Civilians in SPACE!
One of the first things I thought when I heard about this mission was that my granddaughter now lives in a world where her chances of going to space are much greater then mine ever were!
As a child of the 1960’s, I essentially grew up while the U. S. space program was in its infancy – BOY! How far we come from the days of white shirts with thin black ties on mission control teams, and all male spacecraft crews!
Jupiter and Saturn appear in the southeastern sky after sunset all week; the Moon appears in Sagittarius on September 14th. Over the course of several days, the Moon appears near both Jupiter and Saturn.
Venus and Mercury appear low above the southwestern horizon at dusk on Sept. 14th; Mercury vanishes from sight by Sept. 20th.
Venus, however, does something very interesting! Rather then go below the horizon like Mercury, Venus moves southward, while maintining (pretty much) the same height above the horizon – until early November, when Venus starts to move up and back to the west for several days, before finally dipping below the horizon.
- The Moon is Waxing Gibbous – visible to the southeast in early evening, up for most of the night.
- The Full Moon occurs on Sept. 20th – rising at sunset, visible high in the sky around midnight, and visible all night.
- After Sept. 20th, the Moon will be a Waning Gibbous – rising after sunset, visible high in the sky after midnight, and visible to the southwest after sunrise.
If you click on the Moon image above, or click this link, you will go to NASA’s Moon Phase and Libration, 2021 page – it will show you what the Moon looks like right now. If you click the image on that page, you will download a high-rez TIFF image annotated with the names of prominent features – helpful for logging your lunar observations!
Most of the spots covering the Sun’s face last week have vanished or rotated out of view – the Sun currently has 2 sunspots that Earth can see, and they are rotating out of view.
SpaceWeather.com says: “During the early hours of Sept. 13th (~0200 UT), a dark filament of magnetism on the sun exploded. The blast hurled a CME into space, and maybe toward Earth. Initial modeling by NOAA suggests a near miss (or glancing blow) on Sept. 16-17. The fact that the CME overlaps at least two other CMEs makes unraveling its trajectory tricky. Stay tuned for additional analysis.”
The Sun seen in 193 angstroms on September 13th.
The two sunspots rotating out of view appear very active in this frequency.
The northern coronal hole is still very large, the southern hole has diminished a bit.
The Sun seen in 304 angstroms on September 13th.
Large prominences and filaments everywhere! Whatever is rotating into view in the upper left is starting to spit a lot!
You can view the Sun in near real-time, in multiple frequencies here: SDO-The Sun Now.
You can create your own time-lapse movies of the Sun here: AIA/HMI Browse Data.
You can browse all the SDO images of the Sun from 2010 to the present here: Browse SDO archive.
Amateur Solar Astrophotography
Solar wind speed is 448.4 km/sec ▲ with a density of 3.4 protons/cm3 ▼ at 1454 UT.
Click here to see a near real-time animation of the corona and solar wind from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
- Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) discovered this month: 194, this year: 1998 (+158), all time: 26,833 (+204)
- Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs): 2207 (+2 updated 2021-09-14)
- Total Minor Planets discovered (NASA): 1,113,527 (updated 2021-08-17)
- Total Minor Planets discovered (MPC): 1,116,816 (updated 2021-08-31) – these last two numbers have not been updated by either NASA or the MPC in several weeks now!
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
|Asteroid||Date(UT)||Miss Distance||Velocity (km/s)||Diameter (m)|
|2021 QR3||2021-Sep-14||16.7 LD||14.6||58|
|2021 RX5||2021-Sep-14||7.2 LD||8.1||65|
|2021 RZ4||2021-Sep-14||16 LD||6.7||17|
|2021 RL6||2021-Sep-16||14.7 LD||11.9||16|
|2021 RM10||2021-Sep-16||16.8 LD||12.3||30|
|2021 QG2||2021-Sep-16||18.1 LD||7.3||30|
|2021 QV5||2021-Sep-16||12.8 LD||15.4||42|
|2021 RQ9||2021-Sep-17||1.3 LD||13.2||18|
|2021 RY5||2021-Sep-18||3.5 LD||9.2||26|
|2021 RR4||2021-Sep-18||13.7 LD||5.9||15|
|2021 RH12||2021-Sep-18||1.1 LD||5.6||7|
|2021 QA2||2021-Sep-18||10.6 LD||13||54|
|2021 RZ7||2021-Sep-20||6.2 LD||13.5||23|
|2017 SL16||2021-Sep-20||12.8 LD||6.1||23|
|2021 RL3||2021-Sep-20||7.6 LD||22.5||66|
|2021 RX9||2021-Sep-21||8.3 LD||14.6||23|
|2021 RP9||2021-Sep-21||15.8 LD||18.1||48|
|2021 RS||2021-Sep-22||18.6 LD||3.4||37|
|2021 NY1||2021-Sep-22||3.9 LD||9.4||177|
|2021 QV6||2021-Sep-24||9.3 LD||13.1||90|
|2019 SF6||2021-Sep-26||16.4 LD||8.6||20|
|2021 RP10||2021-Sep-27||9.7 LD||16.4||42|
|2021 RM5||2021-Sep-29||10.5 LD||4.3||20|
|2021 RF2||2021-Sep-30||7.3 LD||5.4||25|
|2021 RP12||2021-Oct-06||5.1 LD||9.5||40|
|1998 SD9||2021-Oct-06||10.6 LD||10.8||59|
|2015 TQ21||2021-Oct-07||10.7 LD||20.7||12|
|2021 RF5||2021-Oct-10||20 LD||8.8||39|
|2021 QF5||2021-Oct-11||15.4 LD||7.1||49|
|2019 SE5||2021-Oct-11||16.3 LD||6.6||16|
|2020 TH6||2021-Oct-19||7.3 LD||5.9||6|
|1996 VB3||2021-Oct-20||8.8 LD||15.3||135|
|2021 RE10||2021-Oct-21||15.5 LD||5.1||54|
|2017 SJ20||2021-Oct-25||18.7 LD||15.7||123|
|2019 UW6||2021-Oct-26||8 LD||11.1||17|
|2009 WY7||2021-Nov-02||19.2 LD||14.7||54|
|2017 TS3||2021-Nov-02||13.9 LD||9.9||135|
|2005 VL1||2021-Nov-04||17 LD||5.2||18|
|2020 KA||2021-Nov-06||14.9 LD||4.8||11|
|2019 XS||2021-Nov-09||1.5 LD||10.7||65|
|2017 WG14||2021-Nov-10||18.6 LD||11.6||45|
A new way to estimate the age of the asteroid Vesta
On September 13, 2021, the NASA All Sky Fireball Network reported 13 fireballs!
Position of the planets & several spacecraft in the inner solar system on September 14th:
Position of the planets in the middle solar system:
Position of the planets in the outer solar system:
Solar System News
Spirit and Opportunity rovers each carried a cable guards made from the WTC
NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover
I’m driving here!
International Space Station
Life support is good!
International Space Station
HiRISE - Beautiful Mars
Looking for changes after the 2018 dust storm.
James Webb Space Telescope ready for launch!
Climate change -vs- global warming
See a list of current NASA missions here: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions?mission_status=current
ex·o·plan·et /ˈeksōˌplanət/, noun: a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun.
Data from the NASA Exoplanet Archive
* Confirmed Planets Discovered by TESS refers to the number planets that have been published in the refereed astronomical literature.
* TESS Project Candidates refers to the total number of transit-like events that appear to be astrophysical in origin, including false positives as identified by the TESS Project.
* TESS Project Candidates Yet To Be Confirmed refers to the number of TESS Project Candidates that have not yet been dispositioned as a Confirmed Planet or False Positive.
SpaceWeather.com Realtime Aurora Gallery: https://spaceweathergallery.com/aurora_gallery.html
- Visit an International Dark Sky Park: https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/parks/
- If you live in Michigan, visit the Michigan Dark Skies site: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/darkskies/
Education and STEM
Be a part of World Space Week 2021: Oct. 4-10
NASA and LEGO Space Team!
Hubble – Weird Universe: Gomez’s Hamburger
Hold the pickles; hold the lettuce. Space is serving up giant hamburgers. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a photograph of a strange object that bears an uncanny resemblance to a hamburger.
The object, nicknamed Gomez’s Hamburger, is a sun-like star nearing the end of its life. It already has expelled large amounts of gas and dust and is on its way to becoming a colorful, glowing planetary nebula. The ingredients for the giant celestial hamburger are dust and light. The hamburger buns are light reflecting off dust and the patty is the dark band of dust in the middle. – NASA
Software Apps used for this post:
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission simulator – free for the PC /MAC.
SpaceEngine: a free 3D Universe Simulator for Windows. Steam version with VR support available.
Stellarium: a free open source planetarium app for PC/MAC/Linux. It’s a great tool for planning observing sessions. A web-based version of Stellarium is also available.