In the season finale of Space Craft, we booked a flight with the Zero Gravity Corporation, one of a handful of organizations in the world that currently offers parabolic flight experiences.” – What it feels like to float in zero gravity – The Verge 



Video: TMRO Orbit 10.32 – “3D printed rockets with Dave Masten”

Check out the latest online show, which featured an interview with  Masten Space Systems founder and CEO Dave Masten: 3D printed rockets with Dave Masten – Orbit 10.32 – TMRO

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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Carnival of Space #525 – Everyday Spacer Blog

Everyday Spacer hosts the latest Carnival of Space.

Observations of “Jellyfish galaxies” with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed a previously unknown way to fuel supermassive black holes. It seems the mechanism that produces the tentacles of gas and newborn stars that give these galaxies their nickname also makes it possible for the gas to reach the central regions of the galaxies, feeding the black hole that lurks in each of them and causing it to shine brilliantly. This picture of one of the galaxies, nicknamed JO204, from the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, shows clearly how material is streaming out of the galaxy in long tendrils to the lower-left. Red shows the glow from ionised hydrogen gas and the whiter regions are where most of the stars in the galaxy are located. Some more distant galaxies are also visible.