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Why is the sun so perfectly round ?

Posted on Saturday, 18 August, 2012 | Comment icon 18 comments | News tip by: Karlis


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
It's hot, it's bright and it also happens to be one of the most pefectly round things ever measured.

Jeff Kuhn and Isabelle Scholl of the University of Hawaii set out on a mission to investigate by using the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. What they found was that if the sun were to be shrunk to the size of a ball one meter in diameter it would be only 17 millionths of a meter out from a perfect sphere.

"For years we've believed our fluctuating measurements were telling us that the sun varies, but these new results say something different," said Kuhn. "While just about everything else in the sun changes along with its 11-year sunspot cycle, the shape doesn't."

"The sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured."

  View: Full article

 Source: Science Daily


  Discuss: View comments (18)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by notoverrated on 20 August, 2012, 2:30
this doesn't surprise me.
Comment icon #10 Posted by woopypooky on 20 August, 2012, 3:40
still not a 100% perfect circle.it shows you that God are not perfect
Comment icon #11 Posted by ZaraKitty on 20 August, 2012, 4:11
It's a huge ball of gas (paraphrasing btw) I see no reason for it to compress, do you know how hard it to to compress gas?!?!
Comment icon #12 Posted by Likely Guy on 20 August, 2012, 5:16
The sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured. If scaled to the size of a beach ball, it would be so round that the difference between the widest and narrow diameters would be much less than the width of a human hair. Yes. But if the Sun was the size of a beachball, the Earth would be the size of a pea. Then, how thick would a human hair be? Or, at the other end of the scale, since the Sun is not a beachball, how wide would the human hair have to be? 1 km? 10 kms? 100 kms? ...and how big would the human be? /i'm not expecting an answer to those questions, by the way. i know that a human ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by AmishHacker on 20 August, 2012, 9:30
The Sun's size and mass make this discovery somewhat unsurprising. Much of the comparison is made with Jupiter's bulge, but Jupiter spins rapidly, is much smaller, and is less massive than the Sun. Its mass, by comparison, is 1.989x1030 while Jupiter's mass is only 1.898x1027 or less than 0.001 the mass of the Sun. I wonder if the Sun's nuclear fusion process has anything to do with balancing its shape. To me, this discovery falls in line with similar discoveries about our own world, especially our place in the HZ. Its just, for lack of a better term, perfect. :-) AmishHacker
Comment icon #14 Posted by The Mule on 20 August, 2012, 23:02
I'm no rocket appliance, but I'm gonna go with ....if its gravitational force is enough to keep 9 (maybe) planets in orbit...maybe its gravity is strong enough to negate the spinning bulge. But then again...Im just a mule and cant figure out how any of it affects my life. I for one would rather have the stumped scientists work on something like ending world hunger or curing cancer.
Comment icon #15 Posted by pallidin on 24 August, 2012, 4:17
I'm no rocket appliance, but I'm gonna go with ....if its gravitational force is enough to keep 9 (maybe) planets in orbit...maybe its gravity is strong enough to negate the spinning bulge. But then again...Im just a mule and cant figure out how any of it affects my life. I for one would rather have the stumped scientists work on something like ending world hunger or curing cancer. Well, it would affect your life if the Sun has a sudden hernia.
Comment icon #16 Posted by The Mule on 24 August, 2012, 11:00
Well, it would affect your life if the Sun has a sudden hernia. Well...true! But what i meant was that the sun's gonna do whatever it pleases. If it decides to have a hernia or a hiccup, knowing how why and when isn't really gonna stop it from happening or save my muley hide.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Nasty Gash on 25 August, 2012, 18:20
I am sure the gravity pushing inward and nuclear fusion pressure pushing outward causes balance and perfection. If pressure is leaving from core outward and gravity is pushing hard on the outside then imperfections should get corrected automatically and a smooth balance should exist. Look at white dwarfs and high gravity objects, i am prettys sure they are perfectly round. You're assuming that the two forces are equal and that there are no other forces in play. This is not the case. The Sun's diameter is dependent upon the partial pressures of all its constituent gases (total pressure), the ra... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by ArcticDaystar14 on 30 August, 2012, 17:33
Well then can someone give or email me a picture of what an actual perfectly round circle/sphere looks like? I can't be told a conclusion with little evidence? EmbryoRothstrikes


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