Latest Solar flare Stories
Given a legitimate need to protect Earth from the most intense forms of space weather -- great bursts of electromagnetic energy and particles that can sometimes stream from the sun -- some people worry that a gigantic "killer solar flare" could hurl enough energy to destroy Earth, but this is not actually possible.
On Sunday (May 12) the Sun emitted a significant solar flare that is being classified as the first X-class solar flare of 2013. The X1.7 flare, which peaked at about 10 p.m. EDT, was also associated with another solar event known as a coronal mass ejection (CME).
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 1:32 pm EDT on May 3, 2013.
NASA has released a video of the unbroken coverage of the sun for the past three years, taken by its Solar Dynamics Observatory.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded a coronal mass ejection (CME) on Saturday April 20, 2013, at 2:54 a.m. EDT. That was only to be the first of three such events over the course of the weekend.
The M6.5 flare on the morning of April 11, 2013, was also associated with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), another solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later.
A powerful solar eruption occurred on the surface of the sun at 2:54 a.m. (EDT) this morning. The eruption, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), occurred on the Earth-facing side of the sun and may have released billions of tons of solar particles into space racing their way toward Earth, potentially making impact within three days.
Earlier this week the sun twice ejected large amounts of solar material during two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in a 12-hour period, according to a NASA report. The CMEs are not expected to significantly impact Earth.
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.
An eruption on the sun can be a beautiful, monstrous event, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has helped to bring these dangerous coronal mass ejections right to our computer screens.
Photosphere -- The photosphere of an astronomical object is the region at which the optical depth becomes one. In other words, the photosphere is the place where an object stops being transparent. It is typically used to describe the Sun or another star. Because stars are large balls of gas, they have no solid surface. However, there is a depth at which the gas stops being transparent to photons, and this depth provides a visual surface to the star. The Sun's photosphere has a...
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...
Chromosphere -- The chromosphere (literally, "color sphere") is a thin layer of the Sun's atmosphere just above the photosphere, roughly 10,000 kilometers deep. The chromosphere is more visually transparent than the photosphere. The most common solar feature within the chromosphere are spicules, long thin fingers of luminous gas which appear like the blades of a huge field of fiery grass growing upwards from the photosphere below. Spicules rise to the top of the chromosphere and then sink...
Solar Wind -- Solar wind, a stream of particles (mostly high-energy protons ~ 500 Kev) that is continually ejected from the surface of the Sun. The composition of this plasma is identical to the Sun's corona, 73% hydrogen and 25% helium with the remainder as trace impurities, and is ionized. Near Earth, the velocity of the solar wind varies from 200km/s-889km/s. The average is 450 km/s. Approximately 3000 tons of material is lost from the Sun every hour as solar wind. Since solar...
Solar Maximum -- The Sun, a roiling ball of plasma, occupies its place in space approximately 93 million miles from Earth. Though it seems simple to inhabitants of this planet -- the Sun shines, giving light and heat -- the processes occurring in the Sun are so complex that many scientists devote their careers to just one aspect of solar activity. Changes in the activity of the Sun particularly engage solar scientists. Whether fluctuations in the solar magnetic field, expulsions of...
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