Solar Physics Laboratory (671) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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NASA Sounding Rocket Finds Helium Structures in Sun’s Atmosphere

08.07.2020
Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen. But scientists aren’t sure just how much there actually is in the Sun’s atmosphere. NASA's HERSCHEL sounding rocket has taken the first global measurements of helium in the extended solar atmosphere – a key piece of information for understanding our space environment.

NASA Sun Data Helps New Model Predict Big Solar Flares

07.31.2020
Using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, scientists have developed a new model that successfully predicted seven of the Sun’s biggest flares from the last solar cycle, out of a set of nine. With more development, the model could be used to one day inform forecasts of these intense bursts of solar radiation.

Watch a 10-Year Time Lapse of Sun From NASA’s SDO

06.24.2020
As of June 2020, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory – SDO – has now been watching the Sun non-stop for over a full decade. From its orbit in space around Earth, SDO has gathered 425 million high-resolution images of the Sun, amassing 20 million gigabytes of data over the past 10 years and enabling countless new discoveries about our closest star.

4,000th Comet Discovered by ESA & NASA Solar Observatory

06.17.2020
On June 15, 2020, a citizen scientist spotted a never-before-seen comet in data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO — the 4,000th comet discovery in the spacecraft’s 25-year history.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Teams Up With Observatories Around Solar System for 4th Solar Encounter

06.12.2020
A confluence of events in early 2020 created a nearly ideal space-based laboratory, combining the alignment of some of humanity's best observatories with a quiet period in the Sun's activity

Why ESA and NASA's SOHO Spacecraft Spots So Many Comets

05.19.2020
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA, was not designed to find comets, but it has discovered well over half of all known comets, with nearly 4,000 comets found.

New NASA Podcast Helps Listeners Explore Our ‘Curious Universe’

04.06.2020
NASA’s newest podcast is taking listeners on an adventure to explore the wonders of Earth and help unravel the mysteries of the universe.

NASA Science Keeps the Lights On

04.02.2020
Across NASA’s many missions, thousands of scientists, engineers, and other experts and professionals all over the country are doing what they do best, but now from home offices and via video conferencing. With most personnel supporting missions remotely to keep onsite staff at a minimal level in response to COVID-19, the Agency is moving ahead strongly with everything from space exploration to using our technology and innovation to help inform policy makers.

Statement on NASA Goddard’s Coronavirus Prep Actions

03.13.2020
Goddard has canceled all non-mission-essential visits to its facilities. Goddard also is closing its Visitor Centers at Greenbelt and at Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

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

02.11.2020
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

02.10.2020
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.

Revealing the Physics of the Sun with Parker Solar Probe

12.11.2019
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.

NASA Highlights Solar Mission, Jupiter Cyclone at AGU Meeting

12.05.2019
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 Scientist to Discuss “From the Sun to Solar Wind” at Library of Congress Lecture

10.31.2019
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.

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

08.23.2019
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.

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

08.12.2019
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 Scientists Find Sun’s History Buried in Moon’s Crust

06.17.2019
Scientists are realizing that the Moon contains clues to the ancient mysteries of the Sun, which are crucial to understanding the development of life.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Celebrates 60 Years

04.29.2019
On May 1, 1959, the Beltsville Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was renamed NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in honor of Robert H. Goddard, widely considered the father of modern rocketry. Thus began a 60-year boom in science and technological innovation.

Unexpected Rain on Sun Links Two Solar Mysteries

04.05.2019
Researchers find rain on the Sun in an unexpected place. The findings could create a new link between two of the biggest mysteries in solar physics.

And the Blobs Just Keep on Coming

04.04.2019
Scientists re-inspected 45-year-old Helios data, finding long trains of massive blobs — like lava lamp's otherworldly bubbles, but 50 to 500 times the size of Earth — that ooze from the Sun every 90 minutes or so.

NASA Invites Media to 57th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium

03.15.2019
Media are invited to the 57th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium on March 20-21.

Solar Tadpole-Like Jets Seen With NASA’S IRIS Add New Clue to Age-Old Mystery

02.19.2019
Scientists have discovered tadpole-shaped jets coming out of the Sun that may help explain why the corona (the wispy upper atmosphere of our star) is so inexplicably hot.

Preparing for Discovery With NASA's Parker Solar Probe

12.12.2018
On Dec. 12, four researchers gathered at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union to share what they hope to learn from Parker Solar Probe.

NASA Retires Prolific Solar Observatory After 16 Years

11.20.2018
More than 16 years after launching the mission on Feb. 5, 2002, NASA is retiring the solar observatory RHESSI, short for the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager.

Parker Solar Probe Reports Good Status After Close Solar Approach

11.07.2018
Parker Solar Probe is alive and well after skimming by the Sun at just 15 million miles from our star's surface. This is far closer than any spacecraft has ever gone. Mission controllers received the status beacon from the spacecraft at 4:46 p.m. EST on Nov. 7, 2018. The beacon indicates status "A" — the best of all four possible status signals.
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