Archive for the ‘Sun’ Category

“Coronal Cells” in Sun’s Atmosphere

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Astronomers discover an unexpected new feature on the Sun, leading to further insights about the Sun’s magnetic field.


Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

You may be preoccupied with Tuesday’s asteroid 2005 YU55 flyby, but there’s another astronomical event currently unfolding in the solar system. Zoom out from the Earth-moon system for a moment and focus your attention to the surface of our nearest star, nearly 100 million miles away. Yes, that star: the sun.

“Dark Fireworks” Seen on Sun—Blast as Big as Ten Earths

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

New high-res videos of a June 7 solar flare, released by NASA this week, show strange blobs of plasma—what one scientist called “dark fireworks”—in the sharpest detail yet.

New ways to measure magnetism around the sun

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Those who study the sun face an unavoidable hurdle in their research – their observations must be done from afar. Relying on images and data collected from 90 million miles away, however, makes it tough to measure the invisible magnetic fields sweeping around the sun.

Bastille Day Solar Storm: Anatomy of a Gargantuan Sun Tempest

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

One of the most violent sun storms in recorded history erupted 11 years ago today (July 14).
The event was called the Bastille Day Solar Storm, and it registered as an X-class flare, the highest designation possible. (One storm since then, in October 2003, was even more powerful.)

Weatherwatch: What colour is the sun?

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

You should never look directly at the sun, as it will damage your eyes very quickly. But if you could look, what colour would you see? The answer turns out to be surprisingly complicated.

Waving goodbye to the Sun’s hot corona mystery?

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Incredibly fast waves travelling up to 2,000 kilometres per second (150 times less than the speed of light) have been observed in the Sun’s outer atmosphere by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Is the Sunspot Cycle About to Stop?

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Among the 320 solar physicists who have gathered for a conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, word is buzzing about a claim that the 11-year solar-activity cycle, which some of them have spent their lives studying, may be on the verge of a drastic change.

Massive solar flare somersaults

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

The “Behind” member of NASA’s STEREO spacecraft studying the sun has captured spectacular imagery of a rare somersaulting coronal mass ejection.
A movie of the event combines images captured with the spacecraft’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUVI) and Inner Coronograph (COR1) telescopes.

Plasma Bubbles Feed Huge Solar Storms

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Super-hot bubbles of plasma feed powerful solar storms that can wreak havoc on Earth, a recent study suggests. These bubbles apparently rise through the sun’s atmosphere, joining with giant “ropes” of magnetism and electric current higher up, researchers said.

US official: growing threat from solar storms

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

A senior official at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says solar storms pose a growing threat to criticial infrastructure such as satellite communications, navigation systems and electrical transmission equipment.

Comet Dive-Bombs Sun During Big Solar Eruption

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

A comet plunged into the sun this week just as a huge eruption exploded from the star’s surface, but the two events are likely not related, NASA scientists say.

NASA Sun-Watching Probe Sees Moon Mountains

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

When NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in February 2010, engineers placed it in what’s called a geosynchronous orbit over Earth.
The idea is that the craft circles our planet at the same speed as Earth’s rotation about its axis. To an observer on the planet’s surface, the satellite seems to return to the same place in the sky at exactly the same time every day.


Thursday, February 10th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, the solar atmosphere — or “corona” — is hotter than the sun’s surface. The solar surface is twisted with magnetic field lines and within those magnetic loops (known, unsurprisingly, as “coronal loops”) solar plasma is trapped, accelerated, heated and pulled back to the solar surface — producing a phenomenon called “coronal rain.”

NRL Researchers View the Sun in 3-D

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Beginning on February 6, 2011, the two STEREO spacecraft are 180 degrees apart providing Naval Research Laboratory scientists with a 360-degree view of the Sun. NASA’s STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory) spacecraft were launched on October 25, 2006, and have been gathering spectacular images of solar activity, especially solar storms, since the mission began.

Sun Unleashes a Rare Double Whammy

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

The sun unleashed two powerful solar eruptions today (Jan. 28) in a spectacular double blast caught on camera by a NASA spacecraft.The twin solar storms occurred in concert and marked an impressive start for the 2011 space weatherseason.

“Suicide” Comet Storm Hits Sun—Bigger Sun-Kisser Coming?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

A recent storm of small comets that pelted the sun could herald the coming a much bigger icy visitor, astronomers say.
Since its launch in 1995, NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, orbiter has captured pictures of 2,000 comets as they’ve flown past the sun.

Pictures: Entire Sun Rocked by Explosions

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Intense storms can envelop the entire sun at the same time, a new NASA satellite reveals for the first time.

Apps Bring Space Weather Down to Earth

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Want to see our violent, unpredictable sun the way a powerful NASA space telescope does? Now there’s an app for that. This week, a Colorado-based company introduced its free SDO app for Android smartphones, which lets users access nearly real-time images and videos captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft.

Huge Magnetic Plasma ‘Snake’ Spotted On the Sun

Friday, November 19th, 2010

A huge snakelike tendril of magnetic plasma has appeared on the sun, extending hundreds of thousands of miles across the surface of our nearest star.