Tag Archives: Sun

Old Sol: “They don’t know nuthin about chickens”


“‘CH’ STANDS FOR … CHICKEN? A big dark hole in the sun’s atmosphere, a ‘coronal hole’, is turning toward Earth spewing solar wind. According to NASA’s official rubber chicken, it looks an awful lot like a bird.

“Coronal holes are places where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows the solar wind to escape. A chicken-shaped stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole will reach Earth on June 5th – 7th, possibly stirring geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.”

Me:  “Morning big guy.  Having yourself a little snack up there, are you?  Something to start the morning off right?”

Old Sol:  “You people really piss me off sometimes.  This isn’t a chicken, doesn’t look anything like a chicken.  It’s a belch building up.  Feels more like a tumor the size of a grapefruit stuck in my gullet than some damned chicken.”

Me:  “Wasn’t me, amigo.  It’s those NASA guys.  They know about as much about chickens as they know about anything else going on with you.  More maybe, even though none of them could name the breed of chicken it most nearly resembles.”

Old Sol:  “Then why do they keep talking all this weak BS?  And what breed of chicken are we talking about?”

Me:  “Looks to me as though it might pass itself off as a Buff Crested Polish rooster if it had more tail-feathers.  But the reason they do it is the same reason we do pretty much everything else.  We human beings don’t feel good about ourselves if we don’t already know everything.  Species self-esteem thing, I reckons.”

Old Sol:  “Sometimes I’d rather just hang back, not even come out and have to face all you tiny damned crawlies.  Never can tell what you’re going to come up with next.”

Me:  “Yeah, right.  But keep in mind nobody down here has a Buff Crested Polish rooster tattooed on his face.  You getting your stuff together?  You’ve got a long day ahead.  Not long before we’ll be expecting great things from you, same as yesterday.”

Old Sol:  “Yeah.  Just give me a few minutes here.  Warm up the engine.  Do a few things on my backside where I’ve got some privacy.  I’ll be along.”

Old Jules



Torpid Romance Between the Moon and Jupiter

Old Sol’s still muttering and grumbling.  The earlier theory entertained by astrophysicists that the widespread sunspot activity was being caused by the Occupy Wall Street movement’s lost a lot of following.  The cold weather has evidently caused the movement to adopt a wait-and-see posture, while the solar activity continues despite the inclement weather.

But you might notice there’s growing activity south of the equator. 

Meanwhile, the moon was playing footsey with Jupiter last night.

Moon and Jupiter conjunction


“BRIGHT CONJUNCTION: Last night, sky watchers around the world witnessed a conjunction between Jupiter and the Moon. “It was very nice sight seeing the two bright heavenly bodies so close together,” says P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden, who photographed his daughter and a friend admiring the view.  The show’s not over. The Moon and Jupiter are drifting apart but still less than 10o apart tonight. Look east after sunset for a conjunction so bright it shines through thin clouds and city lights.”

Astrophysicists continue to believe this affair between the moon and Jupiter is a product positions of the two within the orbits of the two celestial bodies as they relate to the position observers on the earth surface, which might be true.  Certain Mayan scientists and Renaissance theologians believe otherwise.

The affair is evidently being conducted outside the sanctity of marriage, which brought shouts of indignation from certain quarters in Washington, DC.  White House spokesmen have asserted they have no interest in what the moon and Jupiter choose to do with their genitals so long as both consent.

Not much else going on here, though the cats all occupied cat houses last night and the sounds coming from the chicken fortresses lead me to believe they all survived the night.

Old Jules

That Lucky Old Sun

Sunspots visible to the naked eye yesterday


News flash: The sunspots are back. “The sunset conditions of August 2nd were just right to show the massive sunspots AR1260, AR1261 and AR1263 to the casual observer who happened to glance at the sun for a brief few moments,” reports Stephen W. Ramsden of Atlanta, Georgia. “You could even see the penumbra with the naked eye!” He had a camera handy and snapped this picture:

“The size and broiling movement of these sunspots just boggles the mind,” he says. “You could fit every planet in the solar system with all of the known asteroids neatly inside the largest group…wow!”

Every day that sphere of interlocking bands of horizontal magnetic fields comes across our skies and we comment among ourselves, “It’s hot!”

We’re mostly right on that score.

But it’s also constantly changing and there’s so much about it nobody understands, nobody even guesses that even what we humans believe we do know about it is largely mysterious, unexplained outside a body of equally fluid theory.

The face of old Sol moves across in front of us every 13.5 days telling us about its moods. Nowadays they’re even able to monitor what’s going on across the side we can’t see. Quite a breakthrough because what’s going on there will have bearing on our lives when it becomes the face to us again in the 27 day spin cycle.

But all over the planet, humanity having to gone to the trouble to find out what the sun’s been keeping hidden from us until recently, when that side twists around where we can see it for ourselves we’ll say again, “It’s hot.”

We’ll be right again, as we almost always are.

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 7th or 8th. Credit: SDO/AIA.

Friday Morning 5:30 AM

On August 4th, active sunspot 1261 unleashed a strong solar flare, the third in as many days. The blast, which registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth.  Moving at an estimated speed of 1950 km/s, this CME is expected to sweep up an earlier CME already en route. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab say the combined-CME should reach Earth on August 5th at 10:00 UT plus or minus 7 hours: “The impact on Earth is likely to be major. The estimated maximum geomagnetic activity index level Kp is 7 (Kp ranges from 0 – 9). The flanks of the CME may also impact STEREO A, Mars and Mercury/MESSENGER.” High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.


It’s a Beautiful Day– Hot Summer Day