Reporting System

Phobos-Grunt Destroyed, Significant CME Captured by SOHO

PHOBOS-GRUNT DESTROYED: According to the Russian space agency and the U.S. Space Command, the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Jan. 15th shortly before 1 p.m. EST. So far, no photographs of the fireball or other debris have been submitted to spaceweather.com. Initial estimates of the final ground track suggest a re-entry in the south Pacific in the broad vicinity of Australia and New Zealand.

VENUS-DIRECTED CME (UPDATED): Sunspot complex 1401-1402 erupted this morning, Jan. 16th at approximately 0400 UT, producing a C6-class solar flare (SDO movie) and a bright coronal mass ejection. SOHO recorded the expanding cloud:

Update: According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, this CME will hit Venus during the late hours of Jan. 18th. Because Venus has no global magnetic field to protect it, the impact will erode a small amount of atmosphere from the planet’s cloudtops. There’s no cause for concern, however, because Venus’s massive atmosphere will scarcely notice the loss.

The same analysis shows that the CME might deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field around 1200 UT on Jan. 19th. The impact could cause geomagnetic activity and auroras around the Arctic Circle. Aurora alerts: textvoice.


January 16, 2012 - Posted by | Solar | , , , , , , , , , ,

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