Articles on Sun

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An artist’s illustration of Kappa Ceti whose stellar winds are 50 times stronger than our sun’s. Any Earth-like planet would need a magnetic field to protect its atmosphere if it was to stand a chance of hosting life. M. Weiss/CfA

What the ‘weather’ is like on a star can help in the search for life

In the search for life on other planets in the universe we need to find the right kind of star, and it needs to have the right kind of space weather.
Artist’s impression: Looking back 12.9-billion km towards the sun and the inner solar system from Sedna, one of the recently discovered minor planets in the Kuiper belt. NASA, ESA and Adolf Schaller

The long hunt for new objects in our expanding solar system

The search for new objects, including new planets, in our solar system has turned up some interesting finds. There have been a few failures over the years too.
The UV Index was created last century largely for North American and European conditions, which rarely reach the ‘extreme’ range. Andy Cross/Flickr

Health Check: what does the UV Index mean?

Alongside the day's high and low, weather reports generally contain a UV alert for a particular time. But what does it actually mean – and what should you do about it?
Intensive sun exposure for marathon runners in the middle of the day could lead to sunburn, skin cancer and cataracts. Rogan Ward/Reuters

The best time for marathon runners to get on the road

Runners have a greater risk of developing skin cancer because they are more likely have sun damage on their skin as a result of chronic sun exposure.
Keytruda® targets a protein on the surface of immune cells that stopped them from attacking the melanoma cells. Australis Photography/Shutterstock

Explainer: how does Keytruda treat melanoma and why is it so costly?

Keytruda® is the latest drug to be registered in Australia for the treatment of widespread melanoma. But we must wait to see if it meets the cost-effectiveness targets for PBS subsidisation.
Sun exposure that doesn’t result in burning may still damage the skin cells. Rain/Flickr

Sun damage and cancer: how UV radiation affects our skin

Around 30 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma every day and more than 1,200 die from the disease each year. While small amounts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation are required for the production of vitamin…
If you’re at high risk of skin cancer, check your skin regularly. Roman Königshofer/Flickr

Spot the difference: harmless mole or potential skin cancer?

The earlier you find a cancerous mole, the easier the treatment and the better the outcomes. But it’s not easy distinguishing between harmless, benign moles and those that warrant further attention. In…
GPS is used in many devices to help us navigate. Flickr/daveynin

Predicting daily space weather will help keep your GPS on target

It’s well known that severe space weather events – which are quite rare – can have a negative impact on our use of Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled devices. But our research, published in Geophysical…
Ten Earths could be laid across the diameter of the gigantic sunspot in AR2191 during its previous rotation – captured on October 23, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory

Giant sunspot returns – and it’s bigger and badder than ever

The largest sunspot seen in 24 years is rotating back to face the Earth, and it looks to have grown even bigger. Last month, the solar active region known as AR12192 (also known as AR2192 to some of its…
Eclipse at sunrise over Richmond, Virginia, USA in November 2013. Sky Noir (Bill Dickinson)/Flickr

Explainer: what is a solar eclipse?

Each month, at the time of new moon, the sun and moon are together in the daytime sky. Most of the time the moon passes by unnoticed. But at least twice a year, somewhere on Earth will see the moon pass…
Watching the sun over a nature reserve in ACT, Australia. Flickr/Andrew

Explainer: what makes the spring equinox?

It’s the time of the equinox or more specifically the spring equinox for us in the southern hemisphere. The equinox is a midpoint. It’s around now that day and night become equal in length (but more about…

Prepare yourself – wild solar weather ahead

During the early hours of this morning (3:42am AEST) our sun released a strong solar flare. It follows right on the heels of a more moderate flare that was released from the same region of the sun on Tuesday…
The dawn of a new day. Flickr/Christos Tsoumplekas

Explainer: how does our sun shine?

What makes our sun shine has been a mystery for most of human history. Given our sun is a star and stars are suns, explaining the source of the sun’s energy would help us understand why stars shine. An…

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