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In the News – Year 2011

Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survies
Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives
12.16.11 – An armada of spacecraft witnessed something that many experts thought impossible. Comet Lovejoy flew through the hot atmosphere of the sun and emerged intact.
Curiosity and the Solar Storm
Curiosity and the Solar Storm
12.14.11 – Curiosity, launched on Nov. 26 on the Mars Science Laboratory, has begun monitoring space radiation during its 8-month trip from Earth to Mars using an instrument called the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) that monitors high-energy atomic and subatomic particles.
Ten Successful Years of Mapping the Middle Atmosphere
Ten Successful Years of Mapping the Middle Atmosphere
12.07.11 – TIMED has collected data over almost an entire solar cycle, which lasts about 11 years, creating a new picture of Earth's environment as well as how…
Solar Storms Could 'Sandblast' the Moon
Solar Storms Could ‘Sandblast’ the Moon
12.06.11 – A typical two-day solar storm could strip hundreds of tons of material from the moon.
Space Weather Workshop
Space Weather Workshop
12.06.11 – Five scientists speaking at a workshop at the 2011 Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 6 at 10 AM PST will discuss the complex – and relatively new – research area of space weather.
Hinode's First Light...and Five More Years
Hinode's First Light…and Five More Years
11.01.11 – Five years after its instruments turned on, Hinode has provided some of the highest resolution images of the sun the world had ever seen -- as well as help solve such mysteries as why the sun's atmosphere is a thousand times hotter than its surface.
Solar Cycle Primer
Solar Cycle Primer
10.27.11 – The number of sunspots on the sun increase and decrease over time in a regular, approximately 11-year cycle. More sunspots mean increased solar…
Beautiful Red Aurora
Beautiful Red Aurora
10.25.11 – A coronal mass ejection (CME) shot off the sun late in the evening of October 21 and hit Earth on October 24 at about 2 PM ET causing red aurora in the U.S.
STEREO Celebrates Five Years
STEREO Celebrates Five Years
10.25.11 – On Oct. 25, 2006 STEREO launched to do something never done before: see the entire sun simultaneously.
Incoming Comet; Outcome CME
Incoming Comet; Outgoing CME
10.04.11 – On October 2, 2011, an exceptionally bright comet headed toward the sun and disintegrated; moments later a large coronal mass ejection (CME) blew off the other side of the sun.
Nikolaos Paschalidis: Miniaturized Details and the Big Picture
Nikolaos Paschalidis: Miniaturized Details and the Big Picture
10.04.11 – A profile of Nikolaos Paschalidis, who is in charge of coordinating science and technology advancement efforts of NASA Goddard's Heliophysics division. He builds tiny chips for spacecraft, and thinks big about the future.
Solar Activity Subsiding - Auroras Ablaze
Solar Activity Subsiding - Auroras Ablaze
09.12.11 – After last week's flurry of strong flares from sunspot 1283, solar activity is subsiding as this sunspot rotates over the sun's western limb. Aurora from last week's solar activity will be dancing in the sky for the next several day.
Space Storm Tracked from Sun to Earth
Space Storm Tracked from Sun to Earth
08.18.11 – For the first time, a spacecraft far from Earth has turned and watched a solar storm engulf our planet.
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Sun Packs a Double Punch-UPDATED
08.08.11 – The August 5, 2011 arrival of the combined August 3 CMEs caused many photographers in the northern U.S. and Europe to race outside with their cameras to record the colorful skies. They were not disappointed.
The brighter area represents the edge of the coronal mass ejection – a large slinky-like structure known as a flux rope – while the fainter area beyond that represents the bow shock.
New Ways to Measure Magnetism Around the Sun
07.14.11 – NASA researchers have made use of old mathematical techniques and new insights on how CMEs travel.
STEREO Sees Complete Far Side
STEREO Sees Complete Far Side
06.10.11 – The far side unveiled!
Having a Solar Blast - UPDATE
Having a Solar Blast - UPDATE
06.10.11 – Earth is still waiting for the arrival of the CME unleashed June 7, 2011 but the forecasts of the glancing blow have been substantially reduced. The Sun unleashed an M-2 solar flare, an S-1 radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection in the early hours of June 7, 2011.
Aurora Australis (Southern Lights).
Geomagnetic Storm Light Show at Both Poles
04.30.11 – High Speed Solar Wind causes aurora at both poles
The MMS dual electron spectrometer being built in the Goddard clean room.
Goddard Building Instrument To Study Reconnection
04.29.11 – At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, scientists and engineers are working on a crucial element of the the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission to study magnetic reconnection: the Fast Plasma Instrument (FPI).
A STEREO Heliospheric Imager (HI-1A) image taken on March 7, 2010
STEREO Spacecraft Discovers New Eclipsing Binary Stars
04.21.11 – Although STEREO is primarily a solar mission, UK scientists were able to use the Heliospheric Imagers aboard STEREO to monitor variations in the brightness of stars.
Fortuitous Timing for NASA's New Space Weather App
Fortuitous Timing for NASA's New Space Weather App
03.16.11 – NASA officially releases new Space Weather App making images and other data almost immediately available to users.
Celebrating 400 Years of Sunspot Observations
Celebrating 400 Years of Sunspot Observations
03.09.11 – On March 9, 1611, Johannes Fabricius, who would become the first person to publish a scientific paper on sunspots, used a telescope to catch his first glimpse of one of these dark spots on the sun.
Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Spotless Sun
Researchers Crack the Mystery of the Spotless Sun
03.02.11 – In 2008-2009, sunspots almost completely disappeared for two years. But why? Solar Physicists now know the answer.
First Ever STEREO Images of the Entire Sun
First Ever STEREO Images of the Entire Sun
02.06.11 – Four years after launch NASA's two STEREO spacecraft are now 180 degrees apart and able to image the entire Sun.
Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse
Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse
01.06.11 – On January 4, the Hinode satellite captured breathtaking images of an annular solar eclipse.