The Sun never stops, si muove

As Galileo might, or might not, have said. Even during Solar Minimum, which is where we are now. [Image from SOHO btw – Ed] Anyway, as part of our secularist education campaign [*ahem* – Ed], some wondrous images of recent solar activityavi file here – and via, even more recently, a “tsunami-like shock wave rolling across the visible face of the Sun[mpg file] following a major flare event on Wednesday, Dec. 6″, seen in detail here[mov file] [Credit: NSO/AURA/NSF and USAF Research Laboratory – Ed].. Oh and some older images from the man himself. [Normal programming will resume shortly – Ed]


  • joeCanuck
  • joeCanuck


    With regards to that education campaign and the man himself, part of the vatican’s problem is that it paints itself into corners from which it is almost impossible to get out of.
    It took them over 300 years to offer a grudging halfhearted apology for the treatment they doled out to the man and admit their error.
    Hope I’m not out of line on this thread (you started it with your link).

  • Pete Baker



  • “No one ever lost sleep over solar observation.”

    I think that’s what David Lunt said to me at the as I was chugging the free wine at Blazers on the opening of the Whirlpool Star Party in Birr a couple of years before his death. Then his auld woman put the bite on me to buy a filter.

    That is a tenacious lady.

    Just the same, this kid can pinch the dollar till the Eagle screams.

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks, Jim.. and no-one should.. as long as they still pay attention to what’s going on there..

    David Lunt (1942-2005)
    David Lunt, creator of Coronado Technology Group, died on January 16 after a long battle with cancer.

    Born to professional opera singers in Denbigh, Wales, Lunt’s parents passed away while he was in his teens. He studied astronomy at Harvard University on a full scholarship. He left the university early in order to work and support his siblings. During his career, Lunt helped develop the mirror for NASA’s first Orbiting Solar Observatory and was a consultant for the Strategic Defense Initiative, a proposal to use space-based systems to protect the United States from a nuclear missile attack.

    In 1997, Lunt founded Coronado and created a line of hydrogen-alpha solar filters. Unlike those before, this line was more affordable and designed for smaller scopes. The filters and subsequent products earned the respect of the amateur astronomy community.”

  • abucs
  • joeCanuck

    I think you wasted your time posting those links abucs.
    I have read them and the gist of the arguments can be summed up in a few short sentences:
    The Church did not punish Galileo because he believed in the heliocentric system. They punished him for daring to challenge the church and therefore he got what he deserved.
    Talk about revisionism!

  • abucs

    Don’t agree with your synopsis Joe.
    The church was actually using a heliocentric calendar at the time. Both Galileo’s work, and the original work by Father Copernicus, who Galileo was supporting, was accepted by the Churches censors at the time.

    The Pope was actually a friend of Galileo’s and as a Cardinal, previously stood with Galileo supporting the Copernicus heliocentric system to an audience with a previous Pope.

    Dig a little deeper. You might be surprised when the revisionism started, and by whom !

  • abucs

    That’s not to say that the Inquisition didn’t make themselves look silly, they did. But the fairy tale of Galileo vs the big bad church, is largely rewritten and retold as propaganda.
    Look into it minus the bias.

  • joeCanuck

    So why was he punished in your opinion?

  • abucs

    He was punished in my opinion because of a few reasons :

    One, he fell out of favour with the Pope by making him look silly by putting his words into the mouth of Simplicio in his work.

    Two, the inquisition didn’t like his meddling into their politics and their position. Galileo was well connected in the church and they felt he was pushing his nose where it didn’t belong.

    Three, with the recent Reformation, there was a panic in the church about authority. All of the above reasons were vain, authoratarian and narrow minded by the church.

    Fourthly, the fact that Galileo was preaching the Heliocentric model as fact, that the church had previoulsy directed him to only preach it as a theory until he had proof, and the fact that he disobeyed and he actually couldn’t prove it at the time, well the Inquisition saw there chance to hammer him with the full force of their position.

    The inquisition made themselves look stupid, and petty, and run amok with authoritarian power. The fact that they turned out to be wrong only added hugely to their obvious bad handling of the affair.

    It is a good example that it was time the Church needed to be seperated from authority over many spheres of life including science.

    But i don’t think that it was because of the heliocentric model, as the concept originally came from the church and many inside supported that model. The church quickly banned both the Galileo and Copernicus books after the affair but the heliocentric reality was gathering support. Within a few decades the Jesuits were teaching the Chinese about the heliocentric model as fact much to the resistance of many learned Chinese who thought that China was the centre of the world. They too were convinced (mainly by the Jesuit priests) in time.

    In short, the split of science from the church was positive, the inquisition acted badly, but as was the case at the time the church were also at the forefront of science IMHO.

  • joeCanuck

    Thank you abucs for acknowledging the wrong done to the man.
    I think you just validated my post #7.
    Also if you go back to my post #2, you will see that the only point I made was that the vatican too frequently paints itself into a corner from which it is very difficult to escape.
    I think you just acknowledged that too.
    I appreciate your analysis.


  • “as long as they still pay attention to what’s going on there”

    Yeah, either that or start wearing Unobtanium sombreros instead of the usual tinfoil.

    Lunt’s remark, however, was the usual geek humor dig that solar astronomers make at the expense of the rest of the observing community: That they snooze, warmly snuggled, while the stargazers are freezing their butts off trying to keep the crosshair on the tracking star.