Sun Smiley: "Smiling Face" on the Sun Captured by NASA Solar Dynamics ObservatoryNASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught the Sun in a jolly good mood! The "smiley" face is actually dark patches on the Sun as seen in ultraviolet light.The patches are coronal holes or temporary regions of relatively cool, less dense plasma the Sun's corona which allows solar wind to escape into space.Despite the happy solar smile, the sun's coronal holes may actually mean that the Earth would be hit with a solar storm.#sun #smiley #solarstorm #ultraviolet #NASA
For the First Time, a Spacecraft has Touched the SunThe Parker Solar Probe lifted off from earth in 2018. It headed to the sun and has been circling ever closer. Earlier this year, it got close enough to dip into the sun's corona. The sun has a much more complex structure than we normally visualize. Yes, it's a burning ball of gas, but there's a lot more to it. The sun has an atmosphere, in which gravity and magnetic forces hold material close. Above that atmosphere is the corona, where rising material escapes gravity and is pushed away from the sun as solar wind, never to return. The boundary between the atmosphere and the corona is called the Alfvén critical surface. In April, the Parker probe crossed that boundary. Getting closer to the sun, about 6.5 millions miles from the surface, the probe entered the pseudostreamer, where particles are held tightly to the sun. Scientists describe it as akin to entering the eye of a storm, where calm provides a contrast to the chaos surrounding it. Coronal streamers became visible, which are solar features seen from earth during an eclipse. In this video, you can see the streamers. Notice the Milky Way in the background.
How Do We Know the Sun's Life Span?Our sun has been around about five billion years, and scientists believe it has another five billion years left before it burns out. They can even tell us what will happen when it does. How did they figure that out? The sun has been notoriously difficult to study up until modern telescopes and space probes- after all, you can't even look at it. The state of the sun can be estimated by comparing it to other stars in our galaxy, but those aren't any easier to study, really. Only a couple hundred years ago, we didn't know how far away the sun is. We didn't know how big it is. And until 1925, we didn't know what kind of fuel it burns. The story of how we learned all those things is as fascinating as the sun itself. Read the steps scientists had to go through to learn about our sun, and how they predict it will all end eventually, at Gizmodo. (Image credit: Alvesgaspar) #sun #astronomy
Earth and the Sun, as Viewed From the South Pole of the MoonSee the Earth and the Sun move from a unique perspective from outer space!NASA’s Ernie Wright accompanies the viewer in a stunning video that shows the movement of the Earth and the Sun from the perspective of the Moon’s South Pole. While raw footage was not taken from the lunar surface, the animated visualization represents the unusual motions of our planet for a span of three lunar days (which is equivalent to three months).In two minutes, the animation shows that the Earth actually bobs up and down. In addition, from the view of the Moon’s Mons Malapert, the Earth is seen in an upside-down position and can be seen rotating backward. The video also shows how a lunar eclipse happens!#Moon #Earth #Sun #LunarPerspective #Animation #NASA #Space
230 Megapixel Photo of the Sun by Andrew McCarthy"It's the clearest picture of the sun, ever!" or at least that's what the Internet would like you to believe. Unfortunately, it isn't, and Andrew McCarthy admits to that fact. This image certainly is high-quality (this is a 230-megapixel image, after all). However, McCarthy believes that there are even better photos of the sun out there than his. However, in HIS pictures of the sun, this was the clearest, according to him.But I guess you can't argue with the Internet.However, I can say that this is, indeed, the "clearest picture of the sun"... that I have ever seen.(All Images: Andrew McCarthy via Instagram)#Astronomy #Sun #HighQualityPhotograph
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021Winners of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 competition have just been announced. The annual astronomy photography competition, now in its 13th year, is hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and drew more than 4,500 entries, including many featuring images of distant galaxies that require the use of powerful telescopes.The overall winner of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 was Shuchang Dong who took this deceptively simple photo of a solar eclipse titled "The Golden Ring" shown above. Dong took the photo in the Ali region of Tibet on June 21, 2020."This place has year-round sunny weather, but in front of the annular eclipse, I saw dark clouds all over the sky," Dong said, "We were waiting with anxious minds but we were lucky. Within a minute of the annular eclipse, the sunshine penetrated through the clouds and afterwards the Sun was sucked into the thick clouds.""This image demonstrates both the beauty and simplicity of an eclipse, but also the science behind this astronomical event," noted competition judge Emily Drabek-Maunder, "Our sun can still be seen as a ring circling the Moon as it passes in front of the Sun, and mountains on the lunar surface can be seen hiding some of this light on the lower righthand portion of the image. This is a stunning achievement!"View more of the fantastic photos of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition below.#astronomy #photography #AstronomyPhotographeroftheYear #ShuchangDong #sun #solareclipse
ISS Solar Transit: Space Station Crossing in Front of the SunNASA photographer Joel Kowsky took a series of snapshots of the International Space Station (ISS) in silhouette transiting in front of the Sun at about 5 miles per second or 18,000 mph (29,000 kph).At the time that Kowsky took that photo, astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet were outside the ISS on a spacewalk to upgrade the space station's power supply.Image: Joel Kowsky/NASA#SolarTransit #ISS #sun #space