Solar research: NASA sounding rocket instrument spots signatures of long-sought small solar flares

Like most solar sounding rockets, the second flight of the FOXSI instrument — short for Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager — lasted 15 minutes, with just six minutes of data collection. But in that short time, the cutting-edge instrument found the best evidence to date of a phenomenon scientists have been seeking for years: signatures of tiny solar flares that could help explain the mysterious extreme heating of the Sun’s outer atmosphere.

Source:: Solar research: NASA sounding rocket instrument spots signatures of long-sought small solar flares

      

The super-Earth that came home for dinner

It might be lingering bashfully on the icy outer edges of our solar system, hiding in the dark, but subtly pulling strings behind the scenes: stretching out the orbits of distant bodies, perhaps even tilting the entire solar system to one side. It is a possible “Planet Nine” — a world perhaps 10 times the mass of Earth and 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune.

Source:: The super-Earth that came home for dinner

      

Extreme magnetic storm: Red aurora over Kyoto in 1770

Researchers used historic accounts of a rare red aurora over Kyoto, Japan, in the 18th century to support calculations of the strength of the associated magnetic storm. The September 1770 storm could be 3-10% stronger than the September 1859 storm, the greatest storm in the past 200 years. The research provides insights that could assist preparation for an unlikely, but possible, future intense magnetic storm.

Source:: Extreme magnetic storm: Red aurora over Kyoto in 1770