The Solar Dynamics Observatory just released this amazing timelapse created from 17,000 images of the sun taken late last month. The bright spot you see gradually passing from right to left is sunspot AR 2192, the largest observed sunspot in 22 years. It measures 80,000 miles across or roughly the width of 10 Earths side by side. Definitely recommend watching it full-screen. (via Kottke)
This amazing composite image taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (Little SDO) shows a series of significant solar eruptions that occurred over a period of three days back in January of 2013. The photo was created using three wavelengths of light that have been colorized in red, green, and blue to better show the dynamics of each eruption. You can read more about solar scientist Nathalia Alzate’s findings regarind the event over on this Facebook post. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
Alan Friedman is a fascinating guy. By day he’s a maker of greeting cards and a lover of hats, but in his spare time he’s a self-proclaimed space cowboy who points a telescope skyward from his backyard in downtown Buffalo, directly into the light of the sun. Using special filters attached to his camera Friedman captures some of the most lovely details of the Sun’s roiling surface. The raw images are colorless and often blurry requiring numerous hours of coloring, adjusting and finessing to tease out the finest details, the results of which hardly resemble what I imagine the 5,500 degree (Celsius) surface of Sun might look like. Instead Friedman’s photos appear almost calm and serene, perhaps an entire planet of fluffy clouds or cotton candy. From his artist statement:
My photographs comprise a solar diary, portraits of a moment in the life of our local star. Most are captured from my backyard in Buffalo, NY. Using a small telescope and narrow band filters I can capture details in high resolution and record movements in the solar atmosphere that change over hours and sometimes minutes. The raw material for my work is black and white and often blurry. As I prepare the pictures, color is applied and tonality is adjusted to better render the features. It is photojournalism of a sort. The portraits are real, not painted. Aesthetic decisions are made with respect for accuracy as well as for the power of the image.
Although the photos above are amazing, Friedman offers extremely high-resolution views of his work on his Tumblr and you can pick up some prints over on Photo-Eye. He also recently gave a TEDx Talk. (via geocentrismo)
Barcelona-based German-born architect André Broessel of rawlemon has constructed an enormous glass ball lens filled with water capable of harnessing power from the sun and even the moon (last image), and converting it into usable energy. I have no idea about the practicality of its use, but it sure is gorgeous. Broessel proposes that the spheres could be embedded in buildings allowing for natural light to stream through while capturing valuable energy. See much more over on Designboom.
Known mostly in for his graffiti-influenced string tags on the streets of Minneapolis, Eric Rieger aka HOT TEA (previously here and here), recently completed this massive installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Titled Letting Go, the piece uses 84 miles of colored string that forms the artist’s interpretation of the sun. In a statement about the work Rieger says:
At least once in our lives we have all had to let go of something we truly love. Whether it be a pet, personal object or in some cases, loved ones. This piece is my interpretation of the sun. The sun brings life and also represents happiness, warmth and energy. When letting go of something or someone we truly love, sometimes it is okay to celebrate their lives along with mourning. This piece represents the warmth and love I have received from those I have had to let go of.
Definitely check out the timelapse of the installation, the upside-down haircut at the end looks like it was a lot of fun. Letting Go will be on view through Septmeber 2 at MIA. Photographs courtesy Amanda Hankerson and Eric Rieger. (thnx, rob!)
This week several photos from our solar system crossed my path and I’ve grouped them together in a quick post.
After a 12 year journey NASA’s Messenger Probe finally arrived at Mercury and was inserted into orbit around one of the most hostile environments in our solar system. One of its first images beamed back was this awesome shot of Earth being orbited by the moon. (via lost at e minor)
This is a clip from the Solar Furnace Research Facility in Southern France that has a device capable of focusing the sun’s rays into a giant death laser that reaches temperatures around 3,500 Fahrenheit (or 1,926 Celsius). The real kicker being that it only takes as much sun as would hit three sunbathers to melt rock. Goooo science! (via devour)