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The Milky Way's Oldest and Wisest Stars - ScienceNOW - Mozilla Firefox_2012-09-04_15-47-10

General AstronomyCometsMeteorsSolar System SimulatorPlanetarium Simulator Free Sky MapsFind Evening Satellites2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Celestia is a space software simulation to explore the universe in three dimensions. You can explore the Solar System or super clusters of galaxies and everything in between right from your desktop PC or Mac. The great thing about Celestia is that you are not confined to the surface of the Earth. You can change your vantage point to almost anywhere in the universe. Explore the moons orbiting other planets in our Solar System or our Moon. See eclipses and other events in real time. Best of all, Celestia is FREE to download. To download, click here.
Stellarium is free software that puts a planetarium on your desktop. The sky is presented in a very realistic way that is easy to comprehend. It contains a catalog of over 600,000 stars and more can be added as desired. Just set your latitude and longitude and you are all set. It has constellation artwork for twelve different cultures and all the Messier objects. It displays the Milky Way, planets and many other objects. To download, click here.
You can download free monthly star charts with information about sky events and objects that can be seen with the unaided eye, binoculars and telescopes. To download, click here. 
Track satellites like the ISS, space telescopes like Hubble or track notable comets and other satellites here

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

On 2017 August 21, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses the United States of America. The path of the Moon’s umbral shadow begins in northern Pacific and crosses the USA from west to east through parts of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. The Moon’s penumbral shadow produces a partial eclipse visible from a much larger region covering most of North America.

Check back to see what the Hastings Museum has planned on August 21, 2017 for the Total solar eclipse.


Solar Activity Monitor

The chart below states the probability of seeing the Northern Lights. Chances are best when the Geomagnetic Field is red and states: Storm! For more information on solar activity,  visit n3kl.org.

Solar X-rays:Geomagnetic Field:
Status
Status

About the Solar X-ray status monitor: The X-ray Solar status monitor downloads data periodically from the NOAA Space Environment Center FTP server. The previous 24 hours of 5 minute Long-wavelength X-ray data from each satellite (GOES 8 and GOES 10) is analyzed, and an appropriate level of activity for the past 24 hours is assigned as follows:


Status
Normal: Solar X-ray flux is quiet (< 1.00e-6 W/m^2)

Status
Active: Solar X-ray flux is active (>= 1.00e-6 W/m^2)

Status
M Class Flare: An M Class flare has occurred (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-5 W/m^2)

Status
X Class Flare: An X Class flare has occurred (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-4 W/m^2)

Status
Mega Flare: An unprecedented X-ray event has occurred (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-3 W/m^2)The designation “Mega Flare” was chosen by Kevin Loch when the status monitor was created on March 4, 1999.There is no “official” designation for flares in this range.

About the Geomagnetic Field status monitor: The Geomagnetic Field status monitor downloads data periodically from the NOAA Space Environment Center FTP server. The previous 24 hours of 3 hour Planetary Kp Index data is analyzed and an appropriate level of activity for the past 24 hours is assigned as follows:


Status
Quiet: the Geomagnetic Field is quiet (Kp < 4)

Status
Active: the Geomagnetic Field has been unsettled (Kp=4)

Status
Storm: A Geomagnetic Storm has occurred (Kp>4)

 



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