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3/13/17: New research on Northern Lights will improve satellite navigation accuracy. Researchers at the University of Bath have gained new insights into the mechanisms of the Northern Lights, providing an opportunity to develop better satellite technology that can negate outages caused by this natural phenomenon. The presence of plasma turbulence within the Northern Lights was traditionally deemed responsible for causing GNSS inaccuracies. However, this latest research found that turbulence does not exist, suggesting new, unknown mechanisms are actually responsible for outages on GNSS signals.
3/2/17: NASA Scientists Demonstrate Technique to Improve Particle Warnings that Protect Astronauts. Scientists from NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research have shown that data from a ground-based instrument called K-Cor can give scientists early warning of a certain type of incoming space weather that can impact astronauts.
2/11/17: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory: Year 7 Ultra HD (4k). The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has now captured nearly seven years worth of ultra-high resolution solar footage. This time lapse shows that full run from two of SDO's instruments. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott Wiessinger.
2/10/17: Astronomers Estimate That The Solar Nebula Lasted 3 To 4 Million Years. By studying the remanent magnetizations in ancient meteorites, astronomers have determined that the solar nebula — the vast of disc of gas and dust that ultimately gave rise to the solar system — lasted around 3 to 4 million years.
2/7/17: What happened to the sun over 7,000 years ago? Analysis of tree rings reveals highly abnormal solar activity in the mid-Holocene. By analyzing the level of a carbon isotope in tree rings from a specimen of an ancient bristlecone pine, researchers have revealed that the sun exhibited a unique pattern of activity in 5480 BC. By comparing this event with other similar but more recent phenomena, they reported that this event may have involved a change in the sun's magnetic activity, or a number of successive solar burst emissions.
2/6/17: Fermi Sees Gamma Rays from Far Side Solar Flares. NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has observed high-energy light from solar eruptions located on the far side of the sun. This apparent paradox is providing solar scientists with a unique tool for exploring how charged particles are accelerated to nearly the speed of light and move across the sun during solar flares.
2/3/17: NOAA's GOES-16 EXIS Instrument Observes Solar Flares. On January 21, 2017, the GOES-16 Extreme Ultraviolet and X-Ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) observed solar flares. EXIS measures solar flares at several wavelengths and improves upon current capabilities by capturing larger flares, measuring the location of the flares on the sun, and measuring flares in more wavelengths.1/29/17: A Space Weather Report: Preparing Space Explorers for Bad Weather throughout the Solar System. C. Alex Young discusses the challenges of dealing with the harshness of space and making sure travelers can safely reach their destination as they reach for the planets and beyond. [75 min. webcast]
1/26/17: New Space Weather Model Helps Simulate Magnetic Structure of Solar Storms. The magnetic field of solar eruptions such as CMEs are difficult to predict and can interact with Earth’s magnetic fields, causing space weather effects. Built to simulate solar storms, a new tool called EEGGL-Eruptive Event Generator (Gibson and Low)- helps NASA study how a CME might travel through space to Earth and what magnetic configuration it will have when it arrives.
1/17/17:ALMA Starts Observing the Sun New images taken with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have revealed otherwise invisible details of our Sun, including a new view of the dark, contorted centre of a sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth. The images are the first ever made of the Sun with a facility where European Southern Observatory is a partner. The results are an important expansion of the range of observations that can be used to probe the physics of our nearest star.
1/6/17: NASA Study Finds Solar Storms Could Spark Soils at Moon's Poles. Powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles, and may possibly produce "sparks" that could vaporize and melt the soil, perhaps as much as meteoroid impacts, according to NASA-funded research.
11/30/16: Mystery of Coronal Heating. Observations by NASA's IRIS spacecraft suggest that "heat bombs" are going off in the sun's outer atmosphere, helping to explain why the solar corona is so mysteriously hot.
11/6/16: PPPL physicists find clue to formation of magnetic fields around stars and galaxies. An enduring astronomical mystery is how stars and galaxies acquire their magnetic fields. Physicists have now found a clue to the answer in the collective behavior of small magnetic disturbances.
11/14/16: NASA finds unusual origins of high-energy electrons. High above the surface, Earth's magnetic field constantly deflects incoming supersonic particles from the sun. These particles are disturbed in regions just outside of Earth's magnetic field - and some are reflected into a turbulent region called the foreshock. New observations from NASA's THEMIS mission show that this turbulent region can accelerate electrons up to speeds approaching the speed of light.