Solar activity spikes as Comet ISON approaches perihelion and continues as the comet’s remnant exits the NASA/ESA SOHO LASCO C3 viewing area. Solar volatility included some robust X-ray flares and coronal mass ejections, all of which serve to distinguish the comet’s perihelion window from the much calmer period that immediately precedes it.
Have you ever traveled to a faraway place only to run into a friend or neighbour in a café or train station? So, what do people almost invariably say to each other when they encounter this spooky coincidence?
“My goodness, it’s a small world.”
“Yes, it certainly is,” comes the response.
Inventions like radio, the telephone, jet travel and the Internet have all teamed up with coincidence to make the Earth seem even smaller, but I think we all know that our planet isn’t actually shrinking. On the other hand, though, it could very well be trending in the opposite direction.
If you haven’t done so already, you should have a look at Neal Adams’ 2005 animation of the expansion of Earth over hundreds of millions of years.
This incredible video by William Castleman shows more than a few stars rising during the course of a Texas night. You can clearly see the bright, bushy centre of our Milky Way galaxy slide across the screen before the dawn comes.
I never tire of watching it.
Maybe listen to something from stillstream.com while viewing. And if you would like even better definition, you can download a higher resolution version from photographer William Castleman (link below).
Our galaxy is thought to contain between 200-400 billion stars.
Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party