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For Drinkable Water, Add ... Dirt?

And maybe some salt: Scientists propose simple fix for world crisis

(Newser) - One in 6 people in the world faces a clean-water shortage, according to the United Nations—so scientists are proposing a quick fix. Dirty water can be rendered drinkable using a few odd ingredients: Sun, salt, dirt, and lime, NPR reports. The sun's rays can kill the germs in...

Solar Storm 'Hitting Us in Nose'

Storm slammed into Earth this morning, could cause disruptions

(Newser) - While most of us were busily counting sheep or howling at the nearly-full moon last night, plasma and charged particles produced by Tuesday night's massive solar flares were hurtling toward the planet at 4 million mph, reports . This material, the largest coronal mass ejection (CME) in five...

Huge Solar Flare Erupts on Sun
 Huge Solar Flare Erupts on Sun 

Huge Solar Flare Erupts on Sun

Huge explosion has potential to disrupt communication across Earth

(Newser) - The sun blasted out a massive solar flare last night, one that could have the potential to cause blackouts and other problems here on Earth, the Washington Post reports. The flare was an X5-class, the strongest category of flare, and, according to NOAA, "one of the largest solar flares...

Europe Planning Mission to the Sun

Solar orbiter to come within 26m miles of sun

(Newser) - The European Space Agency is planning to send a probe much closer to the sun than any before it. The Solar Orbiter mission, to be launched in 2017, will send a heavily heat-shielded spacecraft to within 26 million miles of the sun—10 million miles closer than Mercury. The probe,...

Scientists Discover Way to Predict Sunspots

Researchers say they can provide 48 hours warning

(Newser) - Maybe we'll eventually be able to cross off solar flares as a possible way the world ends. Scientists at Stanford say they've developed a system to predict dangerous sunspots two days before they erupt, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Using satellite data, they can detect the rumblings of...

Space Weather: Solar Storms Can Be Disastrous, Scientists Write
 Beware of 'Space Weather' 

Beware of 'Space Weather'

Solar storms can be disastrous—but we can protect ourselves

(Newser) - It’s not just the weather on Earth we need to worry about—there are storms in space, too, and they can pose a serious threat if we’re not prepared. Recent years have been quiet around the sun, but it’s about to reach the height of its magnetic...

Sun May Soon Enter Long Quiet Phase

Sunspot activity looks to be petering out for a while

(Newser) - If we make it past 2012 , we might not be totally out of the woods when it comes to the sun. The next 11-year cycle of increased sunspot activity—expected around 2020—may be a few years late, be less powerful than anticipated, or might not happen at all, according...

Giant Asteroid Now Stalking Earth Around Sun
Giant Asteroid Now Stalking Earth Around Sun
in case you missed it

Giant Asteroid Now Stalking Earth Around Sun

But Asteroid 2010 SO16 has an unusual 'horseshoe' orbit

(Newser) - Earth has a new follower: Asteroid 2010 SO16, which has joined the Earth's path around the sun and could follow it for the next 120,000 to 1 million years, scientists say. But there's one odd thing about the asteroid, which just so happens to be the largest...

For First Time, We Can See Whole Sun

 For First Time,
 We Can See 
 Whole Sun 

For First Time, We Can See Whole Sun

Satellites on opposite sides finally permit us to see the entire surface

(Newser) - Two satellites launched in 2006 reached their final destinations this week, giving us, for the first time ever, the ability to see the entire sun. The Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft are on opposite sides of the sun, and will continue to provide a complete view of the sun’...

Did Greenland Sun Rise 2 Days Early?

Reports say it did—but is global warming to blame?

(Newser) - Residents of Ilulissat, Greenland, live in darkness for a large chunk of winter—but that chunk was two days shorter this year. The sun reportedly rose on Jan. 11, instead of its normal date of Jan. 13, the Huffington Post reports. Of course, theories were quick to surface, and one...

Meet the Sun's New Owner
 Meet the Sun's New Owner 

Meet the Sun's New Owner

Direct all future weather complaints to a woman in Galicia, Spain

(Newser) - A Spanish woman has filed a claim with her local notary public establishing her as owner of ... the sun. "I did it, but anyone else could have done it, it simply occurred to me first," says Angeles Duran. She notes that an international agreement states no country can...

Sun Not to Blame for Rising Temperatures

Greenhouse gasses 10 times more powerful than sun

(Newser) - You can’t blame the warming planet on the sun. In a truly perplexing discovery, researchers have found that when the sun is at the dimmest point of its 11-year-cycle—like say, last December—the Earth is actually warmed the most. “When I first saw the results, I thought...

Northern Lights Head South—for 1 Night

Aurora borealis may be visible in northern US tonight

(Newser) - Thanks to a plasma eruption that roiled the surface of the sun, residents of the northern US and Canada may be able to enjoy a spectacular show tonight—the Northern Lights. "This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on...

Total Solar Eclipse Tomorrow (But Few Will See It)

Only those in the Southern Hemisphere get a glimpse

(Newser) - A total eclipse of the sun occurs tomorrow, but don't be so quick to take out your special viewing glasses. Unlike recent solar eclipses, this year's complete blotting out of the sun will be visible only in a narrow slice of the Southern Hemisphere. The spectacle begins at sunrise some...

The Sun Plays Music: Scientists
 The Sun Plays Music: Scientists  
in case you missed it

The Sun Plays Music: Scientists

Giant magnetic fields vibrate like guitar strings

(Newser) - The sun produces its own music, and scientists have been able to re-create and record it, the Telegraph reports. Astronomers analyzed magnetic loops that vibrate around the sun's atmosphere and found the "coronal loops" move—a little like violin strings, a little like wind inside a flute. By taking...

Beware Sunglasses' Bogus Claims

Study finds UV protection is often overstated

(Newser) - Apparently, nobody can leave the house this summer. Not only will your sunscreen give you skin cancer , but your lying sunglasses will ruin your vision. A new study shows that more than 20% of sunglasses (regardless of price) make false claims about UV protection, reports LiveScience . (The study concerned shades...

Iran to Arrest Tan Women
 Iran to Arrest 
 Tan Women 

Iran to Arrest Tan Women

Police chief: We must crack down on un-Islamic acts

(Newser) - Sun worship appears to be the latest threat to Iranian security as authorities announce that suntanned women will be imprisoned. "The public expects us to act swiftly if we see any social misbehavior," said Tehran police chief Brig Hossien Sajedinia, who noted that women will be warned before...

New Planet Expected to Crash and Burn

It defies laws of physics

(Newser) - Scientists in the UK have discovered a planet that defies the laws of physics, the Independent reports. WASP-18b, which is orbiting a star 1,000 light years from Earth, is so big and close to the sun that it should be pulled toward it. "The spin of the star...

Sunny Days Help You Think
 Sunny Days Help You Think 

Sunny Days Help You Think

Cloudiness reduces cognitive agility in depressed people, researchers found

(Newser) - Does a cloudy day leave you groggy and unable to focus? If so, a study suggests you’re not alone: Cloudy days, regardless of season, can have an effect on cognitive function, MSNBC reports. Researchers cross-referencing the results of cognitive tests from 16,800 Americans with data on daily sunshine...

Monster Black Hole Sucking Up Space

(Newser) - A monstrous black hole near the center of a distant galaxy is sucking up stars, gas and dust, and spitting out baby stars, NASA scientists have discovered. The black hole is 100 million times the mass of the sun, reports the Telegraph. It lies at the center of a galaxy...

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