sun

Posts tagged
with sun



Science

A Decade of Sun: A New Timelapse Chronicles Ten Years of the Enormous Star

June 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

Most experts advise against staring at the sun for more than a few seconds, and yet, a new timelapse from NASA lets viewers peer into the fiery mass for an entire decade. During the course of ten years, the Solar Dynamics Observatory took more than 425 million images of the massive star that were captured .75 seconds apart. Aggregated into an hour-long compilation titled “A Decade of Sun,” the photographs provide visual evidence of how the giant orb functions and its influence on the rest of the solar system. Each image was captured at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, or one-billionth of a meter, to show the exterior atmospheric layer that’s called the corona.

NASA has shared on YouTube a list of notable moments, including an appearance by Venus and an iconic interruption in 2012. Most of the dark spots in the video are a result of the earth or moon passing in between the Solar Dynamics Observatory and blocking its view, although there was a longer lapse in 2016 due to an equipment malfunction. When the spacecraft was recalibrating its tools, the sun shifts to one side of the screen.

Head to YouTube to dive into more of NASA’s explorations into outer space.

 

 

 



Animation

Kukuschka: An Ambitious Bird Passionately Follows the Sun in a Windy Stop-Motion Short by Dina Velikovskaya

April 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

For Kukuschka, motherhood is a hindrance. In a stop-motion film bearing her name, the avian character dreams of reaching the sun. She travels the beige dunes each day and braves the wind gusts that blow her gauzy clothing. When her similarly dressed baby breaks out of its shell, she tries to continue on her journey to follow the glowing orb, before slowing to a lope to find care for her child.

Created by Russian animator and director Dina Velikovskaya, the stop-motion film is an effort to complicate traditional notions of parenthood. Velikovskaya told Short of the Week that “Kukuschka” represents “women who ha(ve) dreams and how motherhood can be an obstacle to them.” Throughout the emotional production, the mother-baby duo struggle to coexist in their sand-filled world.

Since it was released in 2016, “Kukuschka” has garnered worldwide attention, winning Best Animated Comedy from the EACG Animation Festival in San Francisco and Best Director at the New Horizon Film Festival and National Animation Premium “IKARUS.” For more Kukuschka and the other avian puppets, check out the animator’s Instagram, where the characters periodically visit coffee shops and parks.

 

 



Photography

Sinister Sunrise Captured by Photographer Elias Chasiotis During an Eclipse in Qatar

January 3, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Elias Chasiotis

Athens-based photographer Elias Chasiotis was visiting Qatar in late December 2019 when he captured a photo of an annular eclipse that has since gone viral. Taken at sunrise as a part of a series, the image shows the moon covering the center of a red sun. The timing of the photograph turns the crimson star into curved horns emerging from the horizon.

A self-identified astrophotographer and amateur astronomer, Chasiotis tells Colossal that the conditions were hazy on the morning of December 26 when the photographs were taken. The haze gave the sun its red glow, but as NASA astronomer explained on the Astronomy Picture of the Day blog, the Earth’s atmosphere helped create the full image: “The dark circle near the top of the atmospherically-reddened Sun is the Moon — but so is the dark peak just below it. This is because along the way, the Earth’s atmosphere had an inversion layer of unusually warm air which acted like a gigantic lens and created a second image.”

Chasiotis continued to photograph the eclipse as the sun rose, writing on Facebook that the “annular phase was blocked by clouds, but the red crescent sunrise was the most awesome sunrise I’ve ever seen!”

 

 



Photography Science

Tiny Ice Crystals Simulate a Halo Around the Sun in Photograph by Michael Schneider

December 12, 2019

Grace Ebert

Photo by Michael Schneider, shared with permission

On a November trip to the Arosa mountains in the Swiss Alps, Michael Schneider snapped a photo using his iPhone 11. The Zurich-based photographer and writer says the image he captured as the fog dissipated shows small ice crystals in the clouds, which break up the sunlight. The crystals’ insides reflect the sun, which is then broken again as it leaves the inside chamber, resulting in the halo of light.

Gizmodo’s Mika McKinnon elucidated the phenomenon when a similar shot was taken a few years ago.

Ice halos happen when tiny crystals of ice are suspended in the sky. The crystals can be high up in cirrus clouds, or closer to the ground as diamond dust or ice fog. Like raindrops scatter light into rainbows, the crystals of ice can reflect and refract light, acting as mirrors or prisms depending on the shape of the crystal and the incident angle of the light.

You can find an analysis by Mark McCaughrean of the atmospheric optics at work in the image below. Keep up with Schneider’s travel writing and the frozen landscapes he frequents on his Instagram. (via Kottke)

Photo annotation by Mark McCaughrean

 

 



Art

An Enormous Red Sun Will Shine Above the Streets of New York in Thanksgiving Parade Balloon by Yayoi Kusama

November 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

If you haven’t had a chance to experience a Yayoi Kusama piece in person, the iconic Japanese artist will be debuting a sun-themed balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kusama (previously), whose wide-ranging work across a long career includes her wildly popular infinity rooms and large-scale polka dotted objects, has designed “Love Flies Up to the Sky” to be floated along the streets of Manhattan. The red balloon, hand-painted with white and yellow dots and a blue face, joins “more than 1,500 dancers and cheerleaders, close to 1,000 clowns, almost 30 parade floats, and a dozen marching bands,” according to NYCTourist.com. Kusama is the first female artist to be commissioned by the parade to create a ballon as part of their Blue Sky Gallery program, joining a roster that has included KAWS, Jeff Koons, Tim Burton, and FriendsWithYou, among others. (via Hyperallergic)

Update: The Kusama balloon was grounded because of weather.

 

 



Art

Poetic Wisdom Appears on a Building in Las Vegas in New Sunlight-Activated Installation by DAKU

October 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs: Justkids

As part of last month’s annual Life is Beautiful festival in sunny Las Vegas, anonymous artist DAKU (previously) channeled natural light to activate his literary installation. Placed on the facade of a building that used to house a book store, jutting letters cast shadows to form a poetic quote. The somewhat decontextualized phrase could reflect on time in general, or perhaps life itself. As the sun shifts throughout the day and casts its shifting shadows, the message appears and disappears, with the physical white letters blending into the building. DAKU, who is based in India and travels widely for his work, specializes in these time- and light-activated installations, which he refers to, collectively, as “Time Changes Everything.”

All art programming at Life is Beautiful is curated by global creative house JustKids, who’ve partnered with the festival from its inception seven years ago. Watch a time lapse of the Las Vegas installation below, and keep up with DAKU’s worldwide travels and installations on Instagram.

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite