Archive for the ‘sun’ tag
I’m currently reading, “Cleopatra: A Life” by Mary Schiff, and in Chapter V, she mentions a trip Florence Nightingale took to Egypt. Since she remained part of the Church of England, Nightingale apparently did not make the leap from merely observing similarities between the Jesus Christ stories in the New Testament and Osiris and many other gods of antiquity that predate Christ and most likely form the basis for our conception of him.
Here is what she has to say on a Sunday morning in an Isis temple:
I cannot describe to you the feeling at Philae. The myths of Osiris are so typical of our Saviour that it seemed to me as if I were coming to a place where He had lived — like going to Jerusalem; and when I saw a shadow in the moonlight in the temple court, I thought, “Perhaps I shall see him: now he is there.”
Of course, she was also apparently not astute enough to realize that all of them derive from sun god worship, which not surprisingly, has been recorded in most all times and locations in history, from ancient South American myths to Africa, the Middle East and even China.
The Christ myth is basically a hodgepodge of the various common themes.
Atheism Plus vs. SlymePit
I’m posting this on both forums, word for word. My apologies in advance.
I’m working on a post comparing the two forums (which are alike in a number of surprising ways) but so far it is mostly quantitative and historical and oddly dry. I’d like to try and get a sense (mostly from non-mods) of what it is about the moderation rules, stated goals, and unstated ethos of this particular forum which draws you to post here. I have my suspicions, of course, having lurked quite a bit, but I don’t want to paraphrase when I can quote directly from the users themselves.
The writer, of course, got some snarky replies from the folks on the A+ forum, although he clearly said he was posting it on both forums, so as to not to show favoritism.
A person named Sun Countess replied with this gem:
The only thing we have in common is that we’re both like churches. At least that’s what all the idiots seem to think. I think that’s because we both have members.
What we’re not is a zoo or an experimental lab, so you can take your privileged, observational ass back to the slymepit. See, we treat people here like human beings with value, and when you come in asking to perform an experiment on us that you get to walk away from, and even joke and laugh about with people at the slymepit, then you have shown that you are willing to devalue other human beings. You will fit in very well over there.
Wow. So many assumptions, so little time. The first thing to note: the writer gets called a “privileged, observational ass” without provocation, and then in the next sentence, Sun Countess talks about how Atheism Plus supporters treat people like human beings. Nice.
Not only is the writer “privileged,” a favorite word that A+ folks like to throw around like candy at all who have the audacity to ask questions or disagree with their smug point of view, the writer also apparently does not treat people like human beings with value, is performing an “experiment” on just the A+ crowd (again, Sun Countess ignores the point that the writer was posting to both forums verbatim), will walk away and make jokes, again devalues humans and is actually a troll from the SlymePit. And they wonder why so many in the nonbelieving community have such contempt for Atheism Plus.
Slimepit – Exposes Hypocrisy as well as it’s members are able.
FfTB – Conceals Hypocrisy as well as it’s members are able.
A✝Theism – A frightening view into a bizarro-ward of feeble damaged circus-freaks.
Earlier this month, NASA’s Kepler mission found its first star orbiting in a habitable zone around a sun similar to our own. This is another important discovery because as we know and as I have pointed out before, any planet that can be found within the habitable, or “Goldilocks zone,” as it is otherwise called, has the potential to support life (as long as water is also present).
According to the article:
The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don’t yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets.
Previous research hinted at the existence of near-Earth-size planets in habitable zones, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Two other small planets orbiting stars smaller and cooler than our sun recently were confirmed on the very edges of the habitable zone, with orbits more closely resembling those of Venus and Mars.
“This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin,” said Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Kepler’s results continue to demonstrate the importance of NASA’s science missions, which aim to answer some of the biggest questions about our place in the universe.”
Kepler discovers planets and planet candidates by measuring dips in the brightness of more than 150,000 stars to search for planets that cross in front, or “transit,” the stars. Kepler requires at least three transits to verify a signal as a planet.
“Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet,” said William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., who led the team that discovered Kepler-22b. “The first transit was captured just three days after we declared the spacecraft operationally ready. We witnessed the defining third transit over the 2010 holiday season.”
Here are a couple illustrations of the planet and its orbit:
Most people don’t realize that solar activity can have a profound effect on certain operations on Earth, ranging from drilling for oil, power grids, railway signaling and other areas of industry.
The United States and Great Britain last month decided to collaborate to create a space weather warning system, which will be able to more accurately predict the sun’s activity. The sun is currently in a slow or relatively quiet weather pattern. Scientists expect to see more intense solar activity in the coming years.
Here is an article from The New York Times with more details:
… Modern society depends on a variety of technologies that are susceptible to the extremes of space weather. Spectacular explosions on the Sun’s surface produce solar storms of intense magnetism and radiation. These events can disrupt the operation of power grids, railway signaling, magnetic surveying and drilling for oil and gas. Magnetic storms also heat the upper atmosphere, changing its density and composition and disrupting radio communications and GPS units. The storms’ charged particles can be a hazard to the health of astronauts and passengers on high altitude flights.
Severe storms in 1989 and 2003 caused blackouts in Canada and Sweden. In 1859, a solar super storm sparked fires in telegraph offices. Such storms are predicted every century or so, and perhaps we’re overdue. According to a 2008 National Academies report, a once-in-a-century solar storm could cause the financial damage of 20 Hurricane Katrinas.
A quiet Sun causes its own problems. During the two-year quiet spell, our upper atmosphere, normally heated and inflated by the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation, cooled off and shrank. This altered the propagation of GPS signals and slowed the rate of decay of space debris in low Earth orbit. In addition, the cosmic rays that are normally pushed out to the fringes of the solar system by solar explosions instead surged around Earth, threatening astronauts and satellites with unusually high levels of radiation.
The more we know about solar activity, the better we can protect ourselves. The Sun is surrounded by a fleet of spacecraft that can see sunspots forming, flares crackling and a solar storm about 30 minutes before it hits Earth. NASA and the National Science Foundation have also developed sophisticated models to predict where solar storms will go once they leave the Sun, akin to National Weather Service programs that track hurricanes and tornadoes on Earth. Thanks to these sentries, it is increasingly difficult for the Sun to take us by surprise.
This article from The New York Times suggests that billions of planets are wandering through the universe either wholly unattached from a star or very distantly orbiting a star like our Sun. The implications?
Planetary astronomers say the results will allow them to tap into a whole new unsuspected realm of exoplanets — as planets outside our own solar system are called — causing scientists to re-evaluate how many there are, where they are and how they are created, even as astronomers immediately begin to ponder whether the new planets in question are in fact floating free or are just far from their stars, at distances comparable to those of Uranus and Neptune in our own solar system.((1))
Here is an artist’s rendering:
- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/science/space/19planets.html?ref=science [↩]
I know this might be a rudimentary or obvious thing to say, but every time I look at the evening sun as it’s cascading down toward the horizon (or more precisely, as my location on Earth is rotating away from its light), I am amazed. This ball of hot plasma is not a mere 1 million miles away. Or 10 million. Or 50 million. It’s 93 million miles away from Earth. To put that into perspective, our planet’s circumference is almost 25,000 miles. To go an equivalent of 1 million miles into space, one would have to travel around Earth 40 times. To go an equivalent of 10 million miles into space, one would have to travel around Earth 400 times. To go an equivalent of 93 million miles, one would have to travel around Earth 3,720 times.
Yet, the sun still has the capacity to hurt my eyes at that distance just by peering into its hot gaze. What if we were just 5 million miles closer? Or 1 million? It’s devastatingly clear how impish we are, and how fragile, in comparison to everything else beyond our Goldilocks region.
Scientists now believe that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide much sooner than previously anticipated. The cosmic smashup is supposed to take place at about the same time that are sun uses the remainder of its nuclear fuel or in about 7 billion years. According to estimates, our galaxy is moving at 600,000 miles per hour, and we previously thought it was moving at a mere 100,000 mph. Here is a simulation of collision day:
As you can see, after a dramatic collision, the two galaxies will be at separate poles for awhile and then eventually merge into one super galaxy.
The photo below illustrates quite well the point I was making about Earth’s near insignificance when compared to the grand scale of other objects in space, and indeed, the universe itself. If I had created things, I think I probably would have made the Sun closer to Earth and much less astronomically disproportionate to the size of our planet, such that a mere solar flare could not in an instant, vaporize us all. As one can see here, a wave of solar gas jutting out from the Sun is many, many times longer than the entire diameter of our planet. The Earth obviously isn’t that close to the sun. It was added to the photo to show scale. Here’s more pictures Life and Getty.
[Caption: OCTOBER 25: Astronomers at the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured this image of a solar prominence erupting from the surface of the Sun on October 25, 2002. Two large prominences were spotted and one is shown here with the Earth in scale to demonstrate the immense size of this solar phenomenon. (Photo by SOHO/ESA/NASA/Getty Images)]