Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Check Out the Latest Pictures From Space!

Click the link for real time pictures of comets, auroras, craters and more.

Taken by joe canz on September 13, 2014 @ tampa fl.

Taken by Frank Olsen on September 17, 2014 @ Sortland, Norway

Theophilus (crater) - Animated Gif
Taken by Giuseppe Donatiello on September 15, 2014 @ Oria (Brindisi) - Italy

SPACE WEATHER - Minor Storm Warning

MINOR STORM WARNING: A slow-moving CME propelled toward Earth by an erupting magnetic filament on the sun is expected to arrive today, Sept. 17th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of minor geomagnetic storms in response to the sluggish impact. High-latitude sky watchers, be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts:textvoice

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Active Space Weather - incoming CME

CME is an acronym for Coronal Mass Ejection. Think of it as a solar flare - on an enormous scale.

 DUAL CME: Another CME is en route to Earth. It was launched in our direction four days ago by the eruption of a magnetic filament near the center of the solar disk. This movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory shows the Earth-directed CME almost overwhelmed, visually, by a brighter farside CME headed in the opposite direction.

The impact won't be as effective as the double-blow Earth experienced on Sept. 12th, when two CMEs hit in less than 24 hours. Nevertheless, NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 17th when the CME arrives. (Note: Yesterday we wrote that the CME would arrive on Sept. 16th, however, a revised analysis of its speed suggests a later arrival.) High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunny Northwest day stuns ISS astronaut

Published: Sep 6, 2014 

I would think being an astronaut living on the International Space Station would find a new sight each day in the cosmos to be in sheer wonder. 

Friday brought a rare sight to NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman -- something he says never happens and he had a front row seat. 

A galaxy supernova? Not quite; seen it before. 

Rain on the moon? That would qualify but still no need for meteorologists there. 

No, while it was weather-related, it had to do with our own Pacific Northwest:

Photo: Reid Wiseman, NASA

This never happens – perfectly clear from California to British Columbia. in the middle.

I can see the Chamber of Commerce posters now: "Seattle summer: It's out of this world!" 

It's also nearing kicking 1967 out of the record books. Saturday will be Seattle's 41st day at 80 or warmer (with nary a cloud to be found on the satellite image, or seen by the ISS.) The record is 47 days at 80 or warmer. (2nd is 46, 3rd is 45 days.) Long range models suggest the record is not out of reach.

And with plenty of sunshine along for the ride, Wiseman and the rest of the ISS crew should be able to frequently wave hi to the Northwest, only if this pattern keeps up, soon the Tweets will read something like this: 

"Again?!?! Perfectly clear from California to British Columbia. #Seattle in the middle."

Friday, September 5, 2014


Sunday, a house-sized asteroid named "2014 RC" will fly through the Earth-Moon system 

almost inside the orbit of geosynchronous satellites. At closest approach, Sept. 7th at 18:18 UTC, the 20-meter-wide space rock will pass just 40,000 km over New Zealand. This diagram from NASA shows the geometry of the encounter:
                                                                                         There is no danger of a collision with Earth.

Asteroid 2014 RC was discovered on the night of August 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, located on the summit of Haleakalā on Maui, Hawaii.  Follow-up observations quickly confirmed the orbit of 2014 RC: it comes from just beyond the orbit of Mars.
The close appproach of this space rock offers researchers an opportunity for point-blank studies of a near-Earth asteroid. Even amateur astronomers will be able to track it. Around the time of closest approach, it will brighten to magnitude +11.5 as it zips through the constellation Pisces. This means it will be invisible to the naked eye but a relatively easy target for backyard telescopes equipped with CCD cameras. 

According to NASA, "[the orbit of 2014 RC] will bring it back to our planet's neighborhood in the future.  The asteroid's future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Best Way for Your Child to Wear their Backpack

Published: Sep 2, 2014 

MOSCOW, ID - It's the end of the first week of school for most students in our region and that means backpacks are quickly filling up with books, homework and supplies.

That can all get pretty heavy, so it's important your child is wearing their backpack the right way. Jenee' Ryan met with Gritman Therapy Solutions in Moscow to find out the best way to wear a backpack.

"Do you have a lot of weight in your backpack?" said Physical Therapist, Shirley Rencken.

"Yea," said Maddyson Garnett.

Most kids would answer the same way. Backpack fit and size is crucially important during grade school and high school years. 

"At that age their bodies and their muscles, their bones and joints are all maturing and forming and we want to minimize the impact of injuries at a young age," said Rencken.

Some common consequences include bad posture and chronic back pain. Rencken pointed out some common backpack mistakes. 

"It's way too big for her," said Rencken. "It hits way down here below her bottom and it should fit more up into the small of her back."

This is how it should look.

"It fits right up to the top of her shoulder blade and it hits in the small of her back," said Rencken. 

It's also very important to keep the weight of the bag even on the back. 

"It's going to be loading her back in an awkward position because she's got weight hanging on one side," said Rencken. "So the best thing to do with your water bottles is to fill them when you get to school or even put them inside your backpack so the weight is centered."

But don't let that backpack get too heavy. 

"This is about nine pounds of books, which is the maximum weight for madison," said Rencken.

Backpacks should never weigh more than 15-percent of the child's body weight, so utilize lockers throughout the day and maybe have them carry some stuff. Also, make sure the backpack is snug and your child uses both straps, padded preferably, and if they have a belly strap, use that too.

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