Tag Archives: sun

An extremely well timed shot of a sailboat at dawn with a bonus feature. To wit:

…by a lucky coincidence, the background Sun itself appears unusual — it looks like the Greek letter Omega (Ω). In reality, the Sun remained its circular self — the Omega illusion was created by sunlight refracting through warm air just above the water. Optically, the feet of the capital Omega are actually an inverted image of the Sun region just above it. Although somewhat rare, optical effects caused by the Earth’s atmosphere can make distant objects near the horizon — including the Sun and Moon — look quite unusual. This single exposure image was taken over the Mediterranean Sea just over two weeks ago near Valencia, Spain.

(Image: Juan Antonio Sendra)


Solar activity follows an approximately 11 year cycle, the minimal point of which occurred last December. Solar Cycle 25 has now begun. To wit:

…[the] quiet Sun, at minimum activity, appears on the right of this split hemispherical view. In contrast, the left side shows the active Sun at the recognised maximum of Solar Cycle 24, captured in April 2014. The extreme ultraviolet images from the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory highlight coronal loops and active regions in the light of highly ionised iron atoms. Driving the space weather around our fair planet, Solar Cycle 24 was a relatively calm one and predictions are that cycle 25 will be calm too. The cycle 25 activity maximum is expected in July 2025. Solar Cycle 1, the first solar cycle determined from early records of sunspot data, is considered to begin with a minimum in February 1755.

(Image: NASA, SDO)


What’s that eerie glow down the highway? A still from ‘Stranger Things’? No, it’s dust orbiting the sun. To wit:

At certain times of the year, a band of sun-reflecting dust from the inner Solar System appears prominently just after sunset — or just before sunrise — and is called zodiacal light. Although the origin of this dust is still being researched, a leading hypothesis holds that zodiacal dust originates mostly from faint Jupiter-family comets and slowly spirals into the Sun. Recent analysis of dust emitted by Comet 67P, visited by ESA’s roboticRosetta spacecraft, bolster this hypothesis. Pictured when climbing a road up to Teide National Park in the Canary Islands of Spain, a bright triangle of zodiacal light appeared in the distance soon after sunset. Captured on June 21, the scene includes bright Regulus, alpha star of Leo, standing above center toward the left. The Beehive Star Cluster (M44) can be spotted below center, closer to the horizon and also immersed in the zodiacal glow.

(ImageRuslan Merzlyakov (RMS Photography)