Current Sun News and Events

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Binary stars are all around us, new map of solar neighborhood shows
A UC Berkeley doctoral student has mined the most recent Gaia survey for all binary stars near Earth and created a 3D atlas of 1.3 million of them. The last local survey included about 200 binary pairs. With such census data, astronomers can conduct statistical analyses on binary populations. For pairs that contain white dwarfs, it's possible to determine the age of their main-sequence companion, and thus of any exoplanets around them. (2021-02-22)

Sounding rocket CLASP2 elucidates solar magnetic field
Cooperative operations between a solar observation satellite and a sounding-rocket telescope have measured the magnetic field strength in the photosphere and chromosphere above an active solar plage region. This is the first time that the magnetic field in the chromosphere has been charted all the way up to its top. This finding brings us closer to understanding how energy is transferred between layers of the Sun. (2021-02-19)

First black hole ever detected is more massive than we thought
An international team, including researchers from National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), found that the first black hole, Cygnus X-1, contains a stellar-mass black hole with 21 solar mass and rotates at a speed close to the speed of light. (2021-02-18)

Handcuffing the culprit cancer: Immunotherapy for cold tumors with trispecific antibody
The recent discovery of ''bispecific antibodies'' has led to the development of effective immunotherapies against various cancers. Researchers have constructed a protein made up of anti-CD16, -IL-15, and -CD19 motifs, specifically designed to capture CD19-positive cancer cells and redirect them to natural killer (NK) cells. This protein also enhances the proliferation, homeostasis, activation, and survival of NK cells. This concoction has shown to induce killing of cancer cells in both cell cultures and in mouse models. (2021-02-18)

First test for all known human coronaviruses, including new SARS-CoV-2 variants
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and SunYat-Sen University in China have set the stage for the development of highly sensitive antibody tests for infection with all known human coronaviruses, including new variants of SARS-CoV-2. These tests should also allow differentiation of immune responses due to infection and vaccination. The research is published in Communications Biology, a Nature journal. (2021-02-16)

The comet that killed the dinosaurs
In a study published in Scientific Reports, Avi Loeb puts forth a new theory that could explain the origin and journey of the comet that killed the Chicxulub impactor and others like it. (2021-02-15)

Young planets with teenage sun give space studies a lift
Researchers find a new planetary system made up of at least three neighboring planets, ranging in size between that of Earth and Neptune, that orbit the same sun. (2021-02-12)

Astronomers confirm solar system's most distant known object is indeed Farfarout
With the help of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, and other ground-based telescopes, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed ''Farfarout'' is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. The object has just received its designation from the International Astronomical Union. (2021-02-11)

A new method to search for potentially habitable planets
Imaging planets orbiting around nearby stars, which could potentially harbour life, has become a possibility thanks to the progress made in observational methods by an international team of astronomers, including Olivier Absil and Anne-Lise Maire, astrophysicists at the STAR Institute of ULi├Ęge. First candidate: Alpha Centauri, a system similar to ours, ''only'' 4.3 light years away. This study is the subject of a publication in the journal Nature Communications. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers confirm orbit of most distant object ever observed in our solar system
A team of astronomers, including associate professor Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

'Farfarout'! Solar system's most distant planetoid confirmed
Astronomers have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

An interdecadal decrease in extreme heat days in August over Northeast China around the early 1990s
An interdecadal decrease in extreme heat days in August over Northeast China around the early 1990s. (2021-02-08)

Dynamic 3D printing process features a light-driven twist
The speed of light has come to 3D printing. Northwestern University engineers have developed a new method that uses light to improve 3D printing speed and precision while also, in combination with a high-precision robot arm, providing the freedom to move, rotate or dilate each layer as the structure is being built. The method introduces the 'on-the-fly' ability to manipulate the original design layer by layer and pivot the printing direction without recreating the model. (2021-02-03)

Local emissions amplify regional haze and particle growth
A Finnish-Chinese research team performed simultaneous measurements of aerosol composition and particle number size distributions at ground level and at 260 m in central Beijing, China, during a total of 4 months in 2015-2017. The team found concentration of both primary and secondary particles in the accumulation mode would decrease drastically, and the haze formation would be reduced if the emission cuts are higher than 30%. (2021-01-29)

Reconstruction shows increased global warming trends since 1850s
To better understand how temperatures have increased, an international team led by researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in China has released a newly merged global surface temperature dataset, including reconstructed land and marine measurements from the 1850s to 2018. The study provides evidence that there was a consistent increased warming trend compared with previous estimations. (2021-01-28)

Rates of skin cancer have increased dramatically over recent decades
Incidence rates of skin cancer (cutaneous malignant melanoma) have increased more than 550% in males and 250% in females since the early 1980s in England - according to a new study by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). (2021-01-26)

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer
in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers combined observations from a telescope in New Mexico, the United States, with satellites located near Earth to identify a link between magnetic waves in the chromosphere and areas of abundant ionised particles in the hot outer atmosphere. (2021-01-22)

Sunbathing after menopause may be harmful
UV-radiation can affect hormone levels of postmenopausal women negatively and this may contribute to several health issues, according to new research from Kai Triebner, University of Bergen, and colleagues. (2021-01-20)

Solar activity reconstructed over a millennium
An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings. Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method. (2021-01-19)

NASA explores solar wind with new view of small sun structures
Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun's flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed ''plumelets,'' could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind. (2021-01-19)

When galaxies collide: Hubble showcases six beautiful galaxy mergers
To celebrate a new year, the NASA/ESA Space Telescope has published a montage of six beautiful galaxy mergers. Each of these merging systems was studied as part of the recent HiPEEC survey to investigate the rate of new star formation within such systems. These interactions are a key aspect of galaxy evolution and are among the most spectacular events in the lifetime of a galaxy. (2021-01-07)

Innovative battery chemistry revolutionizes zinc-air battery
The zinc-air battery is an attractive energy storage technology of the future. Based on an innovative, non-alkaline, aqueous electrolyte, an international research team led by scientist Dr. Wei Sun of MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Muenster has developed a new battery chemistry for the zinc-air battery which overcomes the previous technical obstacles. (2021-01-04)

Immunology study finds protein critical to T cell metabolism and anti-tumor immune response
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that a protein called NF-kappa B-inducing kinase (NIK) is essential for the shift in metabolic activity that occurs with T cell activation, making it a critical factor in regulating the anti-tumor immune response. (2021-01-04)

The upside of volatile space weather
Although stellar flares are typically viewed as a detriment to habitability, study shows ''life might still have a fighting chance.'' Researchers find that flares drive a planets atmospheric composition to a new chemical equilibrium. (2020-12-21)

Goldilocks and the three quantum dots: Just right for peak solar panel performance
Maximizing the efficiency of renewable energy technology is dependent on creating nanoparticles with ideal dimensions and density, new simulations have shown. (2020-12-20)

Recently discovered comet seen during 2020 total solar eclipse
As Chile and Argentina witnessed the total solar eclipse on Dec. 14, 2020, unbeknownst to skywatchers, a little tiny speck was flying past the Sun -- a recently discovered comet. (2020-12-18)

For college students, skin cancer risk remains high in winter months
New research finds college students could be just as at risk for developing skin cancer in the dead of winter as they are in the middle of summer. (2020-12-17)

Everything you want to know about sunscreen
From safety and effectiveness to who should use sunscreen and how to apply it, Canadian dermatologists review the latest evidence and guidelines on use of sunscreen. The review, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), recommends that everyone older than six months of age should use sunscreen to protect against skin cancer (2020-12-14)

Artificial intelligence sets sights on the sun
Scientists employed a neural network to learn the characteristics of high-quality images of the ground-based full-disk images of the sun and estimate the deviation of real observations from an ideal reference. They used artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve quality assessment that is similar to human interpretation. Currently, the authors are further elaborating their image processing methods to provide a continuous data stream of the highest possible quality and developing automated detection software for continuous tracking of solar activity. (2020-12-14)

Researchers get a look at the sun's dusty environment
Scientists say that how dust moves and transforms around the sun may give them new insights to how Earth and its neighboring planets formed more than 4.5 billion years ago. (2020-12-09)

Aluminium alloy research could benefit manned space missions
Manned space missions in spacecraft made of aluminium that is light yet resistant to radiation could be a step nearer following research involving a world-leading facility at the University of Huddersfield. (2020-12-07)

New sunspot cycle could be one of the strongest on record, new research predicts
In direct contradiction to the official forecast, a team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is predicting that the Sunspot Cycle that started this fall could be one of the strongest since record-keeping began. (2020-12-07)

Two related discoveries advance basic and applied additive manufacturing research
A research team led by Tao Sun, associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Virginia, has made two discoveries that can expand additive manufacturing in aerospace and other industries that rely on strong metal parts. (2020-12-07)

Detecting solar neutrinos with the Borexino experiment
A paper published in EPJ C by a team of authors including XueFeng Ding, Postdoc Associate of Physics at Princeton University, United States, documents the attempts of the Borexino experiment to measure low-energy neutrinos from the sun's carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) cycle for the first time. (2020-12-04)

Inouye Solar Telescope releases first image of a sunspot
The US NSF's Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope just released its first image of a sunspot. The telescope's four-meter primary mirror will give the best views of the sun from Earth throughout the next solar cycle. This image is an indication of the telescope's advanced optics. The image is released along with the first of a series of Inouye-related articles featured in the Solar Physics journal. (2020-12-04)

Voyager spacecraft detect new type of solar electron burst
The Voyager spacecraft continue to make discoveries even as they travel through interstellar space. In a new study, University of Iowa physicists report on the Voyagers' detection of cosmic ray electrons associated with eruptions from the sun--more than 14 billion miles away. (2020-12-03)

Best region for life on Mars was far below surface
The most habitable region for life on Mars would have been up to several miles below its surface, likely due to subsurface melting of thick ice sheets fueled by geothermal heat, a Rutgers-led study concludes. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, may help resolve what's known as the faint young sun paradox - a lingering key question in Mars science. (2020-12-02)

Laboratory experiments unravelling the mystery of the Mars moon Phobos
There is no weather in space - but there is weathering: Celestial bodies are bombarded by high energy particles. On the Mars moon Phobos, the situation is complicated: It is hit by particles from the sun, but it is partly shielded by Mars. New experiments explain what is going on, in 2024 a space mission will reach Phobos and check the results. (2020-11-30)

Study explores how telemedicine may ease ER overcrowding
Researchers led by Dr. Shujing Sun at UT Dallas found that the adoption of telemedicine in the emergency room significantly shortened average length of stay and wait time. (2020-11-30)

Sun model completely confirmed for the first time
The Borexino experiment research team has succeeded in detecting neutrinos from the sun's second fusion process, the Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen cycle (CNO cycle) for the first time. This means that all of the theoretical predictions on how energy is generated within the sun have now also been experimentally verified. The findings are the result of years of efforts devoted to bringing the background sources in the energy range of the CNO neutrinos under control. (2020-11-26)

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