Sun

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

NASA may have captured the full lifecycle of a nanoflare on the sun

NASA may have captured the full lifecycle of a nanoflare on the sun

A new study has been published that outlines data captured by researchers that may be the first complete observation of a solar nanoflare. The study marks the first time scientists have captured the full lifecycle of what may be a putative nanoflare ranging from its first bright origins to its demise. A nanoflare is a tiny eruption on the Sun's surface, which is about one-billionth of the size of a normal solar flare.

Continue Reading

Auroras in the northern United States didn’t happen after all

Auroras in the northern United States didn’t happen after all

One of the biggest draws for skywatchers in the northern part of the world are the brightly colored auroras in the sky at night. The northern lights can only be seen from very northern latitudes typically. Earlier this week, predictions were that people down into the northern United States might be able to see the auroras in the sky.

Continue Reading

This giant sunspot is larger than the Earth

This giant sunspot is larger than the Earth

New images have been released from the world's largest solar observatory. The observatory is called the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope, and it is located on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Scientists took the image on January 28, 2020, but it has only been released to the public now. The giant sunspot seen in the center of the photo below is about 10,000 miles across.

Continue Reading

Borexino experiment gathers critical data on how stars shine

Borexino experiment gathers critical data on how stars shine

The Borexino scientific collaboration is an experiment at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics. Researchers on the project on November 25 announced the first-ever detection of neutrinos produced by the sun by the CNO cycle (carbon-nitrogen-oxygen). The project is an experimental result of historical value completing a chapter of physics that started in the 1930s.

Continue Reading

ESA Solar Orbiter makes its first close approach to the Sun

ESA Solar Orbiter makes its first close approach to the Sun

The ESA has announced that the solar Orbiter has made its first close approach to the Sun. The event happened on June 15 with the solar Orbiter approaching as close as 77 million km to the Sun's surface. That is about half the distance between the Sun and Earth. The point that is closest to the Sun is known as the perihelion.

Continue Reading