STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot AR3234 is crackling with solar flares including multiple M4- and M5-class events on Feb. 21st. This interest-compressed movie from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows yesterday’s extreme ultraviolet flashes:
Pulses of radiation from AR3234 are ionizing the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a rolling series of shortwave radio blackouts around all longitudes of our planet. While this activity continues, ham radio operators may notice intermittent loss of signal and other unusual propagation effects at frequencies below ~20 MHz. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text.
SUNSET SKY SHOW: Around the world, people are watching Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent Moon line up in the sunset sky. Jan Jackson took this picture last night in Ziheautanejo, Mexico:
“The planets were so bright, we could photograph them with nothing more than a cell phone,” says Jackson.
There’s something different to see every night. Tonight, the Moon moves up and passes close to Jupiter (Pro tip: Be alert for Earthshine.) Tomorrow, there will be a nearly-vertical Moon-Jupiter-Venus line in the sky. Sky maps: Feb. 21, 22, 23.
Best of all, Venus and Jupiter are converging. At closest approach on March 1st, Venus and Jupiter will be just 0.5 degrees apart–a beautiful pairing and one of the best astrophoto-ops of 2023. Take a look and submit your photos here.
more images: from Carl Blesch of Bradenton, Florida; from Lauri Kangas of Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada; from Paolo Bardelli of Sumirago (Varese), Italy; from David J Kriegler of Gulf Shores AL; from Michael Jaeger of AZM Martinsberg Austria; from Andreas Walker of Zetzwil, Switzerland
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