And now for something completely different.

Haley’s Comet is making a return of sorts.  Bits of the famous comet will be hitting Earth’s atmosphere and lighting up from Oct. 20 to Oct. 23.  It should be a beautiful sight for amateur astronomers.

While this type of event isn’t frequently associated with space weather, ballistic hazards do pose a threat to spacecraft.  Small objects, including meteoroids and “space junk” (bits of old spacecraft) pose a huge threat to our space-borne communications.  Even grain-sized objects are moving so fast that they can pierce solar panels, insulation, and other parts.  Large objects can obliterate spacecraft, creating a new wave of space junk, which can cause a cascade of destruction around the Earth.  Space junk is serious business.