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First Images From Hinode Offer New Clues About Our Violent Sun (NASA News) - December 22, 2006
WASHINGTON - Instruments aboard a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency satellite named Hinode, or "Sunrise," are returning extraordinary new images of our sun. The international mission to study the forces that drive the violent, explosive power of the sun launched from Japan in September.

Scientists Predict Big Solar Cycle (NASA Feature) - December 21, 2006
Evidence is mounting: the next solar cycle is going to be a big one.

A close up of loops in a magnetic active region. These loops, observed by STEREO's SECCHI/EUVI telescope, are at a million degrees C. This powerful active region, AR903, observed here on Dec. 4, produced a series of intense flares over the next few days.STEREO Sends Back First Solar Images (Mission News- NASA) - December 20, 2006
NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories (STEREO) sent back their first images of the sun this week and with them a view into the sun's mounting activity.

Space Station Glitch Possibly Caused by Solar Flare
- December 15, 2006
HOUSTON -- A glitch in the International Space Station’s (ISS) U.S.-built attitude control system may have its root in a massive solar flare that erupted from the Sun this week, a NASA flight director said Friday.

2006 Transit of Mercury (NASA Feature) - November 8, 2006
On Wednesday, Nov 8, the planet Mercury passed directly in front the Sun. What did it look like? A picture is worth a thousand words.

First Light for Hinode (NASA Feature) - November 2, 2006
Get ready for some fantastic images of the Sun. The Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) onboard Japan's Hinode spacecraft has opened its doors and started snapping pictures.

transit graphic2006 Transit of Mercury (NASA Feature) - October 20, 2006
Mark your calendar: On Wednesday, Nov 8th, the planet Mercury will pass directly in front the Sun. The transit begins at 2:12 pm EST (11:12 am PST) and lasts for almost five hours. Good views can be had from the Americas, Hawaii, Australia and all along the Pacific Rim: visibility map.

Surprises from the Edge of the Solar System (NASA Feature) - September 21, 2006
Almost every day, the great antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network turn to a blank patch of sky in the constellation Ophiuchus. Pointing at nothing, or so it seems, they invariably pick up a signal, faint but full of intelligence. The source is beyond Neptune, beyond Pluto, on the verge of the stars themselves.

Solar Sentinels (NASA Feature) - September 1, 2006
In his 1970s book, Space, James Michener depicted a fictional Apollo mission that lost its crew to radiation from a massive solar flare. He based his tale on what easily might have been but for lucky timing: a massive flare on Aug. 7, 1972 occurred between Apollo 16 (April) and Apollo 17 (December), mankind's last journeys to the Moon. The event still resonates today.

A Summer Flare from the Sun to the Earth (NASA Feature) - August 22, 2006
Scientists say that the next solar cycle of activity is close-by; read Backward Sunspot to check out the sunspot that may be starting the whole process. In the meantime, this large sunspot, named Active Region 904, has been sputtering on for days on end. After watching it rotate into view on Aug. 9, it finally popped off a modest (C-class) flare and associated coronal mass ejection (CME) on Aug. 17 when it had rotated into a location where it practically faced Earth.

Produced by SOHO's Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph, this image shows a coronal mass ejection spinning off from the sun. Staying a Step Ahead of the Sun (NASA Education Feature) - August 17, 2006
NASA's SOHO satellite looks deep inside the Sun to better predict its harmful impacts on Earth.

Backward Sunspot (NASA Feature) - August 15, 2006
On July 31st, a tiny sunspot was born. It popped up from the sun's interior, floated around a bit, and vanished again in a few hours. On the sun this sort of thing happens all the time and, ordinarily, it wouldn't be worth mentioning. But this sunspot was special: It was backward.

Flare Ends Sun's Quiet Spell (NASA Featured Image)- July 7, 2006
After a long quiet spell without any strong solar storms, the sun unleashed a flare (M-class, which means moderate) and a fairly substantial coronal mass ejection on July 7.

Conceptual Model of the Sun
NASA and NSF Computers Simulate Sun's Corona (NASA Feature)- June 26, 2006 For the first time, researchers have developed a computer simulation that can accurately create a model of the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona. Funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, the computer model marks the beginning of a new era in space weather prediction.
For additional information and graphics, visit:

Long Range Solar Forecast (NASA Feature)- May 10, 2006
The Sun's "Great Conveyor Belt" has slowed to a record-low crawl, which has important implications for future solar activity: Solar Cycle 25 peaking in 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

NASA Sees Eclipse in a Different Light (NASA Feature)- March 27, 2006
It's not easy to see a total solar eclipse. They're rare -- the next one visible in the U.S. is in 2017 -- and you can't look directly at them. But in the early morning hours of March 29, seeing the next solar eclipse will be easy -- just visit this Web page.

Intense auroras over Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1958.Solar Storm Warning (NASA Feature)- March 15, 2006
It's official: Solar minimum has arrived. Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.
Like the quiet before a storm.
Recently researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years.

Solar Storms: Nowhere to Hide from SOHO's Improved 'X-Ray Vision' (NASA Feature)- March 9, 2006
NASA researchers using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft have developed a method of seeing through the sun to the star's far side. The sun's far side faces away from the Earth, so it is not directly observable by traditional techniques.
For more information, see:
MDI Full-Farside Description
Access to new farside data

Scientists Gaze Inside Sun, Predict Strength of the Next Solar Cycle (NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center News)- March 6, 2006
The next solar activity cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the previous one, and up to a year late in arriving, according to a breakthrough forecast by Dr. Mausumi Dikpati and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. The scientists made the first "solar climate" forecast using a combination of groundbreaking observations of the solar interior from space and computer simulation. NASA's Living With a Star program and the National Science Foundation funded the research.

Solar Minimum has Arrived (NASA Feature)- March 6, 2006
Where have all the sunspots gone? Solar minimum has arrived.

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