What Is the Sun Made Of?

The sun is a big ball of gas and plasma, but what is the sun made of exactly? Most of the gas — around 92% — is hydrogen, according to NASA. It is converted into energy in the sun’s core. The energy moves outward through the interior layers, into the sun’s atmosphere, and is released … Read more

Wild New Paper Suggests Earth’s Tectonic Activity Has an Unseen Source

Earth is far from a solid mass of rock. The outer layer of our planet – known as the lithosphere – is made up of more than 20 tectonic plates; as these gargantuan slates glide about the face of the planet, we get the movement of continents, and interaction at the boundaries, not least of which is … Read more

Astronomers Detect Rare ‘Missing Link’ Black Hole in Our Closest Galactic Neighbor

A rare treasure that could shed light on the evolution of black holes has been discovered in the Milky Way’s closest large galactic neighbor. In a cluster of stars in the Andromeda galaxy, aka M31, astronomers studied changes in light to identify a black hole clocking in at almost 100,000 times the mass of the … Read more

James Webb Space Telescope Reaches Its Destination in Huge Mission Milestone

The James Webb Space Telescope has fired its thrusters and reached its orbital destination around a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from our planet, NASA said Monday, a key milestone on its mission to study cosmic history.   At around 2:00 pm Eastern Time (1900 GMT), the observatory fired its thrusters for 5 minutes … Read more

How Big is the Sun? | Size of the Sun

The sun is the largest and the most massive object in the solar system, but it is just a medium-sized star among the hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. This image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows the sun at 12:45 PM EDT on July 12, 2012 during an X1.4 … Read more

How far is Earth from the sun?

Earth travels around the sun in an orbit that is slightly oval-shaped, known as an ellipse. Therefore, the planet’s distance from the sun changes throughout the year.  However, the average distance from Earth to the sun is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers). Scientists also call this distance one astronomical unit (AU). The universe … Read more

Two Solar Flares Just Erupted on The Sun, Bringing Coronal Mass Ejections

After a series of eruptions on the Sun, Earth may be in for auroras over the next few days. A sunspot called AR2929 has emitted two solar flares, accompanied by coronal mass ejections. Although neither was directed at Earth, the ejections that are currently blasting through space may deliver glancing blows to our planet’s atmosphere that … Read more

How does the sun shine? Here’s why we are still a little in the dark

By Chanda Prescod-Weinstein JIRAROJ PRADITCHAROENKUL/Alamy Stock Photo ONE of the best things about being a columnist for New Scientist is the readers. I can tell you read my columns closely because I get fantastic emails asking smart questions about them. Last month, I wrote about how fusion works inside the local plasma gas ball, otherwise … Read more