Just in time for the imminent event of Solar Maximum, Chabot Space & Science Center is opening a new solar exhibition that features the latest in stunning ultraviolet satellite imagery from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory!
While nearly all eyes are focused on Mars, two astophysicists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have been quietly staring at the sun instead.
Turns out there are as many as ways to photograph as eclipse as there are to watch it. With a bit of preparation and the generosity of strangers, I got to experience five of them during Sunday's annular eclipse.
A solar flare, associated with the big sunspot numbered 1402, erupted on January 23rd, launching a coronal mass ejection–a "cantaloupe" of plasma that makes Earth look like a grape. Rated as an M9-class flare, it packed umph just shy of what's necessary for adult "X-class" flaredom, the most powerful kind.
Depiction of a major alignment of the five visible planets in 1059 BCE. Photo By Ben Burress There are some pretty good "lineups" coming soon to skies above you. First of all, "lineups," or alignments, go on in the heavens all the time, though most often they are alignments of objects too faint to easily [...]
Post on Jun 20, 2008 by Ben Burress
Magnetic activity on March 27th; white indicates N magnetic poles, black S. Credit: ESA/SOHO/NASA. A few blogs back I wrote about the 11-year cycle of ups and downs in solar activity–the Solar Cycle –and how over the last year or so the baton was supposedly passed from Cycle 23 to Cycle 24. But there has [...]
Post on Apr 11, 2008 by Ben Burress
Illustration of a blast of solar wind impacting Earth's protective magnetic field. Credit: NASABreathe in, exhale. Feel the air in your mouth, windpipe, and lungs. That's a sample of Earth's atmosphere: the thin layer of gases enveloping our planet. Did you know that the Sun also has an atmosphere, and that the Earth is inside [...]
Post on Mar 28, 2008 by Ben Burress
Extreme close-up of the Sun's visible surface, showing 'bubbling' cells of convecting gas–each the size of Northern California. credit: Hinode JAXA/NASA/PPARCBy all accounts, a new cycle-Cycle 24-in solar activity has begun… something you probably didn't notice since the beginning of a solar cycle is quite subtle…. First things first: what is a solar cycle, and [...]
Post on Feb 15, 2008 by Ben Burress