The fine folks at NASA are sending a spacecraft to the Sun, and they want to send a little piece of you along with it. Here’s how to get your name on the ultimate “fry” list.
Since early last week, the Sun has belched out a steady stream of solar flares, including the most powerful burst recorded in the star’s current 11-year cycle. It sounds very alarming, but scientists say this is simply what stars do every now and then, and that there’s nothing to be concerned about.
With all the fascinating planets in our solar system, it sometimes feels like the Sun gets overlooked. The Sun is amazing! People still worship the Sun, and that actually makes a certain amount of sense. So, what would happen if you took a small piece of the Sun and brought it back to Earth? Well, whoever’s left would…
The Sun’s impact on weather here on Earth is clear: It makes it hot or cold, it powers air currents, it causes water to evaporate making rain, et cetera. But with our increasing reliance on satellites and electronics, you can’t forget its more insidious effects—and some satellites got a taste of those yesterday.
We have told you not to stare at the Sun today. We have told you to use safety glasses. We have tried so very hard, and we are so very tired.
On October 14, 2014, our Sun let out a great big burp, a coronal mass ejection that swept through the Solar System at an incredibly fortuitous angle. Several spacecraft (and one intrepid Martian rover) detected the solar blast, resulting in an unprecedented experiment that stretched all the way from Venus to outer…
Observed from the ground, the total solar eclipse happening on August 21, when the Moon completely blocks your view of the Sun, will be visible for up to 160 seconds. It will be a fleeting glimpse of a rare phenomenon, which is why NASA plans to chase the Moon’s shadow using a pair of jets.
Humans are pretty jaded these days. We can write most of the strange phenomena we see off as science (or we honestly don’t care). But when Roman philosophers like Pliny the Elder witnessed moonless nights glow bright like the day, it definitely made an impression. Others since then have been awestruck by these “bright…
Today, NASA reminded the world it will soon be performing the ultimate act of wish fulfillment on behalf of all humanity: in summer 2018, the space agency plans to launch a probe right into the Sun’s atmosphere. While the mission will sadly not be crewed, the 10-foot high Solar Probe Plus, now officially the Parker…
Our planet is due to be hit with a powerful solar storm, an event that happens about once every hundred years. New research shows that losses from the ensuing blackouts could total $41.5 billion per day in the US alone, including nearly $7 billion lost in trade.
Like an endless blaze roaring forth from the gates of hell, the solar wind is majestic, awe inspiring, and terrifying. The only proof you need that the Sun is the one and true master of our solar system is this never-before-seen view of a torrent of charged particles bursting out of our star’s corona.
We will never, ever tell you to stare at the sun. Fortunately, we have a far better way for you to get a glimpse of the upcoming ring-of-fire solar eclipse.
If movies about space have taught us anything, it’s that no one can hear you scream. If you get lost in space, nobody’s going to find you. Unless you’re a spacecraft with a direct link to NASA. Then, there is hope for you yet.
After more than a week offline, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory—the sun-watching spacecraft responsible for these close-up images of solar flares, fire, and loops—is back. But just what caused it to glitch in the first place?
Reminding us of our own fragile mortality, a large, bright comet just streaked across the sky and straight into our nearest neighboring star. You will absolutely believe what happened next because it has happened to you in a nightmare, admit it.
If a solar flare really took place that close to Earth, it would mean the end of days on our little planet. But seeing that flare erupt right next to us sure does show us just how powerful these things really are.
Turns out, all those movies about spaceships going just a liiiiittle bit off course and crashing into the sun were filthy, filthy lies. The good people over at Minute Physics explain why most of us couldn’t crash into the sun if we tried.
No, the space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory isn’t on the fritz—it was actually instructed to make this flip while snapping pics of the Sun. It might sound like NASA took this thing out for a joy ride, but there’s a very good reason for the evasive maneuver.