Sun News -- ScienceDaily News about the Sun. Science articles on Sunspots and the Sun's Corona; evidence the Sun has a companion star; images from the far side of the Sun and more.

  • Planetary collision that formed the moon made life possible on Earth
    on January 23, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Most of Earth's life-essential elements probably arrived with the planetary collision that produced the moon. Petrologists now conclude Earth most likely received the bulk of its carbon, nitrogen and other life-essential volatile elements from a collision with a Mars-sized planet more than 4.4 billion years ago. […]

  • Star material could be building block of life
    on January 23, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    An organic molecule detected in the material from which a star forms could shed light on how life emerged on Earth. […]

  • Shedding light on Saturn's moon Titan's mysterious atmosphere
    on January 23, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    A new study tackles one of the greatest mysteries about Titan, one of Saturn's moons: the origin of its thick, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The study posits that one key to Titan's mysterious atmosphere is the 'cooking' of organic material in the moon's interior. […]

  • A fleeting moment in time: Last breath of a dying star
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    The faint, ephemeral glow emanating from the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 persists for only a short time -- around 10,000 years, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms. ESO's Very Large Telescope captured this shell of glowing ionized gas -- the last breath of the dying star whose simmering remains are visible at the heart of this image. As the gaseous shell of this planetary nebula expands and grows dimmer, it will slowly disappear from sight. […]

  • Mystery orbits in outermost reaches of solar system not caused by 'Planet Nine'
    on January 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    The strange orbits of some objects in the farthest reaches of our solar system, hypothesized by some astronomers to be shaped by an unknown ninth planet, can instead be explained by the combined gravitational force of small objects orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, say researchers. […]

  • From emergence to eruption: Comprehensive model captures life of a solar flare
    on January 16, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    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. […]

  • Double star system flips planet-forming disk into pole position
    on January 14, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Astronomers have found the first confirmed example of a double star system that has flipped its surrounding disc to a position that leaps over the orbital plane of those stars. […]

  • X-ray pulse detected near event horizon as black hole devours star
    on January 9, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    New findings are the first demonstration of a tidal disruption flare being used to estimate a black hole's spin. […]

  • Astronomers map 'light echoes' of newly discovered black hole
    on January 9, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    A team of astronomers has charted the environment surrounding a relatively small, 'stellar mass' black hole that is 10 times the mass of the sun. The observations provide the clearest picture to date of how these small black holes consume matter and emit energy. […]

  • NASA's New Horizons mission reveals entirely new kind of world
    on January 2, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored -- the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance, unlike anything we've seen before, illuminates the processes that built the planets four and a half billion years ago. […]

  • Juno mission captures images of volcanic plumes on Jupiter's moon Io
    on January 2, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    The Juno spacecraft captured new images of a volcanic plume on Jupiter's moon Io during a December 21 flyby. JunoCam, the Stellar Reference Unit (SRU), the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVS) observed Io for over an hour, providing a glimpse of the moon's polar regions as well as evidence of an active eruption. […]

  • Early protostar already has a warped disk
    on January 1, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Using observations from the ALMA radio observatory in Chile, researchers have observed, for the first time, a warped disk around an infant protostar that formed just several tens of thousands of years ago. This implies that the misalignment of planetary orbits in many planetary systems -- including our own -- may be caused by distortions in the planet-forming disk early in their existence. […]

  • All about Ultima: New Horizons flyby target is unlike anything explored in space
    on December 27, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly by a target nicknamed 'Ultima Thule,' 4 billion miles from the Sun, on New Year's Day 2019. No spacecraft has ever explored such a distant world. […]

  • Turbulence in exceptionally hot solar corona
    on December 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Astrophysicists are keen to learn why the corona is so hot. Scientists have completed research that may advance the search. […]

  • Baby star's fiery tantrum could create the building blocks of planets
    on December 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    A massive stellar flare on a baby star has been spotted by astronomers, shedding light on the origins of potentially habitable exoplanets. […]

  • NASA telescopes take a close look at the brightest comet of 2018
    on December 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    As the brilliant comet 46P/Wirtanen streaked across the sky, NASA telescopes caught it on camera from multiple angles. […]

  • Planetary astronomers identify cycle of spectacular disturbances at Jupiter's equator
    on December 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    New research finds a pattern of unique events at Jupiter's equator. […]

  • Newly discovered adolescent star seen undergoing 'growth spurt'
    on December 19, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Astronomers have discovered a young star undergoing a rare growth spurt -- giving a fascinating glimpse into the development of these distant stellar objects. […]

  • Space telescope detects water in a number of asteroids
    on December 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Using the infrared satellite AKARI, a research team has detected the existence of water in the form of hydrated minerals in a number of asteroids for the first time. This discovery will contribute to our understanding of the distribution of water in our solar system, the evolution of asteroids, and the origin of water on Earth. […]

  • Mystery of coronae around supermassive black holes deepens
    on December 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Researchers have used observations from the ALMA radio observatory to measure, for the first time, the strength of magnetic fields near two supermassive black holes at the centers of an important type of active galaxies. Surprisingly, the strengths of the magnetic fields do not appear sufficient to power the 'coronae,' clouds of superheated plasma that are observed around the black holes at the centers of those galaxies. […]

  • Most-distant solar system object ever observed
    on December 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our solar system. It is the first known solar system object that has been detected at a distance that is more than 100 times farther than Earth is from the sun. […]

  • Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate
    on December 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 and 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn's magnetic field. […]

  • Alien imposters: Planets with oxygen don't necessarily have life
    on December 17, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Lab simulations nix the common wisdom that atmospheric oxygen and organic compounds are good evidence that a planet harbors life. […]

  • A young star caught forming like a planet
    on December 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Astronomers have captured one of the most detailed views of a young star taken to date, and revealed an unexpected companion in orbit around it. […]

  • Large population of potential young planets found in distant planetary systems
    on December 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Astronomers used the powerful ALMA telescope to discover that in other parts of the Milky Way Galaxy (seen here) there is potentially a large population of young planets -- similar in mass to Neptune or Jupiter -- at wide-orbit that are not detectable by other current planet searching techniques. […]

  • Solar activity research provides insight into sun's past, future
    on December 10, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Scientists have developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the sun's past and future as well as whether solar activity plays a role in climate change. […]

  • NASA's Voyager 2 probe enters interstellar space
    on December 10, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA's Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere -- the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun. […]

  • Planetary defense: The Bennu experiment
    on December 7, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly every square inch of this ancient clump of rubble left over from the formation of our solar system. Ultimately, the spacecraft will pick up a sample of pebbles and dust from Bennu's surface and deliver it to Earth in 2023. […]

  • Magnetic reconnection in space: Experiment and satellite sightings
    on December 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    New research describes striking similarity of laboratory research findings with observations of the four-satellite Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission that studies magnetic reconnection in space. […]

  • Unknown treasure trove of planets found hiding in dust
    on December 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    The first unbiased survey of protoplanetary disks surrounding young stars in the Taurus star-forming region turned up a higher-than-expected number of disks with features suggesting nascent planets, according to a new study. […]