Eruptive events on the sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME), and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.
On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced all three. A moderately powerful solar flare exploded on the sun’s lower right hand limb, sending out light and radiation. Next came a CME, which shot off to the right out into space. And then, the sun treated viewers to one of its dazzling magnetic displays — a phenomenon known as coronal rain.
…short film about a not so distant future, where extreme overpopulation has become a global crises. The population growth has reached a critical tipping point and there’s food and water shortages all around the world. The story revolves around a “Food Replicator”, or a so called molecular assembler, a device that can rearrange subatomic particles and guide chemical reactions with atomic precision. In an attempt to prevent mass starvation, this device is used to synthesize nutritions with the ability to self-replicate. But during the initial tests something goes wrong and out-of-control self-replicating compounds starts to spread, consuming all matter while building more copies of them selves…
We’ve all seen the movie Armageddon – how Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck used nuclear bombs to save us from a giant “earth killing” asteroid. Yes, we even remember the animal cracker scene that truly shows off the acting range of both Ben Affleck and Liv tyler - Oscar winning. While the movie was amazingly crazy and pure hollywood sci-fi porn, the actual issue of an asteroid hitting earth is a serious problem. But is it “Armageddon” serious? According to Phil Plait, we don’t need Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck.
This excerpt from A Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken, at Carl Sagan’s suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.
You remember that elementary school science experiment where you make a volcano out of baking soda and vinegar? This story isn’t like that at all!! Earth has had many mass extinctions but one particular event about 250 million years ago was specifically….bad, with 90% of species in the oceans dying. What started this New Years party? Massive volcanic activity and subsequent lava bursts (covering an area about the size of Western Europe) ignited huge coal deposits and the billowing toxic ash essentially choking the oceans.
Ars technica has a great write up on the article, which was originally posted in the journal Nature Geoscience. If you love words and phrases like “The Great Dying” or Gigatonnes or ”The Siberian Traps” you need to read this article. It’ll make your next horror movie seem like a baking soda volcano.
Source: Ars Technica