'Monster' Cosmic Blast Zips by Earth

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Wunderground  Seth Borenstein November 22, 2013


This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artist's rendering of how a gamma ray burst occurs—when a massive star collapses and creates a black hole that beams out focused deadly light and radiation bursts.

WASHINGTON -- Astronomers call it the monster. It was the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed. Had it been closer, Earth would have been toast.

Orbiting telescopes got the fireworks show of a lifetime last spring when they spotted what is known as a gamma ray burst in a far-off galaxy.

The only bigger display astronomers know of was the Big Bang - and no one, of course, was around to witness that.

Approaching Comet C/2012 S1 "ISON" - Updates

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The Watchers- by Adonai on

Comet ISON is now 74 million km away from the Sun and 129 million km away from the Earth. It's closest approach to the Sun is on November 28, 2013 at 18:44 UTC.

It is still unclear what exploded from the ISON's core on November 14th but it created a spectacularly-long tail which is now more than 16 million kilometers. Take a look at its image taken by Michael Jäger on November 17th at SpaceWeather.

The animation below consists of 8 images, each a 3-image median combine stack, all with a r' filter, from 11:43 to 12:53 UTC, November 14, made by Bruce Gary using a Celestron 11-inch telescope. Filamentary structure can be seen moving away from the sun at high speed. The motion of jets that can be seen first on the side is backwards and toward the center of the tail.

Orionid Meteor Shower: Leftovers of Halley's Comet

Desert Gypsy's picture - 10/21//13, Elizabeth Howel

Orionid meteor Over Summit County, CO

The Orionid meteor shower takes place in October and November each year, peaking in mid-October. The Orionids are noted for being bright and fragments, according to NASA, with an average speed of about 148,000 mph (238,000 kph).

The Orionids, like all meteor showers, are named after the constellation in which they appear to come from, which in this case is Orion the Hunter. While the constellation is best visible in the Northern Hemisphere, the meteor shower is visible in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

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Halley's Comet Peppers Earth's Atmosphere With Debris (video)

Desert Gypsy's picture - 10/21-13


Published on Oct 21, 2013

Even with the Moon obscuring the view, NASA's All-Sky Fireball network captured Orionid Meteor Shower's fireballs slam into the Earth's atmosphere. The two seen in this video were captured by several cameras in the United States on Oct. 20, 2013. Read more about it here:

Credit: NASA All-Sky Fireball Network
Music: Mark Peterson, Loch Ness Productions
Mash Mix:


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