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Friday, July 15, 2005

More Space stuff

via spaceweather.com

I work on studying the processes that surround aurora: sun-earth interactions, magnetic fields, plasmas, high energy particle precipitation; that sort of stuff. Sometimes it is good to move a little further afield and to take a look at the Sun and see what is going on there.

This picture (from Andreas Murner of Bavaria, germany) is of a fantastic solar prominance emerging from sunspot 786, which is making its way around the western limb of the Sun. This is a raised loop of magnetic field (you can see why we think in terms of field-lines) that is filled with hot plasma; below it you can see the surface of the sun looking like a swirling liquid around the darker vortex of the sunspot where the plasma is cooler. There are plenty more images via spaceweather of this particular prominence. This composite shot is particularly nice, taken by Didier Favre (from LA in the States) and shows the comparative size of the prominance with the Earth. That's a sense of scale for you!

On a side note, sunspot 786 has been very active recently hurling two coronal mass ejections our way. They are not dead-on but they might spark auroras as they pass our way. If you live in to the north then keep an eye out for aurorae. In addition two solar flares have already started a radiation storm around the Earth. These are commonly known as solar proton events and constitute high energy (near relativistic at least) protons which are blasted from the sun and enter our magnetic field and then precipitate over the polar cap causing radio blackouts. This one isn't very large but could still be inconvenient for trans-polar flights and HF transmission.

So what is the moral of this story? Well, when you are tied up in knots over politics and economics, or if your day to day life seems to be filled with insurmountable difficulties just stop and think for a minute. Consider what is really going on in this universe and ignore the constructs and artificial ideas we surround ourselves with. For just a second try living in the real world and it might put things into a manageable perspective.

Have a good day. :-)

6 comments:

Ebird said...

Really cool stuff, especially the photos. Do I need to apply extra sunblock this weekend?

Kav said...

no I don't think so :-)
Besides the active region is moving out of view so things should quieten down again now.

MOSES said...

NO MATTER WHAT YOU DID...
NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE...
NO MATTER WHERE YOU'VE COME FROM...
YOU CAN ALWAYS...CHANGE
BECOME A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF...

BLESSINGS AND LIGHT

moshe_sandes@hotmail.com

Kav said...

well, erm, thank you, I think...

Ebird said...

He was talking to you and not me, right?

Kav said...

Ah, now I thought so but I could be wrong. Actually I am not too ashamed of things I have done, who I am or where i have come from. I don't particularly feel the need to change and this version of myself is pretty damn wonderful. So all in all he must have been talking to you ;-)