Sun Surfing (Sciency Words: Moreton Waves)

Ja09 Sun Surfing

Okay, so the Sun can’t really go surfing, but maybe you could go surfing on the Sun.

Ja09 Surfing on the Sun

Okay, so you can’t really go surfing on the Sun, but if you could, the Sun’s got some pretty sick waves. It’s time for this week’s edition of Sciency Words, where we take a look at a new and interesting scientific term to help us all expand our scientific vocabularies together. Today’s term is:

MORETON WAVES

Sometimes, a solar flare will be so powerful, so intense, that it will cause the surface of the Sun to ripple. Sometimes it will throw up enormous tidal waves of scalding hot plasma. These waves are called Moreton waves, named after Gail Moreton, the astronomer who first discovered them.

In 2009, NASA astronomers observed a Moreton wave (or “solar tsunami,” as they called it) that was 60,000 miles high (100,000 km) traveling at a speed of 150 miles per second (250 km/s). That observation ended any doubts scientists had about the existence of these waves.

So in conclusion, do not go surfing on the Sun.

6 Responses to Sun Surfing (Sciency Words: Moreton Waves)

  1. ScottaHemi says:

    cool 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know that this shouldn’t be my takeaway, but I love your illustrations. They’re so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] observes activity on the Sun’s surface (like Moreton waves), and it has provided us with the first ever images of what’s going on beneath the […]

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  4. […] to detect the phenomenon. Then again, it took decades for our probes to confirm the existence of Moreton waves on the […]

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  5. […] observes activity on the Sun’s surface (like Moreton waves), and it has provided us with the first ever images of what’s going on beneath the […]

    Like

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