Real science often is more fantastic that the stuff people make up. Haldane was right.
Not the Sun you’re used to seeing.
In a century our studies of the Sun progressed from the deep calculations based on erroneous assumptions of what our star is make of (Lord Kelvin‘s calculations on how long the iron in the Sun would take to cool to its present color), to today’s solar studies, in which nearly every moment of the Sun’s life is recorded through a half dozen different sensors, by satellites and telescopes and whatever other means we have to capture data from the Sun’s burning.
It’s hard science — but it borders on art, too, doesn’t it? Watch this:
Gradient Sun [HD Video], originally uploaded by NASA Goddard Photo and Video.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
To download this video go to: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11112
NASA image use policy.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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Teachers ought to figure out how to use this in classrooms — and I don’t mean astronomy, physics and chemistry only. Can you find a use for this film in geography? History? English and literature?
Sometime shortly after World War II scientists captured film of a mass coronal ejection from the Sun. You probably can imagine the film I’m remembering. That snippet found its way into films students saw in science, geography, chemistry, biology (“this is our Sun, from which all living things get energy, through photosynthesis”), and probably a half dozen other subjects. It was spectacular, and it was just about all that was available for classroom use, then. Students now probably have never seen it. Worse, my experience is that students in high school generally have very little familiarity with the science projects carried out by agencies like NASA and the National Science Foundation, and they know very little about the Sun, or the Moon and other planets.
Teachers, the state isn’t going to help you put this into your classrooms. Can you figure out some way to get it in?