solar scale

14/03/2011

the new wonders of the universe series on the bbc is pretty good. reading up on some astronomy articles after watching an episode i found out something amazingly humbling.

if you were to take everything in our entire solar system, from the sun, to the planets, the outer planets, moons, asteroids, comets, gasses etc, everything.
+ then put it into one big pile…

99.8632% of that pile would be the sun alone.


also, these rather weird anomalies:

our sun is in the midst of an unusual sunspot minimum, lasting far longer + with a higher percentage of spotless days than normal; it is also measurably dimming.

over the last two decades, the solar wind speed has dropped by 3%, its temperature by 13%, + its density by 20%.

its magnetic field is at less than half strength compared to the minimum of 22 years ago. the entire heliosphere which fills the solar system has shrunk as a result, resulting in an increase in the level of cosmic radiation hitting the Earth and its atmosphere.

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One Response to “solar scale”

  1. Ben Says:

    it is insane isn’t it, the sheer scale of outer space? its unfathomable – like the closest star other than the sun being 4 and a bit light years away!
    Also, interesting series, enjoying it.


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