The Font of Life, The Ground of Being

… the force without which there would be no life, and thus no meaning or purpose … the Sun:

In the three years since it first provided images of the sun in the spring of 2010, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has had virtually unbroken coverage of the sun’s rise toward solar maximum, the peak of solar activity in its regular 11-year cycle. This video shows those three years of the sun at a pace of two images per day.

SDO’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 Angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 Kelvin. In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun’s 25-day rotation as well as how solar activity has increased over three years.

Without this huge ball of nuclear fusion, the earth would never have formed and life would never have evolved. It truly gives of itself constantly, showering earth with energy that holds the forces of entropy at bay, sacrificing its precious store of hydrogen and running out its lifespan in the process.

Grace is available only to the elect or perhaps to those who hold the proper belief or to those who live a proper life, but sunlight is available to all in equal measure. You think Jesus turning water into wine is something? With a little help from the grapevine, sunlight has been turning water into wine for thousands of years.

But the sun doesn’t give us the same warm fuzzies that God does, so screw it, let’s go to church.

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  • Badland

    Interesting how most solar activity is concentrated at the equivalents of the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. Any astrophysicists in the audience?

    • UrsaMinor

      Energy production in the core is currently thought to have a very high degree of spherical symmetry, and if this turns out to be true, the variations we see on the surface of the photosphere must be due to convective, rotational and magnetic forces in the outer layers. Latitudinal variation in photosphere activity is almost certainly connected in some way with the magnetic field lines, because they vary with latitude and we’re dealing with a big ball of plasma that responds strongly to such things. But I’m just a biologist; you’ll have to find a real astrophysicist to give you more than partially informed conjecture.

  • nkrishna

    Speak for yourself. After a week of rain, the thought of the sun gives me more warm fuzzies than God ever could.

  • Artor

    Personally, the sun has warmed me far more than any imaginary being ever has. Hail to the Unconquered Sun!

    • Sunny Day

      I can get behind sun worship, and Joe Pesci.

  • Kenneth Polit

    The warmth of the sun on my face is just slightly more pleasurable than the feel of grass under bare feet. Thanks to the end of winter, I now experience both these sensations everyday.

  • RickRay1

    I do worship the son, I mean SUN!

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • MovableBookLady

    Fount of life

    unless you mean the word “life” should be typeset in, say, Helvetica or Bookman or Palatino etc.

    Otherwise, nice article.