Sun

Our Sun Does Some Crazy Stuff

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

The green flash, Manhattanhenge, solar twisters ... these are just a few strange things that have to do with our sun. Soak up some surprising facts about that big, bright orb in the sky:

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. If you look at a highly magnified sunset, you can make out a thin green rim around its top. 00:42

  2. To catch a green flash at sunset, wait until the sun begins to dip below the horizon. 01:56

  3. Watch a green flash as it's captured on camera: 02:40

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Manhattanhenge refers to the two dates a year when the sunset lines up with Manhattan's street grid. 00:27

  2. Manhattanhenge doesn't fall on the equinox because Manhattan's street grid is rotated about 30 degrees from true north. 01:18

  3. For a city to be "hengeable," it needs flat terrain, a clean horizon, and a grid. 03:14

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. If you wanted to stop one neutrino, you would need about four light years of lead. 00:09

  2. The neutrinos made in the sun are detected much quicker than other energy from the sun because very little gets in the way of them. 02:56

  3. We can study how the sun has changed over time by comparing neutrinos (which have left the sun more recently) to other energy (which took many more years to escape the sun). 08:06

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