Sun

Physicists report the first definitive measurements of the sun’s electrical field

Physicists report the first definitive measurements of the sun’s electrical field

Astronomers and physicists have been studying the sun for a very long time, and despite all the intense study, much of what goes on in the sun is a mystery. As the Parker Solar Probe gets closer to the sun, scientists are learning new information about the star. A new study published by physicists from the University of Iowa has reported the first definitive measurements of the sun's electrical field.

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This huge X-class solar flare shows why NASA’s Sun study is so vital

This huge X-class solar flare shows why NASA’s Sun study is so vital

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has caught a huge flare erupting from the Sun, a 10 million degree Fahrenheit eruption potent enough to disrupt GPS and more. The SDO - which launched in 2010 - continuously monitors the Sun with a trio of instruments, tracking its energy output and magnetic field, and gauging the impact of solar changes on Earth and other parts of the Solar System.

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NASA’s images of the sun find a place on postage stamps

NASA’s images of the sun find a place on postage stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has issued a new set of postage stamps highlighting views of the sun taken from the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The stamps have a black background with images of the sun showcasing a range of activity observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory since its launch. The postal service issued the Sun Science stamps during a ceremony held at the Greenbelt Main Post Office in Maryland on June 18.

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Massive eruption on the sun reveals clues that could solve scientific mysteries

Massive eruption on the sun reveals clues that could solve scientific mysteries

The sun has experienced a multi-stage eruption that NASA says revealed new clues that could help scientists solve some long-standing mysteries about what causes this sort of powerful and unpredictable eruption. NASA is attempting to uncover the fundamental physics to help scientists better predict eruptions of this type in the future. NASA wants to be able to predict this sort of eruption because they can lead to dangerous space weather conditions on Earth.

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An uptick in solar storms could mean disruptions to power grids and satellites

An uptick in solar storms could mean disruptions to power grids and satellites

The sun is constantly going through cycles that see the number of solar storms increase and decrease. A couple of days ago, a massive solar storm erupted on the surface of the sun that blasted millions of tons of super-heated gas off the surface of the sun in the direction of Earth. This type of eruption is called a coronal mass ejection, and on a cosmic scale, this eruption wasn't particularly powerful.

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Solar Orbiter detected small and bright campfires on the sun

Solar Orbiter detected small and bright campfires on the sun

The ESA Solar Orbiter spacecraft is currently studying the sun. Among the discoveries made by the spacecraft so far are a surprising number of small and very bright regions in the hot solar corona that were undiscovered by other spacecraft. Tiny flares were discovered in the measurement data gathered from the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) taken during the commissioning of the instrument in space last year.

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NASA scientists trace Solar Energetic Particles to their source

NASA scientists trace Solar Energetic Particles to their source

Humans working and living in space face potential dangers and challenges that are unheard of here on earth. One of the challenges posed by the Sun to astronauts working in space are particles known as solar energetic particles or SEPs. These tiny particles move at nearly the speed of light and have the ability to reach Earth from the Sun in under an hour. The particles also have the ability to destroy electronics in spacecraft and pose a health risk for astronauts.

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NASA missions peer into the solar chromosphere

NASA missions peer into the solar chromosphere

The image below is of the solar chromosphere and was taken in 1999 during a total solar eclipse. The red and pink hues seen around the edges are created by light emitted by hydrogen. The bright colors are what gave the chromosphere its name, "chroma" means color in Greek. Scientists have known about the chromosphere for over a century, yet it still one of the most mysterious layers of the Sun's atmosphere.

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ESA’s Solar Orbiter is currently behind the sun

ESA’s Solar Orbiter is currently behind the sun

The ESA is currently operating a scientific mission in space using the Solar Orbiter known as Solo by the team operating it. The spacecraft has been in orbit for a year, having launched on February 10, 2020. Its mission is to image the sun and observe the solar wind while attempting to unravel many lingering mysteries about the solar cycle.

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NASA solar observation spacecraft capture unique views of the solar system

NASA solar observation spacecraft capture unique views of the solar system

NASA has multiple spacecraft that are in orbits designed specifically to study the sun. The spacecraft includes ESA and NASA's Solar Orbiter, NASA's Parker Solar Probe, and NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory. While all of the spacecraft have main instruments that focus on the sun, they have instruments aboard to measure the outflow of solar material from the sun.

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Scientists gain new insight into solar structures creating high-speed solar wind

Scientists gain new insight into solar structures creating high-speed solar wind

NASA scientists have combined data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insights into solar structures responsible for creating the sun's flow of high-speed solar wind. The study involves a first look at relatively small structures on the sun known as plumelets. The small structures could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind.

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2021 USPS Forever Stamps will feature stunning NASA Sun images

2021 USPS Forever Stamps will feature stunning NASA Sun images

NASA has captured a dizzying array of Sun images showing our star off in a variety of light, using contrast and color to showcase coronal loops, sunspots, coronal holes, plasma blasts, solar flares, and more. A selection of these images, each showing different solar phenomena, are coming to the USPS in the form of new Forever Stamps.

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