ISS with lightning and the aurora
Lightning from the ISS
Storms on Saturn
“A quest to find planet Earth’s darkest night skies led to this intriguing panorama. In projection, the mosaic view sandwiches the horizons visible in all-sky images taken from the northern hemisphere’s Canary Island of La Palma (top) and the south’s high Atacama Desert between the two hemispheres of the Milky Way Galaxy. The photographers’ choice of locations offered locally dark skies enjoyed by La Palma’s Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and Paranal Observatory in Chile. But it also allowed the directions to the Milky Way’s north and south galactic poles to be placed near the local zenith. That constrained the faint, diffuse glow of the plane of the Milky Way to the mountainous horizons. As a result, an even fainter S-shaped band of light, sunlight scattered by dust along the solar system’s ecliptic plane, can be completely traced through both northern and southern hemisphere night skies.”
Meteor Shower Sounds Captured by Space Radar
The U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Radar in Texas recorded echoes of the Perseid Meteors as they passed over the monitoring facility. Includes imagery of a meteor photographed by astronaut Ron Garan aboard the International Space Station.
Semi-important events that are semi-relevant to meteorology: August 12
1885 - Physicist Jean Cabannes is born. He specialized in optics. He showed how gas molecules diffused light (pure gases can scatter light). He, along with Jean Dufay, calculated the height of the ozone layer. Additionally, he, Daure, and Rocard showed that gases diffusing monochromatic light could also change their wavelength. This is known as The Cabannes-Daure effect.
1953 - A 7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes the Greek islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia.
1960 - NASA successfully launches the communication satellite Echo 1A. This is the first successful launching of communication satellite done by NASA.
Space Weather - Impact on Life on Earth (and in Space)
Just as Earth weather can do damage to homes and other property and disrupt our lives, Space Weather can cause damage to satellites, and affect our communications, navigation, and power systems, disrupting our lives. Therefore, studying space weather is important to our national economy because solar storms can affect the advanced technology we have become so dependent upon in our everyday lives.
This could have a major economical impact.
- Cost of a major power blackout: $4-10B (billion dollars)- An extreme solar storm (like the one from 1859): $1-2T (trillion dollars)- January 1994; the outage of two Canadian telecommunication satellites took 6 months to recovery and the cost was $50-70M (million dollars).
Scientists around the world use data from spacecraft and ground-based instruments to monitor space weather patterns - magnetospheric storms and substorms - in hopes of one day being able to predict space weather. If we knew two days earlier that a large space storm was headed our way, we could close down any satellite in the path of the storm and give them better protection from the radiation, reduce the power output of large electrical power companies on Earth and be able to protect some of their expensive power grid components.
Source: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory.