Latest Sun Stories
On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare – an example of one of the strongest solar flares -- on the sun.
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The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 1:48 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event.
Approximately every 11 years, the sun undergoes a complete personality change from quiet and calm to violently active. The height of the sun’s activity, known as solar maximum, is a time of numerous sunspots, punctuated with profound eruptions that send radiation and solar particles out into the far reaches of space.
Thanks to one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on Earth, physicists have for the first time confirmed the existence of low-energy neutrinos created by the “keystone” proton-proton fusion process taking place in the core of the sun.
Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million years. At its peak, a supernova can outshine the entire Milky Way.
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On Aug. 24, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:16 a.m. EDT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun.
A new study from Lund University in Sweden has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.
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...
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...
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 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...
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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