Sun

  • Measuring the Sun’s Role on Climate
    Scientists have made a major step forward in accurately determining the amount of energy that the Sun provides to Earth. Much of Earth's biosphere depends on the Sun's life-giving energy. Studying the links between the Sun and life on Earth is essential in understanding life's
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    Contrary to popular belief, the number of sunspots visible on the Sun may not be an indication of changes in the Sun's impact on Earth. Last year, the Earth was bombarded with high levels of solar energy - even though the Sun was in a
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    The Sun is in the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. Some observers are starting to wonder, are sunspots disappearing? Sunspots can have profound effects on the Earth's climate as well as human and satellite missions in orbit.
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  • Living in a Dying Solar System, Part 2: Delaying Doomsday
    Roughly 5 billion years from now, the Sun will begin to swell as a red giant. But life on Earth will feel the effects of an aging Sun long before then. What can we do to survive?
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    Observations of distant stars tell us about our own future. Roughly 5 billion years from now, the Sun will begin to swell as a red giant, and the solar system will be transformed into a very different place.
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  • Touching the Tangled Sun
    One of the great mysteries for astronomers is why our Sun's surface is so much hotter than its core. The counterintuitive answer, according to a suite of solar observatories, hinges on the Sun's tangled magnetic field and deep, fiery waves.
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  • Flying the Sun to Safety
    The Genesis spacecraft spent 27 months collecting atoms from the solar wind as they streamed off the Sun's corona. When the Genesis sample capsule comes hurtling back to Earth on September 8, helicopter pilots will be waiting to grab it out of the sky.
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  • Whirly Bird Catches the Urn
    The Genesis mission will end September 8th, after capturing the first extraterrestrial samples to be returned since Apollo. The spacecraft has stowed pristine solar wind to help scientists search back in the planetary timeline.
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  • What’s Up with Prominent Sun?
    Last November solar observers witnessed the largest solar flare ever observed. This month, the orbiting solar observatory snapped a spectacular image of the Sun ejecting an eruptive prominence, a relatively cooler gas ejection that stretched more than fifty Earth diameters and moved at 45,000 miles
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  • Our Typical Dwarf Star
    A great mystery about our own star is why its atmosphere is hotter than its surface. By studying microflares, solar physicists believe some of this energy is coming from the smaller but more frequent explosions on our typical dwarf star.
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  • Goldstone, We Had a Problem
    Scientists using the main solar observatory, SOHO, have been troubleshooting a locked antenna for weeks. If not solved, about a third of the year, the prediction of solar storms would be pushed back to a pre-1980's situation.
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  • Neat! Comet Crossing
    Using tracking from automated telescopes, solar physicists captured the Sun's fiery greeting to a close-passing comet called NEAT. Initially thought to be a newly formed comet, NEAT turns out to have last visited the inner solar system 37,000 years ago.
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  • Solar Spectacular
    Prominent solar activity noted from southern pole of sun.
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