Just hours after the winter solstice, a mass of energetic particles from the Sun smashed into the magnetic field around Earth. The strong solar wind stream stirred up a display of northern lights over northern Canada.
Originally planned for a two-year mission, the ESA–NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO, is today celebrating two decades of scientific discovery.
NASA announced that a miniature solar particle research spacecraft to be built by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will launch aboard NASA's Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) rocket in 2018.
"Sunrise crashes an aurora party over the southern hemisphere," said astronaut Ricky Arnold of the image he snapped from the International Space Station.