Our Sun Is Beautiful (No Matter The Wavelength)

December 23, 2013


In news that shouldn't surprise anyone who likes to punish themselves by staring at the sun, our star is beautiful. And I'm not just saying that because without it we wouldn't be here, because I would actually prefer that. This is 'Jewel Box Sun', a video from NASA showing the sun in a variety of different wavelengths. Why? I suspect intern busy work, but I've never won at Clue so I might just be a shitty guesser.

Yellow light of 5800 Angstroms, for example, generally emanates from material of about 10,000 degrees F (5700 degrees C), which represents the surface of the sun. Extreme ultraviolet light of 94 Angstroms, which is typically colorized in green in SDO images, comes from atoms that are about 11 million degrees F (6,300,000 degrees C) and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures. By examining pictures of the sun in a variety of wavelengths - as is done not only by SDO, but also by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory and the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- scientists can track how particles and heat move through the sun's atmosphere.

By a show of hands, how many of you actually read the quoted paragraph? One person. And how many are reading this one? Zero. Sometimes I don't even know why I bother trying to spread cheer across the internet. I should be huddled in the corner of a dark bar, rereading the label on my beer for the hundredth time, trying to piece together where everything went wrong. SPOILER: the very beginning. If life were a footrace, the starting gun wouldn't have been fired yet and I'd already be crying and clutching a purple participation ribbon.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to lebeeps, who wishes earth had double suns so we could stare at one with each eye.

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