Predicting "Space Weather" -New Insights from the Hinode Solar-Optical Telescope

Sun_solar_flares Solar flares, massive energetic explosions that rise up from the Sun, can damage man-made satellites and pose a radiation hazard to astronauts. Despite decades of study, many aspects of this phenomenon are little understood.

Scientists do not know how big solar flares can get because we have only been tracking them since the beginning of the Space Age. A typical solar flare releases the energy equivalent to a billion hydrogen bombs and spew into space a hundred billion tons or so of deadly high-energy particles. Our magnetosphere and atmosphere block them like a giant sunscreen or divert them safely toward the poles where they produce our auroras.

Continue reading "Predicting "Space Weather" -New Insights from the Hinode Solar-Optical Telescope " »

Sounds from Outer Space -Sun & Saturn's Rings

Listen to sounds from our Solar System: you'll think you're in a Stanley Kubrick SciFi flick. This is truly an "other worldly" experience! Enjoy the show, and pass it on. Posted by Casey Kazan.

Song of the Sun


Low-frequency vibrations from the Sun recorded by the ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft.


Cassini-Huygens passing through

Saturn's rings

NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is hit by millions of dust particles as it goes through a gap in Saturn's icy rings.


Although the ring gaps appear empty, they are not. The spacecraft ploughed through these dust particles at a speed of about 70 000 kilometres per hour! These impacts, converted into audible sounds, resemble hail hitting a tin roof.

This video shows how the atmospheric circulation inside the Sun causes very low frequency 'sound' to be produced.