The University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon campus caught an awesome fireball Saturday January 5th. 9:05 pm. My hats off to the staff and students for having a camera on top of the chemistry building to capture such events, too cool for school!
A fireball is basically a large meteor, the fireball objects entering our atmosphere can range from a few inches to a few feet in size, entering our atmosphere at up to 70,000 mph they stop burning around 10-20 miles high and only 1-2% reach the ground to become a meteorite.
Messenger had it's closest approach to Mercury Monday January 14th, another spacecraft had an important happening on that date as well. Ulysses spacecraft was at it's highest point over our Sun's north pole. NASA and the ESA have joined together for the Ulysses mission, launched from the Discovery Shuttle October 1990 the Ulysses spacecraft used Jupiter for gravitational assist to orbit around the Sun's poles. Just as Earth's poles are crucial to studies of terrestrial climate change, the Sun's poles may be crucial to studies of the Solar cycle.
Photo credit Sky and Telescope
The Sun goes through an eleven year cycle from minimum solar activity, things like Sunspots and flares to maximum activity. We are at Solar minimum and January 3rd was declared the start of a brand new cycle, cycle 24 has just started with the arrival of sunspot, active region 10981. Active region 10981 has an opposite magnetic polarity compared to active region 10980 and is at a high solar latitude, both indications a new cycle is upon us. What this means for me is more sunspots and flares to take pics of.
Got my first picture of a Sunrise the other day and guess what, decided to make another animated gif, hope you like it.