Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Sense of Magnitude

An interesting article about the return of sunspots in the solar cycle from spaceweather.com for July 14, 2010.

Sunspot 1087

Here is a closer look at 1087 comparing the size of the spot to the Earth

From the article:
The active region could swallow our planet ten times over and still have room to spare. Fortunately, we're 93 million miles away. We could still feel the effects of an eruption, however. The thicket of magnetic loops and filaments harbors energy for M-class solar flares. M-flares can heat and puff up Earth's upper atmosphere, causing satellites to experience extra drag as they orbit our planet; they can also cause waves of ionization to ripple around the planet, disrupting radio communications.

Do you really think that our burning of fossil fuels is all that significant to global temperature?  It is easy to magnify one's significance from the inside looking out but true relevance is determined from the outside looking in.

Awesome beauty.

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