Scientists produce some amazing images while performing their research. Astronomers are no different. An April 11, 2013 solar flair provided astronomers the opportunity to track the sun’s solar cycle.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This disrupts the radio signals for as long as the flare is ongoing, anywhere from minutes to hours.
The flare’s coronal mass ejection (CME), another solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space, reached Earth one day later producing a temporary radio blackout.
It also produced the incredible image that is today’s cool image. Available as a 16″ X 20″ poster at our store.
April 14, 2013
February 10, 2012
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s picture of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073, which is found in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster). Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is a similar barred spiral, and the study of galaxies such as NGC 1073 helps astronomers learn more about our celestial home.
Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble Space Telescope
February 7, 2012
Explanation: It was a quiet day on the Sun. The above image shows, however, that even during off days the Sun’s surface is a busy place. Shown in ultraviolet light, the relatively cool dark regions have temperatures of thousands of degrees Celsius. Large sunspot group AR 9169 from the last solar cycle is visible as the bright area near the horizon. The bright glowing gas flowing around the sunspots has a temperature of over one million degrees Celsius. The reason for the high temperatures is unknown but thought to be related to the rapidly changing magnetic field loops that channel solar plasma. Large sunspot group AR 9169 moved across the Sun during 2000 September and decayed in a few weeks.
Credit: NASA/Trace Project
November 30, 2008
Crab Nebula Heart
The Crab Nebula seems to have most of what’s in the celestial bestiary. It is one of the most spectacular nebulas in the sky. It’s a supernova remnant. It has a pulsar that emits in radio, visible, ultraviolet, and X-ray wavelengths. It even has a well-established pedigree since it was sighted by royal Chinese astronomers when light from the supernova arrived here in 1054.
“The Crab Nebula and the star at the center of it are the Rosetta Stone of modern astrophysics,” said Dr. Martin Weisskopf, Project Scientist for the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Read more about the Crab Nebula at Science at NASA.
November 29, 2008
Los Alamos observatory fingers cosmic ray ‘hot spots’
Milagro Observatory unveils something never before seen from Earth
“A Laboratory cosmic-ray observatory has seen for the first time two distinct hot spots that appear to be bombarding Earth with an excess of cosmic rays. The research calls into question nearly a century of understanding about galactic magnetic fields near our solar system….