The Sciences


Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitOct 9, 2011 3:00 PM


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I love the images of the Sun taken by astrophotographer Alan Friedman. I love pareidolia. And I love cryptozoology. So of course I love love lovethis:

[Click to sasquatchenate.] Pareidolia is the trait of seeing recognizable objects in random patterns (usually, but not always, faces). Cryptozoology is the study of fabled creatures like Nessie, or the chupracabra, or... I don't know, for a totally random example, let's say Bigfoot. Still not sure what I mean? Maybe this'll help:

Ha! OK, I'll be a pedantic dork for just a sec, and say that this is actually just a prominence, an eruption of ionized gas off the surface of the Sun, guided by the twisting and churning solar magnetic field. Prominences can take all sorts of shapes -- even angels and dragons -- as they launch upward and fall back down to the Sun's surface. Alan Apeman -- urp, sorry, I mean Friedman -- takes simply amazing pictures of the Sun which I feature here all the time; see the Related posts section below for many more. And you should keep an eye on his pictures. Who knows what you'll find in them? Image credit: Alan Friedman

Related posts: - Seriously jaw-dropping picture of the Sun - The boiling, erupting Sun - The delicate tendrils of a solar dragon - For your viewing pleasure: Active Region 1302

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