Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sun Snake

Holy cow!

can science get any cooler than this?

A magnetic filament snaking around the sun’s southeast limb just keeps getting longer. The portion visible today stretches more than 700,000 km–a full solar radius. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture during the early hours of Dec. 6th. The STEREO-B spacecraft, stationed over the sun’s eastern horizon, saw this filament coming last week. So far the massive structure has hovered quietly above the stellar surface, but now it is showing signs of instability. Long filaments like this one have been known to collapse with explosive results when they hit the stellar surface below.

From NASA's Goddard Flight Center Science-Is-Most-Awesomely-Cool website.

Go there and be boggled.

Did I ever tell y'all about the time I called NASA in California? I was trying to confirm some information I'd been given about someone who had worked for them. I got hold of some bigwig who was very nice but asked if I could call back in a couple of days. They were launching the space shuttle that day, so everyone was really busy.


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