Our Sun has been quite active over the past several weeks, ejecting giant strands of stellar debris into the cosmos. NASA scientists recently captured a video of one particularly eye-catching explosion that produced a dramatic arch across the sun’s surface.
While beautiful, auroras can also be the harbinger of the collapse of civilization. If a sufficiently large flare and coronal mass ejection spawns a massive solar storm that hits the Earth, the geomagnetic storm could be capable of knocking our electrical infrastructure offline for a long, long time.
Take this moment to be furiously jealous that the excellent view the astronauts on the International Space Station have of Earth can somehow get even more gorgeous with the addition of auroras.
Last week, NASA announced that in 2012 the Earth narrowly avoided being hit by the largest solar coronal mass ejection recorded since before electric power grids and telecommunication satellites were a thing. Fortunately or unfortunately, along with the rest of civilization, the solar crisis duology Cat. 8…
The sun is big. Really, really big. It's so big, every feature on it is mind-boggling huge. Last week it spun out a massive prominence arcing out into space so ginormous that a mischievous fireproof Titan could've used it as a hoop to dunk the Earth in a game of cosmic basketball.
NASA's sun-observing IRIS spacecraft has gotten its first close-up look at a colossal coronal mass ejection erupting from the sun, and boy howdy is it beautiful.
A Solar Dynamics Observatory video of the recent flare is a deceptively-tranquil vision of colossal energy eruption. A massive X1.4 flare is part of the highest intensity of flares releasing huge amounts of energy, yet the filaments are weirdly soothing.
On March 29th, the sun released an X-class flare. It was caught by five high-quality solar observatories on the ground and in space, creating the most detailed observations of an intense flare in history. This beautiful, rich data will help researchers better understand what triggers flares.
Yesterday morning, the sun unleashed a powerful X1 solar flare. X-flares are the most powerful classification of solar eruption there is. This is the latest in a string of recent outbursts, with yesterday's eruption among the most violent we've seen all year.
It's been a remarkable week of solar activity. Astronomers recorded several coronal mass ejections this week, including three that are currently hitting the Earth's magnetic field. An exquisite image of one of this week's many flares can be seen below.
In less than 24 hours, the Sun has unleashed a trio of X-Class solar flares. They are the first, second and third X-class eruptions of 2013, making them the most powerful of the year by a substantial margin. What's more, each burst has been more violent than the last. So uhh... what the hell is going on here?
Photographer Göran Strand used 2464 raw images taken with his all-sky camera to create this gorgeous time-lapse video. The swirling crystal ball images show the view from Östersund, Sweden, when a when a Coronal Mass Ejection hit Earth’s magnetic field.
The sun is at it again, this time blasting its second magnetic bubble of energetic plasma in as many days. The blast is heading towards Earth at a speed of 1,360 kilometers per second and is expected to arrive on June 16.
Earlier this afternoon, magnetic fields on the Sun's northeastern limb exploded in an arcing jet of roiling plasma, producing what is hands down one of the most spectacular solar explosions we've seen in years.
On Tuesday night, the surface of the Sun erupted in an violent solar flare, blasting a massive wave of charged particles in the direction of Earth. And early this morning, those particles smashed into our planet's atmosphere.
Late last Sunday, the Sun unleashed an M9-class solar flare, showering Earth with subatomic particles that gave rise to one of the biggest geomagnetic storms in recent history. The resulting aurorae, which were even brighter than usual in the planet's northernmost latitudes, were an absolute marvel to behold.
What you see in this amazing video really is just a coincidence. A comet smashed into one side of the Sun just as a massive explosion ignited on the other side. Two entirely unrelated events...but they sure look awesome together.
No, Earth hasn't suddenly migrated next to the Sun, but everything else about this picture is awesomely real. This is a plasma eruption from sunspot group AR 1302, the most recent solar storm to wreak havoc on Earth's magnetic field.
The spectacular lights of the aurora borealis are rarely seen outside the Arctic Circle, but fierce solar activity might soon send them southward. The continental US, Japan, and even Mediterranean Europe may all get a taste of the northern lights.