Spacecraft Witnessing a Massive Solar Flare :: WRAL.com

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— As a space enthusiast, I’ve always wanted to sail among the stars to a galaxy far, far away.

I got up close this week when I boarded the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World for a preview of the first immersive experience of its kind, which opens March 1. As a Star Wars fan, I was thrilled to interact with new and old characters and experience a pick-and-choose adventure at a resort simulating a cruise among the stars.

Joining a secret mission, I trained with a lightsaber, exchanged messages with brave droids, and helped Chewbacca sneak around the ship to aid Rey and the Resistance against the First Order.

But my breath caught when I entered my cabin and saw a window with a constant view of twinkling stars, asteroid fields, passing ships and a dazzling array of planets. Standing on the deck of the ship, I spotted lightning as thunderstorms brewed in the stormy clouds of Bespin, a planet familiar to “The Empire Strikes Back” fans.

As a science journalist, I have often imagined what it might be like to travel in space. Now I finally know — sort of, just with more gravity, and of course, the Force.

Solar update

A spacecraft studying the sun was in the right place at the right time when our star decided to throw a little tantrum.

The Solar Orbiter found itself in the perfect position to capture an unprecedented image of a massive solar flare on February 15.

The striking event stretched millions of miles into space from the sun – and luckily it was heading away from Earth rather than towards us.

This is another sign that our sun is becoming more active as it nears peak storm activity in 2025.

Fossils and fireballs

Imagine enjoying a beautiful sunny day when suddenly a 33-foot-tall (10-meter-high) wall of water rushes in while flaming glass spheres rain down.

This is likely what happened to the dinosaurs 66 million years ago when a city-sized asteroid hit the planet.

The cataclysmic impact took place in the spring in the northern hemisphere of our world, according to new research.

Scientists made this decision after studying paddlefish bones preserved in rocks in North Dakota. The fish died less than an hour after the event.

“This depot literally looks like a car accident frozen in place. It looks like the most violent thing I’ve ever seen, kept in immaculate condition,” said one of the researchers.

A long time ago

Hundreds of pottery jars and other tools used for embalming have been found at the bottom of a cemetery pit near Cairo.

The ancient Egyptians used them for storage as they prepared the bodies of the dead for the afterlife over 2,500 years ago. Researchers are trying to learn more about the pots and the intriguing inscriptions they bear to determine who owned them.

Meanwhile, flattened stones and sharp clay balls in a Japanese museum have shed light on the origins of throwing stars. These throwing weapons were used by ninjas, the mysterious secret agents of feudal Japan, 430 years ago.

across the universe

Say hello to 1 million newly discovered space objects.

These are just a few of the 4.4 million objects newly mapped by astronomers that lie billions of miles from our corner of the universe. Many celestial objects are galaxies harboring giant black holes or stellar nurseries where stars are born.

Observations made using data from the Low Frequency Array Telescope, or LOFAR, are changing the way we see the night sky – and this week’s release accounted for just 27% of the entire survey.

Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is full of intriguing objects, including this exoplanet where metal clouds form at night and rain is made of precious stones.

Consequences

Greenland’s ice sheet is melting much faster than we thought – and it’s dumping even more water and ice into the ocean than expected.

The bottom of the ice sheet is releasing meltwater at an unprecedented rate. As meltwater falls from the top, gravity creates kinetic energy that heats the water that collects at the base.

Greenland’s ice cap produces more energy than the world’s 10 largest hydroelectric dams combined, new research has found.

But instead of generating electricity, it speeds up the melting process.

wonderment

You will not believe your eyes :

– A doghouse, once the home of a German shepherd named Roky, was hit by a meteorite fragment in April 2019 and sold at a Christie’s online auction this week.

— An “extremely rare” fossil belonging to a giant flying reptile has been found on the shore of the Isle of Skye. The fossil is so well preserved that its teeth still retain their shiny enamel and the claws are menacingly sharp.

— The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a new image of a strange space triangle formed by two galaxies crashing together in a cosmic standoff.

Do you like what you read? Oh, but there’s more. Sign up here to receive in your inbox the next edition of Wonder Theory, presented by CNN Space and Science writer Ashley Strickland, who finds wonders in planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world .

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