Latest Solar flare Stories

2009-02-10 10:00:00

Astronomers using NASA's Swift satellite and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope are seeing frequent blasts from a stellar remnant 30,000 light-years away. The high-energy fireworks arise from a rare type of neutron star known as a soft-gamma-ray repeater. Such objects unpredictably send out a series of X-ray and gamma-ray flares. "At times, this remarkable object has erupted with more than a hundred flares in as little as 20 minutes," said Loredana Vetere, who is coordinating the Swift...

2009-01-23 10:45:00

The C1XS X-ray camera, jointly developed by the UK's STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has successfully detected its first X-ray signature from the Moon. This is the first step in its mission to reveal the origin and evolution of our Moon by mapping its surface composition. In orbit around the Moon on the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, C1XS detected the X-ray signal from a region near the Apollo landing sites on December 12th 2008 at 02:36 UT....

2009-01-22 08:10:00

Did you know a solar flare can make your toilet stop working? That's the surprising conclusion of a NASA-funded study by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Severe Space Weather Events"”Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. In the 132-page report, experts detailed what might happen to our modern, high-tech society in the event of a "super solar flare" followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. They found that almost nothing is immune from space weather"”not even the...

2009-01-05 16:10:26

A NASA-funded study describes how extreme solar eruptions could have severe consequences for communications, power grids and other technology on Earth. The National Academy of Sciences in Washington conducted the study. The resulting report provides some of the first clear economic data that effectively quantifies today's risk of extreme conditions in space driven by magnetic activity on the sun and disturbances in the near-Earth environment. Instances of extreme space weather are rare and...

2008-12-15 11:10:00

GREENBELT, Md., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Packing a punch equal to a hundred million hydrogen bombs, they obliterate everything in their immediate vicinity. Not a single atom should remain intact.   At least that's how it's supposed to work.   "We've detected a stream of perfectly intact hydrogen atoms shooting out of an X-class solar flare," says Richard Mewaldt of the California Institute of...

2008-12-15 11:05:00

Solar flares are the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Packing a punch equal to a hundred million hydrogen bombs, they obliterate everything in their immediate vicinity. Not a single atom should remain intact. At least that's how it's supposed to work. "We've detected a stream of perfectly intact hydrogen atoms shooting out of an X-class solar flare," says Richard Mewaldt of the California Institute of Technology. "What a surprise! If we can understand how these atoms were...

2008-12-12 13:21:44

Members of the MESSENGER science team will present a range of new findings from the spacecraft's studies of the planet Mercury during the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting next week in San Francisco. "The principal goal of the MESSENGER mission is to gather global observations of Mercury from orbit about the planet, beginning in 2011, but our first two flybys produced a wonderful abundance of new information about the least known of our sister planets," says MESSENGER Principal...

2008-11-07 12:55:00

After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life. "I think solar minimum is behind us," says sunspot forecaster David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. His statement is prompted by an October flurry of sunspots. "Last month we counted five sunspot groups," he says. That may not sound like much, but in a year with record-low numbers of sunspots and long stretches of utter spotlessness, five is...

2008-11-04 12:30:00

The development of a magnetic shield could have great implications for the future of space travel. Space weather is the single greatest obstacle to deep space travel, according to international space agencies. Radiation from the sun and cosmic rays pose a deadly threat to astronauts in space. Scientists announced on Tuesday that a spaceship equipped with a magnetic field generator could reduce the threat to acceptable levels. The magnetic field generator mimics the protective field that...

2008-10-02 15:25:00

Scientists using NASA's RHESSI spacecraft have measured the roundness of the sun with unprecedented precision. They find that it is not a perfect sphere. During years of high solar activity the sun develops a thin "cantaloupe skin" that significantly increases its apparent oblateness: the sun's equatorial radius becomes slightly larger than its polar radius. Their results appear the Oct. 2nd edition of Science Express. "The sun is the biggest and therefore smoothest object in the solar...

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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Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'