‘Articles’ Archive

Observing summary June 2014

Space.com has a very nice summary of June’s astronomical events: June 3, 2:08–3:44 p.m. EDT Triple shadow transit on Jupiter June 10, dusk. The Moon will pass just south of the planet Saturn. June 21, 6:51 a.m. EDT Solstice June 24, dawn, The slender crescent moon will pass just below the planet Venus. Jun 27, New […]

Magnetic waves may heat the corona

Growing evidence suggests that magnetic waves are the reason our star’s corona is so hot.  A close-up, false-color look at the Sun shows the large, dark polar coronal hole astronomers studied in order to determine what heats our star’s corona. White lines show the position of the Hinode spacecraft’s spectrometer slits, used to observe gas […]

The Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years

Scientists are struggling to explain the Sun’s bizarre recent behavior. Is it a fluke, or a sign of a deeper trend? The Sun is currently at the peak of Cycle 24, the weakest cycle in 100 years. D. Hathaway / NASA / MSFC The Sun is acting weird. It typically puts on a pageant of […]

New Supernova in M74

Supernova Erupts in M74 An exploding star in the spiral galaxy Messier 74 in Pisces, discovered last Thursday, had brightened to about magnitude 12.6 as of Tuesday morning. And it may not have reached its peak yet.Chalk up another one for the astronomers of the Lick Observatory Supernova Search. Using a robotic telescope atop Mount Hamilton […]

Recent X-class Solar Flares

Over the last two days, the Sun has popped off two X-class solar flares from a sunspot that’s 6-8 Earth’s in size!