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Solar Flare Is Beautiful, Terrifying in 4K High Def Video by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

From Earth, the Sun generally just looks like a big bright ball, but there's a lot of activity up there that we don't notice with our puny human eyes—especially because it's not exactly wise to look directly at the Sun. The Solar Dynamics Observatory, however, was designed to do just that, and it captures some breathtaking views of the star that makes Earth's habitability possible.

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NASA Catches The Sun Getting Into The Halloween Spirit

Boys and girls of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Trick or treat, smell my heat, give me something good to eat (like a planet)!

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EVERYONE PANIC! Solar Panels Will Drain the Sun of Its Power! Internet Freaks Out Over Fake National Report Article

Good. Something else for gullible idiots to believe.

The National Report is a satirical website that publishes fake stories the Internet loves falling for. Its latest hit is an article claiming solar panels drain the Sun's energy and that they could kill the Sun within a few hundred years. THAT IS NOT TRUE, but it sure hasn't stopped the story from spreading.

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Use Drinkable Sunscreen and Ya Might Get Burnt

At least your esophagus will be smooth as a baby's!

Drinkable sunscreen is actually not a new product, but the company behind it recently launched a renewed publicity campaign that's been hard for many medical professionals to swallow--so maybe don't invest in the vibrating magical water just yet.

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The Sun Is Beautiful on Every Wavelength in This Gorgeous Video from NASA

Just this once, look directly at the Sun.

This video shows the Sun opening its mouth like Pac-Man. Instead of eating ghosts, it shows you what its surface looks like at different wavelengths of light, and it looks gorgeous. NASA is calling it the "Jewel Box Sun" and throwing around the word "rainbow" a lot, but we'll stick with our Pac-Man analogy, thank you very much.

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AsapSCIENCE Explains What it Would Take To Survive the Sun’s Death in New Video

NBD. Just have to figure out how to move our entire planet.

The Sun is going to die. We have a billion years before that starts to happen, so how about we start planning for it now. In this video by AsapSCIENCE they explain what it would take for not only humanity, but the planet itself to survive the death of the Sun. They also introduced us to the Juno Mission, but more on that tomorrow.

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Check Out the First Amazing Pictures of the Sun from NASA’s IRIS

NASA stares into the Sun so you don't have to.

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite has been open for less than two weeks, and already it's returned the first images from its mission to study the Sun's atmosphere. The combined ultraviolet telescope and spectrograph is pulling in amazing views as well as valuable data on energy transfer in the Sun's interface region.

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Voyager 1 Reaches Edge of Our “Solar Bubble”

It's not quite out of the solar system yet, but at 11 billion miles from the Sun it's certainly getting there.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft was in the news a few months ago when it was falsely reported that it had left the solar system. It still hasn't left the Sun's magnetic field, but NASA says it is at the final barrier of the heliosphere. It could still be months or years before Voyager 1 crosses that barrier, but when it does it will be the first human-made craft to enter interstellar space.

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NASA Announces New Satellite To Study Sun’s Mysterious Interface Region

The ill-understood area of the Sun could be responsible for keeping it -- and by extension, us -- hot.

Later this month, NASA is set to launch their spanking new solar study satellite, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), a tool meant to capture data about the interface region, an area that lies just above the surface of the sun that plays a key role in intensifying the incredible temperatures of the corona, the Sun's outer atmosphere. Just how it accomplishes that, though, is unclear -- that's why we're sending a satellite, guys!

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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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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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Astronomic Unit Simplified So Astronomy Won’t Be So Confusing For Freshmen

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has voted to officially change the Astronomical Unit (AU) -- a measure of the distance from the Earth to the Sun -- from a variable value to a more convenient constant. Because if you're the IAU and you have a meeting without voting on anything, it looks kind of bad, we guess? Kidding! It's because the IAU is made up largely of people who teach astronomy for a living, and people who teach astronomy for a living are, as a whole, just sick to death of teaching a new legion of bong-addled freshmen a mostly obsolete equation that most of them will never use outside of scribbling it on their hand to pass their astronomy final.

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Is This Article About LOLcats the Most Brilliant Troll of All Time, Or Way Behind the Times?

This article over on The Sun, entitled "Wacky cat pics are a web hit," is an article from today, which happens to fall in the year 2012. The article only has a few sentences written up, followed by a handful of the mentioned "wacky cat pics." As anyone who has an Internet connection knows, these "wacky cat pics" are LOLcats, and have been a cornerstone of the Internet for roughly ever. So, either we're looking at a humorously out of date article, or we're looking at one of the greatest trolls of all time.

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Spanish Woman Wants To Charge Everyone To Use The Sun, Which She Now Owns

Angeles Duran, like many before her, has decided that a weird quirk of international law makes it possible for individuals to make claim on extraterrestrial real estate. Unlike others, however, she decided to make a claim on a celestial body that actually has a minute to minute effect on at least half of the globe at any time. And that's not counting its reflection off the surface of the moon. Ms. Duran, of course, has made a notarized, registered claim on the star we call the Sun, and says she's going to start charging people to use it.

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Dr. Dre Wants to Make an Instrumental Album About the Solar System

In a recent interview with Vibe, legendary hip-hop producer and rapper Dr. Dre sent us into a collective swoon when he let it drop that "for a long time," he's wanted to make an instrumental album about Earth's solar system called The Planets. Each track would consist of Dre's interpretations of the planets in the solar system. And he'd need surround sound to convey the majesty of Saturn.

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Coronal Mass Ejection: The Sun Just Spat At Us

This is the sun. For a long time, it was sleepy, lying idly in the sky, keeping us warm and cozy here on Earth. Well, now the sun is waking up after its slumber, and it wants us to know. So it's spitting at us, via a coronal mass ejection. The sun's surface erupted, sending huge amounts of plasma into space ... toward us. For reference in the image above, the eruption is the dark arc near the top of the star, not the bright patch nearer the middle. But don't worry, everyone. While the sun can and someday will bring about the apocalypse, this isn't that moment. There will be pros and cons to this event, which should start as soon as tonight and last into tomorrow. Let's start with the bad news: Some satellite communications could be disrupted. The good news: Light show! This kind of plasma attack could create a geomagnetic storm, which sounds terrifying, but would really just mean we'd get to see the Northern Lights, except they'd be all over the lower 48 states.

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Geekolinks: 7/11

Boy DIYs His Way to Suction Powered Wallcrawling

Hibiki Kono, a 13-year-old attending King's College School in Cambridge has created a couple of suction plates that allow him to climb walls, powered by two $22 vacuum cleaners. Said Kono to The Sun:
I used to dress up as Spiderman[sic] when I was younger and I love all the films. So it's great to be able to climb walls like him. I've climbed up the school wall but I'm not allowed too high. It's not scary and I completely trust the machine.
Unfortunately for Kono, he can't get too far. At least not without another extension cord.

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Solar Storms Could Devastate Technology, Cause $2 Trillion in Damage. Thanks A Lot, Sun!

Don't panic or anything, but there just might be the possibility that an upcoming solar storm could devastate out technological infrastructure, causing up to $2 trillion in damages and generally terrifying everyone out of their minds. There have been past solar storms like those now being predicted, but Earth has always lucked out, escaping the line of fire. But according to CNN, scientists now warn that "the Sun is waking up from a deep slumber." That can't be good.

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National Budget Proposal Contains Changes for NASA: Robots and Rockets!

This weekend we commented on the information coming out about President Obama's then unrevealed national budget proposal. Well, its Monday, and the cat's out of the bag: the rumors were right.

As we reported on Saturday, the White House's proposal calls for a change in direction on our path to the Universe, canceling the Constellation program, extending the life of the International Space Station, and turning to the private sector to replace the space shuttle.

Join us after the jump for some of the hard numbers.

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