Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sun spots galore...

Today, I read an article in the Washington Post ("As the sun awakens the power grid stands vulnerable") on sunspots and their possible effects on the electric grid and it led me back to the source of all this material, and some fun and disturbing video.

First, the video. The Solar Dynamic Observatory has a whole YouTube channel of these, but this one seems like it should be in a science fiction movie:

(this is the eruption from the article)
And this is a longer version of another eruption:

Now that is some amazing video! And no special effects needed!

Alright, now as much as I could watch these videos all day, how about some serious links where we can learn a bit more about this.
  • Magento Mini Golf Play golf using protons in magnetic fields. Start with simple fields, then move all the way up to golfing in Earth's magnetic field. Complete the quiz and get access to a bonus hole. Complete all holes and you can post your score.
  • Great Escape Light takes hundreds of thousands of years to get from the fusion core of the Sun to its surface. See if you can do better in our solar maze.
  • Our Place in Space See if you can find Earth in the Milky Way, and learn a bit about our galaxy in the process.
  • Where oh where does that little planet go Here you will find a game that tests your knowledge of planetary locations.
Oh, did you want some serious pages? Okay, how about:
  • Solar Dynamic Observatory This is the home of the amazing videos above and has a wealth of information, such as data, images, videos and some of the games mentioned above.
  • Sun Space and Weather @ Goddard Here you will a mix of images, games, videos and news in the space weather front.
Hope this has been a fun tour of space weather, if you want to learn more check out the library's guide to Space and Astronomy.