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Scientists have recently gathered some of the strongest evidence to date to explain what makes the sun's outer atmosphere so much hotter than its surface.
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 12:20 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event.
A new “tsunami wave” generated by the sun has helped NASA scientists confirm that Voyager 1 is currently traveling through interstellar space, or the area between the stars that is filled with charged particles known as plasma, the US space agency reported on Monday.
On June 27, 2013, NASA's newest solar observatory was launched into orbit around Earth. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observes the low level of the sun's atmosphere -- a constantly moving area called the interface region -- in better detail than has ever been done before.
Just like on Earth, the Sun has spells of bad weather, with high winds and showers of rain. But unlike the all-too-frequent storms of the UK and Ireland, rain on the Sun is made of electrically charged gas (plasma) and falls at around 200,000 kilometers an hour from the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, to the Sun's surface.
Astronomers using NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) have discovered that the atmosphere of solar particles surrounding the sun is larger than previously believed, extending out some five million miles above the surface.
A suite of Sun-gazing spacecraft, SOHO, STEREO and Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have spotted an unusual series of eruptions in which a series of fast 'puffs' force the slow ejection of a massive burst of plasma from the Sun's corona.
The 1.6 meter telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in California has given researchers unparalleled capability for investigating phenomena such as solar flares.
A coronal mass ejection, or CME, surged off the side of the sun on May 9, 2014, and NASA's newest solar observatory caught it in extraordinary detail.
Corona -- The corona is the luminous "atmosphere" of the Sun extending millions of kilometers into space, most easily seen during a total solar eclipse. An interesting feature of the corona is the fact that it is much hotter than the visible "surface" of the Sun; the photosphere is approximately 6000°C compared to the corona at over one million °C. The corona is much less dense than the photosphere, however, and so produces less light. The exact mechanism by which the corona is...
Solar Prominence -- Solar prominences are large arch-shaped structures observable in the solar corona. These often have a twist and occasionally become unstable, ejecting plasma and magnetic flux out from the sun. The physics of solar prominence instability is believed to be governed by magnetic forces and magnetic helicity issues. It is thought that instability occurs when a magnetic flux tube becomes excessively twisted. ----- Click here to learn more on this topic from eLibrary:
Solar Flare -- A solar flare is a violent eruption that explodes from a star's photosphere with energies equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs. Solar flares from the Sun send out a streams of highly energetic solar wind that can present a radiation hazard to spacecraft outside of planetary magnetospheres and can disrupt radio signals on Earth. Solar flares were first observed on the Sun in 1859 by English astronomer Richard Carrington. They have also been observed to...
The Sun -- intensely hot, self-luminous body of gases at the center of the solar system. Its gravitational attraction maintains the planets, comets, and other bodies of the solar system in their orbits. The sun is actually a star of about medium size; it appears larger than the other stars because of its relative nearness to the earth. The earth's distance from the sun varies from 91,377,000 mi (147,053,000 km) at perihelion to 94,537,000 mi (152,138,000 km) at aphelion (see apsis). The...
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