Next up, the closest star to us.

That’s right, Sol our very own sun.  Like Terra for Earth, Sol is the Latin name of the Sun. That’s why we live in the Sol(ar) System.  The Sun is big compared to us, really big.  Actually, it is big compared to everything else in our system.  The Sun alone accounts for about 99.86% of all the mass in the neighborhood.  All the planets, asteroids and other cosmic visitors, like those comets, all together make up the other 0.14% of the Solar system.  Don’t you feel special now?

And, as you can see above, our sun is easily dwarfed by other stars in the Milkyway galaxy.  By the way, Antares isn’t the largest star we found that honor goes to:

Even bigger than that is all the space in between the stars and galaxies.  Technically, the Sun is is designated as a yellow dwarf star.  Sheesh, its enough to give you an inferiority complex!

But, it is our star and it is quite lovely.  All sorts of things happen on our sun that we are not even sure how or why.  Solar tsunamis, Solar quakes, coronal mass ejections, sun spots.


File:Sun projection with spotting-scope.jpg

It is interesting to note that although they appear black, sun spots are in fact about 3000–4500 K (2727–4227 °C).  But, because the surrounding material is at about 5,780 K (5,510 °C) they look black.

This is what we think how the Sun is made and operates, but until we can develop the technology to actually withstand the pressure and the heat, we will not know.

Compared to the Sun, landing on Venus is a walk in the park!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +


The Sun – Safely

Well, I saw this article about making a Sun Gun (no, not the one envisioned by German scientists in WWII), but this one, and I just happened to see a Fry’s ad for a $129.00 Celestron 60mm goto telescope and I couldn’t resist.  So, after a quick trip to the penny less than a dollar store only I manage to get all the parts for this:

She’s a beauty, ain’t she.

Using the 9mm eye piece that came with the scope I was able to actually see 6 sunspots!

Despite the wind that kept moving my planter….er…sun viewing device around I could clearly make out the sun and the sunspots.  Although it is not very apparent in these shrunk down, web size pictures, the full blow images are great.  Visually it is rather stunning.  Next steps: I will reinforce the connection a little more, but I now have a safe, quick and easy way for children of all ages to view the sun safely!

Please remember to never look directly at the sun as it will make you go blind!

Venus transit here I come!

– Ex astris, scientia –