We don't know as much as we may think about Sun




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Sun can be examined by listening to it's vibration. Isn't it amazing? I mean a giant flaming ball hanging in space that emits rays which heat the planets surrounding it. Think simply -- a giant ball of fire that's burning for billions of years. Alas, science is not satisfied by simple things. We must delve deeper to truly understand the complex objects that surround us. Scientists already know about Sun's structure, but new discoveries may completely change the way we think. Isn't she beautiful? Sure, she may kill us all a billion years from now, but still... I can't help but admire her.

It is confirmed, that the outermost part of Sun is a storm of hot burning gas with occasional flares jumping out. The interesting thing about these flares is that they jump around Sun's surface up and down, left and right, like a drop of ink poured into a glass of water. A joint project of both ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA (I think you are well aware of what NASA is), called the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has been studying these flares for some time now, measuring the oscillations emitted by them. One particular oscillation 5-minute with a frequency of 3milliherz proved to be quite useful. According to calculations, this oscillation would equal the sound of a bell that's being hit by sand grains in the desert. But what the researchers saw in SOHO's accumulated measurement differed greatly. It was more of a sound like occasionally someone would hit the bell. The mismatch of sounds created by equal oscillations proved that we don't know quite as much as we'd like to about the Sun.However, this was soon explained. It seems that when the number of flares went up, so did the strength of the oscillations. A similar phenomenon occurs on Earth, when after an earthquake, the whole planet vibrates for several weeks. A global oscillation, if you will.

So, research has shown us that we aren't all-knowing. But science is based on trial and error. Besides, now scientists can research other stars, by listening to their oscillations. Another step forward, i guess.

Recent invention: thermal nanomotor

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Isn't it great when we get to witness an invention that could revolutionize alot of science branches? It's almost...enlightening. Makes me feel like humanity isn't going one step forward and two steps back. Every step is a step forward in my opinion. People used to poke holes in skulls to release evil spirits, now they perform complex microsurgery. People used to kill each other with swords one by one, now they drop a nuclear bomb, wiping off the local population and damaging the whole planet. Some may think that's a step back, but tell me this, did they use nuclear bombs in WW2? I'm sorry, they did, but then what about WW1? See? Every invention is a step forward. But now, let's get back to the matter at hand -- first thermal nanomotor.

Nano basically means really small, 10^-9 to be exact. So a thermal nanomotor means a very small mechanism that reacts to temperature. To explain the picture above, you see a cylindrical nanotube made of carbon atoms (yellow) and a shorter (red) tube that goes around it. The latter is capable of rotating and moving back and forth, thus transporting a metal material (presumably an another nano-mechanism). The operators can control the nanomotor's movement by changing temperatures at the carbon tube's ends.

This conveyor-like mechanism is thought to bring new ways into the fields of biomedicine and new material production. The way I see it, it could build sophisticated nano-mechanisms, maybe even inside a human body. As your grand-grand parents say " I witnessed the invention of cars", so now you'll be able to respond with a "Yeah? Well, i was there before nanomotors changed our lives" which I hope they'll do.