Medicine & TechnologyThe best place to check out Christmas lights this year is up in the sky. Late Friday afternoon an extremely active area of the sun, known as Active Region2242, erupted in a gigantic solar flare.
With a new day in science comes a new study of the sun. No, we’re not talking about a new telescope or a new division under the international space agencies, but rather a reallocation of a science used in other parts of space. Turning their sights from far off black holes, with a closer subject in mind, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is repositioning their NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) towards our very own local star to produce the most sensitive measurements of high-energy solar x-rays to date.
Nearly every Sci-Fi film about deep space has warned about the perils of coming up against a black hole. And if there’s anything we’ve learned, or that astronomy has taught us, it’s that these supermassive vortex’s have quite a strong pull—something most planets and stars cannot bare to go through. But as it so happens, it turns out that cosmic coupling may be one solution for solar systems looking to avoid certain death.
The launch of the Antares rocket carrying supplies and scientific equipment to the International Space Station was rescheduled from Monday evening to Tuesday evening due to a wayward sailboat entered the restricted zone underneath the rocket's flight path. The launch is now scheduled to 6:22 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.
Elon Musk's SpaceX keeps on completing milestones on its way to building that city on Mars ASAP, but first it must prove it can handle reliably traveling to somewhere much closer: the International Space Station, currently orbiting Earth.
For those of you in the states enjoying a welcomed break from the summer sun, today you may just get more than you bargained for. As the moon passes this afternoon across the northern hemisphere, the usually invisible transition will make its mark in daylight as it eclipses part of the sun. And so long as the clouds stay clear of the view, you may just have an interesting afternoon show to look out for.
Today marks a rare occasion, one where alignment makes a spectacle in the sky. While you can expect the autumn day to have cool weather and an added air of sunshine, you can also expect quite a surprise when part of the sun disappears in the mid-afternoon shade. It’s a rare occurrence that you won’t catch for another 3 years at the soonest, but the partial solar eclipse won’t be enjoyed by everyone. Mostly it’ll be a show for the northern United States.
Young would-be space explorers received some bad news this week. Due to the Sun entering in to a phase of relatively low solar activity, cosmic radiation is projected to increase to such levels that any prolonged manned space expedition would prove harmful and even deadly to the astronauts involved.
This week is shaping up to be an exceptional one for astronomy. Fresh off the heals of the Orionid meteor shower comes another solar eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23 which will be visible to most residents of North America.
Predicted to occur this Thursday, Oct. 23, the off-center new moon will pass in front of the sun creating a partial solar eclipse seen across the United States. Though the predicted visibility will range anywhere from twelve to seventy percent of clarity, researchers at NASA expect that the event will be widely visible across the entire continental US.