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Each baseball comes with a greeting card showing the ball in flight and telling the story of its journey to the stratosphere. NASA's Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) spacecraft has spotted its first noctilucent clouds (NLCs) of the 2018 season.
They are the electric-blue puffs circled in this image of the Arctic taken by AIM's CIPS instrument on May 27th: "The summer season for noctilucent clouds has begun," says Cora Randall, AIM science team member at the University of Colorado.
[Larger image] [movies] Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU.
None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.
Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue).You'll see Jupiter, Saturn and Mars arranged in a bright line across the starry sky. It's hopping from one planet to the next with beautiful conjunctions on June 1st (Moon-Saturn) and especially June 3rd (Moon-Mars). The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere: This is a coronal hole--a region where the sun's magnetic field has opened up, allowing solar wind to escape. This one began with a countdown: "10, 9, 8, 7...." On May 23, 2018, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched this World Series Champion Houston Astros ball to the stratosphere on a cosmic ray balloon: You can have it for 9.95.