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164 comments

But... (5, Funny)

langelgjm (860756) | about 6 years ago | (#22947398)

No sound? Lame...

Re:But... (4, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | about 6 years ago | (#22947444)

What would it sound like, anyway? It's a pressure wave, aka a sound wave (mostly, there's apparently magnetic effects involved too), but really loud. Really, really loud. But, that sharp rise and fall in pressure has a definable sound to it. I'm sure someone will do a better job than I can, but I think it would sound a lot like a "pop" but with tonality to it -- it's not a sharp-edged delta function, but rather a bandpass-filtered version of one. It looks from the scale, though, like it's a very low frequency wave -- well into the subsonic regime. You wouldn't so much hear it or even feel it as get blown back and forth by it. Well, neglecting that detail about the energy levels involved. Suffice to say that overpowered stereo your neighbor has wouldn't come close...

Re:But... (4, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#22947498)

You know, when you turn a seismogram into sound and speed it up, it sounds pretty much like rubbing two rocks against each other. That sort of event usually sounding the way you'd expect them to once you speed it up enough, I'd say this solar Tsunami must sound like the type of explosion you'd expect to hear.

Re:But... (1)

iammaxus (683241) | about 6 years ago | (#22948492)

You know, when you turn a seismogram into sound and speed it up, it sounds pretty much like rubbing two rocks against each other.

I'm very curious to hear this, do you have a link?

Thanks.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22949198)

You expect everything to sound like a Smurf?

Obligatory... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22947888)

What would it sound like, anyway?
Hmm, what would a wave of gas sound like?

First, did it come out of Uranus?

Re:But... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22948572)

Obviously, it would sound as if a hundred thousand people suddenly said "foop".

Re:But... (1)

Screaming Cactus (1230848) | about 6 years ago | (#22948712)

Or they could just do like the History Channel does and add their own sound. Like when you see two asteroids collide: you hear a deep rumble and the camera shakes. I always thought you couldn't hear in space but I guess I was wrong...

Re:But... (0, Redundant)

Gareshra (1216996) | about 6 years ago | (#22947464)

Yeah they should have put a microphone up in the vacuum of space to record the sound waves from the sun.

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | about 6 years ago | (#22947492)

The solar wind has a pressure, and you can measure it. And it changes. You could interpret that pressure as sound. It would be quiet by terrestrial standards, but an event like this would definitely make noise.

Of course, your microphone wouldn't bear much resemblance to a terrestrial one; measuring pressures that low is a tricky thing.

Re:But... (1)

dgbrownnt (1012901) | about 6 years ago | (#22948668)

Of course, your microphone wouldn't bear much resemblance to a terrestrial one; measuring pressures that low is a tricky thing.

Not to mention the whole disintegrating part...

Re:But... (2, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | about 6 years ago | (#22948716)

Huh? We're talking about measuring the solar wind, ie interplanetary vacuum. As in, positioned at a distance comparable to Earth's orbit. The instrument in question would be more like a particle detector than a microphone or pressure gauge. (IANA astrophysicist.)

Re:But... (1)

dgbrownnt (1012901) | about 6 years ago | (#22948756)

"Fry, why must you analyze everything with your relentless logic?"

(it was a joke about putting a microphone near the sun, though, obviously, it wasn't a very good one :-P)

Re:But... (5, Funny)

evwah (954864) | about 6 years ago | (#22947552)

too bad you can't hear the woosh sound of that joke going over your head in space either

No sound reason : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22948356)

No sound? Lame...

The sound was supressed because it sounds like a gigantic Fart.

Re:But... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#22949066)

No sound? Lame...
Forgot the sound. Why wasn't it in 3D? From the article:
"The event was captured by Nasa's twin Stereo spacecraft designed to make 3D images of our parent star."

Global warming? (5, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | about 6 years ago | (#22947408)

Probably caused by global warming. Everything else seems to be.

(tongue in cheek)

Re:Global warming? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22947538)

If only we were that lucky. This was the clearly work of Galactus. He probably got tired of his herald making jokes about that big jug head of his and tossed his silver ass into the sun at about half the speed of light. Surf this, jerk.

Re:Global warming? (5, Funny)

Krusso88 (1252390) | about 6 years ago | (#22947654)

Maybe Al Gore will have a Live Sun concert to raise enough funds to prevent future tSUNnami's

And yet... (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#22947410)

...we can't find one on Earth in time to warn people about it.

Re:And yet... (4, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | about 6 years ago | (#22948336)

I assume you are referring to the Asian tsunami. The problem wasn't that we couldn't find it in time, but that the warning systems were not in place to alert people once this information was known. This is not a breakdown of science, but of government.

What?!?! (2, Funny)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | about 6 years ago | (#22947440)

I missed an opportunity to surf the greatest wave ever?

Special Effects (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 6 years ago | (#22947448)

That movie is pretty cool, but only if you use a lot of imagination, which defeats the point of the movie (except for scientists).

I always like movies of the Sun a lot better when they accurately show how gauzy the Sun actually is, because it's really a ball of gas, not as solid as pictures like that show. Some color, and some of the stars beyond shining through, all make these movies of the Sun hanging in space look a lot cooler, and a lot less like peering through a microscope.

Re:Special Effects (5, Interesting)

orangepeel (114557) | about 6 years ago | (#22948184)

I'm the same way. One of the things that gives me pause is when a publication states that something is "hotter than the surface of the sun."

I always ask myself a question whenever I read or hear that line: what surface? Where the heck do you define the "surface" in the case of a star?

I assume that somewhere at the sun's core you've got some type of phenomenally wacky material, and from there on out you're just looking at an energized soupy plasma that just gets progressively less and less dense. Even if you get to some point where somebody decides the pressure suddenly becomes worthy of "surface" status, it's still not going to be anything like a surface in the minds of most normal humans. The "surface" is roiling, boiling, and exploding with astronomical energies non-stop. That seems to me like trying to describe an exploding can of aerosol cheese as a cohesive solid, and I dare say we all know from experience how ridiculous that would be.

To me, referring to the surface of the sun seems akin to invoking the question, "what's the length of the coastline of England?" My answer would be, "on what scale?" But I seem to be the only one who feels that way, so perhaps I'm just in the dark over something. Has someone figured out some cool relationship between the gravitational ability of the sun to hold on to its own matter compared with the average energy of a certain layer of plasma or something? I don't know. I never hear it talked about. All I ever hear is that simple phrase, "the surface of the sun," used in article after article ... like it's so damn obvious and how much of a moron I must be to stumble over it every time.

Sometimes I suspect that someone, somewhere, with god-like precision simply declared one day, "no, this distance outward from the core represents the surface, and fuck you if you doubt me".

*shrug*

Re:Special Effects (4, Informative)

palndrumm (416336) | about 6 years ago | (#22948258)

I always ask myself a question whenever I read or hear that line: what surface? Where the heck do you define the "surface" in the case of a star?
Obligatory Wikipedia Reference [wikipedia.org] :

"The visible surface of the Sun, the photosphere, is the layer below which the Sun becomes opaque to visible light."

So there you go. Not something I'd ever really thought about either to be honest, but I guess someone at some point has.

Re:Special Effects (4, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | about 6 years ago | (#22948346)

Photons which are generated at the core of the sun, where fusion is occurring, can take tens or hundreds of millions of years to reach the surface (and by that time, they have been thermally absorbed and re-emitted so many times it's hard to even call them the same photons). It might be a big ball of gas, but star matter is also one of the most opaque substances commonly occurring in the universe, due to the enormous density.

Re:Special Effects (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 6 years ago | (#22948282)

Where the heck do you define the "surface" in the case of a star?

Its photosphere seems a reasonable definition.

Re:Special Effects (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 6 years ago | (#22948320)

While you're right about the Sun's surface being a largely statistical boundary, and not at some specific radius like on a solid planet (which is also an approximately fractal distance, as your coastline example suggests), and not at all like the oversimplifications often pictured and vaguely described, there is such a thing. It's a chaotic surface, like a stormy sea, but there is a boundary where the Sun's plasma meets the vacuum of space, into which the Sun blasts solar wind (including protons, electron/beta and helium/alpha particles), and launches jets that collapse back into the Sun at its "surface". It's a blurry boundary, unlike the simple image most often implied, but it's real.

It would make a great movie :).

Re:Special Effects (2, Informative)

Alamais (4180) | about 6 years ago | (#22948270)

Hmm...while, yes, the sun is (mostly) made up of gasses, it is still very dense, so I don't know that 'gauzy' is the right word. It's dense enough for fusion to take place in the core, and for the photons that are the energy thus released to take thousands of years to reach the surface. Not solid, but certainly no morning fog, either.

The little bit you might be able to see through is just the very upper atmosphere (probably gaps under prominences and CMEs), and the best views of that kind of stuff aren't in visible light anyway, since the sun is brightest in visible light, and tends to overwhelm instruments and eyes. For an image in other wavelengths, I don't know that it's stars you're seeing (could just be image artifacts), and the color is false anyway.

I've been studying this stuff for class, and this really is a cool movie & event in its own right. I mean, judging from the article, this wave was moving at close to .2% of light speed, which is quite fast. A tsunami on Earth moving that fast would sweep across the surface in a little over a minute. Boom.

Re:Special Effects (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 6 years ago | (#22948760)

I always like movies of the Sun a lot better when they accurately show how gauzy the Sun actually is, because it's really a ball of gas, not as solid as pictures like that show.

I guess I have to congratulate you on finding several moderators stupid enough to mod that up insightful.

Yeah, the sun is a ball of gas -- a million miles in diameter and with enough pressure in the middle to not only cause fusion but to hold it in by gravitational pressure alone.

"Gauzy" my butt.

Run for the hills! (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#22947458)

Oh shit, how long until the wave reaches us?!?

Re:Run for the hills! (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | about 6 years ago | (#22948222)

~6 days given the 1 million km/h speed given to us by the article.

Re:Run for the hills! (1)

Krupuk (978265) | about 6 years ago | (#22948798)

That's 2 million km/h. I'm astonished by this speed. I'd have thought that this much matter would take a much longer time to travel over the sun. I just calculated it: it's 0.0019 of the speed of light. Still fast.

Re:Run for the hills! (2, Funny)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | about 6 years ago | (#22948666)

Just wait until Mercury and Venus jump up and throw their hands in the air, then we're next. Don't mis-time it and spoil things for everybody else!

The first? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22947460)

I don't mean to be picky, but this is from the front page:

BigBadBus writes "The BBC is reporting that NASA's twin spacecraft designed to obtain stereo images of the Sun have recorded the first Solar Tsunami."

Did you mean "the first footage of a solar tsunami", perhaps?

Re:The first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22948364)

Did you mean:

"Did you mean "the first stereo images of a solar tsunami", perhaps?"

perhaps? Stereo images != footage.

First ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22947462)

The first solar tsunami ever? Good thing we had the space craft in place to capture it then!

Fun on the Sun (5, Funny)

Revenger75 (1246176) | about 6 years ago | (#22947490)

Let's go mega-surfin' Dude! It will be rad(iation)! I'll bring the 3.0x10^8 SPF sunblock, you bring the Unobtainium surfboards, and Cowboy Neil will bring the beer.

Re:Fun on the Sun (1)

OldFish (1229566) | about 6 years ago | (#22947814)

Oh Yeah! But it ain't complete without the Mermen playing Varykino Snow at full volume, followed by a heart melting The Goodbye on the glide into the beach...

Holy cow (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22947810)

Ok, did anyone else see these dark grey "Reply to This" and "Parent" buttons start appearing in Slashdot [v.D1] sometime in the last few minutes, or am I just tripping again???

Re:Holy cow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22947850)

I seriously hope this is a late "April Fools" joke. This makes Digg's comment system seem decent...

Re:Holy cow (2, Insightful)

Kalriath (849904) | about 6 years ago | (#22947894)

Yes, they've changed the whole discussion system again. And yes, the new system sucks even more than the old one. Which sucked considerably, compared to the even older one. You get the idea.

Re:Holy cow (1)

emjay88 (1178161) | about 6 years ago | (#22947948)

I don't see why, IMO this looks better than the old system, and it's easier to see threads of comments...

Re:Holy cow (1)

Cctoide (923843) | about 6 years ago | (#22949548)

It's cool, if a bit jarring... I just wish individual comments had a bottom border so you can distinguish them from their reply tree.

Re:Holy cow (1, Offtopic)

greenguy (162630) | about 6 years ago | (#22948316)

Gonna have to disagree with you. I like it a lot, though I would have used a single-pixel border and square buttons, just to save on vertical space. But a visual manifestation of the way comments relate to each other is a welcome change!

And, it also appears to be AJAX-driven, which makes it fully buzzword-compliant.

Re:Holy cow (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#22949106)

I got them too. At first I thought that the boxes were cool because it would help find the parent threads, but that just isn't the case. If the old discussion system was akin to block separation by indentation (python), then the new system is akin to XML's close-tag requirement. In other words, visually messy and confusing. Maybe if the blocks were colour coded for depth it would be easier, but I find myself doubting that as I type it.

And I do like the "you must preview before you post" requirement, as /. does not allow for the editing of threads.

Kinda lame (3, Insightful)

shird (566377) | about 6 years ago | (#22947860)

This might be an event on some otherwise quiet planet. But given the Sun itself is a gigantic ball of freakin' fire, with solar flares and enough UV to cause cancer in people on other planets, a bit of a wave doesn't seem quite as impressive.

Re:Kinda lame (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#22947928)

really so what have YOU discovered recently that tops this?

thats right, nothing, your the lame one.

Re:Kinda lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22948010)

really so what have YOU discovered recently that tops this?

thats right, nothing, your the lame one.

I discovered my asshole in the mirror yesterday. It blew my fucking mind! (bonus points to anyone who catches the reference)

Correction (3, Informative)

relikx (1266746) | about 6 years ago | (#22947922)

I believe Solar Tsunami is a bit of a misnomer. As tsunami literally translates to 'harbor wave' a more accurate name would be Taiyounami or perhaps Ra-tasm.

Re:Correction (1, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | about 6 years ago | (#22948262)

How about Massive Magnetically Propelled Solar Pressure Wave? This way we can sound really smart to other people without making any sense whatsoever.

Or we could just stick to terms that everyone can understand that also sufficiently describe the phenomenon.

Re:Correction (1)

Rebelgecko (893016) | about 6 years ago | (#22948426)

I believe Solar Tsunami is a bit of a misnomer. As tsunami literally translates to 'harbor wave' a more accurate name would be Taiyounami or perhaps Ra-tasm.
Or maybe even a Ra-gasm [wikipedia.org]

A Tsunami on the SUN! (1)

enoz (1181117) | about 6 years ago | (#22947942)

Dang it, someone is going to have to update the Wiki [wikipedia.org] for Tsunami and change the definition.

A tsunami is a series of waves created when a body of water, such as an ocean, or a giant ball of burning hydrogen, is rapidly displaced.

Re:A Tsunami on the SUN! (4, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#22947952)

Heck, let's make a new word for that. Let's call it "Sunami" :D

Re:A Tsunami on the SUN! (2, Insightful)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | about 6 years ago | (#22948052)

FTA: "However, it was not exactly the same, Dr Gallagher added, because on the Sun, magnetic fields also helped the waves along. The phenomenon is therefore known as a magneto-acoustic wave.
so your name should be something to do with magneto-acoustic waves... Magnecoustami sounds a bit lame, maybe someone else can come up with one better...

It's Bush's fault (0, Troll)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 6 years ago | (#22948056)

It's the corporations that control the puppet president Bush! War for oil and we are destroying the sun with our greed and selfishness. I'm pretty sure that ANY act of nature that is deemed bad by the *consensus* is somehow Bush's fault, right? I know he personally caused Katrina and continental drift.

I better buy another hybrid before the sun is destroyed!

Now I'm guessing that someone who stridently rails against all forms of censorship will mod this -1 overrated or -1 troll.

Re:It's Bush's fault (1)

svunt (916464) | about 6 years ago | (#22948372)

Ron Paul would NEVER have allowed this sort of travesty...oh wait, he would've let the market sort it out.

Network gear meltdown! (1)

Byzandula (83077) | about 6 years ago | (#22948066)

If you call Cisco for support on a faulty device they may claim cosmic radiation caused the problem. (I only mention this as it has happened to me before).
 
No more stories about solar flares and tsunamis please! You are just giving tech support more excuses!

- I'll take my sig with a glass of single malt.

Re:Network gear meltdown! (2, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 6 years ago | (#22949544)

You forgot to put this in your configs.

Router#config t
Router(config)#no sunspot degradation


If you had put this in you wouldn't have these issues. Sunspot interference is turned on by default. But after you disable it, the case acts like a Faraday Cage so you won't have to worry about pesky radiation interfering with your lan/wan operations.

In reality though, I suppose Cisco equipment does have some stuff enabled yet not configured by default that I would rather it not.

NOM NOM NOM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22948446)

Video seems to be /.ed already.

Nice work you bandwidth hogs.
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