June 8, 2011

Waves the size of the United States are breaking on the sun.

"The wave-forming process taking place on the surface of the Sun is the same as that which takes place in the Earth's oceans. It's known as a Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and involves two different fluids flowing past each other. Off the beach, the air flows past the sea and rapidly turns tiny ripples into mighty swells and breakers: on the surface of the sun, plasma erupts in mighty spouts, so becoming less dense, and then blows across the surface of non-erupted plasma to create waves just like those of Earth - only much, much bigger and hotter."

From The Register.

16 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Maybe the sun is getting excited, like Anthony Weiner's wiener.

Original Mike said...

I hope Freder shows up to splain it to us.

LarsPorsena said...

You think this could be affecting our weather? Nah, it's the fossil fuels.

Ann Althouse said...

Our perception of things depends on how close they are to us. A wave the size of the United States on the sun is smaller than Anthony Weiner's cock on your iPhone.

Pastafarian said...

I realize that the sun has spectacular events all the time, but the way it's been in the news lately (the dearth of sunspots last year [admittedly part of a cycle], the large solar ejection that coincided with a comet collision a few weeks ago, now the events of the last couple of weeks), it sort of makes a person think:

What if the sun were winding down?

And I'm not saying that it is. The solar ejection/comet thing was just a remarkable coincidence. But seeing the sun like this makes you think about it; we consider it to be such a permanent, unchanging part of the sky.

Imagine if the solar output decreased 2% or 3% (or more) within the next few years.

traditionalguy said...

Don't worry. Just throw out your good light bulbs and that should appease the Sun god...provided that your worship includes generous sacrifices handed over to the High Priests' AlGore Fund. The Sun god pays close attention to the level of your sacrificial worship.

Leland said...

Um, actually I'm surprised they could detect waves that small on the surface of the sun. Were talking about a wave that's 1/300th the size of the sun's diameter. That's about 40km on the Earth. Bring up Google Earth and see if you can easily pick out Madison, WI.


wv: dertypec Haven't we've had enough of them?

Phil 3:14 said...

Global Warming

(P.S. different globe)

edutcher said...

tg's right!

How 'bout we sacrifice a couple of Lefty trolls to Gaia?

Col Mustard said...

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Solar Wave Damping Credits. Buy One Get One Free. Today Only!

Crimso said...

"What if the sun were winding down?"

IIRC, Clarke wrote a novel wherein a problem was noted about the sun (this part was real; at the time there was a significant discrepancy regarding observed solar neutrino emissions vs. what theory predicted), and it was concluded that the sun didn't have billions of years to go but rather 1500 or so. Predictably, they waited until the very last minute to try to save as much stuff as they could.

rhhardin said...

A one-fluid shear is unstable if there's an inflection point in the velocity profile, is all I remember.

rhhardin said...

If the sun runs out of fuel, it gets hotter (maybe somebody has already commented that), owing to gravitational shrinkage releasing energy.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

But the sun has nothing to do with climate. No effect.

Its Republicans, conservatives, and people with plastic bags and foam trays. And only 1 recycle bin.

Fort said...

Warm sun, feed me up and I'm leery loaded up
Loathing for a change
And I slip some boil away
Swallowed followed, heavy about everything
But my love

Swallowed sorrowed
I'm with everyone and yet not just wanted
to be myself
hey you said that you would love to try some
hey you said you would love to die some
in the middle of a worm on a fish hook
you're the wave you're the wave you're the wave


Swallowed borrowed
Heavy about everything
But my love
Swallowed hollowed
Sharp about everyone
But yourself
Swallowed oh no
I'm with every one and yet not
I'm with everyone and you're not
I'm on everyone and yet
Piss on self-esteem
Forward Busted knee
Sick head
Blackened lungs
And I'm a simple selfish son


Swallowed followed
Swallowed oh no
I'm with everyone and yet not
Got to get away from here
I miss the one that I love a lot
I miss the one that I love a lot

Bush "Swallowed" circa 93

MamaM said...

Waves or ripples,
Here or out there
Cocks 'n iphones
All of which are
Energized by
Indirectly
Observable
Higher powers