30 March 2005

Earth's Star Shaped Gamma Rays

Quote for the day:

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Noel Adams
British writer
(1952 - 2001)

Awoke around 3:00 a.m. - watched the moon set, the stars disappear and the sun rise on a beautiful crisp spring morning in the valley. No donkey braying (the farm alarm) across the valley means the cougars and coyotes have departed for now.

A week ago it was unseasonably warm and now that spring has officially arrived it is below zero and there is a new drop of snow on the mountains all around this morning. Thank goodness the freezing level stayed high enough that it did not hit the newly forming buds on the trees and plants. The weather sure isn’t what is used to be.

Earth's Star Shaped Gamma Rays - Image credit NASA/CGRO/EGRET Dirk Petry Posted by Hello

After wandering the usual morning links – quite a lot of solar flares, volcanic activity and earthquake activity lately – came across an excellent photo of our earth through gamma-ray vision. Found the star shaped energy fascinating as I awoke from the heat of one branded on my palm many years ago & it has turned to 2 stars since then. It appears to be a growing phenomenon among a few people I know personally…sure wonder what it is all about…. wouldn’t anyone?

“A NASA-funded scientist has produced a new type of picture of the Earth from space, which complements the familiar image of our "blue marble". This new picture is the first detailed image of our planet radiating gamma rays, a type of light that is millions to billions of times more energetic than visible light.

The image portrays how the Earth is constantly bombarded by particles from space. These particles, called cosmic rays, hit our atmosphere and produce the gamma-ray light high above the Earth. The atmosphere blocks harmful cosmic rays and other high-energy radiation from reaching us on the Earth's surface.

The red image indicates lower gamma-ray energy levels, with the green version corresponding to higher levels and the blue image showing the highest energy levels of all. The fourth image (lower right) is a composite of all four panels together.”

Just imagine how these incredible invisible rays affect all life forms on this planet!


I Wonder Productions
Oklahoma State
International Dark Sky Associatiion
Astronomy Sight
NASA - Heavens Above

27 March 2005

Solar Flare Anomolies

Quote for the day:

"Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is."
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
German physicist & philosopher
(1742 - 1799)

Here it is a rainy Easter Sunday afternoon with the clouds low in the valley - my cat curled up purring on the couch & the lure of the satellites in our space has had me captivated for the past few hours wandering around the net on my 44kb connection (you know it is a passion when someone has the patience to download satellite images at this speed - lol).

The latest images from the LASCO & SOHO satellites are magnificent however they cannot outshine the ones shown below from the past few years. I particularly like the Comet Linear solar flare photo. Amazing the shapes in these powerful bursts!

One must take pity on the weather forecaster of today attempting to predict our weather based on models used before our Sun started to intensify it's activity (somewhere around 1986). With each flare comes a delightful wave of energy that laps invisibly onto our planet's shores and alters the weather patterns with unpredictable results. All life on our wonderful Planet Earth is impacted by these waves of invisible energy. It has been suggested by researchers that an aggressive Sun brings out the aggression in the human species. For one of many kewl articles on the subject check out Scientific Studies of Sunspots - Effects On Humans.

Off to make a bowl of warm soup & read on this Silvery B. C. day.


LASCO/SOHO Coronagraph
Moscow Neutron Monitor
Anzwers Atlas of the Universe

Solar Flare during Comet Fly By

Quote for the day:

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”
German born American Physicist
(1879 - 1955)

Solar Flare during comet Linear fly by - February 18th, 2003.
Photo credit: SOHO/NASCOM/NASA

Note eye shape in flare - love nature's art. Posted by Hello


LASCO Cube Shape Solar Flare/Core Spike

Quote for the day:

The creative conquest of space will serve as a wonderful substitute for war."
James S. McDonnell
Aeronautical Engineer & Industrialist
(1899 - 1980)

What an incredibly active Sun we have had this past number of years. Here is one of many excellent and unusual photos of solar flares that are ongoing and growing stronger.

Keep your eyes to the skies.

LASCO Satellite - Solar flare cube shapes November 24th, 2002 Posted by Hello


25 March 2005

Moon phases

Quote for the day:

It's like having astronomy without knowing where the stars are.”
American Scientist & Research Professor

Here it is Easter long weekend & the full moon is waning. The exact phase of the moon is called 'Waning Gibbous'. The moon at this stage appears to be more than 1/2 illuminated by direct sunlight. The fraction of the moon that is illuminated is decreasing. The amount of the moon that we can see will grow smaller every day. ('Waning' means decreasing or growing smaller).

Copyright © Ian Holton 2003

The valley looked beautiful last night with the moon playing peak-a-boo behind the beautiful cumulonimbus clouds...looks like another night of the same tonight.

Has taken a bit for me to figure out the html language thingy tonite. Managed to finally get the moon phase monitor where i wanted it on the page and that's it for tonite!


Anzwers Atlas of the Universe
Astronomy Sight
Astronomy Skyrouter
Bad Astronomy
CfDS - The Campaign for Dark Skies

21 March 2005

Vernal Equinox

Quote for the day:

"God is infinite, so His universe must be too. Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of His kingdom made manifest; He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds."
Giordana Bruno
Italian philosopher, astronomer/astrologer and occultist.
(1548 - 1600)

The Vernal Equinox arrives today in the Northern Hemisphere and the arrival of Spring. The weather has gone from Snow last nite to rain and warmer as the daylight lit up my little valley. Equal Day and Night have arrived, the sweetpeas are in the ground and the days are getting longer - Yippee!

The Full Moon on March 26th, 2005 is known by many names:
  1. The Worm Moon - The temperatures begin to warm and with the thawing of the earth the worm casts appear, announcing the return of the robins.
  2. The Full Crow Moon - Northern indigenous tribes say the cawing of the crows signals the end of winter.
  3. The Full Sap Moon - When the maple trees are tapped for their syrup.
  4. The Full Crust Moon - The snow cover is crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.
  5. The Lenten Moon - To the early settlers and considered to be the last full Moon of Winter.

Dates and Times of Full Moons

Now off to teach myself more about blogging.

To receive complete access to Astronomy.com plus a free trial issue of Astronomy magazine subscribe here:

Astronomy Magazine

One may also gain free temporary access to the entire site with the access code in your current newsstand issue of Astronomy Magazine.


Anzwers Atlas of the Universe
Space Reference
Universe Today
SEDS Organization

19 March 2005

Favorite A.M. cuppa java links

Quote for the day:

"Be pleasant until ten o'clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself."
American Editor, Philosopher & Writer
(1856 - 1915)

First blog attempt from my little pad on a British Columbia, Canada mountainside.

photo credit: Colleen @ sweetmountianair.blogspot

My favorite morning cuppa java links to see what is going on in space & on earth:

  1. B. C. Earthquake Center
  2. IRIS
  3. N3KL
  5. Spaceweather
  6. SIDC
  7. Geostationary Satellite Server (GOES)
  8. RSOE HAVARIA Emergency Information Service

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