In terms of climate change research, scientists need to understand the balance between energy coming in from the Sun and energy radiating out from Earth. In December 2017, NASA is launching a new instrument to measure half of that equation – the total amount of Sun’s energy input to Earth, known as total solar irradiance. Scientists will use NASA's Total Solar and Spectral Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) to measure to quantify variations in the sun’s total amount of energy and help improve models simulating Earth’s climate.
Parker Solar Probe Moves to Goddard | Time Lapse
Time-lapse video shows the packing up and moving of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
How Solar Flares Affect Earth
A team of scientists led by Laura Hayes –a solar physicist who splits her time between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland – investigated a connection between solar flares and Earth's atmosphere. They discovered pulses in the electrified layer of the atmosphere – called the ionosphere – mirrored X-ray oscillations during a July 24, 2016 flare.
Reduced energy from the sun might occur by mid-century: Now scientists know by how much
The cooldown would be the result of what scientists call a grand minimum, a periodic event during which the Sun's magnetism diminishes, sunspots form infrequently, and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of the planet. Scientists believe that the event is triggered at irregular intervals by random fluctuations related to the Sun's magnetic field.
The outer layers of the Sun exhibit differential rotation: at the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days; near the poles it's as much as 36 days. This odd behavior is due to the fact that the Sun is not a solid body like the Earth. Similar effects are seen in the gas planets. The differential rotation extends considerably down into the interior of the Sun but the core of the Sun rotates as a solid body.