Solar Facts

September 22, 2016
march-equinox-illustration

Happy September Equinox 2016

The September equinox for 2016 begins on September 22th at 14:21 UT (10:21 am EDT.) The September Equinox is the Fall or Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. But what is the […]
June 20, 2016
For the northern hemisphere, the Sun is directly overhead at "high-noon" on Summer Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Cancer.

A Rare Full Moon June Solstice for 2016!

For 2016, we get the special treat of a full moon on the June Solstice. This last happened in 1967 and will not happen again until 2062. The June solstice for 2016 begins on June 20th at 22:34 UT (6:34 pm EDT.) […]
March 20, 2016
march-equinox-illustration

Happy Spring Equinox 2016

The March equinox for 2016 begins on March 20th at 04:30 UT (12:30 am EDT.) The Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is the Fall or Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. But what is the equinox […]
February 5, 2016
Sun and Earth Comparison

Our Star – An Introduction to the Sun

Our solar system is composed of the Sun and all things which orbit around it: the Earth, the other eight planets, asteroids, and comets. The Sun is 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) away from the Earth (this distance varies […]
November 6, 2015
The Scale of the Sun and Planets

How Big is the Sun?

The Sun is really really big! It is difficult to get a true feel for how big it is because nothing in our daily life comes even close. But we can use objects that we are familiar with to provide […]
October 5, 2015
This shows the what wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation can penetrate Earth's atmosphere and what wavelengths are stopped by the atmosphere.

Do solar flares cause earthquakes?

We have been getting a number of questions and comments lately regarding the possible relationship between solar activity and geological activity, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, so I have decided to look into the matter in more detail. First let […]
August 2, 2015
Layers of the Sun

Layers of the Sun

The Sun, as shown by the illustration to the left, can be divided into six layers. From the center out, the layers of the Sun are as follows: the solar interior composed of the core (which occupies the innermost quarter […]
July 6, 2015
Solar apparent size-perihelion versus aphelion 2012. The red circles show the size of one disk superimposed over the other. Shot by David Dickinson and discussed in http://bit.ly/1pQmrHG

Happy Aphelion 2015!

Earth reached its farthest point from the sun July 6 at 3:41 p.m. EDT or July 6 at 19:41 in Universal Time (UT). This is called aphelion. The distance from the Sun’s center to Earth’s center will be 152,093,481 kilometers or 94,506,507 miles. The […]
June 21, 2015
For the northern hemisphere, the Sun is directly overhead at "high-noon" on Summer Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Cancer.

Happy June Solstice 2015

The June solstice for 2015 begins on June 21st at 16:39 UT (12:39 pm EDT.) It is called the summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice for the Southern Hemisphere. But what is the solstice exactly? There are two solstices in […]
January 5, 2015
Solar apparent size-perihelion versus aphelion 2012. The red circles show the size of one disk superimposed over the other. Shot by David Dickinson and discussed in http://bit.ly/1pQmrHG

Welcome to Perihelion 2015!

Earth reached its closest point from the sun, January 4, at 1:36am EDT or January 4 at 6:36am in Universal Time (UT). This is called perihelion. The point of closest approach is called perihelion. These terms are specific to a […]
December 21, 2014
Compilation Solargraphs winter solstice 2013 participants Philippus Lansbergen Observatory, Middelburg, the Netherlands credit: Jan Koeman (http://bit.ly/1sX98as)

The December 2014 Solstice

The December solstice for 2014 begins on Dec. 21st at 23:03 UT (6:03 pm EST, 3:03 pm PST.) It is called the winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere and the summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere. But what is the […]
July 5, 2014
Solar apparent size-perihelion versus aphelion 2012. The red circles show the size of one disk superimposed over the other. Shot by David Dickinson and discussed in http://bit.ly/1pQmrHG

Welcome to Aphelion 2014!

Earth reaches its furthest point from the sun, July 3, at 8pm EDT or July 4 at 1am in Universal Time (UT). This is called aphelion. The point of closest approach is called perihelion. These terms are specific to a […]