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©2006 by Richard Nolle

WOW!DEC 11, 2006 - Solar Tsunami gives the lie to time-honored notions of our parent star as a steadily beaming, beneficent monarch of the local system. In fact, Sol is a turbulent place, driven by powerful forces always struggling against each other. When all is in equilibrium, it's easy to take the Sun for granted. But equilibrium in a star is a precarious and fleeting thing. There are times when even a generally well-behaved variable star like old Sol has a bit of a fit. It happened last week, when a powerful solar flare sent a tsunami-like shock wave across the face of our parent star. You can see a movie of this solar paroxysm for yourself. As you watch it, bear in mind that Sol is a thermonuclear furnace of god-like power - and occasionally, as petulant as the gods of the classical world. Big and steady, strong and stable and unshakable? Hardly.

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