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rainbow with black lines marking where different atoms have absorbed wavelengths of light

Stellar Science

Mystery of the Sun's Chemical Makeup Lingers

Astronomers think they might have a solution to the conundrum of the Sun's chemical composition.

Solar Orbiter images of Sun

Solar System

Spotting Dots on the Sun

You’ve heard of sunspots, but how about Sun dots? A recent solar mission has snapped photos of tiny, bright dots on the Sun, and astronomers are contemplating their cause.

Naked eye sunspots

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to Observe and Measure Naked-eye Sunspots

As Solar Cycle 25 ticks up, naked-eye sunspots are becoming more frequent. They're not only fun to observe, but with this simple method you can determine just how big they are. We also have news on a bright supernova!

Halpha sun with prominences

Celestial Objects to Observe

How to Look at the Sun Safely

Our star is an amazing object to observe, whether by eye or with optical aid. These time-tested tips will let you see the solar disk worry-free.

Observing the stars

Learning About the Sky

See the Sun from Other Stars

We journey to distant suns to look back at our solar system and see its place among the stars.

Artist's concept of probe above Alfven surface

Solar System

“Humanity Has ‘Touched’ the Sun”

On its eighth close pass, NASA’s record-breaking Parker Solar Probe entered our star’s atmosphere and “touched” the surface of the Sun.

Artist’s impression of the Ulysses spacecraft

Stellar Science

Measuring Solar Eruptions with a Rare Alignment

New analysis of a coronal mass ejection detected by the alignment of two spacecraft reveals that it experienced erosion and restructuring as it traveled.

Sunspots at solar minimum vs. maximum

Solar System

The Sun’s Activity Cycle Is Stabilizing

Solar Cycle 25 is here, and forecasts suggest the next decade of the Sun’s activity will mimic the last one — halting a 40-year trend.

The Sun's full disk

Solar System

European Solar Orbiter Takes Closest-ever Images of the Sun

The first images to be released from the European Space Agency’s Sun-imaging spacecraft show intriguing “campfires” that could help explain a solar mystery.

Solar flare

Solar System

New Evidence for Nanoflares?

Astronomers have spotted weak bursts of low-frequency radio emission coming from all over the Sun.

Sun

95 Sunrises Along the Columbia Riverbank

Margaret Greenwood explores the changing location of sunrises throughout the year.

The Sun vs. Sun-like Stars

Stellar Science

How Lazy Is the Sun?

Astronomers studying hundreds of Sun-like stars were surprised to find that most of them are more active than the Sun. Why is the Sun different?

Solar Eclipse in 1900

Astronomy and Society

Amateur Filmmaker Captured Solar Eclipse — in 1900

In 1900, a man named John Nevil Maskelyne filmed a solar eclipse — the first of its kind.

Dunn Solar Telescope

Professional Telescopes

Sunspot Solar Observatory Reopens After Mysterious Shutdown

After a 10-day lockdown to cooperate with a criminal investigation, Sunspot Solar Observatory is back to looking at the Sun.

Parker Solar Probe launch

Spacecraft and Space Missions

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Launches to "Touch the Sun"

The unique Parker Solar Probe launched on Sunday, August 12th, set to fly faster and come closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before it.

Seeing

Daylight Phenomena

Quest for the Green Flash

If you like sunrises and sunsets, look for the green flash, a phenomenon that happens more often that you think.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Walking with Arcturus

Stars are time machines that can transport us into the past or future. They can also illuminate our own personal journeys, as Arcturus did for me one night.

Orbital Path Podcasts with Michelle Thaller

Orbital Path Podcast: Journey to the Sun

Nicki Viall, a heliophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center, shares her excitement over the Parker Solar Probe — the spacecraft that will allow scientists to "touch" the Sun.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Giant Sunspots, Flares Presage Arrival of Solar Storm

Two big, naked-eye sunspot groups are putting on a splendid show this week. We're also in the crosshairs for a strong geomagnetic storm and possible auroras.

cutaway of Sun

Stellar Science

Sun's Waves Reveal Core's Spin

Solar astronomers may have finally detected gravity waves in our star’s core, revealing that the Sun’s central region rotates about four times faster than the outer layers.

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