4. As the moon passes the sun, the ghostly tendrils of the outer atmospheric layer, the “corona,” are visible, providing scientists a moment of focused attention on our mysterious star. 

    7 stunning images from Australia’s rare total solar eclipse


  5. "Solar wind is a flow of particles continually flowing away from the sun," says Nick Collins at The Telegraph. Earth’s magnetic field typically deflects these particles away, but the moon doesn’t have the same kind of protection. Solar wind “whacks into the lunar surface” at approximately a million miles per hour, often carrying hydrogen with it, says AFP.

    The impact is “so brutal” that the sun’s gust diminishes the moon’s mass by a million tons per hour. Although it’s unclear exactly how the next step happens, the foreign hydrogen then combines with the moon’s oxygen to form hydroxyls, or tiny glassy, bead-like compounds comprised of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, says Irene Klotz at Discovery NewsThese hydroxyls, which Liu and his team discovered using new soil analysis techniques, get stored in the soil and are just one hydrogen atom away from becoming water. 

    Where did the water on the moon come from?


  6. kateoplis:

    Astronomers discover ‘Star Wars planet’ with two suns

    An astrological discovery that would make Luke Skywalker a little homesick is making waves this week — a faraway planet has been found to have two suns.

    A team of experts used the NASA Kepler space telescope to discover the planet, which orbits around two large stars — similar to Tatooine, the fictional home of Skywalker in the Star Wars films.

    In this case, however, the discovery doesn’t get the Hollywood treatment in terms of a name. Its name is the far more prosaic Kepler-16b.

    via: nationalpost


  7. Dwellers of the fictional “Star Wars” planet Tatooine live under two suns. Earthlings may soon enjoy the same distinction. Betelgeuse, the ninth-brightest star visible to humans, is expected to transform itself from a “super red giant” to a “supernova.” If it does so as soon as the end of 2012, “we could see a second sun light up the sky, if only for a matter of weeks.” Others say the process could take another million years and that the 2012 prediction is just apocalyptic wishful thinking. Here, the details.