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Scientists Find Traces Of Enormous Solar Storms That Once Hit The Earth

During the Middle Ages the Earth was struck by two giant solar storms, far larger than anything we have observed. The explosions left marks in polar ice and in the trees that date to the era. With communication systems and electricity grids vulnerable to major storms, the findings suggest we may be at more risk

Comet Encke: A Solar Windsock Observed by NASA’s STEREO

Much like the flapping of a windsock displays the quick changes in wind’s speed and direction, called turbulence, comet tails can be used as probes of the solar wind – the constant flowing stream of material that leaves the sun in all directions. According to new studies of a comet tail observed by NASA’s Solar

NASA’s SDO catches a double eclipse

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory sees dozens of Earth eclipses and several lunar transits each year. On September 13, 2015, it saw the two happening at once. This past Sunday (September 13, 2015) was a partial eclipse of the sun as seen from parts of South Africa and Antarctica. At the same time, NASA’s Solar Dynamics

New Horizons extended mission target selected

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The New Horizons mission has formally selected its next target after Pluto: a tiny, dim, frozen world currently named 2014 MU69. The spacecraft will perform a series of four rocket firings in October and November to angle its trajectory to pass close by 2014 MU69 in early January 2019. In so doing, New Horizons will

“Zebra Stripes” Spotted In Space Around Earth

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The structure may help scientists identify radiation-remediation strategies in space. Since the early 1970s, orbiting satellites have picked up on noise-like plasma waves very close to the Earth’s magnetic field equator. This “equatorial noise,” as it was then named, seemed to be an unruly mess of electric and magnetic fields oscillating at different frequencies in

Very first New Horizons Pluto encounter

The latest images from New Horizons are showing Pluto and Charon to have unique faces, distinct from any other icy worlds in the solar system. New Horizons images have dramatically reduced uncertainty in Pluto's diameter. Stern reported Pluto's radius to be 1185 +/- 10 kilometers, so its diameter is 2370 +/- 20 km. Implications of

Students Start Mapping Cosmic Rays and Solar Wind with LUCID

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A satellite experiment to study cosmic rays and the solar wind that was devised by school students is now successfully collecting data in space. LUCID, the Langton Ultimate Cosmic ray Intensity Detector, uses particle detectors from CERN to study the radiation environment in low Earth orbit. 16-year old Cal Hewitt, from the Langton Star Center,

Pluto Comes Into Focus In New Horizons Latest Images

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Up till now, 2015 has been a year of historic, ever bigger revelations regarding some of the Solar System’s “lesser bodies”, with ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft returning breath-taking close-up images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and NASA’s Dawn mission providing stunning views of dwarf planet Ceres in the vast expanses of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Subaru Telescope Observers Superflare Stars with Large Starspots

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A team of astronomers has used the High Dispersion Spectrograph on the Subaru Telescope to conduct spectroscopic observations of Sun-like "superflare" stars first observed and cataloged by the Kepler Space Telescope. The investigations focused on the detailed properties of these stars and confirmed that Sun-like stars with large starspots can experience superflares. The team, made

What cosmic rays tell us about thunderstorms on Earth

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When Prof. Heino Falcke started to study and identify the sources of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, back in 2008, he could not imagine that his research would provide an important clue to better understand lightning and thunderclouds much closer to us. His team indeed realized that cosmic rays, originating in outer space and striking the