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'We Will Finally Touch the Sun'

NASA explains next year's mission to the star's atmosphere

(Newser) - NASA is going to the sun. More specifically, it's launching an unmanned probe next year that will travel closer to the star than any spacecraft has done previously. "It's a spacecraft loaded with technological breakthroughs that will solve many of the largest mysteries about our star,"...

Sun Ready to Flip Its Magnetic Fields

It's part of a regular 11-year cycle

(Newser) - Sun feel a little off to you these days? Congratulations on being finely attuned to the inner workings of the solar system. The sun is in the process of reversing its magnetic fields, and the full process should be complete before the year is out, reports . It may...

'Ring of Fire' Eclipse Wows

'Ants look up from anthill,' notes one observer

(Newser) - The rare "ring of fire" annular solar eclipse did not disappoint. Millions of watchers from Tokyo to San Francisco and Albuquerque stood transfixed before homemade pinhole boxes, telescope projections, live action on computers—or peered at the sky with special cardboard glasses as the moon moved into position to...

NYC Awestruck by 'Manhattan-henge'

Setting sun sets east-west streets aglow twice a year

(Newser) - Centuries from now historians will speculate about the ruins of a once-great city whose buildings lined up perfectly for a semi-annual celestial occurrence. But for now, New Yorkers merely stand, agog for once, awestruck by "Manhattan-henge." It's the twice-annual happening when skyscrapers are lined up just right...

Next for NASA: Visiting the Sun

Solar Probe Plus to launch before 2018

(Newser) - NASA's plans for this decade are pretty hot. Literally. The agency plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft before 2018 that will enter the Sun's atmosphere. Though the nearest it will get is about four million miles from the Sun's surface, that's still closer than the US has ever gotten, and...

NASA Releases Explosive Sun Shots

Historic images reveal high-def surface, flares

(Newser) - NASA has released astounding new photos and videos of the sun for the first time revealing high definition, close-up views of the solar surface and exploding flares. The images were captured by the space telescope of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and are providing historic new insight into sun mechanics, notes...

Climate Change Reverses 8 Millennia of Arctic Cooling

Temps, up 2.2 F Since 1900, Would Be 2.5 Degrees Cooler Without Greenhouse Gases

(Newser) - Summer temperatures in the Arctic have climbed 2.2°F since 1900 despite an 8,000-year cooling trend, the Guardian reports. For the past few thousand years, the orbit of the Earth and the changing tilt of its axis has put the Arctic 630,000 miles further from the sun...

Space Station Panels Unfurled, Despite Threat of 'Stiction'

(Newser) - Astronauts on the International Space Station successfully unfurled the last of the craft’s solar panels today, despite the chronic problem of “stiction,” ABC reports. Stiction is, predictably, the engineering term for things sticking together. When panels have had trouble opening in the past, spacemen have resorted to...

Dozens Report Giant 'UFO'

Sightings spark fears it's the 'end of times'

(Newser) - Dozens of people in several small north central Texas towns claim they saw a bizarre UFO, reports AP. Townsfolk in the Bible Belt farming communities of Erath County—including a pilot and a police officer— sighted the huge object last week, with some claiming that US fighter planes were tailing...

Hunt's On for Burma's Hero Bloggers

Cyber dissidents on the lam

(Newser) - Burmese bloggers whose accounts and photos of the Saffron Revolution and the brutal crackdown by the military dictatorship riveted the world last week are now  being hunted by authorities, reports the Times of London. With the Internet shut down and the streets swarming with troops, the bloggers have gone underground.

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