Latest Dean Pesnell Stories
Our Sun is constantly cycling between periods of low activity and high activity – known as solar minimum and solar maximum, or Solar Max, respectively.
While 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max, the relatively low solar activity recorded thus far has led experts to conclude that an unusual phenomenon has occurred. This most recent solar cycle has had not one but two peaks.
A paper published in the Jan. 20th issue of Science raises an intriguing new possibility for astronomers: unearthing comet corpses in the solar wind. The new research is based on dramatic images of a comet disintegrating in the sun's atmosphere last July.
Moments after launch, SDO's Atlas V rocket flew past a sundog hanging suspended in the blue Florida sky and, with a rippling flurry of shock waves, destroyed it.
How low can it go? The Sun is plunging into the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.
Astronomers who count sunspots have announced that 2008 has become the "blankest year" of the Space Age. Sunspot counts are at a 50-year low, signifying a deep minimum in the 11-year cycle of solar activity.
- A ceramic container used inside a fuel-fired kiln to protect pots from the flame.