“On 7-12-11 a solar wind hit Earth’s magnetosphere & created the conditions for a geomagnetic storm & Time Shift activity. Docked at the International Space Station the Atlantis crew took this photo of a beautiful aurora, created by the charged solar particles hitting Earth. Another solar wind is expected to hit Earth 7-19-11.” (NASA)

I almost cannot believe that this is the last Shuttle mission! This is an amazing photograph, it’ll be one of the defining moments of the early 2000s!

And in the news:

Re: computer failure – “Engineers have yet to figure out why the computer shut down Thursday; cosmic radiation is suspected. The first computer failure was traced to a bad switch throw and quickly fixed.”


Here’s a great post from Paul Hudson at the BBC, too – definitely worth a read!

“In a fascinating paper I wrote about over a year ago, and which you can read again here, Russian Scientist Dr Abdussamatov predicted in 2009 that the sun has a bi-centennial cycle, and will fall to a very low level of activity in the coming years. He concluded, contrary to the research published in Geophysical Research Letters, that warming due to man made greenhouse gases will be dwarfed by this ‘solar cooling’.”