Spotting the Northern Lights anywhere in the United States (except for Alaska and the Upper Midwest) would probably be one of most notable experiences in an American space fan’s life. Now imagine if it was China or Japan a thousand years ago and you didn’t know what caused these light shows. Odds are, you’d freak out…
Physicists have long known that the Sun spins, like the Earth. But a few decades ago, they realized the surface of the Sun spins more slowly than their models predicted—not by a lot, but enough to signal that something they didn’t understand was going on. This kicked off a solar mystery and some scientists started to…
Here comes the Sun, in all its terrifying glory.
On the final day of this nightmare election, it might feel like the end of the world, but Barack Obama spoke to Buzzfeed News on Tuesday to confirm that, whatever the results, the Sun, our master, giver of all life, will once again kiss this gentle planet.
So you think the human race is going to survive the next billion years?
We once considered the Sun a planet, and it took finding Uranus to decide that moons should really be their own category of thing. These are all the places in our solar system that were once planets—but now have far more suitable names.
If you mean simply "is not visible" then very little, we'd have a second of darkness, not unlike an eclipse, and then we'd be back to normal. If on the other hand, you mean "ceases to exist momentarily" then you're talking about something else entirely.
Trying to watch the sun's explosions with your naked eyes is a recipe for blindness, but luckily NASA has a couple of telescopes that can show you all that fusion glory with none of the permanent ocular damage. Take, for instance, this 200,000-mile long canyon of fire.
For as long as we've bothered to care about heavenly bodies other than our own, we've thought that the size of the Sun varies throughout its 11-year solar cycles. Intense magnetic forces, the theory went, rendered it as malleable as a sturdy stress ball. That was a good theory, backed up by decades of data.
You might have had a peaceful day here, but up above, some serious solar violence just went down: an ejection of scorching plasma just erupted from the Sun. Enough to burn its away across ten Earths.
Everything comes to an end, and our sun is no exception. A star happily cooking along in its middle age, Sol has many millions of good years ahead of it — but its eventual doom is certain. Here's what that will look like.
The fruits of today's Sun UK hack are starting to dangle down: LulzSec (out of retirement?) and Anon are tweeting logins of some serious British media brass. Foremost? Rebekah Brooks, the epicenter of England's voicemail hacking scandal. Update: phone numbers!
For the last few years the sun has been kicking back and relaxing. A lot. Although a huge solar flare recently made headlines, the surface of the sun has been quiet lately. Sunspots have been more scarce than they've been in the last 200 years. All solar activity is low. And it looks like it's going to stay that way…
Fact: Space is a freak show. But that link goes to a post about deep space, beyond our solar system. Thanks to the IBEX probe, however, we're quickly learning that our own backyard is rife with the freaky-deaky too.
After nearly a decade of quiet, the Sun is waking up in a big way, and this picture from August 1 shows the most dramatic eruption yet, including a solar flare, a "solar tsunami," shifting magnetism, shaken corona, and more.
Sun dogs, or parhelia, are little back-up suns that appear on either side of the sun. They are the Pips to the sun's Gladys, the Lion and the Witch to the sun's Wardrobe, and they look way cooler than rainbows.