okt 032012
The Science Behind those Eye-Popping Northern Lights

  Northern night skies have recently been alive with light. Those shimmering curtains get their start about 93 million miles away, on the Sun. An image of an aurora borealis, and moonrise in the Brooks Range in northern Alaska at the Chandler Shelf in December 2008. Image Credit: guardian.co.uk/Rolf Hicker/Barcroft Media  An aurora borealis (aurora australis [continue reading]

aug 142012
New Warning System Could Predict Solar Flares

  Researchers may have discovered a new method to predict solar flares more than a day before they occur, providing advance warning to help protect satellites, power grids and astronauts from potentially dangerous radiation. This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) shows in great detail a solar flare and its prominence taken [continue reading]

jul 032012
Clues to Solar Storms

  Doppler measurements that help track storms on Earth may also be useful for understanding storms on the sun. Left, image of hot (1.8-million degree Fahrenheit) active region loops. Right, flows of solar plasma (blue shifts). Credit: SDO/AIA (NASA and Hinode/EIS (JAXA, NASA, ESA and STFC) A Rice University astrophysicist is part of an international [continue reading]

jul 032012
Magnetic Fields on the Sun will be Studied by SUMI

  On July 5, NASA will launch a mission called the Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation or SUMI, to study the intricate, constantly changing magnetic fields on the Sun in a hard-to-observe area of the Sun’s low atmosphere called the chromosphere. SUMI’s instruments are designed to study magnetic fields of the sun’s chromosphere — a thin [continue reading]

mrt 302012
Solar Eruptions Cause Sunquakes

A study led by UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory has shown for the first time that sunquakes can be produced during eruptions of magnetic field and charged particles, as the immense magnetic structure blasts off into the Solar System. The results will be presented by Dr Sergei Zharkov at the National Astronomy Meeting 2012 in [continue reading]