Recently in the Space Weather Category


Out at the boundary of our solar system, pressure runs high.

Being able to accurately forecast how much solar energy reaches the surface of the Earth is key to guiding decisions for running solar power plants.

NASA has selected three proposals for concept studies of missions that could help us better understand the dynamic space weather system driven by the Sun that manifests near Earth.

High-energy shock waves driven by solar flares and coronal mass ejections of plasma from the sun erupt throughout the solar system, unleashing magnetic space storms that can damage satellites, disrupt cell phone service and blackout power grids on Earth.

The Sun May Have a Dual Personality

Researchers at CU Boulder have discovered hints that humanity's favorite star may have a dual personality, with intriguing discrepancies in its magnetic fields that could hold clues to the Sun's own "internal clock."

Astronomers probing the edges of the Milky Way have in recent years observed some of the most brilliant pyrotechnic displays in the galaxy: superflares.

What Powers Celestial Phenomenon STEVE

The celestial phenomenon known as STEVE is likely caused by a combination of heating of charged particles in the atmosphere and energetic electrons like those that power the aurora, according to new research.

A new, first-of-its-kind space weather model reliably predicts space storms of high-energy particles that are harmful to many satellites and spacecraft orbiting in the Earth's outer radiation belt.

NASA successfully launched the Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment or AZURE mission on April 5 from the Andøya Space Center in Norway.

Editor's note: On March 23, 2019, the launch window for the AZURE mission will reopen after several attempts in March 2018 were scrubbed due to weather.

Three mathematicians and a physicist from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Mathematics Research Centre (CRM) and the Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BGSMath) propose a mathematical model which allows making reliable estimations on the probability of geomagnetic storms caused by solar activity.

Queen Mary University of London has led a study which describes the first direct measurement of how energy is transferred from the chaotic electromagnetic fields in space to the particles that make up the solar wind, leading to the heating of interplanetary space.

A team of scientists has, for the first time, used a single, cohesive computer model to simulate the entire life cycle of a solar flare: from the buildup of energy thousands of kilometers below the solar surface, to the emergence of tangled magnetic field lines, to the explosive release of energy in a brilliant flash.

The Science Of Space Weather

Space weather is no abstract concept - it may happen in space, but its effects on Earth can be significant.

Rocket to View The Sun With X-ray Vision

Without special instrumentation, the Sun looks calm and inert. But beneath that placid façade are countless miniature explosions called nanoflares.

Historic space weather may help us understand what's coming next, according to new research by the University of Warwick.

Earth is constantly being hammered by charged particles emitted by the Sun that have enough power to make life on Earth almost impossible.

An unlucky coincidence of space and Earth weather in early September 2017 caused radio blackouts for hours during critical hurricane emergency response efforts, according to a new study in Space Weather, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Technicians and engineers prepare to mate NASA's Parker Solar Probe to its third stage, built and tested by Northrup Grumman in Chandler Arizona.

A team of researchers, supported under ESA's Basic Activities, has recently investigated a resourceful new method of monitoring space weather.

Last September, a massive new region of magnetic field erupted on the Sun's surface next to an existing sunspot.

The Sun's corona, invisible to the human eye except when it appears briefly as a fiery halo of plasma during a solar eclipse, remains a puzzle even to scientists who study it closely.

Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.

A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun's surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research using NASA data shows.

NASA rockets launched during the Alaskan winter typically explore the interaction of solar winds with Earth's atmosphere and the resulting auroras that dance across the night sky.

When our Sun erupts with giant explosions -- such as bursts of radiation called solar flares -- we know they can affect space throughout the solar system as well as near Earth.

Solar Minimum Surprisingly Constant

Using more than half a century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the Sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles.

Solar Wind May Affect Satellite Safety

Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California?

SDO Captures Image of Mid-level Flare

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 4:33 pm EDT on Sept. 4, 2017.

On Sept. 30, 2014, multiple NASA observatories watched what appeared to be the beginnings of a solar eruption.

The elemental composition of the Sun's hot atmosphere known as the 'corona' is strongly linked to the 11-year solar magnetic activity cycle, a team of scientists from UCL, George Mason University and Naval Research Laboratory has revealed for the first time.

After four decades of searching, solar scientists have at long last found evidence of a type of seismic wave in our Sun.

The space surrounding our planet is full of restless charged particles and roiling electric and magnetic fields, which create waves around Earth.

An active region on the sun has rotated into view on the sun and seems to be growing rather quickly in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory between July 5-11, 2017.

Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us. Space weather.

The challenge of predicting space weather, which can cause issues with telecommunications and other satellite operations on Earth, requires a detailed understanding of the solar wind (a stream of charged particles released from the sun) and sophisticated computer simulations.

Our ever-changing sun continuously shoots solar material into space. The grandest such events are massive clouds that erupt from the sun, called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs.

Solar Golden Arches

The magnetic field lines between a pair of active regions formed a beautiful set of swaying arches, seen in this footage captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on April 24-26, 2017.

When spacecraft and satellites travel through space they encounter tiny, fast moving particles of space dust and debris.

NASA has long been a leader in understanding the science of space weather, including research into the potential for induced electrical currents to disrupt our power systems.

New research on solar storms finds that they not only can cause regions of excessive electrical charge in the upper atmosphere above Earth's poles, they also can do the exact opposite: cause regions that are nearly depleted of electrically charged particles.

First Solar Images From GOES-16

The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite have been successful, capturing a large coronal hole on Jan. 29, 2017.

An international science team says NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has observed high-energy light from solar eruptions located on the far side of the sun, which should block direct light from these events.

Improved Real-time Views Of The Sun

A groundbreaking new optical device, developed at NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) to correct images of the Sun distorted by multiple layers of atmospheric turbulence, is providing scientists with the most precisely detailed, real-time pictures to date of solar activity occurring across vast stretches of the star's surface.

Just hours after the winter solstice, a mass of energetic particles from the Sun smashed into the magnetic field around Earth.

Thermostat in Earth's Upper Atmosphere

A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has found the mechanism behind the sudden onset of a "natural thermostat" in Earth's upper atmosphere that dramatically cools the air after it has been heated by violent solar activity.

Unusual Origins of High-Energy Electrons

High above the surface, Earth's magnetic field constantly deflects incoming supersonic particles from the sun.

Are Planets Setting Our Sun's Pace?

The Sun's activity is determined by the Sun's magnetic field. Two combined effects are responsible for the latter: The omega and the alpha effect.

For the first time beginning next month, forecasts of the regional effects of solar storms will help protect the power grid and communications satellites, thanks to a new tool developed by researchers at the University of Michigan and Rice University.

A new study by researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, funded by the National Science Foundation, has identified for the first time a process by which the solar wind is heated along extended regions of the Earth's magnetic shield as it penetrates through this barrier.

SDO Witnesses A Double Eclipse

Early in the morning of Sept. 1, 2016, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, caught both Earth and the moon crossing in front of the sun.

A solar storm that jammed radar and radio communications at the height of the Cold War could have led to a disastrous military conflict if not for the U.S. Air Force's budding efforts to monitor the Sun's activity, a new study finds.

The sun emitted three mid-level solar flares on July 22-23, 2016, the strongest peaking at 1:16 am EDT on July 23.

Earth's magnetosphere, the region of space dominated by Earth's magnetic field, protects our planet from the harsh battering of the solar wind.

SDO Peers Into Huge Coronal Hole

This imagery of the sun captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory from May 17-19, 2016, shows a giant dark area on the star's upper half, known as a coronal hole.

New findings based on a year's worth of observations from NASA's Van Allen Probes have revealed that the ring current an electrical current carried by energetic ions that encircles our planet behaves in a much different way than previously understood.

Like sending sensors up into a hurricane, NASA has flown four spacecraft through an invisible maelstrom in space, called magnetic reconnection.

The Impact of the Solar Wind

From our vantage point on the ground, the sun seems like a still ball of light, but in reality, it teems with activity.

Towering Magnetic Arches On The Sun

Arches of magnetic field lines towered over the sun's edge as a pair of active regions began to rotate into view in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on April 5-6, 2016.

Coronal Hole Observed On The Sun

A long coronal hole can be seen right down the middle of the sun in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on March 23-25, 2016.

The New Horizons spacecraft sent back over three years worth of measurements of the solar wind the constant flow of solar particles that the sun flings out into space from a region that has been visited by only a few spacecraft.

Space weather scientist Liz MacDonald has seen auroras more than five times in her life, but it was the aurora she didn't see that affected her the most.

On March 9, 1989, a huge cloud of solar material exploded from the sun, twisting toward Earth.

Cascading Magnetic Arches on The Sun

A dark solar filament above the sun's surface became unstable and erupted on Dec. 16-17, 2015, generating a cascade of magnetic arches.

The geomagnetic storming watch for 30 December has been upgraded to a G3 (Strong), with a G1 (Minor) storming watch still in effect for 31 December.

A rocket was launched on Sunday 13 December 2015 to study the Earth's magnetic field above Norway.

Reviving STEREO-B

On Oct. 1, 2014, NASA mission operations lost communication with one of the two spacecraft of the Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, mission, just as the spacecraft was about to orbit around the other side of the sun.

For scientists studying the impacts of space weather, one of the central mysteries of solar flares.

The Sun demonstrates the potential to superflare, new research into stellar flaring suggests.

A Look Back at NASA Solar Missions

Twenty years ago, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory launched into space and revolutionized our study of the sun and a scientific discipline called heliophysics.

This winter, two sounding rockets will launch through the aurora borealis over Norway to study how particles move in a region near the North Pole where Earth's magnetic field is directly connected to the solar wind.

SDO Sees a Dark Filament Circle On The Sun

A dark, almost circular filament broke away from the sun in a gauzy, feathery swirl, on Nov. 15, 2015, in this video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

New research led by physicists at the University of Warwick has used tools designed to study social networks to gain significant new insights into the Northern Lights, and space weather particularly the interaction of events in the sun's atmosphere with Earth's ionosphere.

SDO Sees The Sun Emit a Mid-level Flare

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 8:13 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1, 2015.

SDO Captures Image of Mid-class Solar Flare

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 10:58 a.m. EDT on Sept. 28, 2015.