Heliophysics Science Division (670) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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Ten Things We’ve Learned About the Sun From NASA’s SDO This Decade

In February 2020, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory — SDO — is celebrating its 10th year in space. Over the past decade the spacecraft has kept a constant eye on the Sun, studying how the Sun creates solar activity and drives space weather — the dynamic conditions in space that impact the entire solar system, including Earth.

Solar Orbiter Launch Takes Solar Science to New Heights

Solar Orbiter, a new collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA to study the Sun, launched at 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA’s MAVEN Explores Mars to Understand Radio Interference at Earth

NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft has discovered “layers” and “rifts” in the electrically charged part of the upper atmosphere of Mars. The phenomenon is common at Earth and causes unpredictable disruptions to radio communications. The unexpected discovery by MAVEN shows that Mars is a unique laboratory to better understand this disruptive phenomenon.

Spots, Waves and Wind: A Solar Science Timeline

This interactive timeline traces key developments in the history of solar science, from the earliest recorded eclipses to today's cutting-edge space missions.

New Mission Will Take 1st Peek at Sun’s Poles

The ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission will fly within the orbit of Mercury to capture the first-ever images of the Su'ns north and south poles.

Revealing the Physics of the Sun with Parker Solar Probe

Nearly a year and a half into its mission, Parker Solar Probe has returned gigabytes of data on the Sun and its atmosphere. Following the release of the very first science from the mission, five researchers presented additional new findings from Parker Solar Probe at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Dec. 11, 2019.

Postcards from the Edge of Space: Scientists Present New Ionosphere Images and Science

In a Dec. 10 press event at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California, three scientists presented new images of the ionosphere, the dynamic region where Earth’s atmosphere meets space.

NASA Highlights Solar Mission, Jupiter Cyclone at AGU Meeting

NASA researchers will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Dec. 9-13 in San Francisco.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Sheds New Light on the Sun

Since its 2018 launch, NASA's Parker Solar Probe (record-holder for closest-ever spacecraft to the Sun) has finished three of 24 planned passes through never-before-explored parts of the Sun's atmosphere. On Dec. 4, four new papers describe what scientists have learned from its unprecedented exploration, and what they look forward to learning next.

25 Years of Science in the Solar Wind

For the past 25 years, Wind's data has been instrumental in elucidating solar wind properties, intense space weather, and interstellar space, as well as assisting other spacecraft that have gone on to study the Sun up close.

NASA Scientist to Discuss “From the Sun to Solar Wind” at Library of Congress Lecture

The public is invited to a free lecture called ‘From the Sun to Solar Wind: The Perplexing Solar Corona and the Space Environment it Creates,' with Dr. Nicholeen Viall, NASA research astrophysicist.

Ten Highlights From NASA’s Van Allen Probes Mission

After seven years of operations, and upon finally running out of propellant, the second of the twin Van Allen Probes spacecraft will be shut down on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

NASA Spacecraft Launches on Mission to Explore Frontier of Space

After successfully launching Thursday night, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is in orbit for a first-of-its-kind mission to study a region of space where changes can disrupt communications and satellite orbits, and even increase radiation risks to astronauts.

Artemis, meet ARTEMIS: Pursuing Sun Science at the Moon

Two robotic spacecraft orbiting the Moon today were initially known as ARTEMIS.

NASA Scientist to Discuss 'Going to the Top of the World to Touch the Sky' at Library of Congress Lecture

The public is invited to a free lecture called ‘Going to the Top of the World to Touch the Sky,' with Dr. Douglas Rowland.

Sun Science has a Bright Future on the Moon

The Moon isn't just for lunar scientists. As NASA advances its Artemis mission to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024, here are five reasons heliophysicists — who study the Sun-Earth connection — can't wait to get on board.

Shannon Hill - Goddard Intern Studying Pulsating Auroras

Shannon Hill, an intern at Goddard, studied pulsating auroras during her internship.

Streaks in Aurora Found to Map Features in Earth’s Radiation Environment

A special kind of streaked aurora has been found to track disturbances in near-Earth space from the ground.

NASA’s BITSE Solar Scope Is Ready for Balloon Flight Over New Mexico

NASA is getting ready to test a new way to see the Sun, high over the New Mexico desert: a coronagraph called BITSE. BITSE will fly up to the edge of the atmosphere from Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and seeks to explain how the Sun spits out the solar wind.

NASA Selects Proposals to Demonstrate SmallSat Technologies to Study Interplanetary Space

NASA has selected two proposals to demonstrate small satellite technologies to improve science observations in deep space, which could help NASA develop better models to predict space weather events that can affect astronauts and spacecraft.

One Year, 2 Trips Around Sun for NASA's Parker Solar Probe

Since Parker Solar Probe launched on Aug. 12, 2018, Earth has made one trip around the Sun, while the daring solar explorer is well into its third orbit.

NASA’s MMS Finds First Interplanetary Shock

NASA's MMS mission just made the first high-resolution measurements of an interplanetary shockwave launched from the Sun.

How NASA Will Protect Astronauts From Space Radiation at the Moon

Space radiation is a critical factor for astronaut safety as they venture to the Moon. NASA is exploring a variety of techniques and technology to mitigate different types of radiation during space travel.

First of Two Van Allen Probes Spacecraft Ceases Operations

On July 19 mission operators turned off one of the two Van Allen Probes spacecraft. Originally slated for a two-year mission, the Van Allen Probes launched in 2012 and gathered unprecedented data on Earth's radiation belts. As expected, the spacecraft is now out of fuel. It will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up safely in about 15 years.

Earth's Shining Upper Atmosphere — From the Apollo Era to the Present

In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts stood on the Moon and took a picture of Earth like none before: the first view of our planet in far ultraviolet light. Nearly 50 years later, compare views of Earth’s shining ionosphere from the Apollo era to NASA’s present-day GOLD mission.
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