‘Solar’ Archive

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 […]

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!