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Writer Fuel: Does a Reversal of the Sun’s Magnetic Field Cause Solar Wind?

solar wind - pixabay

Scientists have captured the first direct evidence of the sun’s magnetic field quickly switching directions, which could help explain the mysterious force that flings particles across our solar system. The researchers observed the phenomenon using the Solar Orbiter probe, which was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and is jointly run with NASA. The … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Could a Solar Storm Destroy the Earth?

Solar Flare - Deposit Photos

All life on Earth owes its existence to the sun’s radiant heat. But what happens when that radiation surges out of control, and billions of tons of charged solar material suddenly barrel our way at thousands of miles a second? What happens when Earth takes a direct hit from a solar flare — and could … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Is Europa’s Crust Made From Pure “Underwater Snow”?

Europa - Deposit Photos

The shell of Jupiter’s famous ice moon may be formed, in part, by pure underwater snow that floats up instead of falling down. A new study, published in the August issue of the journal Astrobiology, finds that Europa’s icy crust might be built partially by “frazil ice,” a fluffy accumulation of ice crystals that also … Read more

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Space: The Earth is Getting (Slowly) Farther Away From the Sun

sun earth - pixabay

The sun moves in such a predictable way across the sky that you might never suspect that its relationship with Earth is changing all the time. In fact, the average distance between Earth and the sun is not static year over year. So do we know if Earth is getting closer to or farther from … Read more

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Writer Fuel: We Could Become an Interplanetary Species in the Next 200 Years

shaceship returning to Earth - Deposit Photos

Our species faces a pivotal moment in human history. Either we develop the technology to safely harness the energy needed to escape our planet, or we kill ourselves in some great cataclysm, a stark new study claims.  But, the new paper argues, if we can achieve the former and avoid the latter, then we might … Read more

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Writer Fuel: All About Mercury

Mercury - Pixabay

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and the smallest planet in our solar system. With a diameter of about 3,032 miles (4,880 kilometers), the planet is less than half the size of Earth, which is about 7,926 miles (12,756 km) in diameter. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Want to Really Cool Off This Summer? Here Are the Coldest Places in the Solar System

solar system - pixabay

Space is very, very cold. The baseline temperature of outer space is 2.7 kelvins — minus 454.81 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 270.45 degrees Celsius — meaning it is barely above absolute zero, the point at which molecular motion stops. But this temperature is not constant throughout the solar system. So-called “empty” space — though it … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: The Goldilocks Zone

Goldilocks Zone - Deposit Photos

The Goldilocks zone gets its name from the fairy tale, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. Goldilocks is a fussy little girl whose porridge has to be just right — neither too hot nor too cold. It’s the same with life itself — or at least, the kind of water-based life we’re familiar with on Earth. … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: 12,400 Mile Deep Canyon of Fire Opens on the Sun

Canyon of Fire on the Sun - NASA

Filaments of plasma escaped from a fiery canyon that opened on the sun’s surface on Sunday (April 3) releasing powerful streams of magnetized solar wind (opens in new tab) that might bring more auroras to Earth later this week. According to Space Weather (opens in new tab), the “canyon of fire” is at least 12,400 … Read more

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WRITER FUEL: Planet Nine, Where Are You?

Planet Nine - Deposit Photos

Astronomers searching for our solar system’s elusive Planet Nine — a theoretical world that may lurk deep in a cloud of icy rocks far beyond the orbit of Neptune — have come up short once again. In a recent paper published Dec. 23, 2021 in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers pored over six years of telescope … Read more