Category Archives: Sun

Solar Probe Plus mission moves closer to ‘touching the Sun’ in 2024

Artist’s conception of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft near the Sun. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

Artist’s conception of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft near the Sun. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

The Solar System is a busy place, with spacecraft currently visiting most of the planets as well as some dwarf planets and comets. Akatsuki is at Venus, several rovers and orbiters are at Mars, the Juno spacecraft just reached Jupiter, Cassini is still orbiting Saturn, Dawn is still at Ceres, and Rosetta continues to study the comet 67P. Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto have all been visited by previous missions as well. But there is one other place in the Solar System which will also be explored more closely in the near future: the Sun.

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When it rains on the sun

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The sun is a very dynamic place, a constantly churning ball of immense energy that can put on dazzling displays of flares, sunspots and the like. But did you know that it also rains there?

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New computer simulations show Earth’s spaghetti-like magnetosphere

Supercomputer simulation showing the tangled magnetosphere surrounding Earth. Credit: OLCF

new computer simulation is showing Earth’s magnetosphere in amazing detail – and it looks a lot like a huge pile of tangled spaghetti (with the Earth as a meatball). Or perhaps a cosmic version of modern art…

See Universe Today for the full article.

Beautiful photo of Sun with floating prominence

Just came across another amazing image of our sun, taken by photographer Alan Friedman; it shows a close-up view of the sun’s surface and limb, with incredible detail, most notably a detached prominence which floats above the sun’s surface like a wispy cirrus cloud (in appearance only, of course). Larger version here. Beautiful.

Credit: Alan Friedman

The surface of the Sun in blistering detail

Ok, again not a planetary related post specifically, but this is another great photo, a new high-resolution image of the surface of the Sun. The detail is amazing, including the sunspot in the lower left. More info and larger image here.

Credit: K. Reardon (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, INAF) IBIS, DST, NSO

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