back to article Sun BELCHES twice, mighty plasma loops miss Earth - NASA vid

The Sun lashed out with two plasma eruptions one after the other early on Friday morning. NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) spotted the solar flares, when red-hot loops of plasma burst out of the surface of the Sun. The flares both happened within a four-hour window between 6am and 10am GMT, when prominences in the Sun …

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Bronze badge
Mushroom

Global Warming

Uh, yeah, its caused by global warming, yeah, that's it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Global Warming

The funny thing is you are almost right. It is indeed causing global warming (the sun)

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Joke

Re: Global Warming

...in the same sense that long underwear causes global warming of each of my bollocks.

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Headmaster

Err

"red-hot loops of plasma" that were "captured in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lucky?

Well, when my kids complain "The sun's shining in my eyes!" I retort "Not a bad shot for 93 million miles"

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Alien

Re: Lucky?

Lets see, distance of Earth from Sun, 150 Million Km Therefore the surface area of the sphere around the earths orbit is, hmm 4.PI.R^2 = 2.8 x 10^17 sq Km. Radius of the earth is 6400 Km, so the area of the earth is the area of a circle of this radius, so PI.r^2 = 1.3 x 10^7 sq Km.

So the ratio of these gives us the probability that a random solar flare will hit earth. or approx 2 x 10^9, or 1 in 2 Billion.

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Silver badge

Re: Lucky?

Including other factors? Beermat tells me one in ten-ish. Which amounts to once or twice a year. Which gets duly reported at all your favourite news outlets, including Vulture Central.

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Silver badge

Wrong equation

If you start at the sun, pick a random direction and fire something tiny, like the moon then the chance of hitting the Earth are about 1 in 2 billion. Coronal mass ejections are big - similar to the size of the sun when they start. They spread out. I could not find an decisive figure for how much they spread out. The closest I could find to a useful number was 0.25au long. If we pretend that CME's are 0.25au wide when they pass Earth orbit (1au) then the chances of a hit are about 1 in 250.

If someone knows a vaguely sensible number for the diameter of a CME when gets 1au from the sun, please speak up. I have almost no confidence in that 0.25au guess.

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real time?

are those pics in real time?

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Re: real time?

No that was a 4 hour time lapse.

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Re: real time?

should have guessed that, thanks.....still over 4 hours those gasses must have been travelling something.

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Silver badge

Look, I know The Sun is almost as bad as The Daily mail, but don't you think that headline is going a bit too far?

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Mushroom

Ahh the Triffids are just waiting, dormant in orbit, for the World to go blind so they can feast on our flesh.

Well makes a change from the usual Zombie apocalypse.... 8)

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