Things Solar

There was a partial eclipse of the Sun today, Spaceweather reports, but you had to be in space to see it.  More precisely, you had to be the Solar Dynamics Observatory in geosynchronous orbit 36,000 km above the surface of the Earth.

The reddish filter reminds me that Krypton’s sun was called Rao.

Apparently viewing eclipses with this space telescope and measuring the bending of light around the moon’s shape edge helps NASA to calibrate the telescope and get sharper images.

On the theme of the Sun, here is a video of an earth sized tornado on the Sun’s surface.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Love these posts. Thanks and keep them up. Too cool.

  2. irishgirl says:

    Too cool, indeed! Awesome to see!

  3. pm125 says:

    What power must have begun that size of a tornado? Compared to what was the beastly destruction in Spring 2011 around the eastern US …
    At 8:30 AM EST, luckily, a piece of rainbow in the eastern sky lasted through my outdoor cup of coffee (like April weather) and the sun was shining next to little breaking cloudiness.

  4. WesleyD says:

    I never understood why the Kryptonians didn’t emigrate en masse to a planet circling a yellow sun. I’d move to Australia if I could have superpowers there!

    [Even to Australia? There is a novel by Kevin J. Anderson called The Last Days of Krypton. It’s not bad! He worked with DC in the writing of the novel, so it has some standing with the whole Superman thing (which they control with seemingly paranoid strictness). Anderson has done some of the Frank Herbert Dune spin offs, too. In any event, I remain a fan of Superman, even though DC has done some truly stupid things to the character.]

    Last Days of Krypton

  5. JordanH says:

    Seems like there’s always a full eclipse of the Sun if you’re above the dark side of the Moon less than a sufficient distance so that the Sun doesn’t show around the Moon’s disk. When you are at that point, you are witnessing a tranversal of the Moon across the Sun.

    I guess you can say that there was a partial eclipse that was photographed today. That may be unusual.

  6. scaron says:

    Um, well, there is always, at all times, at least nine (I am a Pluto is indeed a planet kind of guy) eclipses of the sun going on – one right behind each planet – if you are at the right place in space to see it. Which doesn’t count eclipses by the various moons, asteroids, comets, expended spaceships, the International Space Station, and other things I haven’t thought of to list. In fact, that is exactly how the Kepler telescope works – being in position to catch eclipses of distant stars by their extra-solar planets.

  7. bookworm says:

    Funny you should mention solar eclipses today… exactly 5 1/2 years from today, on Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the continental U.S. and be visible in 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina. This will be the first total eclipse visible in the Lower 48 since 1979 and eclipse buffs are already making plans for it, so save the date now :-) See for more info and interactive maps of the path.

    Another total eclipse will occur 6 1/2 years later on April 8, 2024, first crossing Mexico and then from Texas to New York, southern Ontario and Quebec, Maine, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

    The paths of these two eclipses cross in southern Illinois near Carbondale so that area will get to see TWO total eclipses in less than 7 years.

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