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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

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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 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
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 hair is the 'constant'.
Comment icon #13 Posted by AmishHacker on 20 August, 2012, 9:30
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
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...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
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 radiation pressure, its gravity and the centrifugal force imparted by its rotation. That explanation is a bit simplistic but serves for this discussion. Of those, gravity "pulls" toward the center while the others "push" away from the center. If the Sun were not rotating, only the total pressure, the radiation pressure and gravity would be... [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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