Sun

3:15am: “BbbBllllOOOOooPPp… BbbBllllOOOOooPPp… BbbBlllOOOooPPp…” My generic iPhone alarm goes off, waking me for the 3:45 medallion I am now rocking, and my “day” shift in Citizen’s Cab 26. This means that I…



There could be power grid fluctuations tonight, not to mention some spectacular Northern Lights if you live far north enough, due to a couple of massive solar flares this week. Report via…









From BBC Future: The discovery that some animals have found ways to feed off the Sun’s energy has led to the intriguing idea that humans could one day create solar-powered nourishment. Humans have to…


Spaceship Near SunPeter Farquhar writes on the Daily Telegraph (AU):

Either we aren’t alone, or it’s nigh time NASA fixed its dodgy cameras. For the third time this year, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has returned an image of a giant UFO hovering near, or feeding off the Sun. Maybe

In recent years, SOHO has found an extended role as a predictor of solar weather activity, helping scientists on Earth prepare for radiation bursts sent our way by solar flares. On the SOHO homepage, fans can access all sorts of Sun-related data, including images that have been built from observations from any of the dozen or so instruments onboard SOHO, and videos …

Here’s the active SOHO observer, YouTube User rob19791:


Reports Tariq Malik of SPACE.com via the Christian Science Monitor:

The sun unleashed a cosmic double whammy Tuesday (March 6), erupting with two major flares to cap a busy day of powerful solar storms. One of the flares is the most powerful solar eruption of the year, so far. Both of the huge flares ranked as X-class storms, the strongest type of solar flares the sun can have. They followed several weaker, but still powerful, sun storms on Tuesday and came just days after another major solar flare on Sunday night.


Rerouting airplanes isn’t a big deal, but could there be dangers from the radiation? Doug Cameron reports for the Wall Street Journal:

Delta Air Lines Inc. said Tuesday that it was rerouting some transpolar flights between Asia and the U.S. to avoid the impact of the largest solar storm in almost a decade.

The Atlanta-based carrier said some flights to Detroit from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul took a more southerly routing on overnight flights, though a spokesman said planes flew faster to keep schedules intact. Tuesday departures from the U.S. were expected to follow similar routes.

A rare solar flare erupted late Sunday night resulting in a solar radiation storm today, according to NASA. It’s the strongest such storm since September 2005, according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Airlines occasionally reroute transpolar flights as a precautionary measure during big solar storms, with radiation levels heightened…


A simulated sunset from a foreign solar system — what a dreamy dusk. PhysOrg writes: Professor Frederic Pont, of the University of Exeter, imagined what it might really look like if a…


Allison McCann reports for Popular Mechanics on the visual trail of a comet as it approached the sun, vaporized, and finally disintegrated: Sun-grazing comets are frustratingly elusive. As they approach the intense…



Just when we could really use a break from natural disasters, nuclear disasters, financial disasters, drought, famine, extreme weather, armed conflict and all sort of other afflictions, here comes a solar storm to…



According to C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, yesterday’s massive Coronal Mass Ejection on the Sun is “nothing we really have to worry about.” Try telling that to Lawrence E. Joseph, who in the disinformation documentary 2012: Science or Superstition, claims that there is a correlation between heightened solar storms and alarming meteorological and atmospheric changes on Earth.

Hmmm. Whatever the case it’s awe inspiring (see Young’s video below). He says that “the sun produced a quite spectacular prominence eruption that had a solar flare and high-energy particles associated with it, but I’ve just never seen material released like this before. It looks like somebody just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and then it fell back down.”




Man, I always thought this would happen to Jupiter in 2010. Claire Connelly had a different sci-fi film in mind, as she writes on News.com.au: It’s the ultimate experience for Star Wars…