A California man has come up with a unique way to mark the passage of time. While most of us think in terms of months (that were originally based on the movement of the moon) and years (which follow the Earth’s path around the sun), he decided to think even bigger. Continue reading ‘Galactic Tick Day’ Celebrates Our Trip Through the Galaxy
An incredible new time-lapse video shows Earth, Mars and the location of Pluto using images from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft, with the Milky Way as a vivid background. The spacecraft, whose primary mission is to monitor solar activity, was on the far side of the sun when the pictures were taken earlier this month. Continue reading Spacecraft Spots Earth, Mars and Pluto’s Position in Time-Lapse Sequence
A huge, heart-shaped sunspot shot off a strong solar flare Sunday evening (April 26), temporarily disrupting radio communications here on Earth.
The flare erupted at 8:29 p.m. EDT Sunday (0029 GMT on Monday) from a giant sunspot known as active region (AR) 2529, which is currently big enough to fit nearly five Earths inside it. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured amazing video of the solar flare as it happened. Continue reading Sleepy Sun’s Heart-Shaped Sunspot Erupts
When our sun was young, it was a very nasty star that erupted with “superflares” and blowtorched the inner solar system with powerful solar winds. Fortunately, the sun finally grew up and mellowed, reaching the calm(er) state it is now. Continue reading Earth’s Magnetism Saved It From Solar Sterilization
It is well known that as a massive cloud of gas collapses under its own gravity, baby stars may form. The intense gravitational collapse kicks off fusion processes that begin the coalescence of more matter that feeds into a newborn star. Though the general process is fairly well understood, the details are not. Continue reading Baby Star’s ‘Placenta’ Precisely Measured for the First Time
Some of the greatest cosmic mysteries are closer to home than you may think.
Take our sun: it is the energy source for all life on Earth and it generates powerful flares and coronal mass ejections that energize interplanetary space, igniting beautiful aurorae at high latitudes on our planet. However, the sun has a perplexingly hot atmosphere that, until recently, we had little idea as to how it was heated. Now, with the help of complex computer simulations supporting sophisticated observations, these long-standing mysteries are slowly beginning to unravel. Continue reading Visualizing Our Sun’s Messy Magnetic Mystery
NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) has observed another very long filament on the sun. The filament runs at least halfway across the face of the sun. NASA says the filament is about the length of 50 Earths side-by-side. Continue reading NASA’s SDO Observes Another Very Long Filament on the Sun