Tag Archives: Solar System: Sun

The Oort Cloud

The Oort Cloud is a collection of comets that orbit the Sun far outside our solar system. One estimation of the number of comets in the Oort Cloud is one TRILLION. Unlike the Kuiper Belt, which lies outside the orbit of Neptune, the Oort Cloud neither lies on the same plane as the bodies orbitingContinue reading “The Oort Cloud” Continue reading

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Scenes from Hubble: Saturn’s Seasons

Images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show changing seasons on the gas giant, Saturn. Saturn has a slower orbit than Earth (29 years to orbit the sun!), which makes each “season” on the planet over 7 years long. Similar to Earth, Saturn is tilted on an axis, which affects the intensity of sunlight on sides … Continue reading Scenes from Hubble: Saturn’s Seasons Continue reading

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No sunspots on the Sun?

Have you ever seen pictures of the Sun and noticed that it has dark spots on its surface? These sunspots are cooler than the other regions on the Sun, but they also represent the beginning of new solar cycles. In fact, some signs point to the next cycle, Cycle 25, having a much smaller numberContinue reading “No sunspots on the Sun?” Continue reading

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The Carrington Event: What would happen today?

The Carrington Event, named due to astronomer Robert Carrington observing that the phenomenon derived from the Sun, was an extremely powerful geomagnetic storm occurring on September 1-2, 1859. Earth’s magnetosphere was hit by a solar coronal mass ejection, or CME, from sunspots, causing auroras to light up Earth’s sky, telegraph and other communication to fail,Continue reading “The Carrington Event: What would happen today?” Continue reading

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Aurora Borealis

Aurora borealis, or the “Northern lights,” as it is often called, is the result of our Earth’s magnetosphere deflecting harmful particles from the Sun from the Earth. They can best be seen from the Arctic Circle (Canada, Iceland, Finland, etc.). Every aurora in the solar system originates from the Sun. Periodically, the Sun has stormsContinue reading “Aurora Borealis” Continue reading

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Amazing Auroras

Auroras happen when charged particles within solar winds go through Earth’s magnetic field. Solar winds are fast moving, plasma particles discharged by sunspot regions, areas where the Sun’s magnetic fields become tangled and burst. These particles bump into different atomic elements, such as nitrogen and oxygen, to create ions in excited states that release lightContinue reading “Amazing Auroras” Continue reading

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The Ranking System of Solar Flares

Solar flares are solar storms and explosions that release ultraviolet light, x-rays, energy, and very fast, charged particles. They are categorized into classes based on their strength. The classes ranked from smallest to biggest solar flares are: A, B, C, M, and X. Each class increases 10-fold in energy and has a subscale that goesContinue reading “The Ranking System of Solar Flares” Continue reading

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The Tides of Mont-Saint-Michel

As many know, the Moon causes the tides to occur all over our planet. But those same people may not know the place that has the largest change in high and low tides. Said place is an islet and commune called Mont-Saint-Michel. Off the coast of Normandy, France, it has an accessible walkway to itsContinue reading “The Tides of Mont-Saint-Michel” Continue reading

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Ancient Interpretation of Solar Eclipses

In ancient Iraq, it was believed that a solar eclipse meant something awful was going to happen to the king or ruler. Ancient Mesopotamian astronomers could accurately determine when an eclipse would occur. When a solar eclipse was projected to happen, the court and priests would prepare for this event by planting a substitute kingContinue reading “Ancient Interpretation of Solar Eclipses” Continue reading

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The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope!

From Earth, the Sun appears to be just a glowing yellow orb. However, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii has captured new images of the Sun that reveal its violent and explosive nature. This massive four-meter telescope has the technological capabilities that are necessary to better understand the Sun’s magnetic field and outer […] Continue reading

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