For life to form on a planet it needs to orbit the right kind of star
In the search for life-sustaining planets we must first choose the right host star.
Suddenly, the sun is eerily quiet: Where did the sunspots go?
The sun has gone quiet. Almost too quiet. A few weeks ago it was teeming with sunspots, as you would expect since we are supposed to be in the middle of solar maximum-the time in the sun's 11-year cycle when ...
Hot explosions on the cool sun
(Phys.org) —The Sun is more spirited than previously thought. Apart from the solar eruptions, huge bursts of particles and radiation from the outer atmosphere of our star, also the cooler layer right below ...
ESA image: Comet ISON's swansong
Some had hoped comet ISON would be the comet of the century, lighting Earth's skies during the latter months of 2013. Instead, it was barely visible for ground-based observers, but the Solar and Heliospheric ...
Image of solar activity shows two bright bands circling the Sun
(Phys.org) —Back in 1998, the Sun was behaving as expected. The approximately 11-year cycle of activity was proceeding smoothly, heading towards a peak in 2001.
Dating our galaxy's dormant volcano
(Phys.org) —A dormant volcano—a supermassive black hole—lies at the heart of our galaxy. Fresh evidence suggests that it last erupted two million years ago.
Rotation of planets influences habitability
There are currently almost 2,000 extrasolar planets known to us, but most are inhospitable gas giants. Thanks to NASA's Kepler mission, a handful of smaller, rockier planets have been discovered within the ...
Evidence of a local hot bubble carved by a supernova
I spent this past weekend backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, where although the snow-swept peaks and the dangerously close wildlife were staggering, the night sky stood in triumph. Without a fire, ...
Europe sees five possible sites for comet landing
The European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday said it had drawn up a shortlist of five possible sites for carrying out the first-ever landing on a comet.
Tiny "nanoflares" might heat the Sun's corona
Why is the Sun's million-degree corona, or outermost atmosphere, so much hotter than the Sun's surface? This question has baffled astronomers for decades. Today, a team led by Paola Testa of the Harvard-Smithsonian ...
Newly discovered celestial object defies categories
An object discovered by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto (U of T) nearly 500 light years away from the Sun may challenge traditional understandings about how planets and stars form.
Tracking a gigantic sunspot across the Sun
An active region on the sun – an area of intense and complex magnetic fields – rotated into view on Oct. 18, 2014. Labeled AR 12192, it soon grew into the largest such region in 24 years, and fired off ...
Partial solar eclipse sweeps across North America
A partial solar eclipse swept across much of North America on Thursday, triggering floods of blurry pictures of a crescent-shaped sun on Twitter and other social media.
Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up (w/ Video)
(Phys.org) —ESA's comet-chasing mission Rosetta will wake up in 100 days' time from deep-space hibernation to reach the destination it has been cruising towards for a decade.