The Sun Is Coming!

Earth got off relatively easy last week after being hit by the biggest blast of solar radiation since 2005—but we may not be so lucky next time. Last week’s coronal mass ejection, in which a solar flare whipped an arc of magnetic particles toward Earth at 4 million mph, led some airlines to reroute flights away from the poles, where […]

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Mapping the infant universe

Mapping the infant universe

Mapping the infant universe is no easy task. New data from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite is giving astronomers their most complete look yet at the very earliest moments of the universe. Planck, which measures microwave radiation, has created a heat map of the temperatures present in the universe a mere 370,000 years after the Big Bang. The data […]

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Earth’s bigger, older cousins

Astronomers have discovered the larg­est rocky planet yet, and its existence has profound implications for our understanding of the early universe and the potential for extraterrestrial life. Kepler-10c, which was spotted by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, has a diameter of roughly 18,000 miles—more than twice that of Earth —prompting scientists to create a new class of planets, dubbed “mega-Earths.”The body’s […]

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Galactic turmoil ahead

The Milky Way and its closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, are on course for “ a head-on collision,” says astronomer Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute. But no need for precautions because the crash won’t happen for another 4 billion years. Researchers have long known that Andromeda, currently some 2.5 million light-years away, is moving toward […]

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The sun takes a rare hiatus

Sunspot activity may be entering a lull for the first time in almost 400 years, offering scientists a rare chance to gauge how solar conditions affect Earth’s climate. “This is highly unusual and unexpected” says Frank Hill, a researcher at the National Solar Observatory. Three new NSO studies suggest that the sun’s fluctuating magnetic field may soon become too weak […]

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Visitors from outer space

Visitors from outer space

The most common Visitors from outer space… COMETS!! Near misses by comets and asteroids are rare events, but in 2013, predictions were made that earthlings would experience at least three. A menacing, 1,000-foot-wide asteroid named Apophis which passed within 9 million miles of our planet—close by astronomical standards. Dubbed “the doomsday asteroid,” Apophis has an elliptical orbit around the sun […]

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