Last month’s solar storm was pretty stellar, but the massive flare that erupted from the sun yesterday put it to shame, lashing out from the solar surface in a beautiful filament that stretched for 435,000 miles – nearly twice the distance between the Earth and moon and about 60,000 miles larger than last month’s plasma ejection.
They’re out there, biding their time. Waiting patiently. And when you least expect it, they’re going to plunge you and everyone you care about into total darkness. Luckily, we can see solar storms coming from about 93 million miles away, and NASA is now in the process of creating a “Solar Shield” that should be able to minimize the damage to power grids caused by electromagnetic disturbances in the atmosphere and ground caused by foul weather on the sun.
Given what we know about radioactivity and solar neutrinos, this should not happen. It's so bizarre that a couple scientists at Stanford and Purdue universities believe there's a chance that a previously unknown solar particle is behind it all.
After a good deal of hand-wringing and breath-holding, NASA engineers have finally brought the Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) on the GOES-15 satellite (formerly called GOES-P) online, to return its first detailed images of the sun to Earth.
Solar storms could wreak havoc on satellites and power grids, and so scientists have humbly turned to netizens across the world to help watch our sun for possible signs of such storms. Anyone who can spare some time from YouTube and Facebook also gets to peer at nifty 3-D images of the sun, according to BBC.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.