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In the News – Year 2012

Heliophysics 2012: Year in Review
Heliophysics 2012: Year in Review
12.31.12 – A year-end review of major news coming from NASA's Heliophysics Division.
An Image Gallery Gift from NASA's Swift
An Image Gallery Gift from NASA's Swift
12.28.12 – The Swift team has selected more than 100 images to help celebrate eight years of operations of the satellite's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope.
WMAP Team Releases Final Results on Universe's Oldest Light
WMAP Team Releases Final Results on Universe's Oldest Light
12.21.12 – Two years after WMAP's “retirement,” the WMAP science team is releasing its final results, based on nine years of observations.
Study: Remarkable Symmetry in Black Hole Jets
Study: Remarkable Symmetry in Black Hole Jets
12.13.12 – High-speed jets launched from active black holes possess fundamental similarities regardless of mass, age or environment, a new study finds.
Instrument Deck Installed on MMS Observatory #2
Instrument Deck Installed on MMS Observatory #2
12.13.12 – Installation of the instrument deck is complete on the second of four MMS observatories, which are being assembled at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Little Telescope Spies Gigantic Galaxy Clusters
Little Telescope Spies Gigantic Galaxy Clusters
12.06.12 – NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, is helping to find the rarest and largest of galaxy groupings in the universe.
Van Allen Probes Reveal New Dynamics of Radiation Belts
Van Allen Probes Reveal New Dynamics of Radiation Belts
12.05.12 – Just 96 days since launch, the Van Allen Probes have already provided new insights into the structure and behavior of the radiation belts that surround Earth.
Sungrazing Comets as Solar Probes
Sungrazing Comets as Solar Probes
12.05.12 – On Dec. 15, 2011, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured footage of Comet Lovejoy approaching the sun. The images and data collected by NASA's solar observing fleet can help scientists learn more about the sun itself.
SOHO: Crucial Space Weather Mission Hits 17 Years
SOHO: Crucial Space Weather Mission Hits 17 Years
12.04.12 – A joint ESA/NASA mission, SOHO has helped revolutionize our understanding of the sun's interior and complex atmosphere since it launched on Dec. 2, 1995.
Solar Minimum; Solar Maximum
Solar Minimum; Solar Maximum
11.26.12 – The sun goes through a natural solar cycle approximately every 11 years. The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as ‘solar maximum.’ The lowest number is ‘solar minimum.’
Continuing Thanksgiving Eruptions On the Sun
Continuing Thanksgiving Eruptions On the Sun
11.24.12 – On Nov. 23, 2012, at 8:54 a.m. EST, the sun released an Earth-directed, slow-moving CME. This is the third Earth-directed CME since Nov. 20.
NASA Spacecraft Observe a Thanksgiving CME
NASA Spacecraft Observe a Thanksgiving CME
11.22.12 – On Nov. 21, 2012, at 11:24 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME
NASA Spacecraft Observe Nov. 20 Solar Eruption
NASA Spacecraft Observe Nov. 20 Solar Eruption
11.20.12 – On Nov. 20, 2012, at 7:09 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection.
Instrument Delivered for NASA's Upcoming Mars Mission
Instrument Delivered for NASA's Upcoming Mars Mission
11.16.12 – A remote sensing instrument that will peer into the ultraviolet to offer clues to how Mars might have lost its atmosphere arrived at Lockheed Martin for integration into NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.
Double Trouble
Double Trouble
11.16.12 – The Sun erupted with two prominence eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period on Nov. 16, 2012, between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. EST.
Hinode Views Two Solar Eclipses
Hinode Views Two Solar Eclipses
11.14.12 – The orbit of Hinode resulted in two eclipses on Nov. 13, 2012, near the time that a total eclipse was visible in Australia.
Total Solar Eclipse Viewed from Australia
Total Solar Eclipse Viewed from Australia
11.14.12 – On Nov. 13, 2012, a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere experienced a total solar eclipse.
Sun Emits a Mid-level Flare
Sun Emits a Mid-level Flare
11.13.12 – On Nov. 12, 2012, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, an M6-class, peaking at 9:04 p.m. EST.
SAMPEX: A Space Weather Warrior
SAMPEX: A Space Weather Warrior
11.01.12 – NASA's first small explorer, SAMPEX, has studied the zoo of particles and cosmic rays surrounding Earth since 1992. In early Nov., 2012, the spacecraft's orbit will decay enough that SAMPEX will re-enter Earth's atmosphere.
STEREO Reaches Milestone at Sixth Anniversary
STEREO Reaches Milestone At Sixth Anniversary
10.26.12 – On Sept. 1, 2012, the two STEREO spacecraft and Earth were almost exactly equidistant, each with a direct view of a different third of the sun.
NASA's NuSTAR Spots Flare from Milky Way's Black Hole
NASA's NuSTAR Spots Flare From Milky Way's Black Hole
10.23.12 – NASA's newest set of X-ray eyes in the sky, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), has caught its first look at the giant black hole parked at the center of our galaxy.
Newly Named Sunspot AR1598 Releases M5 Class Solar Flare
Newly Named Sunspot AR1598 Releases M5 Class Solar Flare.
10.22.12 – Newly named sunspot AR1598 has release an M5 class solar flare. This is the same region that released an M9 flare on Oct. 20, 2012.
A New Set of Solar Fireworks
A New Set of Solar Fireworks
10.20.12 – The sun emitted a significant solar flare, an M9, peaking at 2:14 p.m. EDT on Oct. 20, 2012. The associated radio blackout, an R2, has subsided, reports NOAA.
Heliophysics Nugget: Gradient Sun
Heliophysics Nugget: Gradient Sun
10.18.12 – Science and art techniques are often quite similar, indeed each area often helps improve techniques in the other. One such case is a technique known as a ‘gradient filter’ used to examine fine structures on the sun.
NASA's WISE Colors in Unknowns on Jupiter Asteroids
NASA's WISE Colors in Unknowns on Jupiter Asteroids
10.15.12 – Observations from NASA's WISE all-sky survey reveal new clues about Jovian Trojans, mysterious asteroids that orbit in front of and behind Jupiter in its path around the sun.
Colossal Binary's Clashing Winds
Colossal Binary's Clashing Winds
10.12.12 – An enormous binary star pair some 4,700 light-years away pounds its surroundings with intense outflows called stellar winds.
Aurora from Oct. 8, 2012 CME
Aurora from Oct. 8, 2012 CME
10.08.12 – The CME release on Oct. 4, 2012 has generated a G2-level geomagnetic storm on Earth resulting in aurora in upper latitudes.
Getting NASA's SDO into Focus
Getting NASA's SDO into Focus
10.05.12 – From Sept. 6 to Sept. 29, 2012, NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory moved into its semi-annual eclipse season. It takes a little work to re-focus right after the eclipse.
Swift Discovers a New Black Hole in our Galaxy
Swift Discovers a New Black Hole in our Galaxy
10.05.12 – Swift recently detected the presence of a previously unknown stellar-mass black hole.
Red Hot Solar Ballet
Red Hot Solar Ballet
10.04.12 – NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this minor eruption on the sun on Oct 4, 2012 as it rises and falls with the grace and polished movement of a ballet dancer.
The Helix Nebula - Bigger in Death than Life
The Helix Nebula - Bigger in Death than Life
10.03.12 – What was once a fairly average star, not much different than our sun, can be seen unraveling at the seams in this new image from the Spitzer and GALEX space telescopes.
CME Causes Colorful Aurora
CME Causes Colorful Aurora
10.01.12 – The CME launched by the sun on Sept. 27 resulted in aurora dipping into the continental U.S. as far south as Maryland and Ohio on Sept. 30, 2012.
NASA's Solar Fleet Peers into Coronal Cavities
NASA's Solar Fleet Peers Into Coronal Cavities
09.20.12 – By understanding the morphology, density and temperature of coronal cavities scientists can better understand eruptions on the sun and the space weather that can disrupt technologies near Earth.
NuSTAR Celebrates First 100 Days
NuSTAR Celebrates First 100 Days
09.20.12 – Tomorrow, Sept. 21, 2012, will mark 100 days since NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, launched into space from the L-1011 “Stargazer” aircraft.
New 'Chorus' Recording By RBSP's EMFISIS Instrument
New ‘Chorus’ Recording By RBSP’s EMFISIS Instrument
09.13.12 – Radio waves, recorded by RBSP’s EMFISIS instrument, are at frequencies that are audible to the human ear and are emitted by the energetic particles in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
Hours After Launch, RBSP Takes First Science Steps
Hours After Launch, RBSP Takes First Science Steps
09.12.12 – Immediately after launch, RBSP entered a 60-day commissioning phase of operations, where all of the spacecrafts’ systems and instruments are activated, monitored, and made ready for the two-year primary science mission.
New RBSP Instrument Telemetry Provides 'Textbook' Excitement
New RBSP Instrument Telemetry Provides ‘Textbook’ Excitement
09.12.12 – Just three days after launch, live data of the particles in the Van Allen radiation belts from the two RBSP spacecraft, provides full science data right out of the box.
RBSP Launches - Twin Probes in Orbit
RBSP Launches – Twin Probes in Orbit
08.30.12 – NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes are flying in Earth orbit after a successful liftoff this morning. The spacecraft are now at home in the Van Allen belts.
ACE, Workhorse of NASA's Heliophysics Fleet, is 15
ACE, Workhorse Of NASA’s Heliophysics Fleet, Is 15
08.29.12 – ACE is a crucial component of NASA’s heliophysics fleet, providing warning of incoming space weather. In 15 years, it has also helped map the ingredients and drivers of the vast sea of flowing particles surrounding Earth.
NASA's WISE Survey Uncovers Millions of Black Holes
NASA’s WISE Survey Uncovers Millions of Black Holes
08.29.12 – NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission has led to a bonanza of newfound supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies called hot…
Tracking Shuttle Exhaust Reveals More Information About Atmospheric Winds
Tracking Shuttle Exhaust Reveals More Information About Atmospheric Winds
08.28.12 – Scientists tracked space shuttle exhaust plumes to study airflow in the upper atmosphere. The water vapor spread faster than expected and collected near the Arctic to form noctilucent clouds.
Sun has "Eureka!" Moment
Sun Has “Eureka!” Moment
08.24.12 – A series of CMEs on August 20, as seen by the SOHO satellite, produces one shaped remarkably like a incandescent light bulb.
Twin Probes to Study Radiation Belts
Twin Probes to Study Radiation Belts
08.20.12 – Radiation Belt Storm Probes will study Earth's ever-changing radiation belts in greater detail than ever before.
Emerging Sunspot Releases Mid-level Solar Flare
Emerging Sunspot Releases Mid-level Solar Flare
08.18.12 – An active region, just beginning to rotate into view, released an M5.6 class solar flare last night at 9:01pm EDT.
Tracking Electron Beams from the Sun
Tracking Electron Beams from the Sun
08.14.12 – Scientists used data from NASA's ACE mission to study jets of electrons streaming from the sun known as electron strahl. This aids understanding of…
Heliophysics Nugget: Seeing Sprites
Heliophysics Nugget: Seeing Sprites
08.14.12 – In the summer of 2011, scientists recorded some of the best movies of sprites ever taken -- movies that can be used to study this poorly understood phenomenon and the forces that create them.
Star's 'Cry' Heralds New Era for Testing Relativily
Star's ‘Cry’ Heralds New Era for Testing Relativity
08.02.12 – Researchers have observed a distinctive X-ray signal following a black hole's eruption that comes from matter on the verge of falling into it.
Sun Emits a Medium-Intensity Solar Flare
Sun Emits a Medium-Intensity Solar Flare
07.30.12 – The sun emitted a mid-level flare, peaking at 4:55 PM EDT on July 28, 2012. This flare is classified as a M6.2 flare. M-class flares are the weakest flares that can still cause some space weather effects near Earth.
NuSTAR Mission Status Report
NuSTAR Mission Status Report
07.27.12 – NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) passed its Post-Launch Assessment Review at JPL this week, clearing the way for the mission to…
A Taste of Solar Maximum
A Taste of Solar Maximum
07.23.12 – On July 14, 2012 a CME crashed into Earth's magnetic field and triggered the most sustained display of auroras in years, giving the world a taste of things to come when Solar Max arrives in 2013.
NASA Telescope Captures Sharpest Images of Sun's Corona
NASA Telescope Captures Sharpest Images of Sun's Corona
07.20.12 – NASA's High Resolution Coronal Imager satellite, or Hi-C, has captured the highest-resolution ultraviolet images ever taken of the sun's corona.
Sun Sends Out Mid-Level Solar Flare
Sun Sends Out Mid-Level Solar Flare
07.19.12 – The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare (M7.7) on July 19, 2012, beginning at 1:13 AM EDT and peaking at 1:58 AM.
Colorful Science Sheds Light on Solar Heating
Colorful Science Sheds Light on Solar Heating
07.19.12 – Nicki Viall creates images of the sun reminiscent of Van Gogh, with broad strokes of bright color splashed on a yellow background. The color of each pixel contains information about the history of heating on the sun.
Electric Atmosphere: Plasma is Next NASA Science Target
Electric Atmosphere: Plasma Is Next NASA Science Target
07.18.12 – Two giant donuts of radiation surround Earth, trapped in a region known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts. NASA's RBSP mission will study the material, called plasma, in this mysterious region.
Heliophysics Nugget: Riding the Plasma Wave
Heliophysics Nugget: Riding the Plasma Wave
07.17.12 – Data from the WAVES instrument on NASA's Wind mission provide evidence for a type of plasma wave moving faster than theory predicted it could move. This suggests that a different process may be driving the waves.
CME Arrival Results in Aurora Show
CME Arrival Results in Aurora Show
07.15.12 – The arrival of the CME associated with the July 12, 2012 X1.4 class flare, resulted in a geomagnetic storm that caused aurora to appear in lower latitudes than usual.
Sunspot 1520 Releases Strong Solar Flare and CME
Sunspot 1520 Releases Strong Solar Flare and CME
07.12.12 – Huge sunspot AR1520, centered in the Sun's southern hemisphere, has released an X1.4 class flare. There is an Earth-directed CME associated with the…
HI-C Sounding Rocket Mission Launches Successfully
HI-C Sounding Rocket Mission Launches Successfully
07.11.12 – The HI-C Sounding Rocket launched successfully on July 11, 2012. HI-C is the highest resolution solar telescope ever to observe the solar corona.
Active Region 1515 Releases M6.9 Class Flare
Active Region 1515 Releases M6.9 Class Flare
07.09.12 – As it turns away from Earth, AR1515 releases an M6.9 class solar flare.
Sun Releases X1.1 Class Flare
Sun Releases X1.1 Class Flare
07.07.12 – Anticipated for the past week, the sun finally releases an X1.1 class solar flare late on July 6.
Another M-class Flare from Sunspot 1515
Another M-class Flare from Sunspot 1515
07.05.12 – Today's M6.1 solar flare, originating from behemoth sunspot AR1515, is the twelfth M-class flare from that region in the last 3 days.
SUMI Sounding Rocket Mission Launches Successfully
SUMI Sounding Rocket Mission Launches Successfully
07.05.12 – On July 5, NASA successfully launched SUMI, to study the intricate, constantly changing magnetic fields in the sun's chromosphere.
The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust
The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust
07.05.12 – Astronomers have discovered that vast amounts of planetary dust, enough to fill the inner portions of a solar system, have suddenly vanished.
SUMI Rocket Launches Successfully
SUMI Rocket Launches Successfully
07.05.12 – UPDATE: SUMI sounding rocket launches successfully and data results look good.
Independence Day Fireworks
Independence Day Fireworks
07.04.12 – Even the sun joins in America's Fourth of July celebration, with an M5.3 solar flare.
Solar Fireworks on July 2
Solar Fireworks on July 2
07.03.12 – On July 2, 2012, an M5.6 class solar flare erupted from the sun, peaking at 6:52 AM EDT.
Hidden Portals in Earth's Magnetic Field
Hidden Portals in Earth's Magnetic Field
07.02.12 – A NASA-funded researcher at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find X-points, places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun.
The 'Flame' Burns Bright in New WISE Image
The ‘Flame’ Burns Bright in New WISE Image
07.02.12 – A fiery image from NASA's WISE mission shows the Flame nebula “burning” a hole in the cosmic dust.
NuSTAR Mission Status Report
NuSTAR Mission Status Report
06.27.12 – After deploying its mast, the NuSTAR observatory began a series of checkout procedures.
SDO/EVE Sounding Rocket Launches Successfully
SDO/EVE Sounding Rocket Launches Successfully
06.23.12 – Based on the quicklook realtime data, all of the rocket EVE instrument channels appear to have made excellent solar EUV irradiance measurements.
WMAP Team Awarded Gruber Cosmology Prize
WMAP Team Awarded Gruber Cosmology Prize
06.22.12 – WMAP transformed the science of cosmology by establishing the age, geometry and contents of the universe to astonishing precision.
NuSTAR Observatory Unfurls its Unique Mast
NuSTAR Observatory Unfurls its Unique Mast
06.21.12 – NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has successfully deployed its lengthy mast, giving it the ability to see the highest energy X-rays in our universe.
UPDATE: Two CMEs Hit Earth's Magnetosphere
UPDATE: Two CMEs Hit Earth's Magnetosphere
06.18.12 – Two CMEs from AR 1504 on June 13-14, delivered a combined blow over the weekend and sparked bright aurora, with some appearing at lower latitudes than usual.
2012 Noctilucent Cloud Season Begins
2012 Noctilucent Cloud Season Begins
06.15.12 – They're Baaaack! The first noctilucent clouds for the 2012 season have been spotted.
New Solar Active Region Spitting Out Flares
New Solar Active Region Spitting Out Flares
06.14.12 – An active region on the sun, AR 1504, has fired off two M-class flares and two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on June 13 and June 14, 2012.
Student Teams Win Space Grant Competition
Student Teams Win Space Grant Competition
06.13.12 – Teams from Maryland, California and Montana universities won top prizes at the second annual National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition.
NASA's NuSTAR Mission Lifts Off
NASA's NuSTAR Mission Lifts Off
06.13.12 – NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) launched this morning over the central Pacific, beginning its mission to study black holes and…
Spotting Ultrafine Loops in the Sun's Corona
Spotting Ultrafine Loops in the Sun's Corona
06.12.12 – Scientists have for the first time observed especially narrow loops of solar material scattered on the sun's surface. These ultrafine loops may help with determining how temperatures rise throughout the corona.
NuSTAR to Drop From Plan and Rocket into Space
NuSTAR to Drop From Plane and Rocket Into Space
06.11.12 – NASA's NuSTAR mission is scheduled to launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean on June 13 at 11:30 a.m. EDT.
WISE Finds Few Brown Dwarfs Close to Home
WISE Finds Few Brown Dwarfs Close To Home
06.08.12 – Astronomers are getting to know the neighbors better. Our sun resides within a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy about two-thirds of the way out from the center.
Instrument Integration Begins at Goddard on MMS Spacecraft
Instrument Integration Begins on MMS Spacecraft
06.08.12 – Engineers working on NASA'S Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission have started integrating instruments on the first of four instrument decks in a…
NASA to Host News Teleconference About NuSTAR Launch
NASA to Host News Teleconference About NuSTAR Launch
06.06.12 – NASA will host a news teleconference at noon PDT (3 p.m. EDT) June 11 to discuss the upcoming launch of its Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) observatory, scheduled for no earlier than 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT) June 13.
RHESSI Will Use Venus Transit to Impove Measurements of the Sun's Diameter
RHESSI Uses Venus Transit to Improve Measurements of the Sun's Diameter
06.04.12 – During the Venus Transit on June 5-6, 2012, the RHESSI science team hopes to improve the accuracy of their measurements of the diameter of the sun, to provide the best measurement ever obtained.
The Mysterious Arc of Venus
The Mysterious Arc of Venus
06.04.12 – Astronomers hope to glimpse a “ring of fire” around Venus during its historic transit across the sun on June 5-6. The apparition, if it is seen, could help crack some of the deepest mysteries of the second planet.
SDO to Observe Venus Transit
SDO to Observe Venus Transit
06.01.12 – NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will be watching the June 5, 2012 Venus Transit to help calibrate its instruments as well as to learn more about Venus's atmosphere.
Science Nugget: Catching Solar Particles Infiltering Earth's Atmosphere
Solar Particles Infiltrating the Atmosphere
05.31.12 – An M-class flare on May 17, 2012 shot out a burst of solar particles traveling at nearly the speed of light. When they collided with atoms in Earth's atmosphere they caused a ground level enhancement.
Electric Moon Jolts the Solar Wind
Electric Moon Jolts the Solar Wind
05.30.12 – Spacecraft and computer simulations reveal the moon's extensive but invisible influence.
Building 45 Payloads for Balloon Mission
Building 45 Payloads for Balloon Mission
05.29.12 – Dartmouth scientists are building 45 payloads—each destined for a trip on a balloon around Antarctica as part of NASA'S BARREL mission.
Asteroid Nudged by Sunlight: Most Precise Measurement of Yarkovsky Effect
Sunlight ‘Nudges’ Asteroid
05.24.12 – Scientists working on an upcoming asteroid sample return mission have measured their target's drift, caused by the subtle “push” of sunlight.
NASA to Hold News Conference About NuSTAR Launch
NASA to Hold News Conference About NuSTAR Launch
05.24.12 – NASA will hold a news conference on Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), a mission to hunt for black holes.
NASA's NuSTAR Gearing up for Launch
NASA's NuSTAR Gearing up for Launch
05.22.12 – Engineers are installing the "nose cone" around NASA's NuSTAR, a black hole hunter. The mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13.
NASA Goddard Delivers Magnetometers for NASA's Next Mission to Mars
Goddard Delivers Magnetometers for Next Mission to Mars
05.21.12 – The pair of flux gate magnetometers measures the magnetic field at the location of the spacecraft. This instrument will help understand how the solar wind interacts with the planet’s atmosphere.
Hinode Mission to Capture Annular Solar Eclipse this Weekend
Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012
05.17.12 – On May 20-21, 2012 an annular eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor along Earth's northern Hemisphere.
More Eruptions from Active Region 1476
More Eruptions from Active Region 1476
05.17.12 – The sun erupted with an M-class flare that peaked at 9:47 PM EDT on May 17, 2012. A CME also burst from the sun at 9:48 PM EDT, traveling at over 930 miles per second.
NASA Survey Counts Potentially Hazardous Asteroids
NASA Survey Counts Potentially Hazardous Asteroids
05.16.12 – Observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to the best assessment yet of our solar system's population of potentially hazardous asteroids.
NASA Lends Galaxy Evolution Explorer to Caltech
NASA Lends Galaxy Evolution Explorer to Caltech
05.16.12 – NASA is lending the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, where the spacecraft will continue its exploration of the cosmos.
IBEX Reveals a Missing Boundary At the Edge of the Solar System
IBEX Reveals Missing Boundary At Solar System Edge
05.10.12 – Scientists compile data from IBEX, Voyager, and computer models to show that the heliosphere just isn't moving fast enough to create a bow shock.
Black Hole Caught Red-Handed in a Stellar Homicide
Black Hole Caught Red-Handed in a Stellar Homicide
05.02.12 – Astronomers have gathered the most direct evidence yet of a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close.
Goddard Collaborates on MMS Instrument
Goddard Collaborates on MMS Instrument
04.30.12 – During the last week of March, 2012, researchers from Goddard, Marshall, SWRI and Japan came together to test a key instrument for the Magnetospheric…
NASA's WISE Catches Aging Star Erupting with Dust
NASA's WISE Catches Aging Star Erupting With Dust
04.26.12 – Images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveal an old star in the throes of a fiery outburst, spraying the cosmos with dust.
ISWI: Global Space Weather Science
ISWI: Global Space Weather Science
04.24.12 – In 2009, a group of scientists at NASA Goddard had an idea to place science instruments all over the globe to encourage research and education in…
Rubber Chicken Flies into Solar Radiation Storm
Rubber Chicken Flies into Solar Radiation Storm
04.24.12 – Last month, when the sun unleashed the most intense radiation storm since 2003, a group of high school students in California knew just what to do; launch a rubber chicken.
SDO Highlights on its Second Anniversary
SDO Highlights On Its Second Anniversary
04.20.12 – Since SDO's first light in April, 2010, instruments on the spacecraft have continually observed the ever-changing sun on quiet days and explosive ones: observing over 1000 solar outbursts since its launch.
Hinode/SOHO Paint Asymmetrical Picture of the Sun
Hinode/SOHO Paint Asymmetrical Picture Of the Sun
04.20.12 – The solar cycle unfolds with seeming regularity every 11 years — magnetic north and south pole flip — now two upcoming papers show that the switch at bottom and top of the sun is not simultaneous.
NASA's Swift Monitors Departing Comet Garradd
NASA's Swift Monitors Departing Comet Garradd
04.13.12 – Outbound comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) provided a nice show for skywatchers last year. Now, it's the target of an ongoing investigation.
NASA's WISE Mission Sees Skies Ablaze With Blazars
NASA's WISE Mission Sees Skies Ablaze With Blazars
04.12.12 – Astronomers are actively hunting a class of supermassive black holes throughout the universe called blazars thanks to data collected by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).
SDO/STEREO Spot Something New On the Sun
SDO/STEREO Spot Something New On the Sun
04.09.12 – Scientists find giant plumes on the sun, newly named “coronal cells” that are over 18,000 miles across, looking like candlesticks on a birthday cake, and might help explain coronal holes.
Solar Storm Dumps Gigawatts into Upper Atmosphere
Solar Storm Dumps Gigawatts into Upper Atmosphere
03.23.12 – March solar storms dumped enough energy in Earth's upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.
Science Nugget: Modeling Extreme Space Weather
Science Nugget: Modeling Extreme Space Weather
03.22.12 – Analysis by Goddard scientists provide basic guidelines to help model some of the largest, most damaging geomagnetically induced currents — damaging currents in power grids caused by solar storms.
Launch of NASA's NuSTAR Mission Postponed
Launch of NASA's NuSTAR Mission Postponed
03.16.12 – The planned launch of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has been postponed after a March 15 launch status meeting.
STEREO Far Side Sun Voted Top 2011 NASA Triumph
STEREO Far Side Sun Voted Top 2011 NASA Triumph
03.16.12 – Public votes STEREO mission as NASA's biggest accomplishment of 2011.
NASA Releases New Catalog of Entire Infrared Sky
NASA Releases New Catalog of Entire Infrared Sky
03.14.12 – A new, large mosaic from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) showcases a vast stretch of cosmic clouds bubbling with new star birth.
Big Sunspot Remains Active
Big Sunspot Remains Active
03.13.12 – On March 13, 2012, the sun erupted with an M7.9-class flare from the same region that has been producing flares and coronal mass ejections all week.
NASA March 13 NuSTAR Media Briefing Postponed
NASA March 13 NuSTAR Media Briefing Postponed
03.12.12 – The Tuesday, March 13, media briefing to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has been postponed.
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm at Earth
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm at Earth
03.12.12 – Geomagnetic storms at Earth are currently at a rating of G2 (moderate) on a scale of G1 to G5.
Flying through a Geomagnetic Storm
Flying Through a Geomagnetic Storm
03.09.12 – Glowing green and red, shimmering hypnotically across the night sky, an aurora is a wonder to behold. It might be the greatest show in Earth orbit.
Second Biggest Flare of the Solar Cycle
Second Biggest Flare Of the Solar Cycle
03.09.12 – The sun erupted with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle on March 6, 2012 at 7PM EST, an X5.4.
NASA's REXTE Captures Thermonuclear Behavior
NASA's RXTE Captures Thermonuclear Behavior
03.09.12 – A neutron star near the center of our galaxy erupted with hundreds of X-ray bursts, powered by thermonuclear explosions on the star's surface.
Storms from the Sun
Storms From the Sun
03.08.12 – An explanation of potential near-Earth space reactions to various solar events, like flares or coronal mass ejections.
Study the Sun During Solar Week
Study the Sun During Solar Week - March 19-23, 2012
03.08.12 – Solar Week provides a week-long series of web-based educational activities for classrooms about our magnetic variable star, the sun, and its interactions with Earth and the solar system.
NASA to hold Media Briefing about NuSTAR Mission
NASA to Hold Media Briefing About NuSTAR Mission
03.08.12 – NASA will hold a media briefing at 9 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. EDT) on Tuesday, March 13, to discuss the upcoming launch of an innovative X-ray telescope called NuSTAR.
Active Region on the Sun Spits out Three Flares
Active Region on the Sun Spits Out Three Flares
03.05.12 – On March 2, 2012 a new active region on the sun, region 1429, rotated into view. Since arriving, it has let loose two M-class flares on March 2 and 4 and one X1 class flare this morning.
Engineers Tuck NuSTAR in its Nose Cone
Engineers Tuck NuSTAR in its Nose Cone
03.02.12 – NuSTAR is being encapsulated in its rocket nose cone, or fairing, which will protect it during launch, scheduled for no earlier than March 21.
Beautifule Aurora Result from Active Solar Weekend
Beautiful Aurora Result From Active Solar Weekend
02.27.12 – The weak CME on February 26, 2012 did produce some amazing aurora for high latitude observers.
NuSTAR Mirrors Baked in Glass Kitchen
NuSTAR Mirrors Baked in Glass Kitchen
02.23.12 – Astrophysicist Will Zhang has experimented with a new technique for efficiently manufacturing super-thin, low-cost curved telescope mirror segments.
THEMIS: Five Years of Aurora and Space Weather
THEMIS: Five Years of Aurora and Space Weather
02.17.12 – Since 2007, THEMIS has mapped how explosive auroras erupt and solar wind transfers energy to the magnetosphere.
NuSTAR Mated to its Rocket
NuSTAR Mated to its Rocket
02.17.12 – Mating of NASA's NuSTAR observatory to its Pegasus rocket is underway.
RHESSI Celebrates 10 Years and 40,000 X-Ray Flares
RHESSI Celebrates 10 Years and 40,000 X-Ray Flares
02.08.12 – Ten years since its launch, RHESSI has observed more than 40,000 X-ray flares, helped craft a model of how solar eruptions form, and fueled additional serendipitous science papers on such things as the shape of the sun.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer in Standby Mode
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer in Standby Mode
02.07.12 – NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer was placed in standby mode today as engineers prepare to end mission operations, nearly nine years after the telescope's launch.
The Sun as Art
The Sun As Art
02.06.12 – A new interactive NASA art exhibit opens February 9 at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore that will showcase stunning images of the sun.
The Interstellar Material Beyond our Solar System
The Interstellar Material Beyond our Solar System
01.31.12 – It's an alien environment out there: the material in the galactic wind doesn't look like the same stuff our solar system is made of.
THEMIS sees a Great Electron Escape
THEMIS Sees a Great Electron Escape
01.30.12 – Filled with electrons and charged particles, the radiation belts regularly swell and shrink, but no one is quite sure how. A new study sheds light on how those radiation particles escape.
Space Weather Center Adding 'Ensemble Forecasting' Capability
Space Weather Center Adding ‘Ensemble Forecasting’ Capability
01.27.12 – The sun is beginning to stir. By the time it's fully awake in about 20 months, the Goddard team charged with tracking its moods will have deployed a greatly enhanced forecasting capability.
NuSTAR Spacecraft Arrives in California
NuSTAR Spacecraft Arrives in California
01.27.12 – NASA's NuSTAR mission has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California, where it will be mated to its Pegasus rocket.
X1.8 Solar Flare and CME - 01.27.12
X1.8 Solar Flare and CME - 01.27.12
01.27.12 – Sunspot 1402 fires a parting shot as it rotates around the edge of the sun -- an X1.8 class solar flare and CME.
NASA's NuSTAR Ships to Vandenberg for March 14 Launch
NASA's NuSTAR Ships to Vandenberg for March 14 Launch
01.25.12 – NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has been shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to be mated to its Pegasus launch vehicle.
M8.7 Solar Flare and Earth Directed CME-Updated
01.23.12: M8.7 Solar Flare and Earth Directed CME-UPDATED
01.25.12 – The sun erupted late on January 22, 2012 with an M8.7 class flare, an earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME).
Classifying Solar Eruptions
Classifying Solar Eruptions
01.24.12 – NOAA has devised categories for solar flares and storms. The biggest flares are known as ‘X-class flares’ based on a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength.
Catching a Comet Death on Camera
Catching a Comet Death on Camera
01.19.12 – On July 6, 2011, a comet was caught doing something never seen before: die a scorching death as it flew too close to the sun. The chance to watch it first-hand amazed even the most seasoned comet watchers.
Long Duration M3.2 Class Solar Flare and CME
01.19.2012-Long Duration M3.2 Class Solar Flare and CME
01.19.12 – After a two month respite from Earth-directed solar events, the Sun sends an M3.2 class flare and CME our way.
SDO Helps Measure Magnetic Fields on the Sun's Surface
SDO Helps Measure Magnetic Fields on the Sun's Surface
01.18.12 – A subset of data that helps map out the sun's magnetic fields was recently released from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
Spacecraft Cleanroom Goes Green
Spacecraft Cleanroom Goes Green
01.13.12 – MMS mission requirements lead to construction of a new ‘Green’ cleanroom, where the four identical spacecraft will be assembled and integrated.
RXTE Helps Pinpoint Black Hole's 'Bullets'
RXTE Helps Pinpoint Black Hole's ‘Bullets’
01.10.12 – An international team of astronomers has identified the moment when a black hole in our galaxy launched super-fast knots of gas into space.
Stars Pop onto the Scene in New WISE Image
Stars Pop Onto the Scene in New WISE Image
01.10.12 – A new, large mosaic from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) showcases a vast stretch of cosmic clouds bubbling with new star birth.
Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Completes Mission Operations
Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer Completes Mission Operations
01.09.12 – After 16 years in space, RXTE has made its last observation. The satellite provided unprecedented views into the extreme environments around white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.
SOHO "Pick of the Week" Hits Impressive Milestone
SOHO “Pick of the Week” Hits Impressive Milestone
01.04.12 – In late November, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory's (SOHO) online ‘Pick of the Week’ reached an impressive milestone: its 500th edition.