Todays sunspot number is 89.Sunspot AR1723 has the energy to throw of flares but NOAA estimate the chances of that are 10% for M-class flares and 0.1% for X-class flares.
The Lyrid shower continues with the number of meteors seen each hour increasing slightly. The meteor shower is predicted to peak on the nights of April 21-22nd.
Communications with Mars rovers and orbiters has been suspended by NASA. During April Mars passes almost totally behind the Sun and this disrupts radio communications between the rovers and NASA control.
Less than 24 hours ago sunspot AR1678 did not exist, now it’s three times larger than planet Earth. It’s highly likely given the speed of it’s growth that the magnetic field within it is unstable. Unstable magnetic fields often give rise to significant flares.
In light of this NASA estimates the chance of an M class flare within the next 24 hours at 55% and that of an X class as 15% in the same time frame.
A large meteor was spotted blazing through the sky over Russia today. A Russian Interior SpokesmanÂ confirmedÂ that a space rock did indeed crash to earth near the city of Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains where over 400 injuries were reported.
Watch the stunning footage of the meteor below:
Today is the day that Earth is to experience the closest asteroid flyby in history whenÂ 2012 DA14Â skirts byÂ at just over 17,000 miles away. By all estimates, scientists have said that this asteroid will narrowly miss hitting earth, flying closer than some satellites and said to miss us by 15 minutes.
But they haven’t warned about shrapnel rocks breaking through and landing. It’s unclear whether the meteor that hit Russia is related to this flyby, but it seems likely since meteor showers are falling the exact same day.
Reuters isÂ reportingÂ that event as meteor showers but mentions the correlation between Asteroid 2012 DA14:
The Emergencies Ministry described Friday’s events as a “meteor shower in the form of fireballs” and said background radiation levels were normal. It urged residents not to panic.
Chelyabinsk city authorities urged people to stay indoors unless they needed to pick up their children from schools and kindergartens. They said a blast had been heard at an altitude of 10,000 meters (32,800 feet), apparently signaling it occurred when the meteorite entered Earth’s atmosphere.
The U.S. space agency NASA has said an asteroid known as 2012 DA14, about 46 meters in diameter, would have an encounter with Earth closer than any asteroid since scientists began routinely monitoring them about 15 years ago.
On November 29 at 8:15PM local time, the lights in the small city of Novgorod, Russia went out.
A video of the incident suggests a transformer may have been destroyed, but the reasons behind it are as of yet unclear.
Residents of the town report that electrical power in the area was completely out – for seconds in some areas and up to two hours in others – affecting street lights, televisions and other electrical components.
Radio stations, as depicted in the video below, were also knocked out fractions of a second before a large flash was seen lighting up the sky.
The powerÂ company explained it all as âA cat that wandered into a power transformer booth and caused a short circuit.â
Some speculation surrounding the incident suggests the flash of light and subsequent power outage may have been caused by an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon test of some kind.
While such a pulse wave itself would likely be invisible to the human eye, the initial detonation of a weapon that sends out an EMP could be similar in nature to the flash of light seen in the video capture of the event. Likewise, “northern lights” could be one possible way such a flash of light might be described as it spread across the sky.
Such a blast, however, should also be accompanied by a loud thunderous boom. Residents in the city did not report hearing thunder.
Was it an EMP test or a common transformer explosion?
Natural disaster throughout history have been responsible for millions of deaths across the globe. And, though the last “global killer” to strike earth hasn’tÂ occurredÂ for tens of thousands of years, many scientists say our number may soon be up.
Across the Bay of Naples from Pompeii, where thousands were incinerated by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, lies a hidden “super volcano” that could kill mil-lions in a catastrophe many times worse, scientists say.
The boiling mud and sulphurous steam holes of the area west of Naples known as the Campi Flegrei or Phlegraean Fields, from the Greek word for burning, are a major tourist attraction.
But the zone of intense seismic activity, which the ancients thought was the entrance to hell, also could pose a danger of global proportions with mil-lions of people literally living on top of a potential future volcanic eruption.
“These areas can give rise to the only eruptions that can have global catastrophic effects comparable to major meteorite impacts,” said Giuseppe De Natale, head of a project to drill deep under the earth to monitor the molten “caldera.”
“Fortunately, it is extremely rare for these areas to erupt at their full capacity, as it is extremely rare for large meteorites to hit the earth,” De Natale said from the Vesuvius observatory at Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology.
“But some of these areas, in particular the Campi Flegrei, are densely populated and therefore even small eruptions, which are the most probable, fortunately, can pose risks for the population. That is why the Campi Flegrei absolutely must be studied and monitored. I wouldn’t say like others, but much more than the others exactly because of the danger given that mil-lions of people live in the volcano.”
It’s been proposed that a Super Volcano was responsible for the culling of the human herd somewhere around 50,000 years ago, when the population of homosapiens on earth dropped to somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 people. Humanity, of course, survived, and it will likely make it through the next global disaster, but that doesn’t mean the effects of such an event wouldn’t be catastrophic.
The Yellowstone Caldera that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park in the northwestern part of the United States is so large that a a Super Volcano eruption is believed to have a potential blast radius of some 600 miles, with significant ash fallout direct impacting most of the United States.
Over a period of weeks and months that fallout, like the nuclear radiation from Fukushima, would blanket the entire world, and its impact would be felt almost immediately. Water supplies would be polluted with ash and chemicals, food production would come to a halt as sunlight would be obscured, and the 7 billion people living on earth would be struggling to survive.
According to researchers, a Super Volcano explosion on the order of the Yellowstone Caldera would release 1,000,000 times more energy than the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima.
We know of several such calderas that could have near-instantaneous catastrophic consequences for the planet, and scientists suggest that it’s not a matter of “if” such an event will happen. It is, based on historical evidence, a certainty that another super volcano will occur in the future – it’s only a matter of “when.”
The Yellowstone Caledra is now quite active, with high levels of heat and poisonous gas having been released in recent years. Satellite photos are showing irregular activity in this area, with some suggesting that “when” may be much closer than we think.
NASA’s Curiosity rover is set to arrive Â on Mars at 1:31 a.m., EDT on Monday, Aug. 6.
Its approximately 352 million mile (567 million kilometer), 36-week journey from Earth nearly complete, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are “all systems go” for touchdown in Mars’ Gale Crater tonight at 10:31 p.m. PDT (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6). This morning, flight controllers decided to forgo the sixth and final opportunity on the mission calendar for a course-correction maneuver. The spacecraft is headed for its target entry point at the top of Mars’ atmosphere precisely enough that the maneuver was deemed unnecessary. In addition, this afternoon, mission controllers determined that no further updates are necessary to the onboard information the spacecraft will use during its autonomous control of MSL’s entry, descent and landing. Parameters on a motion tracker were adjusted Saturday for fine-tuning determination of the spacecraft’s orientation during its descent. As of 6:18 p.m. PDT (9:18 p.m. EDT), MSL was approximately 36,000 miles (57,936 kilometers) from Mars, traveling at a speed of about 8,400 mph (about 3,755 meters per second).