Thursday, February 17, 2011

Preeeeetty cool

Want to see a solar flare?

Over the last decade we've gotten spoiled by rapid upgrages, from 56k to high speed and crazy bandwidth that allows us to stream HD videos. Somehow this little snippet still seems pretty spectacular.

50 more years of advancement...yeah there's going to be some sweet videos from space coming down the pipe that's for sure.

I'm even thinking, Viking I and II, really were quite monumental, then the Mars Rover Pathfinder landed when I was about ten I think, which made Viking seem like a child's toy in comparison.

So much of space exploration is trial and error, so many things can go wrong, and with the amount of money needed for R&D, we'll take what we can get. Vanera IV for example, a 1960's Soviet probe to Venus, barely survived the trip to the surface and stopped transmitting after boiling temperatures nearing 300C and atmospheric pressure more than twenty times that of Earth's simply crushed the thing. More recently, Beagle 2, an innovative little probe (by little I mean it weighed less than 100 pounds, which is really something) by the European Space Agency, made it into Mars orbit but what happened after that point is a total mystery.

That said, this video of such a massive solar flare that will bring us a few nights of lovely nighttime light shows is amazing...the Sun is huuuuge, this explosion is happening on a scale we down here on Earth can't possibly comprehend. Whatever kind of combobulation we can send towards our neighbourhood star will produce images and videos that will be mezmerizing.

Sorry I'm a space geek. You can now return to your regularly scheduled blogospheric programming.


Reed Solomon said...

its not *that* impossible for the human mind to comprehend. But I agree it is neat.

Graham said...

Oh, but Reed, that sun spot the flare originated from is probably at least the size of one earth.