Monday, September 02, 2013

The Great Sun

My wife thinks I'm barmy because I often mention how much the Sun impresses me.

As a child I never thought much of the Sun. Heck, I could cover it with my little finger at arm's length. But something changed when I was a 12 year old kid. I was looking through one of the How and Why series of books on Astronomy at a Guest House whilst on a family holiday in Portstewart in Northern Ireland. An illustration of The Sun similar to below just blew me away. I had no idea that the Sun was so massive compared to Earth.

This and other contents of the book triggered a lifelong interest in Astronomy. As I studied more on the topic, the complexity and power of stars like our Sun really intrigued me.

Our family have moved to a newly built house recently and this Sun relationship I have has augmented. The new house has some interesting features...

Firstly, the front of the house faces East and has 4 windows picking up the Sun's rays throughout the morning. Then another 4 windows facing south pick up the mid morning to late afternoon Sun. Finally a further 4 windows facing West are bathed in mid afternoon and evening Sun. Only one small window of the house faces North. So 12 windows are picking up wonderful sunshine and it is terrific...the Sun is like a friend warming our rooms all day long and  since the house is incredibly well insulated this heat tends to linger until morning.

In addition, the house has large south facing solar panels on the roof. I'm amazed at the temperature and volume of hot water the Sun produces for us. Just today with Autumn now upon us the temperature gauge in the 300 litre hot water cylinder was showing 58C. Lots of free hot water courtesy of  the huge star 93 million miles away. So I even think of our friend the Sun now as I take a nice warm shower!

I have also noted and empathised on how certain older religions could find the Sun an object of adoration. One of the Egyptian Pharaohs even introduced a then new monotheistic practise of worshiping the disk of the Sun. I personally think the Sun deserves a more elaborate name and perhaps more respect. Certainly people should understand more about this amazing entity which we depend on for our very survival.


ButterflySkyz said...

I too remember seeing a science article similar to that illustration, it had the same impression on me. I enjoyed reading your article. Nice writing.

John of Dublin said...

Thanks for the nice comment!