Some of the greatest cosmic mysteries are closer to home than you may think.
You can say what you like about our nearest star, but as this latest solar eruption proves, it certainly has impeccable timing.
It would be the end of the world, as we know it, and we would not feel fine. If we got hit with the business end of a gigantic coronal mass ejection, our power grid could be cooked and we'd literally go dark. Can we do anything about it?
Yes, that's right, there's a hole in the sun, but it's not a sign of anything scary, it's actually a wonderful insight to some pretty 'cool' solar dynamics.
In 'The Martian', Mark Watney deals with a lot of dangerous situations -- food and communications being a couple of them. But what if his camp got hit by a solar storm? How could he protect himself?
Pluto may be, on average, 40 times further away from the sun than Earth, but that doesn't mean it doesn't experience the sun's outbursts.
A giant eruption from the sun that scientists thought would hit Earth in 2014 missed because the sun's magnetic field channeled it away from the planet in an unexpected way.
Astronomers studying stars like our sun that are known to generate powerful 'superflares' have also discovered that these superflares are likely associated with monster 'starspots.'
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