Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Sunspot Aurora’s effects set to hit Earth tonight

On February 15th sunspot 1158 exploded blasting a huge coronal mass ejection (CME) in our direction.

This huge cloud of charged particles is due to reach Earth tonight, February 16th and tomorrow, February 17th which will result in increased auroral activity.

This is the largest flare to erupt from the sun in four years and due to its size it may be possible to view spectacular displays of aurora so keep an eye out over the next two days for auroral activity towards the north or the south if you happen to be in the southern hemisphere.

(With thanks to Pascal Desmond)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Celebrating the Space Shuttle era

As the Space Shuttle era draws to a close for NASA, with the final mission next month, Apogee Books have released Voyages of Discovery – The Missions Of The Space Shuttle Discovery, the first book to cover specifically the history of the space shuttle Discovery, the most storied orbiter in the fleet.

A very straight forward narrative history of the most storied orbiter in the Space Shuttle fleet, the book is written by written by former navy man Robert A Adamcik with a minimum of technical jargon. It put the reader on Discovery‘s flight deck during some of the most important missions of the Space Shuttle era from satellite retrieval to deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, to construction of the International Space Station, and the Return to Flight after two tragic losses.

The book also offers general background on the history of the Space Shuttle program and the shuttle Discovery in particular, with information on her various crew members, missions, research and scientific discoveries.

Robert A Adamcik was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy and served for 20 years as a Surface Warfare Officer, serving on six ships during the course of Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Stabilise, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Retiring as a Lieutenant Commander in 2009, Mr Adamcik combined his love for space flight, ships, and history into Voyages of Discovery. He resides in Norfolk, Virginia with his wife Kate and their several dogs and cats.

Voyages of Discovery – The Missions Of The Space Shuttle Discovery Robert A Adamcik cost £18.95 ISBN 9781926837130
STS 134: The Final Shuttle Mission
NASA: The Space Shuttle Era mini site