A pioneering method suggests that the size of our Sun and the solar radius may be due revision.
Our host star is full of surprises. Studying our Sun is the most essential facet of modern astronomy: not only does Sol provide us with the only example of a star we can study up close, but the energy it provides fuels life on Earth, and the space weather it produces impacts our modern technological civilization.
Now, a new study, titled The Acoustic Size of the Sunsuggests that a key parameter in modern astronomy and heliophysics—the diameter of the Sun—may need a slight tweak.
Our Sun continues to demonstrate its awesome power in a breathtaking collection of recent images taken by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Daniel Inouye Solar Telescope, aka Inouye Solar Telescope, which is the world’s largest and most powerful ground-based solar telescope. These images, taken by one of Inouye’s first-generation instruments, the Visible-Broadband Imager (VBI), show our Sun in incredible, up-close detail.
There’s a pretty significant disadvantage to going really fast – if you get hit with anything, even if it is small, it can hurt. So when the fastest artificial object ever – the Parker Solar Probe – gets hit by grains of dust that are a fraction the size of a human hair, they still do damage. The question is how much damage, and could we potentially learn anything from how exactly that damage happens? According to new research from scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB), the answer to the second question is yes, in fact, we can.
One of the best things about astronomy is that it’s a never-ending supply of awesome visuals. Almost every new mission or telescope provides new ways to see the universe, and when those are translated visually they can offer absolutely stunning images of some of the most interesting places in that universe. Now humanity is starting to process the images from one of the newer missions to grace the heavens: the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter. And boy are those images breathtaking.
While actually walking on the sun is still just a dream of Smash Mouth fans, humanity has gotten a little bit closer to our nearest solar neighbor with the recent launch of the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter (SolO).
SolO has just produced its first round of photographs of the sun in action and they are already revealing some features that have been unseen until now. Those features might even hold the key to understanding one of the holy grails of heliophysics.
Welcome to the 575th Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy writers and bloggers, who submit their best work each week for your benefit. We have a fantastic roundup today including news from the IAU, so now, on to this week’s worth of stories! Continue reading “Carnival of Space #575”