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Category Archives: Sun
Many are familiar with the concept that the Moon creates high and low tides on Earth, but few know that the Sun also plays a role in the process. Tides are formed from the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon pulling on the Earth differently in different places due to variations in distance. TheContinue reading “Spring and Neap Tides” Continue reading → Continue reading
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes in between the path of sunlight and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth. Solar eclipses in general are quite rare (only a couple a year), but the moon’s shadow only covers a small portion of the Earth so seeing one is an amazing opportunity. AContinue reading “Eclipses!” Continue reading → Continue reading
Many people have talked about the feeling of walking outside, looking up at the night sky, and feeling small. You look out into the cosmos, see seemingly countless stars, and think that everything you do on earth is just immeasurably small. Despite many people feeling that way, few truly understand the real scope of theContinue reading “The Universe is Incomprehensibly Large” Continue reading → Continue reading
One of the world’s most fascinating and natural wonders are the Northern Lights. These magical lights come in a variety of dancing colors. This seemingly random light show occurs as a result of interactions of Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere with solar winds. Solar winds released by the Sun’s sunspot regions travel through space until … Continue reading The Northern Lights → Continue reading → Continue reading
Potential Habitable Planets An extrasolar planet is a planet that orbits a star that’s not our sun. Even though these planets can be recognized, and their sizes measured, they are light years away so it would take astronomers thousands of years to reach these extrasolar planets. To detect these planets, scientists use either one of … Continue reading Exoplanets 101: Does the earth have a twin? → Continue reading → Continue reading
The sun is a main sequence star, which means it is powered through the process of nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion is the process of multiple (two or more) nuclei combining to form a completely different nuclei. This process occurs under extreme conditions and releases immense amounts of energy. The sun, at its core (literally), is … Continue reading The Energy within the Sun → Continue reading → Continue reading
Planetary System The star at the center of the solar system plays a special role for us here on earth. It was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, in the Orion spur (in the milky way galaxy). It was born from the collapse of a cloud and dust called the “solar nebula”. It then condensed … Continue reading The Sun – the heart of our solar system → Continue reading → Continue reading
sun spots and solar flares Chemical reactions occur because atoms strive for stability. Just like the outer electrons require a certain number of electrons to become stable, the nucleus requires a certain number of protons and neutrons to achieve this stability. The decomposition (breaking down) of the nucleus to achieve this stability is what we … Continue reading Radioactivity 101. Is the sun radioactive? → Continue reading → Continue reading
The planet Venus is named for the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is the second largest terrestrial planet. It is also the second brightest natural object in the sky. Venus’ apparent magnitude of -3.8 to -4.6 makes it visible on a clear day. Venus’ atmosphere can be divided into two layers: the cloud … Continue reading Second Planet to the Sun → Continue reading → Continue reading
Nuclear fusion is where two nuclei combine resulting in a displacement of energy. The fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium specifically is what powers the energy output of the sun. This can only occur under the most extreme conditions – typically, the positively charged nuclei of two atoms repel each other quite strongly, and … Continue reading Nuclear Fusion Continue reading → Continue reading