"Having better predictions for space weather is important to our modern, technology-driven society"
Oh, I thought the rise of popularism meant we were all perfectly happy as a society going back to the stone age.
The first images from Earth's largest solar telescope are providing the most detailed, close up views of our Sun yet seen. A time lapse of the pictures reveal masses of deep orange colored blobs expanding, and jostling among one another, on the surface of our star. These globules are hot balls of plasma rising and falling via …
> perfectly happy as a society going back to the stone age
True, but only in the social and political domain, definitely not concerning the creature comforts: People still need their aircon, the fridge, the TV, Facebook/Twitter, and so on. Nobody is willing (or able) to run around half-naked with a sharpened broomstick hunting for (the rare) animals to sink his (bad) teeth into. And how is he going to post a picture of the dead poodle he is about to eat on Instagram? What's the point in feeding when his "friends" can't even see what he's going to eat?...
I like it when it is possible with an exact conversion between my units of measurements so Wales being so close to 3%, can we just define it to be exactly that? We just need to add 135 km2 to Wales or remove 4495 km2 from Texas. I am sure people will understand the reasoning and thus not create any tension.
Belgium is metric; for those regions still using imperial you'd probably use Texas or Alaska. Wales and DRC are just magnitude modifiers for Belgium and thus allowed, though I'm not sure what the status of Wales as a measurement is going to be after tomorrow. Is it covered in the WA?
“On Earth, we can predict if it is going to rain pretty much anywhere in the world very accurately"
Really ? Please give me a web site where I can get that level of accuracy. Unless your accuracy is : on Earth, because my weather reports have trouble telling me which day it's going to rain. I can't count the number of times I check the weather site the day before, and am told rain, and then I check the weather the next morning and I'm told overcast.
I'm sorry, but if your forecast is only good for two hours, you haven't forecast anything.
When I first came to live in Spain, I took Spanish lessons, the husband of my teacher was the senior meteorologist for the region.
I told him ' when we are sailing, apart from a sorm warning printout service we have on board, the most reliable forecasting is going up on deck and looking at the sky and the sea state'.
He said that is more or less what he did before going to work each day, went up to the roof of his apartment and checked real time what was going on.
Mayhaps because it is an observatory, not a powerplant?
The telescope is not aimed at the sun as soon as it is visible, and the primary purpose is not power generation, but imaging. The purpose of the cooling system is to get the excess heat away from the optics as fast and efficiently as possible, before it, y'know, melts.
Now, for the sake of argument, it would be possible to do something fancy with the heat with stirlings or other heat-exchange power generation, but it'd run only about a couple % of the time, during actual observations. But for the cost of that kind of infrastructure I'd bet you you could put up a lot of bog-standard solar panels which would also work when you're not observing the sun..
I'd put the money in extra-redundant cooling, personally, and not worry about a couple of "wasted" Joules when that means my equipment won't liquiefy from the heat.
Is there life on the Sun? We are just assuming that the coronal discharges are natural, but what if it's all deliberate? Any civilisation with that much nuclear power should be regarded as a serious threat. We should be spending £billions to prepare a defence. Give me the money and I promise to ensure that we will be safe from attack by Sun based creatures for the next 20 years.
1. There isn't an awful lot of any elements other than hydrogen and helium (in concentration terms) and feck all water or any alternative liquid solute so evolving a life form would not be likely.
2. They would be kind of a cross between birds and fish (no firm surfaces) and LOTS of winds so any life forms would have a hard time building and maintaining anything in that maelstrom.
3. Put the Ian Banks scifi books down and step back into reality.
... And I say, it just looks like those 8mm pictures I shot from my frying pan frying patate frites some 30 years ago. ... Being one's true artist, properly potted up, I called it 'art', now the upload is removed from my FB-page, it being fake-news - it's a hoax. (It's a frying pan, I keep repeating.)
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