Latest Solar flare Stories

2010-12-13 12:00:00

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A serendipitous alignment of high-powered spaceborne solar instruments-designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-has finally provided the data allowing scientists to uncover the physical mechanism behind so-called "sympathetic flares" on the Sun. For over 75 years, solar physicists have been observing near-synchronous explosions in the solar atmosphere, and have wondered whether they were somehow related, but hard evidence for...

2010-12-07 14:25:00

Our Sun can be a menace when it sends out powerful solar blasts of radiation towards the Earth. Astronomers keenly watch the Sun to learn more about what powers these solar eruptions, in hopes of being able to predict them. New research shows that one-third of the Sun's blasts are "sneak attacks" that may occur without warning. "If space weather forecasters rely on some of the traditional danger signs, they'll miss a significant fraction of solar eruptions," said Suli Ma of the...

2010-11-19 07:20:00

By Karen C. Fox, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Solar flares "“ they're big and they're fast. They can knock out a satellite or create a beautiful aurora. And the jury is still out on what causes these explosions. Flares, and the related coronal mass ejection, shoot energy, radiation, and magnetic fields out into space that can harm satellites or humans in space. Current observations aren't precise enough to determine whether the eruptions are driven by energy surging through the...

2010-11-08 08:50:00

News from the 52nd annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics The Sun sporadically expels trillions of tons of million-degree hydrogen gas in explosions called coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such clouds are enormous in size (spanning millions of miles) and are made up of magnetized plasma gases, so hot that hydrogen atoms are ionized. CMEs are rapidly accelerated by magnetic forces to speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second to upwards of 2,000 kilometers per second in several...

2010-10-15 11:25:00

After detailed analysis of data from the SOHO and GOES spacecraft, a team of European scientists has been able to shed new light on the role of solar flares in the total output of radiation from our nearest star. Their surprising conclusion is that X-rays account for only about 1 per cent of the total energy emitted by these explosive events. Flares are sudden energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere that occur when the solar magnetic field is locally unstable. When the magnetic field lines...

2010-10-06 12:41:55

Grant will upgrade, expand radio frequency antennas at Owens Valley Solar Array A $5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to upgrade and expand a set of radio frequency antennas at Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) http://www.ovsa.njit.edu/  has been awarded to NJIT. The new facility is expected to help scientists better understand the nature of solar flares which greatly interest government, industry and the military. "Space weather incidents such as coronal mass ejections and...

2010-08-16 08:25:00

Scientists from Boston University's Center for Space Physics (CSP) announced August 13 that they have sub-visual evidence of the onset of a new cycle of solar-terrestrial activity. The key results being reported deal with the fact that recent auroral displays at high latitudes (ones visible to the naked eye) were accompanied by far less luminous glows in the atmosphere at lower latitudes. "It's exciting to see the return of aurora to mid-latitudes," Dr. Steve Smith said, referring...

2010-08-12 20:04:53

A new analysis of the unusually long solar cycle that ended in 2008 suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be a stretching of the Sun's conveyor belt, a current of plasma that circulates between the Sun's equator and its poles. The results should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of solar cycles and could lead to better predictions."¨"¨The study was conducted by Mausumi Dikpati, Peter Gilman, and Giuliana de Toma, all scientists in the...

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...

2010-08-03 06:45:00

Sky viewers might get to enjoy some spectacular Northern Lights, or aurorae, in the early morning hours of August 4th. After a long slumber, the Sun is waking up. Early Sunday morning, the Sun's surface erupted and blasted tons of plasma (ionized atoms) into interplanetary space. That plasma is headed our way, and when it arrives, it could create a spectacular light show. "This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th," said astronomer Leon...

Latest Solar flare Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

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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