Year On Earth
breaks it down, explaining the complicated mechanics involved in trying to determine how long a year really is, why seasons and ice ages happen, and how not all years are created equal.
posted by loquacious
on Jul 5, 2010 -
As the shuttle program winds down, astrophotographers like Thierry Legault are taking advantage of these last opportunities to capture absolutely incredible shots like this one
, showing Atlantis' transit in front of the sun as it performs its inspection backflip before docking with the ISS. His other photography includes this magnificent series
of the launch of STS-125
. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned
on May 19, 2010 -
A perfect space storm
, which happens about every century, like the one that occurred in 1859
, could cause "catastrophic social and economic disruptions", according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences
on behalf of NASA. "Potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on," the report states. Outages could take months to fix, the researchers say. Banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt. The next peak in solar activity is expected around 2012.
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 7, 2009 -
The largest solar flare of the current solar cycle
shot off the sun earlier today. After the media latched on to what was predicted to be mostly a non-event last week (probably due to a NASA article released around the same time about a super spacestorm
) , it's not making as much news this time. But you should pay attention this time
. This could be the best and last chance for a lot of us farther south to see some auroras before the sun dives into solar minimum, assuming all the variables line up
correctly this time. I recommend watching the Solar Terrestrial Dispatch
, as it is a great all around resource for solar activity and auroras that includes live data and sightings reports by the general public. Unfortunately though, no doubt as word IS spreading, that site is being hammered again and may be quite slow.
posted by yupislyr
on Oct 28, 2003 -
Sol: A Great Big Ball of Burning....Iron?
Well that's what a UMRolla professor thinks anyway -- instead of being mostly hydrogen, that the sun is actually mostly iron
. He's going against all popular belief, and indeed lots of evidence, but his theory states that our sun formed around the iron core of an old supernova.
posted by LuxFX
on Jul 24, 2002 -
Hey, Baby -- did you feel that?
The sun, someday, will envelope the Earth and all life as we know it will die. Can we prevent this? Some wacky scientists think that the best thing to do would be to up and move the whole damn planet.
posted by amanda
on Feb 22, 2001 -