Quantcast
Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Solar flare Stories

baae18b089690cf845b5a1433aa668721
2008-02-13 08:40:00

European scientists have developed the most accurate method yet for predicting the doses of radiation that astronauts will receive aboard the orbiting European laboratory module, Columbus, attached to the ISS this week. The new software package accurately simulates the physics of radiation particles passing through spacecraft walls and human bodies. Such techniques will be essential to use for calculating the radiation doses received by astronauts on future voyages to the Moon and Mars. To...

792c8276bbc7defc912c63f4f68ca5371
2008-01-23 13:21:51

ESA's Cluster mission has, for the first time, observed the extent of the region that triggers magnetic reconnection, and it is much larger than previously thought. This gives future space missions a much better chance of studying it. Space is filled with plasma (a gas composed of ions and electrons, globally neutral) and is threaded by magnetic fields. These magnetic fields store energy which can be released explosively, in a process called magnetic reconnection. This process plays a key...

2008-01-22 13:58:07

Powerful magnetic waves have been confirmed for the first time as major players in the process that makes the sun's atmosphere strangely hundreds of times hotter than its already superhot surface. The magnetic waves — called Alfven waves — can carry enough energy from the sun's active surface to heat its atmosphere, or corona. "The surface and corona are chock full of these things, and they're very energetic," said Bart de Pontieu, a physicist at the Lockheed Martin...

b64994e5a34730a385f0bdef94ea2ec31
2008-01-11 12:45:00

NASA scientists say a new solar cycle is beginning, and this could have important repercussions for space-based technology ranging from GPS navigation to weather satellites. On January 4, a reversed-polarity sunspot appeared, signaling the start of Solar Cycle 24. A sunspot is an area of magnetic activity on the surface of the sun that appears as a dark spot on its surface. Solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles and the previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, peaked in 2000-2002 with...

4a5a28bc699fb1cce2d1d6c2eee75ba61
2007-12-19 18:56:40

Using observations from ESO's VLT, astronomers were able for the first time to reconstruct the site of a flare on a solar-like star located 150 light years away. The study of this young star, nicknamed 'Speedy Mic' because of its fast rotation, will help scientists better understand the youth of our Sun. The astronomers [1] observed the star BO Microscopii [2] during two consecutive nights in October 2006, simultaneously with the UVES spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope and ESA's...

0fe465e2f27cdf64e9bfc0a5e1524ef11
2007-12-19 06:55:00

It has been 35 years since humans last walked on the moon, but there has been much recent discussion about returning, either for exploration or to stage a mission to Mars. However, there are concerns about potential radiation danger for astronauts during long missions on the lunar surface. A significant part of that danger results from solar storms, which can shoot particles from the sun to Earth at nearly the speed of light and can heat oxygen in the Earth's ionosphere and send it in a...

95e2d1dd55aa9bb801c17966c4346ce0
2007-12-06 16:17:56

Imagine you are sitting around a campfire. Move closer to the fire, and you get hotter. Move away, and you get cooler. Pretty basic, right? Well, the closest star, our sun, doesn't seem to be getting this. As you move away from the solar surface, into the sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, it actually gets a lot hotter before it cools off. The solar surface is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures in the corona soar to millions of degrees. Although scientists have some ideas...

6371521debb99a80f8d898c1093abfef
2007-12-06 16:11:56

Cambridge, MA - The Sun is minimally active right now, but this quiet state of affairs won't last for long. Over the next few years, the number of solar flares and eruptions known as coronal mass ejections will increase until reaching solar maximum in 2011 or 2012.  Such eruptions can impact Earth, disrupting satellites, communications, and even power grids. Some predict the next solar cycle will be the most intense in 50 years. As a result, scientists are striving to understand the...

bfedf7fd9330fdbe91d09cffaddda3991
2007-11-16 10:45:00

A NASA satellite designed, built and controlled by the University of Colorado at Boulder is expected to help scientists resolve wide-ranging predictions about the coming solar cycle peak in 2012 and its influence on Earth's warming climate, according to the chief scientist on the project. Senior Research Associate Tom Woods of CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics said the brightening of the sun as it approaches its next solar cycle maximum will have regional climatic...

245a60779937f1d7ba8473d2d3d3e9721
2007-09-20 12:55:00

"We've never seen anything quite like it," says solar physicist Lika Guhathakurta from NASA headquarters. Last week she sat in an audience of nearly two hundred colleagues at the "Living with a Star" workshop in Boulder, Colorado, and watched in amazement as Saku Tsuneta of Japan played a movie of sunspot 10926 breaking through the turbulent surface of the sun. Before their very eyes an object as big as a planet materialized, and no one was prepared for the form it took. "It looks like a...


Latest Solar flare Reference Libraries

6_b41df2b5116346e900bfb8a97da136be2
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...

6_9f9676753bcc717a861f93bfceb7d2f82
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...

6_4d16b7c37ad5d88de63c76846431dbc72
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...

4_d3a853c28ff70a676427cf8e42fced4f2
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...

4_641fa07d2f22a90aec48fb5581337d772
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...

More Articles (6 articles) »