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In the News – Year 2012

Heliophysics 2012: Year in Review
Heliophysics 2012: Year in Review
12.31.12 – A year-end review of major news coming from NASA's Heliophysics Division.
Van Allen Probes Reveal New Dynamics of Radiation Belts
Van Allen Probes Reveal New Dynamics of Radiation Belts
12.05.12 – Just 96 days since launch, the Van Allen Probes have already provided new insights into the structure and behavior of the radiation belts that surround Earth.
Sungrazing Comets as Solar Probes
Sungrazing Comets as Solar Probes
12.05.12 – On Dec. 15, 2011, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured footage of Comet Lovejoy approaching the sun. The images and data collected by NASA's solar observing fleet can help scientists learn more about the sun itself.
SOHO: Crucial Space Weather Mission Hits 17 Years
SOHO: Crucial Space Weather Mission Hits 17 Years
12.04.12 – A joint ESA/NASA mission, SOHO has helped revolutionize our understanding of the sun's interior and complex atmosphere since it launched on Dec. 2, 1995.
Solar Minimum: Solar Maximum
Solar Minimum; Solar Maximum
11.26.12 – The sun goes through a natural solar cycle approximately every 11 years. The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as ‘solar maximum.’ The lowest number is ‘solar minimum.’
Double Trouble
Double Trouble
11.16.12 – The Sun erupted with two prominence eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period on Nov. 16, 2012, between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. EST.
Total Solar Eclipse Viewed from Australia
Total Solar Eclipse Viewed from Australia
11.14.12 – On Nov. 13, 2012, a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere experienced a total solar eclipse.
Sun Emits a Mid-level Flare
Sun Emits a Mid-level Flare
11.13.12 – On Nov. 12, 2012, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, an M6-class, peaking at 9:04 p.m. EST.
STEREO Reaches Milestone at Sixth Anniversary
STEREO Reaches Milestone At Sixth Anniversary
10.26.12 – On Sept. 1, 2012, the two STEREO spacecraft and Earth were almost exactly equidistant, each with a direct view of a different third of the sun.
Newly Named Sunspot AR1598 Releases M5 Class Solar Flare
Newly Named Sunspot AR1598 Releases M5 Class Solar Flare.
10.22.12 – Newly named sunspot AR1598 has release an M5 class solar flare. This is the same region that released an M9 flare on Oct. 20, 2012.
A New Set of Solar Fireworks
A New Set of Solar Fireworks
10.20.12 – The sun emitted a significant solar flare, an M9, peaking at 2:14 p.m. EDT on Oct. 20, 2012. The associated radio blackout, an R2, has subsided, reports NOAA.
Heliophysics Nugget: Gradient Sun
Heliophysics Nugget: Gradient Sun
10.18.12 – Science and art techniques are often quite similar, indeed each area often helps improve techniques in the other. One such case is a technique known as a ‘gradient filter’ used to examine fine structures on the sun.
Getting NASA's SDO into Focus
Getting NASA's SDO into Focus
10.05.12 – From Sept. 6 to Sept. 29, 2012, NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory moved into its semi-annual eclipse season. It takes a little work to re-focus right after the eclipse.
Red Hot Solar Ballet
Red Hot Solar Ballet
10.04.12 – NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this minor eruption on the sun on Oct 4, 2012 as it rises and falls with the grace and polished movement of a ballet dancer.
NASA's Solar Fleet Peers into Coronal Cavities
NASA's Solar Fleet Peers Into Coronal Cavities
09.20.12 – By understanding the morphology, density and temperature of coronal cavities scientists can better understand eruptions on the sun and the space weather that can disrupt technologies near Earth.
New 'Chorus' Recording By RBSP's EMFISIS Instrument
New ‘Chorus’ Recording By RBSP’s EMFISIS Instrument
09.13.12 – Radio waves, recorded by RBSP’s EMFISIS instrument, are at frequencies that are audible to the human ear and are emitted by the energetic particles in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
Hours After Launch, RBSP Takes First Science Steps
Hours After Launch, RBSP Takes First Science Steps
09.12.12 – Immediately after launch, RBSP entered a 60-day commissioning phase of operations, where all of the spacecrafts’ systems and instruments are activated, monitored, and made ready for the two-year primary science mission.
New RBSP Instrument Telemetry Provides 'Textbook' Excitement
New RBSP Instrument Telemetry Provides ‘Textbook’ Excitement
09.12.12 – Just three days after launch, live data of the particles in the Van Allen radiation belts from the two RBSP spacecraft, provides full science data right out of the box.
RBSP Launches - Twin Probes in Orbit
RBSP Launches – Twin Probes in Orbit
08.30.12 – NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes are flying in Earth orbit after a successful liftoff this morning. The spacecraft are now at home in the Van Allen belts.
Twin Probes to Study Radiation Belts
Twin Probes to Study Radiation Belts
08.20.12 – Radiation Belt Storm Probes will study Earth's ever-changing radiation belts in greater detail than ever before.
Emerging Sunspot Releases Mid-level Solar Flare
Emerging Sunspot Releases Mid-level Solar Flare
08.18.12 – An active region, just beginning to rotate into view, released an M5.6 class solar flare last night at 9:01pm EDT.
Sun Emits a Medium-Intensity Solar Flare
Sun Emits a Medium-Intensity Solar Flare
07.30.12 – The sun emitted a mid-level flare, peaking at 4:55 PM EDT on July 28, 2012. This flare is classified as a M6.2 flare. M-class flares are the weakest flares that can still cause some space weather effects near Earth.
NASA Telescope Captures Sharpest Images of Sun's Corona
NASA Telescope Captures Sharpest Images of Sun's Corona
07.20.12 – NASA's High Resolution Coronal Imager satellite, or Hi-C, has captured the highest-resolution ultraviolet images ever taken of the sun's corona.
Sun Sends Out Mid-Level Solar Flare
Sun Sends Out Mid-Level Solar Flare
07.19.12 – The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare (M7.7) on July 19, 2012, beginning at 1:13 AM EDT and peaking at 1:58 AM.
Colorful Science Sheds Light on Solar Heating
Colorful Science Sheds Light on Solar Heating
07.19.12 – Nicki Viall creates images of the sun reminiscent of Van Gogh, with broad strokes of bright color splashed on a yellow background. The color of each pixel contains information about the history of heating on the sun.
Electric Atmosphere: Plasma is Next NASA Science Target
Electric Atmosphere: Plasma Is Next NASA Science Target
07.18.12 – Two giant donuts of radiation surround Earth, trapped in a region known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts. NASA's RBSP mission will study the material, called plasma, in this mysterious region.
CME Arrival Results in Aurora Show
CME Arrival Results in Aurora Show
07.15.12 – The arrival of the CME associated with the July 12, 2012 X1.4 class flare, resulted in a geomagnetic storm that caused aurora to appear in lower latitudes than usual.
Sunspot 1520 Releases Strong Solar Flare and CME
Sunspot 1520 Releases Strong Solar Flare and CME
07.12.12 – Huge sunspot AR1520, centered in the Sun's southern hemisphere, has released an X1.4 class flare. There is an Earth-directed CME associated with the…
HI-C Sounding Rocket Mission Launches Successfully
HI-C Sounding Rocket Mission Launches Successfully
07.11.12 – The HI-C Sounding Rocket launched successfully on July 11, 2012. HI-C is the highest resolution solar telescope ever to observe the solar corona.
Active Region 1515 Releases M6.9 Class Flare
Active Region 1515 Releases M6.9 Class Flare
07.09.12 – As it turns away from Earth, AR1515 releases an M6.9 class solar flare.
Sun Releases X1.1 Class Flare
Sun Releases X1.1 Class Flare
07.07.12 – Anticipated for the past week, the sun finally releases an X1.1 class solar flare late on July 6.
Another M-class Flare from Sunspot 1515
Another M-class Flare from Sunspot 1515
07.05.12 – Today's M6.1 solar flare, originating from behemoth sunspot AR1515, is the twelfth M-class flare from that region in the last 3 days.
Independence Day Fireworks
Independence Day Fireworks
07.04.12 – Even the sun joins in America's Fourth of July celebration, with an M5.3 solar flare.
Solar Fireworks on July 2
Solar Fireworks on July 2
07.03.12 – On July 2, 2012, an M5.6 class solar flare erupted from the sun, peaking at 6:52 AM EDT.
SDO/EVE Sounding Rocket Launches Successfully
SDO/EVE Sounding Rocket Launches Successfully
06.23.12 – Based on the quicklook realtime data, all of the rocket EVE instrument channels appear to have made excellent solar EUV irradiance measurements.
New Solar Active Region Spitting Out Flares
New Solar Active Region Spitting Out Flares
06.14.12 – An active region on the sun, AR 1504, has fired off two M-class flares and two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on June 13 and June 14, 2012.
Spotting Ultrafine Loops in the Sun's Corona
Spotting Ultrafine Loops in the Sun's Corona
06.12.12 – Scientists have for the first time observed especially narrow loops of solar material scattered on the sun's surface. These ultrafine loops may help with determining how temperatures rise throughout the corona.
The Mysterious Arc of Venus
The Mysterious Arc of Venus
06.04.12 – Astronomers hope to glimpse a “ring of fire” around Venus during its historic transit across the sun on June 5-6. The apparition, if it is seen, could help crack some of the deepest mysteries of the second planet.
SDO to Observe Venus Transit
SDO to Observe Venus Transit
06.01.12 – NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will be watching the June 5, 2012 Venus Transit to help calibrate its instruments as well as to learn more about Venus's atmosphere.
Building 45 Payloads for Balloon Mission
Building 45 Payloads for Balloon Mission
05.29.12 – Dartmouth scientists are building 45 payloads—each destined for a trip on a balloon around Antarctica as part of NASA'S BARREL mission.
Hinode Mission to Capture Annular Solar Eclipse this Weekend
Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012
05.17.12 – On May 20-21, 2012 an annular eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor along Earth's northern Hemisphere.
ISWI: Global Space Weather Science
ISWI: Global Space Weather Science
04.24.12 – In 2009, a group of scientists at NASA Goddard had an idea to place science instruments all over the globe to encourage research and education in…
Rubber Chicken Flies into Solar Radiation Storm
Rubber Chicken Flies into Solar Radiation Storm
04.24.12 – Last month, when the sun unleashed the most intense radiation storm since 2003, a group of high school students in California knew just what to do; launch a rubber chicken.
SDO Highlights on its Second Anniversary
SDO Highlights On Its Second Anniversary
04.20.12 – Since SDO's first light in April, 2010, instruments on the spacecraft have continually observed the ever-changing sun on quiet days and explosive ones: observing over 1000 solar outbursts since its launch.
SDO/STEREO Spot Something New On the Sun
SDO/STEREO Spot Something New On the Sun
04.09.12 – Scientists find giant plumes on the sun, newly named “coronal cells” that are over 18,000 miles across, looking like candlesticks on a birthday cake, and might help explain coronal holes.
Science Nugget: Modeling Extreme Space Weather
Science Nugget: Modeling Extreme Space Weather
03.22.12 – Analysis by Goddard scientists provide basic guidelines to help model some of the largest, most damaging geomagnetically induced currents — damaging currents in power grids caused by solar storms.
Big Sunspot Remains Active
Big Sunspot Remains Active
03.13.12 – On March 13, 2012, the sun erupted with an M7.9-class flare from the same region that has been producing flares and coronal mass ejections all week.
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm at Earth
Moderate Geomagnetic Storm at Earth
03.12.12 – Geomagnetic storms at Earth are currently at a rating of G2 (moderate) on a scale of G1 to G5.
Flying through a Geomagnetic Storm
Flying Through a Geomagnetic Storm
03.09.12 – Glowing green and red, shimmering hypnotically across the night sky, an aurora is a wonder to behold. It might be the greatest show in Earth orbit.
Second Biggest Flare of the Solar Cycle
Second Biggest Flare Of the Solar Cycle
03.09.12 – The sun erupted with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle on March 6, 2012 at 7PM EST, an X5.4.
Storms from the Sun
Storms From the Sun
03.08.12 – An explanation of potential near-Earth space reactions to various solar events, like flares or coronal mass ejections.
Study the Sun During Solar Week
Study the Sun During Solar Week - March 19-23, 2012
03.08.12 – Solar Week provides a week-long series of web-based educational activities for classrooms about our magnetic variable star, the sun, and its interactions with Earth and the solar system.
Active Region on the Sun Spits out Three Flares
Active Region on the Sun Spits Out Three Flares
03.05.12 – On March 2, 2012 a new active region on the sun, region 1429, rotated into view. Since arriving, it has let loose two M-class flares on March 2 and 4 and one X1 class flare this morning.
Beautifule Aurora Result from Active Solar Weekend
Beautiful Aurora Result From Active Solar Weekend
02.27.12 – The weak CME on February 26, 2012 did produce some amazing aurora for high latitude observers.
The Sun as Art
The Sun As Art
02.06.12 – A new interactive NASA art exhibit opens February 9 at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore that will showcase stunning images of the sun.
Space Weather Center Adding 'Ensemble Forecasting' Capability
Space Weather Center Adding ‘Ensemble Forecasting’ Capability
01.27.12 – The sun is beginning to stir. By the time it's fully awake in about 20 months, the Goddard team charged with tracking its moods will have deployed a greatly enhanced forecasting capability.
X1.8 Solar Flare and CME - 01.27.12
X1.8 Solar Flare and CME - 01.27.12
01.27.12 – Sunspot 1402 fires a parting shot as it rotates around the edge of the sun -- an X1.8 class solar flare and CME.
M8.7 Solar Flare and Earth Directed CME-Updated
01.23.12: M8.7 Solar Flare and Earth Directed CME-UPDATED
01.25.12 – The sun erupted late on January 22, 2012 with an M8.7 class flare, an earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME).
Classifying Solar Eruptions
Classifying Solar Eruptions
01.24.12 – NOAA has devised categories for solar flares and storms. The biggest flares are known as ‘X-class flares’ based on a classification system that divides solar flares according to their strength.
Catching a Comet Death on Camera
Catching a Comet Death on Camera
01.19.12 – On July 6, 2011, a comet was caught doing something never seen before: die a scorching death as it flew too close to the sun. The chance to watch it first-hand amazed even the most seasoned comet watchers.
Long Duration M3.2 Class Solar Flare and CME
01.19.2012-Long Duration M3.2 Class Solar Flare and CME
01.19.12 – After a two month respite from Earth-directed solar events, the Sun sends an M3.2 class flare and CME our way.
SDO Helps Measure Magnetic Fields on the Sun's Surface
SDO Helps Measure Magnetic Fields on the Sun's Surface
01.18.12 – A subset of data that helps map out the sun's magnetic fields was recently released from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)
SOHO "Pick of the Week" Hits Impressive Milestone
SOHO “Pick of the Week” Hits Impressive Milestone
01.04.12 – In late November, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory's (SOHO) online ‘Pick of the Week’ reached an impressive milestone: its 500th edition.
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