Rare transit of Mercury to take place on 9 May

On 9 May there will be a rare transit of Mercury, when the smallest planet in our Solar System will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun. The last time this happened was in 2006, and the next two occasions will be in 2019 and 2032. During the transit, which takes place in the afternoon and early evening in the UK, Mercury will appear as a dark silhouetted disk against the bright surface of the Sun.

Source:: Rare transit of Mercury to take place on 9 May

      

Seeing double: NASA missions measure solar flare from 2 spots in space

Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun. They are created when complicated magnetic fields suddenly and explosively rearrange themselves, converting magnetic energy into light through a process called magnetic reconnection — at least, that’s the theory, because the signatures of this process are hard to detect. But during a December 2013 solar flare, three solar observatories captured the most comprehensive observations of an electromagnetic phenomenon called a current sheet, strengthening the evidence that this understanding of solar flares is correct.

Source:: Seeing double: NASA missions measure solar flare from 2 spots in space

      

From bright flare ribbons to coronal rain

Scientists at NJIT’s Big Bear Solar Observatory have captured unprecedented images of a recent solar flare, including bright flare ribbons seen crossing a sunspot followed by ‘coronal rain,’ plasma that condenses in the cooling phase shortly after the flare, showering the visible surface of the sun where it lands in brilliant explosions.

Source:: From bright flare ribbons to coronal rain

      

Chemical composition of dust from beyond the solar system analyzed

A dust detector on the Cassini space probe — known as the cosmic dust analyzer (CDA) — has identified several extremely rare and minuscule particles of interstellar dust from outside our solar system, and examined their chemical composition. Surprisingly it turns out that the different dust particles are very similar in composition and have collected the whole element mix of the cosmos. The experts therefore suspect that dust is continually destroyed, reformed and thereby homogenized in the “witch’s cauldron” of outer space.

Source:: Chemical composition of dust from beyond the solar system analyzed

      

Chemical composition of dust from beyond the solar system analyzed

A dust detector on the Cassini space probe — known as the cosmic dust analyzer (CDA) — has identified several extremely rare and minuscule particles of interstellar dust from outside our solar system, and examined their chemical composition. Surprisingly it turns out that the different dust particles are very similar in composition and have collected the whole element mix of the cosmos. The experts therefore suspect that dust is continually destroyed, reformed and thereby homogenized in the “witch’s cauldron” of outer space.

Source:: Chemical composition of dust from beyond the solar system analyzed