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solar flares

  1. Sun Erupts With Three X-Class Flares in One Day, Complete With Coronal Mass Ejections

    The Sun is ramping up towards its peak activity in its 11-year-cycle, and it's doing so in a big way. In one 24-hour period, the Sun has erupted with three progressively more intense X-class solar flares from the same region, each with its own coronal mass ejection. The CMEs are not heading in the direction of Earth, but could affect some spacecraft.

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  2. Snazzy Northern Lights Display Expected Tonight

    The northern lights, or aurora borealis, is most definitely a sight to behold. If you've never seen it, there's almost no point of reference to which it can really be compared. The sky just seems to light up in fantastic colors. Thanks to an "impressive" solar flare early this past Thursday, it's being reported that a large stretch of land that includes places like New York and Michigan should be privy to a fantastical instance of the northern lights tonight.

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  3. Watch How NASA Turns Atmospheric Data From the Sun Into Abstract Art [Video]

    I know, I know -- I don't get modern art, either. Luckily, the picture above isn't a painting -- it's a visualization of the heating and cooling of plasma erupting from the sun in solar flares. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took images and gathered data on the plasma from a particularly active sunspot on six wavelengths over a twenty four hour span, then processed the data and recorded it's hating and cooling history -- one pixel at a time. The result is this amazing image and plenty of others like it, and you can check them all out -- and learn more about how they're made -- in the video below.

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  4. The Sun Has Been Dotted With Sunspots This Week, Here Are Some Beautiful Pictures Of Them

    This amazing photo of the Sun -- taken by astrophotographer John Chumack through a filter that renders it blue, and would probably make a really good tool if you ever needed to defeat Superman -- shows some of the dozens of sunspots that have been flaring up on the surface of the Sun over the past few days. Chumack snapped some pictures through a couple different filters, and you can actually see the sunspots -- which show up as white spots in this image -- more clearly in the photos below. While you're at it, you can get a look at new video -- courtesy of NASA -- that will get you as up close and personal as you can be with the Sun and still not be vaporized. What can we say, we just couldn't resist leading with a bright blue picture of the Sun.

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  5. Stunning Explosion Rocks The Sun [Video]

    The Sun is no stranger to solar flares (explosions of magnetic energy) or prominence eruptions (gas bursting from the surface) but the combination solar flare/prominence eruption that recently exploded on the Sun has created an astonishing and visually remarkable eruption.

    The video of the explosion was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. According to Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy the explosion could have blasted a billion tons of material away from the Sun in a plume as big as the Sun itself at perhaps over a million kilometers across.

    From the video, it appears that plasma was released from the Sun's surface, in a fountain of particles that spread outward and then collapsed back down to the Sun. Blasts like this are capable of shooting material away into space, but Earthlings needn't worry. This particular blast was aimed away from Earth (as are most events like this.)

    (Geeked On Goddard via Universe Today and Bad Astronomy)

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  6. Space Geeks: New Droid App for Space Weather

    Hey, wanna see the weather conditions on the Sun? Wanna see pictures of massive balls of pure heat and energy from the comfort of your phone? Wanna download the same app used by actual scientists to study solar flares? Yes, you do. Firewalk with me, won't you?

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