Monday, December 21, 2009

Heavenly Music

Here is what seems to me like the perfect Christmas story: Heavenly Music!
Apparently, magnetic fields on the corona of the sun form loops that behave
rather like musical instruments. Solar explosions create acoustic waves that
act in similar ways to those of a guitar string, and these waves bounce back
and forth between the loops in a phenomenon called a standing wave.
Microflares at either end act like guitar picks and set the heavenly music in
motion. The interesting sounds made by this process resemble those produced
by a church organ, but must be artificially increased before the human ear can
pick up on them.

These acoustic waves release the same energy as millions of hydrogen bombs
and can travel at up to 90,000 miles per hour, but within that hour, the "notes"
they play will dissolve quietly into the hot solar corona.

I wonder if they're playing any Christmas carols up there?
Accompanying choirs of angels, perhaps?

"Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing all ye citizens of heaven above.
Glory to God, glory in the highest. Oh come let us adore him,
Oh come let us adore him, Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord."

Makes a lot of sense to me that the Sun should be honoring the Son
at this time of year!

Merry Christmas!!

(All scientific information taken from Royal Astronomical Society National
Astronomy Meeting in Preston, Dr Youra Taroyan and Professor
Robert von Fay-Siebenburgen of the Solar Physics and Space Plasma
Research Centre [SP2RC], University of Sheffield.)


JUST ME, THE MOM said...

What a wonderful thought - I totally believe it :)


Nikia, May and da kids said...

Very insightful! I hope they have some of my favorite hymns going too. Your blog always leaves me feeling good about things. Thanks for that.


Michelle said...

love this. Thanks.

Karen Sue said...

How neat!
Another factoid to flash at people so they'll think I do a lot of scientific reading in my spare time!
Hope all is well there. Right now, just a light steady snow. Don't need the blower for the morning driveway, but maybe for tonight.

Amy said...

Holy smokes, that is neat. I would love to hear that sometime. As I read I thought "the sun must be accompanying heavenly chorus."

Darlene said...

My goodness, how do you find time to do scientific research at this point in the holiday season? I must say that this is very interesting. We can only imagine...

KC Mom said...

Maybe that's how the heavenly choirs of angels get their accompiment!

Jess said...

I love the thought of all the stars of the universe making music. Thanks for the cool science lesson

Lisa Loo said...

I LOVE THIS!! Thanx for posting it. I think that it only stands to reason that the Heavens would have "Heavenly" music. Love it when science proves what we "feel" to be true.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Sue, my new friend! How DO you find these wonderful gems? Beautiful thoughts.

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