Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solar Eclipse & Cosmic Collision

Space Weather News for July 21, 2009

SOLAR ECLIPSE: The longest total eclipse of the 21st century is about to begin. It starts just hours from now at approximately 9 p.m. EDT on July 21st (0100 UT on July 22nd). The path of totality crosses many major cities in India and China, setting the stage for possibly the best-observed eclipse in history. Photos from the path of totality will be posted on as the event unfolds. NOT VISIBLE IN USA.

COSMIC COLLISION: Evidence is mounting that something did hit Jupiter no more than a few days ago. The impact site (a dark "scar" in Jupiter's clouds) was discovered on July 19th by Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley, and NASA astronomers quickly confirmed the find. Infrared photos posted on today's edition of are consistent with an asteroid or comet strike on the giant planet. The debris zone in Jupiter's clouds is itself as wide as a small planet, making it an easy target for backyard telescopes.

Terri, Events Coordinator
Phoenix Astronomical Society