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Posts Tagged "the sun"

Basic Space

Remember that solar eruption from a few days ago? It just hit Earth

An M6.5 flare that erupted on the morning of April 11, 2013. Credit: NASA/SDO

On Thursday morning, the biggest solar flare of the year erupted from the sun. Shortly afterwards it was followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME) that sent tons of high energy particles hurtling towards Earth. Solar flares can affect us almost instantly. This one was no exception, causing a radio blackout. But CMEs take longer [...]

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Basic Space

Voyager 1 is still not out of the solar system

"Now, voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find"

Remember when I said back in October that Voyager 1 might have finally left the solar system? Well, it turns out that the spacecraft, which has been skirting the edge of the solar system for a long time now, is finding it difficult to say goodbye. According to scientists working on the mission, Voyager 1 [...]

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Basic Space

The Sun’s Bright Idea

Light bulb erupting from the sun

Here’s an eruption from the sun that happened just a few days ago. It is a coronal mass ejection that loops out from the sun, looking slightly like a lightbulb that has just switched on. But it’s a far cry from a 60 watt bulb – the temperature of the solar corona where the bubble [...]

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Basic Space

A week in space: Cassini dips down to Enceladus, a solar flare erupts, Discovery moves, and more

Unprocessed image of Enceladus was taken last weekend. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

If I lived elsewhere in the multiverse, this is the news and cool space stuff I’d have been covering this week. Unfortunately, in this universe I didn’t have the time. Last weekend, Cassini dipped down close to Enceladus to “taste” the jets that erupt from its surface. For some background on Enceladus, see my entry [...]

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Basic Space

International Women’s Day: Butterflies and Galaxies

The Sculptor Galaxy. Credit:  {link url="http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1025a/"}ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA. {/link}

Today is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, here’s a post showcasing just a couple of the many really amazing discoveries made by women in astronomy. * Annie Maunder was born in Ireland in 1868. She won a scholarship to go to Cambridge, where she studied mathematics. She was top in her year, but did not [...]

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Basic Space

‘Dropout’ Electrons Get Pushed out of Van Allen Belt

Judging by the many flares erupting from the sun at the moment, it is well on track to reach its next peak in activity early next year. As this peak approaches, we can expect many more huge bursts of energy that erupt from the sun and send lots of energetic particles, and sometimes magnetic fields, [...]

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Basic Space

Where Do Aurorae Come From?

Aurora borealis above Bear Lake in Alaska. Credit: {link url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/2045648290/"}U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang{/link}

The Sun is hotting up, and we can see the results right here on Earth. Across the northern hemisphere, fantastic light displays have been visible of late, and the frequency of these events is set only to increase as the Sun heads toward a peak in its magnetic activity. In light of this (no pun [...]

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