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  1. Sun Continues Impressive Activity, Tosses Coronal Mass Ejections at Earth

    If you weren't already aware, the Sun's been seeing a whole lot of action of late. Like, it's still being the Sun, but it's also putting out incredible X-class solar flares, complete with coronal mass ejections. The latter doesn't necessarily require the former, though, and that's where we find ourselves at currently. Thanks to a couple of coronal mass ejections yesterday, there's a good chance we're going to get some geomagnetic storm activity over the next few days.

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  2. 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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  3. Twinsies! Alpha Centauri A Has A Cool Outer Layer, Just Like Our Sun

    The Sun, it will surprise no one, is very, very hot. What is surprising -- and consistently baffling to researchers -- is that there are certain parts of the sun that are actually rather chilly. You know, in comparison to the rest of the Sun, which, as we've covered, is just exceedingly warm. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel observatory may have made a stride or two towards understanding the strange phenomenon, though, as it has recorded the first evidence of a similar cool outer layer in a star that isn't the Sun. The same cool layer has been observed for the first time in Alpha Centauri A, a relatively nearby star noted for its similarities to our own Sun.

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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. New Potentially Habitable Exoplanet Discovered in (Relatively Speaking) Nearby Tau Ceti System

    Astronomers have discovered five new planets orbiting the nearby star Tau Ceti, and there's even better news -- one of them could potentially support life one day. While there are a couple things to be excited for, that's a big "potentially." What's more, it's not  as if "nearby" is not exactly down the block in absolute terms. At just 12 million miles away, though, it's just a stone's throw away, as far as the cosmos are concerned. Considering that we're running out of ways to doom this planet, it's never too early to start looking for a new one to ruin a little farther down the line.

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  6. Space Porn: NASA Releases Detailed Simulation of the Moon’s Phases

    The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA has released a new animation of the Moon going through its phases for the year 2013. New data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has made it possible to render the simulation with a new level of detail, and the result is just gorgeous. NASA set the video to Rossini's "String Sonata No. 3 in C Major," but we've found syncing it up to Dark Side of the Moon works nicely, too.

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  7. Some of the Best Pictures of Venus Transiting the Sun

    hold on to your butts

    So, did you watch the transit of Venus last night? Did you look directly into the sun to watch it? Then, how are you reading this right now? In case you missed it, or didn't have the proper filters for watching safely, here are some of the best pictures, provided by your friendly neighborhood internet.

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  8. The Transit of Venus: Ignore All That Advice About Not Looking At the Sun (We’re Kidding)

    Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

    It's time for one of those rare instances when the planets and star of the universe align in a certain way that none of us will ever see again in our lifetimes. Unless we have time lords among us, of course. The transit of Venus, which means that we Earthlings will be able to observe Venus moving across the face of the Sun, is happening over the course of seven hours today (tomorrow for the Eastern hemisphere) and it won't happen again until 2117. But how are we mere mortals supposed to observe such a thing when we've been told all our lives that looking into the Sun was bad? Here's how you can look into the Sun. (But not the trap. Seriously, don't look into the trap, Egon.)

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  9. The Sun Has Massive, Fiery Tornadoes Several Times the Size of the Earth

    Imagine, if you will, a vicious tornado. Now imagine it's made out of fire. Now imagine that it's several times the size of Earth. Finally, that it's in space. Allow me the great pleasure of informing you that what you just imagine exists on the Sun. That's right, there are mammoth fire tornadoes on the sun, enormous, flaming sun tornadoes. These absurd solar windstorms were spotted by some researchers in the UK using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly telescope mounted on the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) satellite. Somewhere, Micheal Bay is kicking himself for not coming up with sun tornadoes on his own.

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  10. Massive Solar Storm to Reach Earth Tomorrow, Massive Solar Flare Captured in HD [Video]

    A huge solar flare that has erupted from the Sun has unleashed a massive solar storm that is headed toward Earth, and predicted to reach us tomorrow morning around 7 AM EST. A storm as powerful as this one hasn't been seen in more than five years, and the effects of which are predicted to last 24 hours after the storm hits. It's possible that the storm will cause interference with satellites in orbit and power grids on Earth, but people in the know don't seem too worried. The above video of the solar flare, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, is a gorgeous side effect of potentially dealing with interrupted power grids tomorrow. Good trade-off, right?

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