We have had a couple of sunny days of late, and together with the lengthening evenings this has uplifted my soul, and my eyes have turned frequently to gaze at the expansive blueness of the sky. And this reminded me of the shocking fact that although we see with light from the Sun, in our whole lives, we never really ‘see’ the Sun itself. Unless we own a solar telescope.
Now the prospect of becoming a father for the second time can do strange things to a man. And, my colleague and friend Peter Woolliams has been driven to the point of having to buy a new solar telescope to cope with the stress. And yesterday he sent me the first fruits of his labours: three beautiful pictures of our Sun.
It’s one thing to gaze in awe at the pictures from the solar dynamics observatory, but its another to see something with one’s own eyes. And seeing these images captured by a friend with his webcam in his back garden in Teddington is the next best thing. Seeing the solar prominences, each many times the diameter of the Earth, and the turbulence of the surface layers so ever present, and yet so rarely seen – is literally- awesome.
Thanks Peter: Just a few more days and then it will be time to switch attention from Sun to Son! Good luck!