Monday, September 3, 2007

Our Sun


Well this has got to be the coolest Solar Video I have ever seen! Just released by NASA last week, it shows our Sun in action. Pictures taken by Stereo (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) are stitched together to produce the video. Stereo is basically two space based observatories providing stereoscopic measurements to give us a better understanding of Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs.

The Stereo mission provides us with a better understanding of why CMEs happen and also provide early warnings for any Earthbound CMEs, since they do major damage to satellites, just about anything electrical, have been known to cause blackouts and if there are any Astronauts working out in space they have to take cover.
Warnings are issued to various tech companies to prepare them for the CMEs, my daughter's boyfriend is an IT guy and gets them so he can prepare for it and warn any clients that he feels may be affected by the CME.

CMEs are the "biggest" explosion in our solar system, equivalent to one billion hydrogen bombs and can travel up to two million miles per hour making the trip to Earth in just 2-4 days!
Since we're on the topic of the Sun I thought I would add a couple of pics I took of the sun. below are pictures taken with a Solar Hydrogen Alpha Telescope, it allows only the hydrogen wavelength of the Sun through, allowing us to see the Chromosphere where all the neat stuff happens. Below you can see on both pictures Solar Prominences, shooting into space, the pic right below you can also see a sunspot as well as the Suns "orange peel" look which is created by thousands of Solar Granules , small convection cells 200-2,000 km in diameter, ever changing, have lifespans anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes.




21 comments:

Scruffyhippo said...

I seem to remember hearing about CME's before a few years back and something to do with a blackout, brilliant pictures again.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Peter, your right, there have been numerous documented cases, the major one in 1989 that took out grids across North America, and just in 2003 around solar max, CMEs disrupted power grids and took out airline communications.

Scruffyhippo said...

Must of been the 2003, I doubt I could rmember as far back as 1989 :)

Bob Johnson said...

Probably Peter, I remember talking to our companies payroll person, she said that in Toronto she could she the stars for the first time in the city,lol.

Susanne in Key West said...

Wow...I love these pictures from the sun, they are photography in perfection, Bob! My compliments!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, when I'm looking at the Sun, I am amazed at its power and beauty, its energy sustains us, I know I sometimes take it for granted.

Anna said...

Hey Bob, can you teach me how to take photos of the sun, last time I almost got blind when chasing hawk across the sky, lol. Your sun photos are amazing and I like the explosions, something I cannot see with naked eye I guess.

PS I have some questions about the Moon. Few times in life I saw huge and I mean huge red moon, do you know what that is, and when I can see it again.

Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, about the red Moon, I don't know if your joking or not, lol
if you are ha ha, the next eclipse will be Feb 20, 2008, starting at 8:43 pm EDT, or you could be talking about the harvest Moon, coming the next full Moon, Sept 23rd or there abouts, it looks redish/yellowish because it is low in the horizon and you view it through more of the Earths atmosphere which gives the orange tint to the Moon like an eclipse.
The size of the Moon just appears to be bigger than usual because it is close to items on the ground and our mind compares the size of the Moon to Earth landmarks and for what ever reason the mind thinks it looks bigger then when its up high and nothing is around it makes it look smaller. there are other theories but they're more complicated and give me a headache, the one I suggested is the most popular.

Anna said...

lol, Bob I think I am talking about the harvest moon, hey I am professional in lunar eclipses now lol. but but the harvest moon really looked big too me, but then I did not seen it for a long time now, and last time when I saw I was small, so may be its the proportions lol or in Europe they tend to be bigger. thanks for the explanation, that helps, and I will be looking for one by the end of the month - the thing is that it looks very nice against nice landscape. anna :) sorry to slide this moon stuff into your sun story...

Bob Johnson said...

lol,no problem, I will be trying to get pics

kml said...

WOW - your sun photos are fabulous! You must have some really high-powered super-sonic scopes to be viewing and getting these images. They are a joy to view!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks kml, not high power scopes, just a very ultra narrow band scope that allows ony a certain wavelength of light through so I can see the Solar chromosphere.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Magnificent. I looove this blog!!!

JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks jj!

DrowseyMonkey said...

I remember that blackout in 89, it was the first time I'd heard of anything like that. So Bob, I have this debate with a friend abouth whether CMEs effect people. What do you say?

Bob Johnson said...

drowseymonkey, never thought much about it, they make me crabby when I loose power, but there is also the idea that the strong electromagnetic fields they produce can and does effect humans, I mean it only makes sense, to what degree it effects us is the question.

Anna said...

Hey Bob, are you heading south for solar eclipse on Sept 7 lol. I read somewhere that it is only visible on the southern hemisphere...anna :)

Two Feathers said...

Wow, these are just awesome! I love these pictures!!

Bob Johnson said...

Anna, I won't be going to the eclipse, the next time I will be seeing a solar eclipse in my back yard is, never, I'll be dead by the time the sun eclipses in my area. The average time between solar eclipses for a certain area is 100 years. I

Shirley, thanks!

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