Monday, May 9, 2011

Our friend, the Sun.....

Call me a denier if you choose, but it sure seems logical that the
Sun has more to say about any changes our climate experiences
than things that we do.  The April issue of the Smithsonian
Magazine has a fascinating essay on the Sun.  Read it here.

The video below also comes from the Smithsonian web site.
It runs about 1:30, but it may start talking on its own. 

Two fun excerpts from the essay here:

"The Sun is a spinning ball of gas large enough to contain
1.3 million Earths.  Its core is a furnace of nuclear fusion,
converting 655 million tons of hydrogen into helium every
second at a temperature of 28 million degrees Fahrenheit.
This fusion creates energy that ultimately reaches us as sun-
light.  But the core and inner layers of the Sun are so dense
that it may take a million years for a photon of the energy to
fight just two-thirds of the way out.  There it reaches the
'convection zone.'  Above that is a thin layer we perceive as
the Sun's surface.  Solar gases continue far into space beyond
this visible edge in a blazing hot atmosphere called the corona. 
A tenuous solar wind blows through the entire solar system."

"But for now, the Sun's activity is so complex that its
convulsions baffle the field's top minds.  When asked to
explain the physics that drives the Sun's violence, SDO
scientist Philip Scherrer of Stanford University minces no
words:  'We fundamentally don't know.'"

God love him.

Editor's note:
The video was posted here, but it started talking without
prompting when the blog was opened. The technology eludes
me, but this is certainly not desirable. Go here to see the video.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, you're a climate denier. I recently read in a science magazine that the sun has over 4000 times more effect on the earths climate than all other factors combined. It was an astonishing statement, especially coming from a science magazine which promotes anthropogenic climate change. Not sure how that one got past the editors.