Tagged: Sun

A rare, spectacular total eclipse of the Sun

How can the shadow of the tiny moon eclipse the sight of the gargantuan sun? By sheer coincidence, the disc of the sun is 400x larger than the disc of the moon, but it’s 390x farther from Earth — which means that when they align just right, the moon blocks all but the sun’s glowing corona. Andy Cohen details this extraordinary celestial phenomenon (and when it will next occur).

How big is the Solar System?

This is a classic exercise for visualizing just how big our Solar System really is. Both the relative size and spacing of the planets are demonstrated in this outdoor exercise, using a grapefruit to represent the size of the Sun.

Large sunspots now crossing the Sun

leases a cloud of energetic particles into the Solar System. Were a very powerful cloud to impact the Earth’s magnetosphere, it could be dangerous to Earth-orbiting astronauts and satellites. Conversely, the impact of even a less energetic cloud might create picturesque aurora. Pictured above is the sunspot region as it appeared two days ago.

Are you Vitamin D deficient?

Basically, humans need Vitamin D. It promotes bone health (a major issue for the elderly and children) and could be a factor in keeping cardiovascular disease and some cancers at bay. Sunlight is where we get most of our Vitamin D. For those living above the 42 north line though, from November through February there is not enough UVB sunlight to make vitamin D in the skin. Therefore there needs to be another way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D! You can get it from food (cod liver oil, margarine, egg yolk, fish and beef liver), or vitamin supplements. So next time you feel like you’ve been inside for far too long, eat some of these things or go out and have some fun in the sun!