From Spaceweather comes, first, benign news and, then, news that one of these days is going to precede TEOTWAWKI:
LYRID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is approaching the debris field of ancient Comet Thatcher, source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on April 21-22; a nearly-new moon on those dates will provide perfect dark-sky conditions for meteor watching. Usually the shower is mild (10-20 meteors per hour) but unmapped filaments of dust in the comet’s tail sometimes trigger outbursts 10 times stronger.
It’s called the Lyrid shower because the meteors appear to spoke out from the constellation Lyra.
SATURN’S RINGS AT THEIR BEST: This week Saturn is at opposition–directly opposite the sun in the skies of Earth. The ringed planet rises at sunset and soars high in the sky at midnight, up all night long. Opposition is the time when Saturn’s rings are at their best. From the point of view of Earth, shadows in the ring plane almost completely disappear (just as your own shadow tries to hide beneath your feet at noon) and sunlight is directly backscattered by icy ring particles toward our planet.
From our perspective, Saturn has a wobble over a long arc of time. Therefore we sometimes have to look at him direct on, so that we can barely see the rings. At other times, Saturn is tilted toward or away from us and we get a better view.
And then there’s… this:
SPECTACULAR EXPLOSION: Magnetic fields on the sun’s northeastern limb erupted around 17:45 UT on April 16th, producing one of the most visually-spectacular explosions in years. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths:
The explosion, which registered M1.7 on the Richter Scale of solar flares, was not Earth-directed. [This time.] A CME produced by the blast is likely to hit NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft, but probably no planets.
This event confirms suspicions that an active region of significance is rotating onto the Earth-facing side of the sun. [DUM DUM DAAAAAAAH! I would start stocking up on Mystic Monk Coffee, friends. Don’t think ponder it. Just do it.] Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts:text,phone.
One of these days, something reeeeallly bog blasted out of the Sun will strike the earth, and our lives will dramatically change.
If you are responsible for anyone else, and if you don’t think about these things from time to time, you are nuts.
Have a nice day!
I’m going to celebrate today’s narrow dodge of life-altering doom by observing National Eggs Benedict Day.