Trying to merge a flame fractal with a Julia set and a 3D sphere was almost enough to make my computer have a thermonuclear meltdown.... or at the very least, run out of memory. With a little coaxing, however, I was able to make it work. I'd say the results were pretty hot:
...but not quite as hot as another flaming sphere that we see every day:
Sol (image taken this morning by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory)
This seemed like a good time to make a corona-like fractal. Coronal Mass Ejections have been spurting out the side of our grand star over the last week. (Check out these cool animations from SpaceWeather.com.) These might indicate an active sunspot is turning our way, which in turn may bring another flurry of solar-magnetic activity. Here on earth, this can wreck havoc with things like radio, but also produce beautiful auroras. What will this CME bring? We'll have to wait and see.
There is so much to say about the sun--everything from physics facts, to energy use, to its importance in mythology, literature, music, to the dynamics of seasonal hat fashions. Wikipedia does a pretty decent job of that, though, so I'll share something a little different, this time. They Might Be Giants fans will recognize this one: "Why Does the Sun Shine?" also known as "The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas".
The song was written in the 1940s by folk artist Tom Glazer, and with a mellow, happy tune, includes a variety of facts about the sun. Well, almost facts. "The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas" is catchy... but not entirely accurate. Then again, "The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Plasma" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it. I guess we should let ol' Tom Glazer slide this time. After all, this is the guy who wrote that classic "On Top of Spaghetti." He earned his spoofing rights, I think.
Absolutely lovely faux sun!
Funny that you're on issue #XXXII, just like my Friday feature. I must admit that your satellite photo (and its fractal induced incarnation) are much more enjoyable than mine.
Alex, I noticed the same thing a few weeks ago, when we posted #XXX at the same time. I'm not so sure my feature is more enjoyable... "Map That Campus" has stumped me every time!