Latest Sun Stories

IBEX First Images Heliosphere Tail
2013-07-10 13:08:59

[ Watch the Video: IBEX Provides First View of the Solar System’s Tail ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has unveiled an unexpected structure in the first complete pictures of the solar system's heliotail. Scientists believe a "tail" trails the heliosphere, which is the giant bubble in which our solar system resides. As the heliosphere moves through interstellar space, it creates a tail similar to that of a...

Antimatter Particles From Solar Flares
2013-07-10 08:32:20

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online When the Universe was born, equal amounts of matter and anti-matter - matter with the same physical behavior as its matter counterparts, but with opposite charge - should have been created. However, the cosmos now appears to be dominated by normal matter. Usually, direct study of anti-matter requires costly particle-accelerator experiments, or in some cases space-based observatories. Now however, Gregory D. Fleishman from the...

Magnetic Waves Responsible For Keeping Sun's Corona Heated
2013-07-09 15:10:08

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers at the 44th meeting of the Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society are shedding light on the Sun's coronal heating mystery. The team found evidence magnetic waves in a polar coronal hole contain enough energy to heat the corona and deposit most of their energy at sufficiently low heights for the heat to spread throughout the corona. Their observations help answer a 60-year-old solar physics mystery...

Space Weather Prediction Systems Need To Be More Reliable
2013-07-06 04:29:18

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online The residents of Earth have a vested interest in being able to accurately predict solar activity, particularly events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These eruptions spew energetic charged particles into the solar system at fantastic rates, which have the potential to damage orbiting satellites and even ground based power grids. Our first line of defense against solar activity is knowing when to...

Fascinating Features On Sun Captured By Solar Dynamics Observatory
2013-07-05 13:32:39

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists studying the solar atmosphere have spotted some fascinating moving features in the Sun's sky. A team using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) telescope on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite has found unusual solar prominences, including: a giant disc that rotates for several hours; feathery streams as long as fifty Earths; a super-heated jet striking the top of a prominence; and twisted ribbons flowing...

Stellar Magnetic Fields Affect Possibility For Life Beyond Earth
2013-07-05 04:31:00

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The presence of an atmosphere - among many other factors - is vital for the evolution of life as we know it on a planet. However, this seemingly simple requirement is bathed in a multitude of variables that can affect its creation and existence. Thus, establishing an atmosphere is by no means a trivial detail. Scientists believe mechanisms such as volcanic eruptions, other tectonic activity and even comet impacts could all play...

Curious Flips Observed In Tau Boo's Magnetic Cycle
2013-07-04 03:58:06

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One star sitting 51 light years away in the constellation of Bootes has a magnetic cycle that is puzzling astronomers. Dr Rim Fares presented the first observations of the complete magnetic cycle of Tau Bootis, or Tau Boo, at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in St Andrews this week. These are the first observations of the complete magnetic cycle of a star other than our Sun. According to the findings, in...

Scientists Study Coronal Loops To Gain Insight Into Solar Dynamics
2013-07-02 18:21:44

John P. Mills, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com -- Your Universe Online Solar flares and the even more violent Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are spectacular events, driving enormous amounts of energy and streams of charged particles into space. While researchers have had the opportunity to study these events for decades, we are still learning about what initiates these explosions. Previous studies have revealed that twisted magnetic field lines within the solar structure will pierce the surface...

Science Experiment Requires New Altitude For Space Station
2013-07-02 10:44:28

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) had to add a little more distance between the orbiting laboratory and Earth on Sunday for a science experiment. NASA said astronauts raised the space station's altitude to accommodate a research project aimed at learning about Earth's atmosphere and climate change. "The European scientists requested that we reposition the station slightly because by having this period of time...

Latest Sun Reference Libraries

Stellar Astrophysics
2014-01-12 00:00:00

The prominent feature that allows for the existence of life on Earth is the Sun. Radiation from our closest star provides heat and energy to our planet, driving biological processes and providing the necessary conditions for liquid water to naturally exist. But our Sun is only but one star in this vast Universe. And as it turns out, most stars are quite different than the one that illuminates our day. For this reason, scientists have, for hundreds of years, attempted to study the other...

How Solar Cycles Impact Our Weather Here On Earth
2013-01-13 09:10:34

Solar cycles: what are they and why should we care about them? Solar cycles are made up of what are known as solar minimums (min) and solar maximums (max). We refer to a solar min at the time when the sun is not active with many sunspots, while a solar max is just the opposite when we see a large increase in sunspot activity. So how long do solar cycles last? Typically they run on what is known as an 11 year cycle from the max to the min and then start over again anew. As of 2012 we...

Weather Reference Library
2012-07-23 13:36:11

Being a meteorologist for over thirteen years you start to take note of many things in the atmosphere and how they repeat themselves. Our Climate is no different. The definition of climate is stated as: the collective weather data in regards to moisture and temperature for over 30 years for the same location. So to better understand our climate we need to look at this. First, we have average temperatures for given places based on the 30 year average. Some years the temps are warmer or...

Solar Physics
2012-05-02 19:16:53

Solar Physics is a journal for solar and solar-stellar research and the study of solar terrestrial physics. Founded in 1967 by solar physicist Cornelis de Jager and publisher D. Reidel, the journal treats all aspects of solar physics, ranging from the internal structure of the Sun and its evolution, to outer corona and solar wind in interplanetary space. Solar Physics has four more than forty years been the principal journal for publications of fundamental research on the Sun. It is...

2010-10-28 18:40:42

The spectroheliograph captures a photographic image of the Sun at a single wavelength of light. The wavelength chosen usually coincides with a spectral wavelength of one of the chemical elements present in the Sun. George Ellery Hale and Henri-Alexadre Deslandres developed I independently in 1890 and was further refined in 1932 by Robert R. McMath to take motion pictures. It operates by using a prism together with a narrow slit that passes a single wavelength. The light focuses on a...

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  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'