Video: The Sun in space
December 2, 2014 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Over two weeks in October, James Tyrwhitt-Drake of the Solar Dynamics Observatory took 17,000 images of the Sun as a sunspot known as Active Region 2192 crossed its face. This is the outcome: an extraordinary timelapse video.
posted by paleyellowwithorange (31 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh. THAT'S why people worship the sun!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:23 PM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's a mass of incandescent gas.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:35 PM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's more a miasma of incandescent plasma.
posted by physicsmatt at 5:39 PM on December 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


One solar rotation takes about a month.
posted by clarknova at 5:43 PM on December 2, 2014


Okay solar observatory videos are always fun so whatever yeah there's HOLY FUCK THERE'S A WHOLE CIRQUE DU SOLEIL THING GOING ON WITH A FUCKING FIRE DRAKE AT 4:32 IN THE SUN'S CORONASPHERE WHAT THE FUCK
posted by localroger at 5:44 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ooh, shiny!
posted by Michele in California at 5:44 PM on December 2, 2014


Just imagine what it's like in the daytime.
posted by hal9k at 5:47 PM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


To approximate the sound of the sun, we boiled a microphone in a pot on the stove
posted by oulipian at 5:54 PM on December 2, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is why I love being a radio ham - you get to watch all this stuff going on, and then you get to hear what happens as the eruptions smash into the Earth. Over the past week, I've been part of all sorts of nonsense - hearing a repeater in New York connected to half of Europe, picking up signals from fellow hams in Holland and Germany as weak as cellphone transmissions and blasting them back to me in London.

I can remember hearing the madness back in 1977 or so, with a few bits of home-made equipment in my schoolboy bedroom in the depths of rural England, and being in awe of all those signals flooding in and being able to talk back to The World-Wide SpiderMan in North Carolina. I had no idea what was actually happening. Now, I can see the engine itself in 4K resolution on my Android phone while I'm gadding about town, and still get to talk back when I get home to fire up a small box of chips with a bit of wire hanging out of my window.

Cosmic fun for pennies. And I get to take part. Go, science! Go, radio!
posted by Devonian at 5:54 PM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


This is very cool. The close-up version made me think of Andrei Tarkovsky.
posted by carter at 5:57 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


It never ceases to amaze me to realize that life on Earth is possible because of the light given off from an itsy-bitsy area on the Sun.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:57 PM on December 2, 2014


Looks like the sun's tests of its new 'glider gun' planetary sterilization protocol are almost complete!
posted by jamjam at 5:59 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is very cool. The close-up version made me think of Andrei Tarkovsky.

Woah. With Earth to scale! It's like a ladybug.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:59 PM on December 2, 2014


We should show this to Copernicus.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:09 PM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]




The parts where a solar flare (?) would arc out, and then get sucked right back in the way it came .. that gave me the same fascinated-creeped out feeling that looking at photos from the surface of Mars does.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:16 PM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Holy shit tell me everything you know about the sun.

You might think your oven gets hot but the sun is like twice as hot as that, maybe more.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:20 PM on December 2, 2014 [11 favorites]


Over two weeks in October, James Tyrwhitt-Drake inadvertently made the world's best Yule Log video
posted by oulipian at 6:21 PM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Aya Hirano: I know exactly what you mean. And I couldn't help thinking what pulled them back... gravity, it's gravity that's holding that whole boiling broiling incomprehensible immensity together, that has compressed it tight enough to ignite it in the first place; and it's supposed to be the weakest of forces but it's going to be right there pulling the red giant back into a white dwarf when the time comes and where there is more matter it pulls it down even more and then my brain just shorts a bit and I also understand why people worship the Sun.

(...all the while another corner of my mind is thinking if it would be possible to simulate the whole thing, maybe playing with the scales of the fundamental constants so that you could make the simulation consume less memory, by allowing a "star" to form with a smaller amount of matter in the first place.)

paleyellowwithorange: 1) Eponyawesome, 2) Thanks for linking to this.
posted by seyirci at 6:24 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


This weekend I drove 5 hours to visit relatives in rural Oklahoma, where there's some pretty dark skies. I brought my big honkin' telescope with me in the car. We set it up and peered around the sky Friday night.

One of the things we looked at was the Ring Nebula. It's what will eventually happen to the Sun.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:33 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


This will be replacing my Yule log video.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


The way that sucker was tossing around solar flares, I begin to understand why people were worried about it. (I remember reading things where people were saying that this one had the potential to hit us with a solar flare that would destroy every transistor in existence -- with obviously catastrophic consequences.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:07 PM on December 2, 2014


Hawt!
posted by Jode at 8:12 PM on December 2, 2014


a solar flare that would destroy every transistor in existence

Except the ones I have squirreled away in tin cans. START PREPARING YOUR BIDS NOW.
posted by localroger at 8:13 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I always post this in FPP's of videos of the terrifying cosmic void that envelops us, but Metastatic Resonance is an especially good soundtrack for contemplating the Dark and Terrible Burning God Sol to.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:37 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Active Region 2192

Sigh. Honestly, The Sun peaked with Active Region 2 (or arguably 3, but that's a matter of taste really). Active Region 4 onwards has just been downhill ever since, hitting rock bottom with the hilariously mediocre sell-out that was Active Region 347. Of course I've been into them since when they were Bok Gobule, but it really doesn't surprise me that everyone's suddenly trying to jump on the bandwaggon with the release of Active Region 2192 (which is frankly just a shit dubstep remix of Active Region 2078).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:37 AM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


So pretty I can almost forgive it my inevitable Australian skin cancer.
All hail the wrath of the sky god.
posted by threecheesetrees at 5:18 AM on December 3, 2014


Mesmerizing.
posted by dukes909 at 5:27 AM on December 3, 2014


A spotty record, at best.
posted by xigxag at 8:12 AM on December 3, 2014


This is my first existential dread. As a kid I loved space and astronomy, but when I read about the Sun and I saw pictures of solar prominences (Earth to scale) and read about supernovas, I was convinced the Sun was going to explode in the sky and fry us all, we are doomed. And what do you tell a little 6 year old kid? Yeah, the Sun will go supernova in a few million years but it won't matter because you'll already be dead.

This video gives me the same feeling of dread. The Sun is going to explode in the sky and a coronal mass ejection is going to fry us all, we are doomed.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:41 AM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Sun is really creepy, like, it's the source of all heat and light and life in our world, yet it's this gigantic, weird space thing that doesn't actually care about us at all and is made out of this stuff most people have no direct experience with.

Gosh, space stuff is cool.
posted by Small Dollar at 2:03 PM on December 5, 2014


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