Star is discovered to be a close neighbor of the Sun and the coldest of its kind

A "brown dwarf" star that appears to be the coldest of its kind -- as frosty as Earth's North Pole -- has been discovered by a Penn State University astronomer using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescopes. Images from the space telescopes also pinpointed the object's distance at 7.2 light-years away, making it the fourth closest system to our Sun.

NASA's Spitzer and WISE telescopes find close, cold neighbor of the Sun

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what appears to be the coldest "brown dwarf" known -- a dim, star-like body that surprisingly is as frosty as Earth's North Pole.

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.

Report: Sun's energy influences 1,000 years of natural climate variability in North Atlantic

Changes in the sun's energy output may have led to marked natural climate change in Europe over the last 1000 years, according to researchers at Cardiff University.

How to tap the sun’s energy through heat as well as light

A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say.

Harnessing the sun’s energy during day for use at night

Solar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun’s rays were strongest. Now researchers led by Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have built a system that converts the sun’s energy not into electricity but hydrogen fuel and stores it for later use, allowing us to power our devices long after the sun goes down.

NASA's SDO shows the Sun's rainbow of wavelengths

Telescopes help distant objects appear bigger, but this is only one of their advantages. Telescopes can also collect light in ranges that our eyes alone cannot see, providing scientists ways of observing a whole host of material and processes that would otherwise be inaccessible.

IRIS provides unprecedented images of the Sun

The region located between the surface of the sun and its atmosphere has been revealed as a more violent place than previously understood, according to images and data from NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS.

NASA visualization shows Sun's magnetic flip

NASA's visualization (video) below shows the position of the sun's magnetic fields from January 1997 to December 2013.

Sun continues to emit solar flares

After emitting its first significant solar flares since June 2013 earlier in the week, the sun continued to produce mid-level and significant solar flares on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, 2013.

New device harnesses sun and sewage to produce hydrogen fuel

A novel device that uses only sunlight and wastewater to produce hydrogen gas could provide a sustainable energy source while improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment.

NASA's Cassini sees Earth waving at Saturn

People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA's Cassini mission on July 19 -- the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. The mission has assembled a collage from those images which is available here. 

NASA says Sun's magnetic field is about to flip

Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun's vast magnetic field is about to flip.

This SOL Ubuntu laptop is powered by the sun

A Canadian company known as WeWi is reportedly designing an Ubuntu-based laptop packaged with a series of solar panels that can be unfolded to recharge the unit's battery or directly power the computer itself.

Large coronal hole observed near Sun’s North Pole

The European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, captured an image of a gigantic coronal hole hovering over the sun’s north pole on July 18, 2013, at 9:06 a.m. EDT.

Gemini spots Comet ISON hurtling towards the Sun

A new series of images from Gemini Observatory shows Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun. In late November the comet could present a stunning sight in the twilight sky and remain easily visible, or even brilliant, into early December of this year.

Understanding our Sun's magnetic field

Researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Chicago have uncovered an important mechanism behind the generation of astrophysical magnetic fields such as that of the Sun.

Voyager 1 enters a new region of space

35 years after its momentous launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere.

Sun's energy could be used to zap dangerous asteroids

Two US scientists say they've come up with a method of deflecting or destroying asteroids that could have dealt with last Friday's in less than an hour.

Low-cost telescope reveals sun's tumultuous 'braids'

In some dramatic images, astronomers have for the first time observed magnetic braids of super-hot matter on the surface of the sun, the first clear evidence of energy transfer from its magnetic field to the solar atmosphere or corona.