At the center of our solar system, the sun is a constant force keeping planets in orbit, providing Earth with just the right amount of light and warmth for life and even governing our daily schedules. While we're used to the sun rising and setting each day, the sun itself is incredibly dynamic.
Currently, it's going through a less activephase, called a solar minimum.
Europe and NASA's Solar Orbiter rocketed into space on Feb. 9 night on an unprecedented mission to capture the first pictures of the sun's elusive poles.
"We're on the way to the sun. Go Solar Orbiter!" said Cesar Garcia Marirrodriga, project manager for the European Space Agency. "It's a fantastic moment ... it's like, well, we're unstoppable."
A magnetic storm is expected to hit the Earth on the last day of August. The warning is from the Center for Space Weather Forecasts at the US National Agency for the Study of Atmosphere and Oceans. The cause of the geomagnetic disturbance is high-speed solar wind. At this stage, the forecast is for a light magnetic storm (G1).
NASA's Voyager 2 probe, currently on a journey toward interstellar space, has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside our solar system. Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 is a little less than 11 billion miles (about 17.7 billion kilometers) from Earth, or more than 118 times the distance from Earth to the Sun.