We're launching five sounding rockets from Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska this January - March 2017. Four of these five rockets are headed straight for the aurora.

[ Go.nasa.gov Link ]
Magnetic arcs of solar material held their shapes fairly well as they spiraled above two solar active regions over 18 hours on Jan. 11-12, 2017. The charged solar material, called plasma, traces out the magnetic field lines above the active regions when viewed in wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, captured here by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Extreme ultraviolet light is typically...
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Explosive solar activity, like flares and coronal mass ejections, blasts highly energetic, electrically charged particles into space. Earth's atmosphere shields us from most of this radiation, but on the moon, these particles -- ions and electrons -- slam directly into the surface.

Powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles, and...
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An elongated coronal hole rotated across the face of the sun on Jan. 2-5, 2017. Coronal holes are areas of open magnetic field from which solar wind particles stream into space. In this wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, the coronal hole appears as a dark area near the lower center of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light is typically invisible...
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On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, millions in the U.S. will have their eyes to the sky as they witness a total solar eclipse. The moon’s shadow will race across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. The path of this shadow, also known as the path of totality, is where observers will see the moon completely cover the sun. And thanks to elevation data of the moon from NASA’s Lunar...
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NASA’s TIMED mission — short for Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics — yielded a batch of new discoveries to end its 15th year in orbit. From a more precise categorization of the upper atmosphere’s response to solar storms, to pinpointing the signatures of a fundamental behavior of carbon dioxide, TIMED’s unique position and instruments, along with its decade-plus data...
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Our sun-watching spacecraft will add an extra second at 11:59:59 UT on 12/31 to account for Earth's gradually-slowing rotation. [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]
Have you ever seen shapes in the clouds? You can do the same thing with the sun!

A sun spotter found this solar 'reindeer' in December 2003 in an image from ESA/NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. The dark region that forms the reindeer is a coronal hole, where magnetic fields soar up and away from the sun, without looping back down to the surface as they do elsewhere. Coronal holes...
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Our new visualization of the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, takes into account 1) the moon's terrain, 2) Earth's elevation and 3) the angle of the sun to create an extremely precise map of the path of totality. [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]

Watch the detailed eclipse shadow from coast to coast: [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]
On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a total eclipse will cross the entire country, coast-to-coast, for the first time since 1918. Weather permitting, the entire continent will have the opportunity to view an eclipse as the moon passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow on Earth’s surface. And plans for this once-in-a-lifetime eclipse are underway – scientists are submitting research proposals, NASA...
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Scientists from NASA and three universities presented new discoveries about the way heat and energy move and manifest in the ionosphere, a region of Earth’s atmosphere that reacts to changes from both space above and Earth below.

First, a NASA analysis reveals that electric currents can lead to a discharge of tons of energy into our atmosphere, like a kind of space 'lightning.' Second, data...
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Learn more about the ICON mission at
The sun produced swirling prominence activity on both of its sides, one after the other, on Dec. 7-8, 2016. First, on the left edge, a prominence rose up and partially broke away into space, with some of the material falling back into the sun. Meanwhile, along the right edge, a twisting and tangled mass of plasma was pulled this way and that by magnetic forces throughout both days. These...
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Launched Dec. 7, 2001, NASA’s TIMED spacecraft has spent 15 years observing the dynamics of the upper regions of Earth’s atmosphere – comprising the mesosphere, thermosphere and ionosphere.

TIMED’s 15 years of data has given scientists an unprecedented perspective on changes in the upper atmosphere. The long lifespan has allowed scientists to track the upper atmosphere’s response to both...
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Data from NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, or AIM, spacecraft shows the sky over Antarctica is glowing electric blue due to the start of noctilucent, or night-shining, cloud season in the Southern Hemisphere – and an early one at that. Noctilucent clouds are Earth’s highest clouds, sandwiched between Earth and space 50 miles above the ground in a layer of the atmosphere called the...
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While it seems static from our vantage point on Earth 93 million miles away, the sun is constantly changing. Under the influence of complex magnetic forces, material moves throughout the solar atmosphere and can burst forth in massive eruptions.

NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, which will continue its study of the sun thanks to a recent mission extension, watches what is...
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High above the surface, Earth’s magnetic field constantly deflects incoming supersonic particles from the sun. These particles are disturbed in regions just outside of Earth’s magnetic field – and some are reflected into a turbulent region called the foreshock. New observations from NASA’s THEMIS mission show that this turbulent region can accelerate electrons up to speeds approaching the...
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MMS now holds the Guinness World Record for highest altitude fix of a GPS signal -- 43,500 miles above Earth's surface!

[ Go.nasa.gov Link ]
On Oct. 19, 2016, operators instructed NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to look up and down and then side to side over the course of six hours, as if tracing a great plus sign in space. During this time, SDO produced some unusual data. Taken every 12 seconds, SDO images show the sun dodging in and out of the frame. SDO captured these images in extreme ultraviolet light, a type of...
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