Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Crown of the Sun

Credit & Copyright: Koen van Gorp

Explanation: During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere or corona is an awesome and inspirational sight. The subtle shades and shimmering features of the corona that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single picture. But this composite of 33 digital images ranging in exposure time from 1/8000 to 1/5 second comes very close to revealing the crown of the Sun in all its glory. The telescopic views were recorded from Side, Turkey during the March 29 solar eclipse, a geocentric celestial event that was widely seen under nearly ideal conditions. The composite also captures a pinkish prominence extending just beyond the upper edge of the eclipsed sun.


beepbeepitsme said...

Ancient cultures also thought that the "crown" looked like th wings of a bird, so in a few instances, the mythology associated with the sun and its power was personified as a bird deity.

TheJollyNihilist said...

Wow...I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that.

And beepbeep, that's very interesting. I guess I learned my one new fact of the day!

Stardust said...

beepbeepitsme and frances:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It's nice to have company. :-)

It looks sort of satiny to me, almost fabric-like. Or like swirling cream. The universe is so full of wonderful things.

It's strange to find something so beautiful that will eventually expand, incinerate the first few planets including Earth. We are at the sun's mercy. Our whole solar system is dependent upon it. Everything on our planet is dependent on it. No wonder many of the ancient cultures worshipped the sun. They were aware that life is dependent on the sun.

Adam Scanlan said...


Must agree with you saying it looks satiny and fabric like. It kinda looked like a bowling ball on a silk sheet to me.

RE ancient cultures worshipping the sun. It seems perfectly understandable looking back. At least the damn thing exists, which is in stark contrast to what is worshipped these days.

MichaelBains said...

Those are some of the most interesting pictures. All that material flying off the surface of a fusion furnace!

And that little pink spot.. Could that be the "mode in god's eye"? {-;

I gotta agree on the "fabric" look to it as well. Very cool Stardust!

JustinOther said...

beepbeep mentioned that it looked to some as though there are wings. Is this where the mythical Phoenix came from? Or is it the wings of Icarus? Just a thought.

Stardust said...

This poem by William Carlos Williams seems fitting for this:

"According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring
a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry
of the year was
awake tingling
the edge of the sea
with itself
sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax
off the coast
there was
a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning"