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   Undertoad  Thursday Apr 15 01:53 PM

4/15/2004: Solar prominence



A recent Astro pic of the day. This is our Sun, and that "thingie" coming off it like some cellophane wrapper is called a solar prominence.

Not to be confused with the Senior Promenade.

What happens is that the Sun lets out a big fart of solar gases, you see, but somehow the Sun's magnetic field keeps it close in, nearby, where it just sort of... lingers. For up to a month.

How big a fart: turns out the entire Earth could fit in that space between the Sun and the fart.

What happens next is that the fart is ejected out into space. It becomes "magnetically unstable", and is spat out like a giant balloon letting off. This process takes anywhere from tens of minutes to hours to complete. but when you consider that the whole fart is 300000 km (187000 miles) long, well, lets just say it's bookin'.

It's really pretty for a fart and that's why I picked it.



Cochese  Thursday Apr 15 01:55 PM

Pictures of the sun are amazing. Almost looks like an artist's rendition, it's so clear.



MachineyBear  Thursday Apr 15 01:56 PM

Finally I have something else to blame my farts on.



e unibus plurum  Thursday Apr 15 02:37 PM

yikes -- I hate ones that burn at both ends!



tjennings  Thursday Apr 15 03:13 PM

SBD - Shining, but deadly



Leah  Thursday Apr 15 06:03 PM

Wow, now that's the kinda technical stuff I understand. Non of those scientific names. See TB told you you'd love this site.



Pearcie (AUS)  Thursday Apr 15 07:11 PM

Props to UT

I'd like to give props to UT for the best 'scientific' explanation of anything, anywhere, ever.



Leah  Thursday Apr 15 07:18 PM

Ditto



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Apr 15 07:39 PM

Undertoad = The new and improved, Mr Wizard.



lumberjim  Thursday Apr 15 08:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Undertoad = The new and improved, Mr Wizard.
yeah, but i think the fcc would have a problem with him saying "fart" 6 times in one segment.


ladysycamore  Thursday Apr 15 08:15 PM

Quote:
"What happens is that the Sun lets out a big fart of solar gases, you see, but somehow the Sun's magnetic field keeps it close in, nearby, where it just sort of... lingers. For up to a month."
Yikes. Thank goodness it is kept close, or else we'd be space gas.


Elspode  Thursday Apr 15 08:45 PM

Aren't we glad that *we* don't generate gigantic magnetic fields that contain our farts for tens of minutes to hours?



onetrack  Thursday Apr 15 08:49 PM

That's one hot fart .. and here's me, thinking I've done some arse-burners at times ..

Next project for the good scientists, is to tell us EXACTLY, how hot that fart was .......



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Apr 15 10:31 PM

Quote:
The gas was relatively cool - only 60,000-80,000 Kelvin (110,000 - 145,000 degrees F) compared with the fiery 1.5 million degree K plasma (2.7 million F) surrounding it in the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.
You're welcome.


Archer  Friday Apr 16 12:42 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
Aren't we glad that *we* don't generate gigantic magnetic fields that contain our farts for tens of minutes to hours?
Um, well actually, I've had it happen once or twice. Melted my shorts right to my arse. Not to mention, my roommates were none to pleased . . . for several hours mind you.


Griff  Friday Apr 16 07:07 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
Aren't we glad that *we* don't generate gigantic magnetic fields that contain our farts for tens of minutes to hours?
Actually my Dad has developed this theory....


Slartibartfast  Friday Apr 16 08:44 AM

A steady diet of hydrogen will leave anyone gassy



Elspode  Friday Apr 16 01:23 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Slartibartfast
A steady diet of hydrogen will leave anyone gassy
Yup...a few billion years of such a diet will leave you belching out heavy elements, and finally, swelling up to enormous size and getting red all over.

Extreme cases have actually consumed in such profligate fashion as to actually explode.


jdbutler  Friday Apr 16 02:21 PM

Now that's the kind of fart I like to leave in the elevator for the unsuspecting next riders!



paranoid  Friday Apr 16 03:23 PM

Re: 4/15/2004: Solar prominence

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
turns out the entire Earth could fit in that space between the Sun and the prominence.

the whole prominence is 300000 km (187000 miles) long, well, lets just say it's bookin'.
If you are going to write stupid jokes about farts, please check your science first. Otherwise you would look like an idiot. Earth's diameter is about 12800 km and so about 50-100 Earths or so would fit between the Sun and the prominence next to each other.

P.S. The fact that NASA's APOTD writer fucked up and oversimplified it does not exempt you from responsibility for what you write.


Undertoad  Friday Apr 16 03:28 PM

I am quite often wrong and depend on the kindness of folks like yourself to correct me. Thank you.



jdbutler  Friday Apr 16 03:48 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
I am quite often wrong and depend on the kindness of folks like yourself to correct me. Thank you.
I do believe the Undertoad has finally achieved the State of
ďMaditationĒ: (heightened state of mind achieved while thinking of all the ways to kill some sanctimonious paranoid that refuses to leave any nit unpicked!)haha:


Elspode  Friday Apr 16 03:51 PM

Yes, especially when the corrections are put so delicately and sensitively.



Elspode  Friday Apr 16 03:52 PM

Also, since no one else pointed out that UT might look like an idiot, does that make all the rest of us idiots, too, or merely polite?



mrnoodle  Friday Apr 16 03:54 PM

60,000 Kelvin? I fart that after eating a bowl of cereal. C'mon sun, you can do better.



Elspode  Friday Apr 16 04:30 PM

Kellogs Sugar Frosted Hydrogen Flakes?



lumberjim  Friday Apr 16 05:43 PM

Quote:
turns out the entire Earth could fit in that space between the Sun and the prominence.
Quote:
Earth's diameter is about 12800 km and so about 50-100 Earths or so would fit between the Sun and the prominence next to each other.
deductive logic tells us that these are BOTH true statements.

actually, when i was looking at that pic and reading UT's description the first time, i thought it looked like a bigger area than the earth's diameter. I was told in science that a million earths could fit inside the sun. or something.

Quote:
If you are going to write stupid jokes about farts, please check your science first. Otherwise you would look like an idiot.
if you are going to hold a fart joke laden commentary to responsible journalistic standards, and expect strict accuracy, and be rude about it, you might look like an idiot.


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Apr 16 06:53 PM

Re: Re: 4/15/2004: Solar prominence

Quote:
Originally posted by paranoid


If you are going to write stupid jokes about farts, please check your science first. Otherwise you would look like an idiot. Earth's diameter is about 12800 km and so about 50-100 Earths or so would fit between the Sun and the prominence next to each other.

P.S. The fact that NASA's APOTD writer fucked up and oversimplified it does not exempt you from responsibility for what you write.
Well paranoid, 50 to 100 Earths, huh? Thanks, thatís very enlightening.
Now the web site says the whole prominence is about 300,000 km long. The distance from the Sunís surface appears to be about 1/6th of that or about 50,000 km. You say the Earth is 12,800 km in diameter? I believe you. So if I divide 50,000 km by 12,800 km, I get just over 23 Earths in there.
Since you are obviously an educated person, would you be kind enough to explain what Iím doing wrong.
Well, either way, the statement that the earth will fit in that space, appears to be correct. It will fit.


dar512  Sunday Apr 18 12:04 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Archer


Um, well actually, I've had it happen once or twice. Melted my shorts right to my arse. Not to mention, my roommates were none to pleased . . . for several hours mind you.
Have anything to do with your handle? Hmmmm?


paranoid  Sunday Apr 18 02:17 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by lumberjim
deductive logic tells us that these are BOTH true statements.

actually, when i was looking at that pic and reading UT's description the first time, i thought it looked like a bigger area than the earth's diameter. I was told in science that a million earths could fit inside the sun. or something.
We aren't in a courtroom over this matter yet, are we? That the statement from APOD is technically true doesn't mean it is not misleading and not both ignorant and promoting further ignorance.

As for how many Earths could fit inside the Sun, your science teacher was basically correct. Assuming face-centered cubic packing of Earths (the best possible), 74% of Sun's volume will be filled, which gives us about 997500 Earths. You'd have to compress them slightly to fit the whole million, but I am sure gravitation will take care of that.

Quote:
Originally posted by lumberjim
if you are going to hold a fart joke laden commentary to responsible journalistic standards, and expect strict accuracy, and be rude about it, you might look like an idiot.
May be so. But I'd rather look like an idiot nitpicking than do it being ignorant about something.

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Well paranoid, 50 to 100 Earths, huh? Thanks, thatís very enlightening.
Now the web site says the whole prominence is about 300,000 km long. The distance from the Sunís surface appears to be about 1/6th of that or about 50,000 km. You say the Earth is 12,800 km in diameter? I believe you. So if I divide 50,000 km by 12,800 km, I get just over 23 Earths in there.
Since you are obviously an educated person, would you be kind enough to explain what Iím doing wrong.
I guess, pretty much everything. To start with, your math skills seem to be the worst here. You appear to have some problems with division in particular.

Getting back to your implied question, let me explain. First, I doubt the 300,000 km estimate given by UT. Since we know how big the Sun is and that the photo is taken almost from Earth orbit, the prominence appears to be about twice as long. Second, we don't know the position of the prominence in respect to the Sun. It might be significantly closer to Earth than the Sun is and that would greatly increase the distance. The lower bound appears to be around 20 Earths (not 50/12.8~20, mind you), but I believe it's unlikely that the prominence is exactly at the side of the Sun, so I gave a higher estimate.

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
Yes, especially when the corrections are put so delicately and sensitively.
I think they match the gravity of the mistake.

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
I am quite often wrong and depend on the kindness of folks like yourself to correct me. Thank you.
You are welcome. And thank you for linking to this great image in the first place.


lumberjim  Sunday Apr 18 03:14 PM

so what you're saying is that even though you've been told you're being a dick about it, it's more important that UT gets all of his facts straight for the goddamn image of the day? So, if he slips, that excuses your acting like a know-it-all-douchebag?

just clarifying.

putz



Undertoad  Sunday Apr 18 03:25 PM

It turns out that APOD and I were right in the first place.

It turns out that what is considered the Sun is a greater area than just what LOOKS like the Sun. The prominence is defined as extending just past the chronosphere. The chronosphere is defined as 10000km out between the photosphere and the corona. The corona is the extension of plasma and radiation well above the sun's actual "sea level".



tjennings  Sunday Apr 18 04:15 PM

Off topic (kind of):

Is there a way to ignore the posts of an individual user?

No reason for asking. Wait a minute, maybe nobody will see this because you are all already ignoring me (or maybe I'm just being PARANOID).



Elspode  Sunday Apr 18 05:24 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by paranoid

You are welcome. And thank you for linking to this great image in the first place.
Uh...one of your quotations was mistakenly attributed to me , instead of UT, you incredible twit. Good lord, don't you have any html skills at all? I really think that, if you are going to be quoting people, you need to be absolutely certain that you know what you are doing, or people might think you are an idiot. I mean, they might think you are more of an idiot.

Sorry...I just had to respond appropriately, considering the gravity of the mistake.


onetrack  Sunday Apr 18 09:04 PM

I just gotta say .. you'd better thank your appropriate God, that we have people like Paranoid to do the exacting, niggly, nit-picking calculations .. so that NASA can get launches off the ground .. so that they can get the likes of the Hubble Telescope up there .. so that they can get great pics of the Sun .. so that we can sit around arguing the toss about distances and dimensions ..

If they let journos do the launch calculations, we'd be lucky to get 1 in 1000 launches off the ground .. and only then with accidental accuracy ..



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Apr 18 09:06 PM

Quote:
I guess, pretty much everything. To start with, your math skills seem to be the worst here. You appear to have some problems with division in particular.
Damn! How silly of me. I divided 300k instead of 50k by 12.8k to get 23 Earths. It should be about 4 Earths not 23, or 50 to 100. Looks like we both need to go back to school. I have to brush up on my math and you have to learn not to post criticisisms based on wild speculations about parallax views.


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Apr 18 09:16 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by onetrack
I just gotta say .. you'd better thank your appropriate God, that we have people like Paranoid to do the exacting, niggly, nit-picking calculations .. so that NASA can get launches off the ground .. so that they can get the likes of the Hubble Telescope up there .. so that they can get great pics of the Sun .. so that we can sit around arguing the toss about distances and dimensions ..

If they let journos do the launch calculations, we'd be lucky to get 1 in 1000 launches off the ground .. and only then with accidental accuracy ..
From paranoids explanation of his numbers, he must have done the original calculations for the hubble mirror. Hardly exacting, niggly, nit-picking calculations but the point is, this is hardly the place for the displayed vitriol over casual comments.


onetrack  Sunday Apr 18 09:28 PM

We all need some vitriol occasionally .. savage, unwarranted vitriol, rouses us from the torpor of our everyday humdrum existence ..



Elspode  Sunday Apr 18 11:15 PM

If people like Paranoid are doing all the math for our space program, I demand that all science be halted immediately until we can find some more polite nerds to deal with the hard stuff.



jdbutler  Monday Apr 19 10:18 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
If people like Paranoid are doing all the math for our space program, I demand that all science be halted immediately until we can find some more polite nerds to deal with the hard stuff.
Does anyone have Arthur C. Clarke's e-mail? Maybe we should send future solar and flatulence speculations to him first for professional scientific and editorial scrutiny prior to posting.

(Unrelated) Does a pair of noids beat a fools mouth?

ďStephen HackingĒ: (def) What you hear when a famous quantum physicist clears his throat.


Undertoad  Monday Apr 19 10:26 AM

Paranoid posted a rebuff to my message which was lost in the corruption problem... I read it this morning before finding the corruption... para, please redo?



paranoid  Monday Apr 19 02:23 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
Paranoid posted a rebuff to my message which was lost in the corruption problem... I read it this morning before finding the corruption... para, please redo?
Luckily, I still had it in the cache.
Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
It turns out that APOD and I were right in the first place.
It turns out you weren't.
Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
It turns out that what is considered the Sun is a greater area than just what LOOKS like the Sun. The prominence is defined as extending just past the chronosphere. The chronosphere is defined as 10000km out between the photosphere and the corona. The corona is the extension of plasma and radiation well above the sun's actual "sea level".
That what is considered the Sun is a greater volume (not area!) than just what LOOKS like the Sun is correct. Though what is considered the diameter of the Sun (1392000 km) is precisely the diameter of the visible disc (if you dare look at the Sun ). The thickness of photosphere (300 km) and chromosphere (14000 km; not chronosphere - it has nothing to do with time, it's called chromosphere because of the red colour hot hydrogen radiates!) is pretty much irrelevant on that scale.

Please tell, what source defines the prominence as "extending just past the chronosphere (sic!)", because it seems you just invented this definition. And how could the prominence be 300000 km long in that case?
Quote:
Originally posted by tjennings
Is there a way to ignore the posts of an individual user?
If you'd rather stay an ignorant sheep, just click on the Profile and then "Add paranoid to Your Ignore List".
Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
Uh...one of your quotations was mistakenly attributed to me , instead of UT, you incredible twit. Good lord, don't you have any html skills at all? I really think that, if you are going to be quoting people, you need to be absolutely certain that you know what you are doing, or people might think you are an idiot. I mean, they might think you are more of an idiot.
I don't see how forgetting to replace the name in the copied line has anything to do with HTML skills at all. I hope you are joking, though. And I also hope you see the difference between spreading the misconception and making an obvious error in editing the post.

In any case, it appears that the factoid about Earths is a NASA equivalent of the Big Mac - plentiful, but devoid of any real content. Every story about prominences (different ones) that I found contained the same stupid and misleading stock trivia about Earth. Behold:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970127.html
The Earth would easily fit under one of the loops of the prominence shown in the above picture.
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040330.html
The Earth would easily fit under the hovering curtain of hot gas.
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030223.html
Ten Earths could easily fit in the "claw" of this seemingly solar monster. (note how this one is actually correct - did NASA get a large shipment of clue on that day?)
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030707.html
The Earth would easily fit below the prominence on the left.
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap000809.html
...the entire Earth could easily fit into its outstretched arms.

As for my personal math skills, they are fine, thank you very much. As is my ability to notice the errors others make. I still stand for my 50-100 estimate, though I agree that it might be 20-150, depending on the location of the prominence relative to the Sun.

P.S. Thanks for the nice words, onetrack!


mrnoodle  Monday Apr 19 06:05 PM

..throws his arms across his eyes, but is unable to shield himself from the mighty, terrible incandescence of the Nerd-Rays projecting from this argument.

edited because I misspelled incandescence the first time.....



Troubleshooter  Monday Apr 19 08:35 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
Aren't we glad that *we* don't generate gigantic magnetic fields that contain our farts for tens of minutes to hours?
I once farted so much for so long that I put myself into a coma for 12 hours.

Ask Lady Sidhe, she'll verify. She thought I had died in my sleep.


Elspode  Monday Apr 19 11:39 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by paranoid
I don't see how forgetting to replace the name in the copied line has anything to do with HTML skills at all. I hope you are joking, though. And I also hope you see the difference between spreading the misconception and making an obvious error in editing the post.
Hey, an error is an error, right? Besides, isn't spreading a misconception about who said what a more personally grievous error than having a somewhat humorous and skewed explanation about a physical phenomenon that, frankly, most of us are intelligent enough to figure out on our own?

Or are you more concerned about facts and less about people in general?


lumberjim  Monday Apr 19 11:54 PM

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm out to get Paranoid.



Archer  Tuesday Apr 20 02:22 AM

I feel an uber fart coming on.

Anyone in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area might want to leave . . . now.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Apr 20 06:29 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by lumberjim
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm out to get Paranoid.
Oh, don't start that "fer me or agin me" shit. This is America, and in spite of GWB's best efforts, everyone is entitled to an opinion, everyone is entitled to be wrong and everyone is entitled to be obnoxious. Paranoid's just protecting your constitutional rights.
Tony, put a leash on him, will ya.


lumberjim  Tuesday Apr 20 06:35 PM

uh, bruce.....if his name wasn't "paranoid"... ie: one who thinks everyone is 'out to get them'....i wouldn't have made that remark.

you dig?


now give me a kiss and a hug and a kiss and a hug and a kiss and a hug, bruce.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Apr 20 07:30 PM

I'm not kissing any rabid gerbils.

BTW you're making the assumtion he doesn't have two noids.



Elspode  Tuesday Apr 20 11:37 PM

You know, Bruce, just because *you're* not paranoid, doesn't mean that Paranoid isn't out to correct you...



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 21 04:38 AM

Sheeeeeet, not the first or last. None successful.



Torrere  Tuesday Mar 20 11:27 PM

I think the reason they say that the Earth could fit in there is that it makes it sound really big, and it does give you some idea of the scale. If you say "fifty earths", then it sounds like data and eyes start to glaze over.

But the real reason I'm writing this post is that I want to post this quote from Neal Stephenson's book Zodiac:

Quote:
Actually, the shit coming out of Basco's pipe was a hundred thousand times more concentrated than was legally allowed. The difference between pH 13 and pH 8 was five, which meant that pH 13 was ten to the fifth power-a hundred thousand times-more alkaline than pH 8. That kind of thing goes on all the time. But no matter how many diplomas are tacked to your wall, give people a figure like that and they'll pass you off as a flake. You can't get most people to believe how wildly the eco-laws get broken. But if I say "More than twice the legal limit," they get comfortably outraged.



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