Did You Feel That?

Merry Christmas from the Sun!

Good morning, everyone.

The Sun has been pretty active this year, having produced several CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) already. Four days ago solar activity picked up, with filaments erupting in the north and south hemispheres, and lots of sunspots cruising around, just looking for trouble. The next day, two CMEs erupted (spewed? were flung out? Ptoo?) and were headed for Earth and Mars, one scheduled (scheduled? Who schedules this stuff?) to hit us on the 28th. Since this is the 29th and I’m not dead yet [checking…ampmeter says ok], I figure the rest of you aren’t either.

I didn’t notice anything, mostly because I was either asleep or I forgot to look. I did remember today, and after a vigorous search I found a couple of videos of the event.

So, did any of you notice anything? Any large auroras? Large space lightning strikes? Small ones? Anything at all?

Image courtesy of Discovery News






  • tonyola

    The milk in my refrigerator went sour a little sooner than expected yesterday. Can I blame the sunspots for that?

    • The Professor

      Only if you live in West Palm Beach.

  • My Plymouth started on the first try this morning. I'll blame the CME.

    • The Professor

      It must have been all of the confused electrons floating around.

      • It was parked east-west and the battery is located directly aft of the starter, under the driver's seat, but the longitudinally-mounted ignition coil is offset to the middle of the firewall, so I'm not sure whether the field lines would have been helping or hurting at that point.

  • Number_Six

    I got dressed yesterday, with the intention of going outside to run errands. But instead of going out, I ended up watching the entire series of Adult Swim's Children's Hospital, followed by Re-Animator. Laziness FTW!

  • sport_wagon

    I didn't notice a thing… but today I can levitate, move objects with my mind, and shoot fire out of my nostrils. And oh yeah, I'm blue.

    • That's you in the top photo, then?

    • The Professor

      I think they make suppositories for that now.

  • craigsu

    I liked the second video better but it may have been the music that swayed me. Sounds like TransSiberian Orchestra. Either way, that's one heck of a filter they used on that telescope. Any idea what they use to get shots like that?

    • The Professor

      It's probably an H-alpha filter. It filters out everything except for light in the hydrogen bandwidth. They're pretty common for viewing and photographing the Sun, but NASA might be using a fancier variation.
      Here's a quickie reference:

      • craigsu

        Quite the variety of pricing for these things. A quick Bing search yields everything from a $1.30 photographic filter to a $7800 H-alpha telescope.

        • The Professor

          I've never priced the things. Never needed to, dammit. I wonder what the filters on the big telescopes and especially the space telescopes run? I'll bet that it's at least mind-boggling.

          • jeepjeff

            I think they're in "If you have to ask, you don't have funding" territory.

        • My department uses a Coronado PST for the solar observing lab in our introductory space class:

          Simple, rugged, easy to use, etc….

          We've also got one of their calcium-K 'scopes, but that wavelength is right on the edge of visibility for most people, so there's not much to see without hooking it up to a CCD camera.

          • The Professor

            That's a nice little solar telescope. I should come and crash some of your classes. Incognito, of course.

  • PrawoJazdy

    I've noticed odd flashes of light in the morning these last few days. Just before sunrise when it's still slightly dark. At first I thought it was the street lamp outside, but I noticed them while trying to get dressed in the dark (DO NOT DISTURB MRS. JAZDY, YOU WILL DIE A PAINFUL DEATH) in my bedroom. The window in my bedroom faces the house next door which is about 7' away and the light from the street does not reach the space between the house.

    Is it possible that this is what I'm seeing, or do I have a brain tumor? Does anyone else smell burnt toast?

  • fodder650

    So this is what the Mayans predicted for 2012. See they would be right if you figure in leap years it's really 2012. Get into your bunkers everyone! DUCK AND COVER

  • alewifecove

    6 socks in the wash
    6 socks out of the wash

    Seems odd….

    • The Professor

      No, 6+6=12, so everything is even.

      /sorry for the terrible joke