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Blog Archive


Curiosity catches sunspots along with Phobos and Deimos transits

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/10/03 07:15 CDT | 2 comments

Curiosity has been shooting photos of the Sun as Phobos and Deimos cross its face, and -- as far as I can tell -- captured sunspots as well.

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Not Necessarily Your Last Venus Transit!

Posted by Jim Bell on 2012/06/04 11:24 CDT | 3 comments

Unless you are lucky and healthy enough to live for another 105 years, tomorrow will be your last chance to see a Venus transit from the surface of the Earth. But this need not be the last transit of Venus that you will ever see.

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Transit of Venus June 5: Why Should You Care and How to Observe

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/02 01:56 CDT | 2 comments

A rare astronomical event occurs June 5/6. Find out why you should care and how to observe it.

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Making eclipse magic

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/16 09:55 CDT | 2 comments

How to enjoy a solar eclipse with your kids, making shadow magic with a pinhole viewer.

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Cool video: Jupiter, its moons, a comet, and...the Sun?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/16 11:45 CDT | 1 comments

Here's a neat video posted by SungrazerComets (the Twitter identity of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Sungrazing Comets website) this morning.

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"False-tonal recording?" The sounds of a coronal mass ejection

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/15 12:26 CDT

A new "sonification" of the recent solar storm by Robert Alexander (a University of Michigan graduate student), employing data from the MESSENGER and SOHO spacecraft.

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Solar storm in progress

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/03/07 09:27 CST

Last night the Sun unleashed a large coronal mass ejection in our direction. Here is a compilation of images from SOHO's two LASCO cameras, plus a prediction from the new space weather prediction model that I learned about at the American Geophysical Union in December. The storm will arrive at Earth on March 8.

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Solar flares from Skylab

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/01/26 05:26 CST

Before automated space observatories like SDO could send pictures and videos of solar phenomenon in real-time, humans had to do it manually, as in the case of the groundbreaking Skylab space station missions, which featured the Apollo Telescope Mount.

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Video: Comet Lovejoy entered SOHO's LASCO C3 field of view this morning!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/14 09:37 CST

An animation of comet Lovejoy entering the field of view of one of SOHO's Sun-monitoring cameras.

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Good news, everyone: We're getting as good at space weather forecasts as we are at Earth weather forecasts

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/06 02:39 CST

Emily reports from the Fall 2011 American Geophyisical Union meeting about advancements in space weather prediction.

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From the 2011 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU): Voyager 1 at the edge of the solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/05 04:13 CST

A report on a press briefing about Voyager 1 at the Fall 2011 American Geophyisical Union meeting. The spacecraft has entered a new region between our solar system and interstellar space, which scientists are calling the stagnation region.

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The scale of our solar system

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/05/02 11:26 CDT has taken advantage of the infinitely scrollable nature of Web pages to produce a really cool infographic on the scales of orbital distances in the solar system.

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Spotting Jupiter's Moons...with a Solar Telescope!?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/06 12:27 CDT

I was astounded to learn this morning that SOHO can not only see Jupiter, it can actually resolve Jupiter's moons (at least its two outer ones) as points of light separate from their planet!

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Mars conjunction today: Cool SOHO/SDO video

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/04 11:41 CST

Today Mars made its closest approach to the Sun -- as seen from Earth, that is. Why is this important?

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Solar eclipses from space: Hinode and SDO

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/06 11:33 CST

Two spacecraft that keep their ever-watchful eyes on the Sun -- NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and JAXA's Hinode -- were doing their thing, when something large wandered past: the Moon.

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A Martian Moment in Time, revisited

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/05/12 02:30 CDT

A good start to my day today: The New York Times' Lens Blog featured the "Martian Moment in Time" photo that Opportunity took last week in a really nice writeup. I'm so grateful, and still a little surprised, that the folks on the Mars Exploration Rover mission took this idea and ran with it!

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What it looks like when a CME explodes toward us

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/14 11:46 CDT

The animation I posted yesterday, of a huge coronal mass ejection exploding away from the Sun, caused several people to ask if it could do Earth any harm.

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Stellar explosion

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/13 11:13 CDT

The Sun just spat out a huge coronal mass ejection, an event made visible by the watchful cameras on SOHO.

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Strong geomagnetic storm today

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/04/05 09:18 CDT

This morning I received a bulletin warning of a "strong" geomagnetic storm that began just over an hour ago.

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Voyager's Last View

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2002/08/01 12:00 CDT

Home. Family. This will be Voyager's enduring legacy: It has changed forever the feelings raised by those words. Through its robotic eyes we have learned to see the solar system as our home. Through its portraits of the planets we know that they are part of our family. Apollo astronauts showed us a tiny Earth alone in the blackness of space. Now, with these images, Voyager has shown us that Earth is not really alone. Around our parent Sun orbit sibling worlds, companions as we travel through the Galaxy.

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