Ra is a busy god
The sun, as you may know, is entering the most active part of an active cycle. It’s been spitting fire and fury in the form of CMEs (coronal mass ejections) for some time now, and it’s just getting going. There are some risks to we puny humans, should one really big one hit us dead on. Only on the scale of knocking out power grids and sending us in to a frenzy of powerlessness though. It’s not at all good for something like that to happen, not to mention economically devastating, but it’s not like we’d be vaporized or anything.
Seriously though, there are some things we should be doing (and are absolutely NOT doing, at all, even a little) to avoid catastrophe, but that’s not why we’re here today. The reason we know about these events and what they might do is due to the advances in our ability to observe and measure the behavior and nature of our precocious home star. The most recent steps forward have given us more than just data. We now get to see in high detail the terrifying beauty of our sun’s angry fits. NASA Heliophysics recently put this HD video of a recent eruption and I can truly say I’ve never seen anything like it.
The challenge, for me at least, was to try and imagine how astoundingly small earth would seem if held up for comparison. Or, I could simply post a pic showing it. Let’s go with that.
It’s somewhat comforting that we’re 93 million miles away, but still amazing that even from that distance the sun can give you a burn from its UV output, after our atmosphere has shielded you from most of it. That’s totally separate from the millions of tons of material it’s puking out in all directions now. That’s not just light, that’s bits of sun! It crosses the 93 million mile gap in days, even hours, propelled only by magnetic fields snapping after getting all wound up in writhing knots of plasma. Just yesterday, the sun let out a doosey, but again, we lucked out, it’s not directed acutely at us and it’s not a threat to our ability to access FB or watch X Factor.
Also, since I’m absolutely certain that nobody will get the reference, the title of this post is borrowed from an old-ish Happy Rhodes track from an old-ish Ambient Trance (when that was a thing) compilation.