Sun

A close-up of Stonehenge in Salisbury, England

What Do Stonehenge and Japanese Stone Circles Have in Common?

A new exhibition explores the surprising parallels between British and Japanese traditions

One reader wonders: Why do we see the Moon during the day and not the Sun at night?

Why Can We See the Moon During the Day? And More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts.

Like a regular sail uses wind to navigate across an ocean, solar sails use the pressure exerted by sunlight to move through space. (Pictured: a conceptual illustration of a diffractive solar sail)

Innovation for Good

NASA’s New Solar Sail Could Soon Navigate in Space

Scientists say the flashy tech could help them study the sun’s polar regions

Researchers tested how oxybenzone and sunlight combined harms anemones in a new study. 

Scientists Now Know Why Sunscreen Harms Corals

A new study shows that, when exposed to sunlight, anemones turn a chemical found in sunscreen into a toxin

an aurora borealis over Lake Inari in Finland

Evidence of Earliest Aurora Found in Ancient Chinese Texts

Such historical records of celestial events can help astronomers track and model patterns of space weather

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Feb. 3, 2022 carrying a batch of 49 Starlink satellites.

Solar Storm Knocks 40 SpaceX Satellites Out of Orbit

A solar outburst is increasing atmospheric drag and pulling the satellites back down to Earth

Stargazers watch Comet Neowise shoot across the sky on July 19, 2020 outside of Los Angeles, California.

Ten Dazzling Celestial Events to See in 2022

Stargazers in North America can look forward to meteor showers, lunar eclipses and a stunning multi-planet lineup this year

Since the Parker Solar Probe launched in 2018, it's been orbiting the sun and inching closer with every loop.

For the First Time Ever, a NASA Spacecraft Has 'Touched' the Sun

The Parker Solar Probe reached the sun's upper atmosphere, gathering data along the way to help scientists better understand the center of our solar system

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope snapped this picture of the Centaur LD2 as it orbited near Jupiter.

The Ambitious Idea to Study the Evolution of a Comet

Researchers want to send a spacecraft near Jupiter to join up with a chunk of rock and ice as it’s flung toward the sun

This mosaic of Bennu was created using observations made by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft that was in close proximity to the asteroid for over two years.

In 2182, It Could Be Cloudy With a Chance of Asteroid

Scientists calculate Bennu will come close, but will most likely miss Earth in about 160 years

Using the detected radio wave, Collinson and his team calculated the density of Venus' ionosphere and compared it to measurements taken back in 1992 using the Pioneer Venus Orbiter.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Measures Radio Signal in Venus' Upper Atmosphere

The measurements help researchers understand how the planet's ionosphere began leaking

In the new reprocessed image, ionized oxygen is seen in blue and ionized hydrogen and nitrogen glow red.

NASA Reveals Spectacular New Hubble Telescope Image of the Veil Nebula

Advanced processing techniques brought out finer details of the nebula’s filaments and delicate threads of translucent ionized gas

An illustration based on the satellite observation data from the first confirmed instance of a space hurricane.

New Research

First Ever Space Hurricane Spotted in Earth's Upper Atmosphere

The 600-mile-wide swirling cloud of charged particles rained down electrons from several hundred miles above the North Pole

NASA's latest image of Venus taken by the Parker Solar Probe. Using Venus's gravity, the Parker Probe will circle our host star seven times while getting closer and closer over the course of seven years.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Snaps Luminous Photo of Venus

The image revealed unknown capabilities of the imaging instrument, WISPR, aboard the Parker Solar Probe and more insight into the planet's atmosphere

The photograph shows an area about 10,000 miles wide, a small portion of the Sun which is 864,000 miles wide

Brilliant Sunspot Photo Captures the Beginning of a New Solar Cycle

The Inouye Solar Telescope captured the unprecedentedly detailed image of a 3,700-mile-wide sunspot on January 28

Pollinators perceive the higher levels of UV-absorbing pigments as a darker hue, which could be confusing when they try to scope out colorful flowers to land on.

New Research

Flowers Are Changing Color in Response to Climate Change

As temperatures and ozone levels rise, blossoms are adjusting their UV pigmentation

On Earth, most people are familiar with ultraviolet radiation’s harmful effects on our skin, but in space, astronauts are also subjected to galactic cosmic rays, accelerated solar particles, neutrons and gamma rays.

New Research

Moonwalking Humans Get Blasted With 200 Times the Radiation Experienced on Earth

The new findings will inform how much shielding future astronauts will need to safely explore the moon

The R.M.S. Titanic, seen departing Belfast on April 2, 1912

New Research

Did the Northern Lights Play a Role in the Titanic's Demise?

New study suggests the solar storm that sparked the aurora borealis interfered with the ship's navigational and radio equipment

A split image showing an active Sun during solar maximum (on the left, taken in 2014) and a quiet Sun during solar minimum (on the right, taken in 2019).

A New Solar Cycle Promises Calm Space Weather

Experts say the sun’s next decade will likely feature a low number of events like solar flares that can disrupt power grids and satellites

An artist's rendering of the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter

How Three New Tools Will Revolutionize Our Understanding of the Sun

Two spacecrafts and a telescope are set to jumpstart a new age of solar astronomy

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