Steps on the Path

The Sun. We're gonna have to work on a new name at some point, since how stupid will it seem to refer to our star as "The Sun" when we're orbiting around Sirius? We should start a naming competition! Anyways, here's our Big Brother. Many will refer to the Sun as our Mother or Father, but technically, the relationship is Big Brother/Sister who then has supported our poor asses since childbirth, since you, me, The Earth (need another new name!), The Moon (and another!), and all the other planets, all the asteroids, comets, etc, in the Solar System were created from the same ginormous cloud of dust and gas that the Sun was created from (the cast off remains of some other, far bigger star that exploded). We're all brothers and sisters in the Solar System. Represent!

The Sun (any star) is a dynamic place. By definition. This pic shows the powerful magnetic waves around the Sun, and you can see how chaotic they are. The chaos is caused by the extreme conditions within the sun coupled with its fluid nature. Magnetic effects, in part, cause Sunspots, which are like pimples on the clean skin of the star. Here's one forming:
 Looks like a ripple in a pond, which in a sense, I suppose, it is. Here's a developed sunspot at close range:
 Click for big. I suspect you might be shocked to see the surface of the sun looks like living tissue under a microscope. I was! The Sunspot is darker because it is cooler than the surrounding areas, but that's just a relative matter to you and me: Still hot! And active. Here's an even closer view of a sunspot:
As with many things, seeming order on the surface become chaotic when looked at closely (my definition of order/chaos by the way: Just a matter of perspective). You can see the turmoil at this range - again, all caused by the twisting, snapping, crazy magnetic fields that whip all across the star.

And again, like with many (every?) things, the closer you look at something, the less concrete it becomes. On a day to day basis, we think of permanent, static "things", and we base our worldview on this false view. Only when change happens unexpectedly to us do we remember the truth - but we'll suppress it. Deny it. Think of your self - are you permanent? Or temporary?

Answer: You're temporary. Like everything. In fact, it might be far more realistic to get rid of the concept of "things" - objects, and instead, think of "processes unfolding over time." Because that's a closer approximation of the truth - a set of temporary conditions that allows for certain situations to arise, situations that will disappear when the underlying conditions change. For example, take a star, any star. Our star, for example:
The business part of a star is the thermonuclear core - where fusion takes place. This is the center of creation, and the very process that defines a star. Here's what the Proton-Proton fusion process which occurs in our star looks like:
And so, I draw closer to my conclusion: As with phase changes, fusion is the result of matter being compressed to such a degree that there's literally no where for these protons to go without hitting another proton, or something else. When this starts happening, that's fusion - as simple as that: Elementary particles smashing into each other with enough energy that they fuse. This fusion process releases energy as well, and part of that is what we know as "Sunlight". 

And now that were at the core, and you see that for our Star, it is this Proton-Proton collision process which powers everything, perhaps you glimpse how nothing is a "thing", a permanent object, but rather everything's a temporary process. For this process above is massively powerful - if left un-contained, it would result in a huge explosion. However, gravity wants to compress anything with mass, and stars have lots and lots of mass (mostly hydrogen, some helium). So, gravity is pushing in with everything it's got, and nuclear fusion is pushing out, and there is a harmony reached, a balance. We call this balance a "star". That's all it is. And when the balance falters, the star goes BOOM. And then it's something else.

Do you see? How the most important object in our lives (our Star) is just an ongoing dialectic between fusion and gravity? And if this MOST important thing is simply a basic process, what do you think this world is then? Or you? Or everything?

Permanent and forever? Or just another temporary process?


l.e.s.ter said...

How about "Helios"?

Anonymous said...

watch satellite tv on pc
great blog , how are you doing now eeh?

Redshirt said...

Hmm. No thanks - to Satellite tv.

Helios is nice. I like Apollo, in keeping with the Greek/Roman god theme with the planets.

Or "Sol". It will probably be "Sol", just as The Moon will most likely be "Luna".

l.e.s.ter said...

Using Sol and Luna will make it easier for the Latino illegals, if not the rest of us.

skramly said...

I think we should name it George.

Redshirt said...

And the moon could be "Gracie".