Latest Jonathan Cirtain Stories

Finest Mirrors Ever Made For HI-C Sounding Rocket Mission
2012-07-07 09:32:29

On July 11, NASA scientists will launch into space the highest resolution solar telescope ever to observe the solar corona, the million degree outer solar atmosphere. The instrument, called HI-C for High Resolution Coronal Imager, will fly aboard a Black Brant sounding rocket to be launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The mission will have just 620 seconds for its flight, spending about half of that time high enough that Earth's atmosphere will not block ultraviolet rays...

Hinode And SOHO Paint An Asymmetrical Picture Of The Sun
2012-04-23 04:36:24

Approximately every 11 years the magnetic field on the sun reverses completely — the north magnetic pole switches to south, and vice versa. It's as if a bar magnet slowly lost its magnetic field and regained it in the opposite direction, so the positive side becomes the negative side. But, of course, the sun is not a simple bar magnet and the causes of the switch, not to mention the complex tracery of moving magnetic fields throughout the eleven-year cycle, are not easy to map out....

2010-08-03 08:00:00

For a thrilling eight minutes, NASA researchers will soon get a peek at one of the sun's most mysterious regions, where temperatures fluctuate from tens of thousands of degrees Fahrenheit to several million, and solar flares and coronal mass ejections originate -- potentially threatening spacecraft, Earth-based communications and the lives of explorers in space. To learn more about this turbulent region of the sun, known as the transition region, Marshall solar physicists and engineers have...

2010-07-01 08:12:55

The sun is the largest and most important object in our solar system, containing 99.8% of the solar system's mass, or quantity of matter. Among that remaining 0.2% are hot planets, icy moons, asteroid belts, chunks of rock, rings of ice, and over 100 worlds -- including our Earth. The "space" in between is a mesmerizing mix of the push-and-pull of gravity, solar winds, particle radiation, and magnetospheres. Not bad for a mere 0.2%! On Thursday, July 1, scientist Jonathan Cirtain from NASA's...

2008-09-08 10:28:31

Next April, for a grand total of 8 minutes, NASA astronomers are going to glimpse a secret layer of the sun. Researchers call it "the transition region." It is a place in the sun's atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun's gases. It's where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey to Earth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated to a million mph. It is, in...

2005-09-12 17:25:00

Cambridge, MA -- The U.S. could be in for quite a show tonight! Astronomers are predicting that the Northern Lights will shine on and off, periodically coating the northern sky in brilliant greens and reds. "This evening, there is about a 70 percent chance of medium-strength aurorae at our Boston latitude," says Smithsonian astronomer Jonathan Cirtain of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "Aurorae could reach even further south." To see the Northern Lights, Cirtain...

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  • Color; hue; complexion.
This word is Middle English in origin.