A Good Night For Skywatchers
21 Feb 2002
Space Weather News
Solar activity intensified on Feb. 20th and 21st when sunspot magnetic fields erupted several times, producing a series of M-class solar flares. At least one of the eruptions also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward our planet. Sky watchers at high latitudes -- e.g., northern Europe, Canada, and across the northern tier of US states -- should be alert for Northern Lights late Friday (Feb 22) or Saturday (Feb 23) when the CME will likely sweep past Earth.
Even if the incoming CME fails to ignite auroras, there will still be something remarkable to see in the sky this weekend: a close encounter between Jupiter and the Moon. Sky watchers in North America can find the eye-catching pair close together in the southeastern sky after sunset on Friday. The two will appear even closer together on Saturday morning from parts of Europe, where the Moon will pass directly in front of the giant planet.
For more information about these events, and pictures of the recent Saturn-Moon occultation, please visit http://www.spaceweather.com.