Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Solar tsunami

Back on December 8, a massive solar flare exploded out of a sunspot on the surface of the sun. While that may have caused some problems for satellites in orbit around the Earth, it had no other effect on us (except for some really cool Northern Lights).

The neat part is that the explosion sent a tsunami like shockwave across the surface of the sun.

This site has a video of the event (actually, it's a number of still photos put together into a video). http://www.spaceweather.com/index.cgi Select December 8, 2006 on the far right under "View Archives".

The video actually compresses eight minutes into a few seconds.

To give you a sense of scale, the Earth is roughly 1/1000 the size of the sun, or a little bit bigger than the spots on the right side of the image.

4 comments:

Michael said...

How Lucas-like. Incidentally, have you or any other Blogger bloggers noticed that the CAPTCHA utility is being finicky? I'm having to verify two and three times lately in order to post a comment.

Michael said...

So of course it worked perfectly this time...

Allan Goodall said...

Incidentally, have you or any other Blogger bloggers noticed that the CAPTCHA utility is being finicky? I'm having to verify two and three times lately in order to post a comment.

I've noticed for a while that I've had to verify twice.

There appears to be a timeout set to a very short period of time (maybe a minute). If you can post your message in that time frame, the verification word from when you first opened the comment screen is still valid. Otherwise, you hit Publish, the word has timed out, and the program requires you to enter a new word.

It is very annoying.

Allan Goodall said...

For the record, I posted that message inside of two minutes (I think it was a little longer than a minute) and the intial verification word was accepted.