Crazy Sun App

By: Peggy Nelson
January 16, 2011

NASA periodically adds new camera apps to their Hubble suite. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (a “sun-pointing semi-autonomous spacecraft”), launched last February, does just what your mother told you never to do, which is look directly at the sun.

And you know what? Your mother was right. Not just because it will blind you or melt the wax off your wings — but because the sun is crazy.

Don’t believe me? The SDO has now compiled almost a year’s worth of evidence:

[Yes, this one is in 3D]


All images from the SDO online gallery.



What do you think?

  1. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, there’s a serious website that monitors what’s happening with in space, especially the Sun. Why? Because what happens in the space between the Earth and the Sun affects lots of things, including radio communication (and that includes your cellphone, which is, basically, a radio).

    Those of us who are amateur radio operators are also interested in this data because it’s the solar wind that gets trapped in our ionosphere and makes low power long distance communication possible. Meaning, a little bit of solar wind can mean the difference between being able to talk to someone 3000 miles away, or not, with a 100 watt transmitter.

    There are lots more sites with interesting views of ionization patterns, and solar eruptions, like:

    It’s truly amazing what’s going on out there … stuff we can’t really see.

    Richard Friedman

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