In celebration of the Mercury Transit next monday (5/9/2016) morning, I’ve put together the attached quiz.
This is also available through Kahoot.it
While the solar disk is not covered, this image does show an impressive sunspot group.
Sunspot number: 98
Here is what a sun spot number of 41 looks like at mid-solar maximum in the sunspot cycle. The NASA/Marshall Solar Cycle Prediction web site is a good site to monitor the progress of this 24th solar cycle.
14:00 (EST) discussion: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv (also on the above site)
According to NASA scientists, the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Information is still being collected about the Russian meteorite and analysis is preliminary at this point. In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14’s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north.
But it sure is one heck of a coincidence!!
You have to wonder if it is a chunk off DA14, but the arguement about the direction of motion is a strong one.
2013 could be the best year for comets since 1996-1997 when Hyakutake, and Hale-Bopp made their appearances. Two potentially naked eye comets are being tracked. One may be visible in March and the other in December.
Disclaimer: Predictions like this are always made with apprehension. Sometimes they fail to meet brightness predictions, and sometimes they don’t look as expected. There are four types of comets: those that fail to match predictions, those that unexpectedly perform, those that perform as expected, and those that perform as expected but are hard to see anyway.
There are two types of bright comets: those that pass near the sun, and those that pass near the Earth. Bright comets that give off lots of dust and gas near perihelion are at their best in either the morning or evening as they approach, or recede from, the sun. These may easily visible for days or a couple weeks. They may have great tails. But they have to be extremely bright to be visible near the sun. Some extremely bright comets have only been visible by satellite. <note: link may be intermittent??>