Aurora Alert

 

The same Solar Radiation Storm that delayed the Cygnus launch on Thursday should provide some of us with an aurora. Note the Cygnus cargo ship HAS launched!!

I’m not sure this will be a huge display, it will however be one of the better displays in a long while.

Right now, not much is happening, but things should be getting going in a few hours, I for one am planning on being outside a few hours before daylight here and that would be about 08:00 or 09:00 UTC.

A visual from the SWPC page (it should be current)

The latest WWV Geophysical Alert Message:

Solar-terrestrial indices for 09 January follow.
Solar flux 184 and estimated planetary A-index 10.
The estimated planetary K-index at 2100 UTC on 09 January was 3.

Space weather for the past 24 hours has been strong.
Solar radiation storms reaching the S3 level occurred.

Space weather for the next 24 hours is predicted to be strong.
Geomagnetic storms reaching the G3 level are likely.
Solar radiation storms reaching the S2 level are expected.
Radio blackouts reaching the R1 level are expected.

A very nice concise page of data including all updates to the above message can be found at the SWPC and by clicking here.

GPI First Light

The Gemimi Planet Imager first light photo of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b.  Image credit: Processing by Christian Marois, NRC Canada

The Gemimi Planet Imager first light photo of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b. Image credit: Processing by Christian Marois, NRC Canada

This is the Gemini Planet Imager’s first light image of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris b. The Gemini Planet Imager is the most powerful exoplanet camera to look at the sky so far.

Briefly Beta Pictoris b is a planet around the star Beta Pictoris which has been blocked out so its light doesn’t interfere with the light of the planet.

Beta Pictoris b is several times larger than Jupiter and is very young, around ten million years old. According to the Gemini website the planet is glowing in the infrared from heat released in its formation.

Beta Pictoris is relatively close by being 19.4 parsecs (63.4 light-years) away in the constellation Pictor. 1.75 times larger and 8.7 times as luminous as our Sun, it is already on the main sequence.

Visit the Gemini website for more pictures and a good deal of information about the camera – worth the visit!