Hunt Is On For Sun’s Lost Siblings

Did you know that the sun once had brothers and sisters? Like most stars, it was born in a nebula, a cloud of gas and dust that collapsed under its self-gravity to form a cluster of stars. That all happened 4.6 billion years ago. Earth’s sky back then would have been positively glowing from all…
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Stellar Evolution In 5 Minutes

Stars are born from cold clouds of dust and gas that collapse under the force of gravity. How a star goes through life depends on its initial mass. Mass is how much matter a star has which is often related to its size. Hydrogen, the simplest of the elements, is the fuel stars “burn” to…
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Proxima Centauri B Has A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

We get worried enough here on Earth when the sun pops off a large solar flare. There’s always a concern that it could temporarily take down a poorly protected power grid or damage orbiting satellite electronics. Last March 24th, a flare ten times the largest flare ever seen on the sun exploded at Proxima Centauri,…
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Looking Through Crystal Spectacles On A Subzero Morning

Subzero mornings may not be friendly to skin and lungs, but they’re great for making ice crystals. Add in sunlight and you never know what you’ll get. Sometimes those crystals form directly in clear air. Other times they need a nudge from a body of water. Lake Superior provided that source earlier today when the…
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Dazzling Diamond Dust! / Aldebaran Disappears Tonight

I was in the middle of making tea this morning when I looked out the window and saw the most amazing diamond dust halo display. Tea would have to wait. I got in the car instead and drove to the nearest opening to get a good look at the rare phenomenon. Ordinary, ice crystals in…
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