Solar Astronomy

Aurora Watch! Two Solar Particle Blasts Could Start Smacking Into Earth Friday

by Elizabeth Howell September 11, 2014

Bim, bam, smash! The Sun hurled two clouds of particles in our general direction, putting space weather watchers on alert. There’s now a high chance of auroras on Sept. 12 (Friday), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with more activity possible during the weekend. The coronal mass ejections erupted Sept. 9 and Sept. […]

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Rosetta’s Comet Already Spewing Dust, One Year Before Getting Close To The Sun

by Elizabeth Howell August 13, 2014

Mark your calendars, astronomy geeks: exactly one year from today, the comet the Rosetta spacecraft is chasing will make its closest approach to the Sun. As Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko draws closer to the star, the radiation pressure will cause gas, ice and dust to stream off the comet in ever greater quantities, scientists expect. But that […]

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ISEE-3 Completes Lunar Flyby, Begins a Citizen Science Program

by Tim Reyes August 10, 2014

The journey began on August 12, 1978 from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II launch vehicle. Now after 36 years and 30 billions miles of travel around the Sun — as well as a crowd-funded reboot of the spacecraft and a foiled attempt to put it into Earth orbit — the ISEE-3 has completed a […]

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Blast! Sun Pops Off A Moderate Solar Flare. Could Others Follow Soon?

by Elizabeth Howell July 10, 2014

With a watchful NASA spacecraft capturing its moves, the Sun sent off a “mid-level” solar flare on Tuesday (July 8) that you can watch (over and over again) in the video above. The Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the explosion around 12:20 p.m. EDT (4:20 p.m. UTC), which led into a coronal mass ejection that sent […]

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Watch the Rise and Fall of a Towering Inferno on the Sun

by Jason Major June 16, 2014

Caught on camera by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a prominence blazes hundreds of thousands of miles out from the Sun’s surface (i.e., photosphere) on May 27, 2014. The image above, seen in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, shows a brief snapshot of the event with the column of solar plasma stretching nearly as far as the distance between Earth […]

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