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Heliophysics - Sun Topics

  • Cool microflares could be solar hot spots

    1999Sept. 20, 2011

    One longstanding mystery of the sun is why its outer atmosphere - the corona - is 200 times hotter than its surface. Now, a trio of scientists says it's because the corona is heated by a constant series of mini-explosions, called microflares.

  • LightningLeaders Converge in Alabama

    1999Sept. 20, 2011

    Topics slated for the upcoming 11th International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity include space-based Lightningdetection, purple sprites, Lightningas a precursor of severe weather, and more.

  • The Day the Solar Wind Disappeared

    1999April 6, 2011

    For two days in May, 1999, the solar wind that blows constantly from the Sun virtually disappeared -- the most drastic and longest-lasting decrease ever observed.

  • El Nino Watcher Blasts Off

    1999April 6, 2011

    NASA's QuickScat ocean winds satellite was sucessfully launched on June 19. It will provide scientists crucial data for monitoring and understanding global weather anomalies like El Nino and La Nina.

  • Future telescope could shatter solar high-resolution barrier

    1999April 6, 2011

    Scientists look ahead at a new telescope which could lead to observations of violent magnetic fields on the sun with resolution 10 times better than the best solar instrument today.

  • Solar cycle ups and downs continues to mystify scientists

    1999April 6, 2011

    Solar activity is picking up, but not as much as one team of scientists had predicted. "The sun is a variable object and there are going to be some ups and downs," says NASA's David Hathaway. One 'up' he doesn't expect is a large eruption predicted nowhere except in the rumor mill.

  • Seasons of the Sun

    1999April 6, 2011

    By comparing several techniques and combining aspects of a couple of the best, scientists better predict the Sun's weather. Solar Weatheraffects our weather, satellites in orbit, electrical power systems, and radio and television communications.

  • A Stay of Execution for Lunar Prospector

    1999April 6, 2011

    Lunar Prospector has survived the July 28 partial Lunar Eclipseand is on track for a planned collision with The Moonon July 31. This story includes a video clip of the eclipse as seen from Australia and new simulations of the July 31 impact.

  • The Phantom Moonace

    1999April 6, 2011

    This weekend sky watchers in North America will be treated to a rare naked-eye lunar occultation of a bright star. Astronomers are asking amateurs to video tape the event for a precision topographical survey of the Moon's limb

  • Solar Deja Vu

    1999April 6, 2011

    When Yogi Berra made his famous remark about "deja vu all over again," he probably didn't have solar eruptions in mind. But this week solar physicists did a double take, and then a triple take, as the sun produced a rapid-fire series of coronal mass ejections. Even Yogi would have been impressed.