Latest Solar flare Stories
The sun is revving up and preparing for a new cycle next year, reaching solar maximum during the summer and fall months of 2013.
In December, a NASA mission to study the sun will make its third launch into space for a six-minute flight to gather information about the way material roils through the sun's atmosphere, sometimes causing eruptions and ejections that travel as far as Earth.
Space-weather researchers joined forces to design and build NORUSCA II in order to help expand the understanding of auroras and other atmospheric events.
On Nov. 20, 2012, at 7:09 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection or CME. Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later.
On November 13, the Sun emitted an M6 classification solar flare, one of the weakest designations still able to cause some disturbances on Earth. Now, just a few days later, the Sun is at it again.
NASA said that the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare on Tuesday that has the potential of causing some radio blackouts. The solar flare reached a classification of M6, which falls into the weakest flares that are still able to cause some space weather effects near Earth.
NASA said its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the sun erupting with an X1.8 class solar flare on Monday.
A giant super-hot wave of solar plasma larger than the planet Earth erupted from the Sun at 4:15 a.m. EDT and was caught in amazing high-definition detail by a NASA spacecraft.
At 10:23 pm EDT on September 27, 2012, NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory captured an image of a particularly wide coronal mass ejection that erupted from the Sun.
After forty long years of debates and theories and counter-theories, the community of solar physics scientists has still failed to come to a consensus about what causes the sun's powerful coronal mass ejections.
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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