WASHINGTON — Northerners thawing out from a bitter freeze may get rewarded with shimmering northern lights over the next couple of days.
U.S. space weather forecaster Joe Kunches said the sun shot out a strong solar flare late Tuesday. It should shake up Earth’s magnetic field and expand the Aurora Borealis south. He said best viewing would probably be Thursday evening, weather permitting.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Earth-like worlds may be closer and more plentiful than anyone imagined.
Astronomers reported Wednesday that the nearest Earth-like planet may be just 13 light-years away — or some 77 trillion miles. That planet hasn’t been found yet, but should be there based on the team’s study of red dwarf stars.
Galactically speaking, that’s right next door.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has been keeping an eye on the sun for three years now, and in honor of that achievement, they have released this video of the changes our star has been through during the last three years. The video shows the increase in solar flares and coronal mass ejections (which send rivers of matter and radiation out into the solar system). The sun is reaching its 11-year solar maximum and the frequency of these events have been increasing.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, an annular solar eclipse that changes into a total solar eclipse — called a hybrid eclipse — will be visible on the eastern coast in North America to parts of Africa and the Middle East.
It might not get you all the way to Cardassia Prime, but NASA hopes its newly launched solar-sail Sunjammer program will lead to a future where propellantless space craft are used for a multitude of functions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
“Once proven, solar sail technology could enable a host of versatile space missions, including flying an advanced space-weather warning system to more quickly and accurately alert satellite operators and utilities on Earth of geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun,” NASA said in a release.