Saturday, April 25, 2009

BBC - The Sun

Unreachable, unimaginably hot and yet ever present. The sun is the source of all life on earth. It’s little wonder many cultures still revere it as a deity. For 4.5 billion years the sun rises every morning on the horizon. The sun is the center of our universe and our calendar. The life-giver brightens our sky, provides us with light, warmth and nourishment. Yet the star itself is a very inhospitable place. At a surface temperature of 5.700 degree Celsius we have to be grateful that the sun is 150 million kilometers away from earth. But even at this distance it influences our lives more than we often care to imagine. Even in the age of electrical light the change from day to night remains obvious.

The activities of sunspots and cosmic weather often remain hidden to humans. Yet Galileo Galilei already documented the motion of the darker, colder spots on the surface of the sun. But their meaning was only discovered much later.

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