Why Has the Sun Developed a Huge Hole?

By Tom Yulsman | July 30, 2013 7:07 pm

A hole in the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, is visible in this screenshot from an animation of images from NASA’s SOHO spacecraft. It’s the roughly triangular dark region in the image, which emphasizes light in the ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Click on the image to watch the animation. (Source: NASA/SOHO)

|See updates below | In case you haven’t heard about it, a huge chunk portion of the sun’s corona has indeed gone missing. But even if you have heard about this so-called “coronal hole,” click on the screenshot above. It’ll take you to a new animation of the phenomenon posted to the web today by NASA. It’s really dramatic.

| Update 7/31/13: After posting this piece, I had second thoughts about my use of the word “chunk” in the original headline (which read “Why is a Huge Chunk of the Sun Missing”) and in the first paragraph. A huge portion of the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, has indeed gone missing. (See the explanation below.) But the word “chunk” implies that a really thick piece of the sun is gone. That’s not true. So I’ve changed the headline and the first paragraph to reflect this. |

The animation consists of images sent back to Earth by NASA’s Solar & Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft, or SOHO. The large, roughly triangular dark area is the coronal hole.

The animation above dates to July 16th. Click here to see another animation, covering July 20-22.

Corey Powell, who writes the awesome “Out There” blog here at Discover, was interviewed about the phenomenon today on the Fox News program America’s Newsroom. Check out the interview in its entirety here.

Corey’s money quote:  

You’ll notice that part of the sun is missing . . . This part that’s missing, the reason it’s dark, is that whole chunk of the sun basically ripped off, blew out and is coming our way at about 2 million miles an hour.

Some explanation: The sun can develop a coronal hole when a portion of its magnetic field fails to loop back onto the surface, as it usually does. This allows more solar material to escape into space. In other words, it makes the solar wind even windier. That’s the stuff that’s flying out into space. The region looks dark because there’s simply less hot and bright solar material left behind.

Corey was quick to point out that formation of coronal holes isn’t unusual. But to be sure, this one is larger than most. Measured from one side to the other, the hole is about 80 times as wide as the Earth. “So this is an incredible chunk of the Sun that’s flying out,” he said.

Earth is shielded from the material in the solar wind by it’s magnetic field. But when solar material hits the field, it can jostle it in a way that causes disruption to satellites, power lines and industrial equipment. And sometimes that disruption can be pretty severe.

Not to worry. I checked the forecast from the Space Weather Prediction Center from today (July 30), and nothing terribly dramatic appears to be in store, at least for the next few days:

The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet levels on days one and two (31 Jul, 01 Aug) and quiet to unsettled levels on day three (02 Aug).
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, select, Sun, Top Posts
  • Rod

    The title is a little bit too dramatical… There is not chuck of the sun missing, is was vent out and the only reason why it became news it was because no one expected a coronal hole when the sun is getting to the maximum of its 11 years period.

    Beautiful auroras are coming out way.

  • coreyspowell

    Very nice addition and explanation of my comments. The speed of the solar wind above coronal holes is roughly double the normal speed–500 miles/sec versus 250 miles/sec–and the fast wind really does, in essence, create a missing region of hot plasma in the corona. The great SpaceWeather site contains lots of information about current coronal holes, as well as other aspects of current space weather:


    • Jason Matthew Jensen

      where can we expect auroras or black outs? world wide? i mean the thing is the 80(x) the size of earth

      • coreyspowell

        Despite the scary appearance, coronal holes are actually much less disruptive than coronal mass ejections (the broader phenomenon associated with flares). The hole is an open region where the solar wind flows freely, sweeping the sun’s atmosphere outward at unusually high speed. When that flow reaches Earth, it causes some moderate auroras & elevated radiation wear on our satellites.

        This particular hole has already blown past Earth, which gives you a sense of how much solar activity we just deal with as part of daily life.

  • airborne13

    excuse my ignorance, but if the core is way hotter than the surface why is the subsurface cooler to such an extreme as to show itself as not being there?

    • Anthony Vito

      Your assumption is incorrect. The cornea is hotter then the surface, but cooler then the core. 2 million k, 5778 k, 10 million … respectively.

      • airborne13

        wow, really? that much? see, told you i’m clueless with this

  • Nikki

    I did not think this magazine would resort to sensationalism . I am a new subscriber . Some what dissapponted . Bad news is blared at us , or may be just me by every imaginable media and repeated ad nauseam .

    Serenity ,science and curiosity is what I was hoping to find . Cannot find the before the Big Bang either .
    Was it god or Casper the ghost . PLease .

  • stephen ramsden

    the interview on Fox was ridiculously inaccurate and will only lead to another 6 months of those of us who teach this for a living explaining to the Fox-cophants that the world isn’t going to end. I can understand being nervous during a big interview but for God’s sake, man, invoking the name of Carl Sagan during this abortion? We rely on those of you in the science media to relate the facts to people, not this hyped up “anti-obama like” hysteria.

    • MarloweStCloud

      I refused to watch the Fox news piece. Period. I won’t look to Fox for anything. I also passed on any other blog, just keep looking until I could find a source I could trust.

    • Plenum

      I wrote to Fox about their ridiculous story and sent them this link below from Space.com which includes the “hole” (as they put it) as a part of the regular pole-reversal.
      http://www.space.com/22271-sun-magnetic-field-flip.html?cmpid=532472 It’s informative and presented well, I think.

      • Capt. Bill

        You state in part “The hole (is) a part of the regular pole-reversal”. For starters, the Earths poles don’t “regularly” reverse themselves. Many scientists believe that this is In Fact happening now. They all agree that the outcome of this will be Catastrophic for all life on our planet. Literally an event that could lead to the Extinction of Earth. This is not funny, nor “ridiculous”. In all fairness to Fox News (personally I’m not a fan), the story WAS Terrible, but it was Not Fox’s fault. Fox brought in a so-called expert (Corey Powell) to present the facts, while Fox just listened. It was this misinformation spewing jackass who ruined the story. Due to his constant contradictions and outright lies he so effortlessly told throughout his interview, he left his audience even Less informed than they were before! Only now they are confused as well. He was pathetic. Not a word out of his mouth was worthy of being heard. It was as if his goal was purely to decieve the audience. But he didn’t fool anyone.

        • Plenum

          Bill, Bill, Bill, Captain Bill… The pole reversal in both the article above your comment, as well as the FoxNews report, was regarding pole-reversal in the SUN, not the EARTH. Pole-reversal on the earth is an entirely different matter. I’ll leave it at that, and avoid any ships or planes under your command.

  • AManCalledDa-da

    It’s not.

  • Krystal01

    We are so busy with our daily lives that anything happening to our sun never even crosses our minds. We imagine that celestial bodies and the universe itself are all set up just for our convenience. It never crosses our minds that a smallest change in “our” star could end up all life on earth. We have such a faith (atheist and creationist alike) that humankind CAN and WILL weather anything thrown in our path. Not that I expect any doomsday scenario developing out of this coronal hole, but…this only because I am like you, secure that my star will outlast me. What if it falls apart? No one can guarantee you, not even NASA that our sun will stay stable for milion years. We just hope it will.

    • Abba Okoro

      “We just hope it will” So much faith don’t you think?

    • Elizabeth Jaggers

      Atheism isn’t a belief at all, so it can’t very well be a “faith”-based belief, specifically.

      • Krystal01

        I respect your right to your opinion.

  • AmericanWoman

    Could this “hole in the sun” (the dark area) be a warning from the LORD?

    And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness,and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (Joel 2:30-32 KJV)

    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; (Rev 6:12 KJV. Passage verses 12-17)

    And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the
    sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Rev 8:12 KJV. Passage verses 12-13)

    And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, (Rev 16:10 KJV. Passage verses 8-11)

    • colindenronden

      If you look into the hole you will see that there is nothing new under the sun (as the Bible predicted).

    • Josh

      No, it’s not. Sorry. God doesn’t exist.

      • AmericanWoman

        Josh, you confidently state that “God doesn’t exist,” but that is just opinion, not fact. You cannot prove that He does not exist.
        Would you have believed there would be a large darkened area on the sun until it was proved to exist? How do you account for the several Bible prophecies, cited above, that speak of the sun being darkened? Coincidence? Unlikely, I would say, especially when there are a number of other specific Bible prophecies that are now being literally fulfilled. A few examples: Israel returning to her own homeland (after almost 2000 years of world-wide exile); their reviving Hebrew and establishing it as their national language; Jerusalem being reestablished as their capitol. There are many, many more such prophecies – now being literally fulfilled.
        I will pray for you that God will open your eyes.

        • Josh

          I also can’t prove that Thor, Zeus, Allah, or the Easter Bunny don’t exist, but I don’t spend to many nights worrying about it.

          You’re the one making the claim about god’s existence. You provide some evidence.

          Oh, and anything involving human sacrifice is not love, John 3:16-17 included.

          • AmericanWoman


            I will answer
            the last part of your statement first—i.e. “Oh, and anything involving human
            sacrifice is not love, John 3:16-17 included.”
            I hope you will consider the following with an open mind.

            As to
            human sacrifices such as those offered to the ancient gods of the Canaanites,
            Aztecs, Mayans, etc.– I certainly agree.
            Such sacrifices are absolutely not love, but are cruel, inhumane, and utterly

            Christ’s dying for our sins is far, far different, as I will attempt to

            self-sacrifice for the benefit of another is, and has always been, considered a
            noble and unselfish act. For instance, if
            a loving mother sees her child in mortal danger, she will do anything
            necessary, including knowingly sacrificing her own life, to save her child. Such an act is a beautiful and laudable example
            of self-sacrificial love.

            Christ’s sacrifice of himself on the cross was self-sacrificial. Read John 10:11-18, where Jesus calls Himself
            the good shepherd that [voluntarily] gives His life for the sheep [us] (vs 11);
            Jesus further states that He has the power to lay down His own life and to take
            it back again [i.e. to return to life] (vs 17-18.)

            Jesus died
            to bear the punishment that was due us for our sins. The sinless One died for the sinner. His blood washed away our sins so that we
            could be in the presence of God forever.

            Why was
            this sacrifice necessary? God is just,
            and justice requires that sin be atoned for.
            All of us are sinners (Romans 3:23) and none of us are good (Psalm 14:1-3;
            Isaiah 64:6.) The wages of sin is death
            (Romans 6:23), and without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin
            (Hebrews 9:22.) Further, our sins have
            separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2, 64:7.)
            It is important to note that the books of Isaiah and Psalms were written
            hundreds of years before the birth
            of Christ.

            merciful God would provide a remedy for this situation. (Isaiah 59:16 – read all of chapter 59). Then read Isaiah chapter 53 which prophecies
            the vicarious death of God’s righteous servant, who would suffer and die for
            the sins of His people Isaiah 53:5, 6, 8, 12.)

            And who
            was this servant? God, Himself, took on
            human form, in the person of His son, Jesus Christ and Himself, bore the punishment for our sins
            so that we could be reconciled to Him (2Corinthians 5:19). Jesus also stated that He and His Father were
            one (John 10:30,) that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:9).

            He did
            this because He wants us reconciled to God the Father so that we can spend
            eternity with Him. He loves us, and He
            loves you.

            It is so
            simple… “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe
            in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For
            with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
            is made unto salvation. […] For
            whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9-13

            Again, I
            pray that the LORD will open your eyes to His great love for you.


            I will
            follow later with the requested evidence for the existence of God (there is
            plenty of evidence in literally fulfilled Biblical prophecy about Israel both
            in the past and in today’s headlines.)

          • Josh

            Whatever. Come turn some water into wine under laboratory conditions, and we’ll talk.

          • aa

            ok, but don’t see the wrong side, see the right side, they are humans or terrestrial beings just like us, but may be wise, so take their policies, as help the need and take it as heal, just like that some one said may be researcher that the creator is atoms, our RNA or nucleotides, but not proved perfectly, the mechnism of quantum physics, so i think it is our thoughts and mind play, how we feed ourselves in spirit and physical world, and how we balance it. If you proud of science and tech, then be proud or yourself, because its you who thought, and yes depended by our surroundings, our animals, plants(they take light directly as energy) very intelligent like us, but an observer is needed to test it to see it as HUMANS we can change either good or stupid world,… so i can see creator world naturally, and can add scientifically to see it in different way, so everybody are important and EQUAL JUST LIKE JESUS OR BUDDHA OR MYSELF. So i am exisists, other aliens exisists, so intelligent creator exsists, its not human..? its not anything. Its a human… then its all rest of world too. So i say everything inhaled ENERGY, LIGHT AND TIME,… ITS A CREATOR,.. ITS MYSELF,… ITS EVERYTHING,…because still it is what not proved, so our spirit and practical world both are important to study… history may be useless, but useful for something else too. If it is natural then it is scientifically too, as both are present…. so believe or don’t believe….. theme is same we are curious and players, so living and die, then again same process, difference is we experience in different patterns and positions. Because even i don’t know how i evolved,… but for living conscious i remind myself too, thinking both are needed not to reach the creator but proof, its everywhere, its in us, and its infinite to how much??????, so we should alive, if not the next generation must alive. to understand it as infinite and knowing it everywhere is our power and energy to become unique, and i-am proud of it…be balanced to see the truth, inside and outside.

          • aa

            try to see the evil mind too, as someone may be not wise or not human, will not understand human, like gray aliens, but we are powerful too, because we know the right and self energy. creator created evil,? yes i think, cause may be it is balanced everything, and we are very much like VIRUS, TO SURVIVE AND LIVE EVERYWHERE, ITS A HUMAN, AND I AM ONE OF THEM,.. SO I WILL SPREAD ANY-VIRUS, BY ADOPTING ECO-FRIENDLY SCIENCE AND PHYSICS. we can live anywhere but harmless, what i mean to say as whole. Please mind this is just my opinion, not suggestion.

          • Dave_Mowers

            I’m sorry but isn’t distilling a laboratory operation to begin with? So therefore, turning water into wine can be done.

          • Krystal01

            Throwing pearls….do not waste

          • AmericanWoman

            Thank you, Krystal01, for reminding me of what can happen when we cast our pearls in the wrong place (Matthew 7:6.)

            As for those who ridicule and scoff, I pray they would heed God’s warning: “And now do not carry on as scoffers, or your fetters will be made stronger; For I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts of decisive destruction on all the earth.” (Isaiah 28:22 NASB)

            Let us pray that God will touch their hearts and minds to be open to truth.

            God bless…

          • Krystal01

            Thanks for the post, you are a fine Christian woman and a sister in Lord Jesus. I wouldn’t dream of leaving you alone out here where wolfs and beasts of all kinds lay in wait to tear you to pieces. Your faith in God is strong, highly commendable but its not our job to convert people against their will. End of the world is coming for that very reason to clean it from ungodly elements and faith is not a possession of ALL people. One has to have a heart for God to find Him. As Jesus told us, Devil is the ruler of this world, and he has turned many to his side. He is behind this rebellion and supports one’s desire to go independently of our and his Creator. that is why it is better to preach to those that have an ear for and hunger for God’s word. To find the lost sheep of Jesus flock. Each one is responsible for himself, but we who know have an obligation to share our knowledge with those who are looking for it whilst we try not to judge those that aren’t ready to hear, and maybe never will be.

            Isaiah 28:22 applies to God’s followers and not to the whole world, but a wise person would take a heed after they read it.
            Christian love, Krystal


          • aa

            Don’t hate too much by your speech, as i believe in creator, but cannot restrict it saying only humans are god’s, is simply your way of thought of everything and everywhere. And God is respect of all living beings, same time to be wise to take good, but not useless, as everything has some con’s, as no one is perfect, but try to make it most, is God’s policy to see and feel in broad minded, not business or narrow-minded. All are EQUAL, all are ONE, even aliens becomes good by being on Earth, if not its their stupidity.

          • aa

            what a mess, please madam open your eyes, and see this world in different way, try to see the truth is inside and ouside balancly. I can prove it, same time i doubt, so i live and future becomes present and then history and yes everything has its own significance. You say god as human or Jesus and rest of the world is less superrior??? then you are making yourself as slave. I SAY GOD EXISITS. GOD IS Generating-Organising-Destroing principles. I say GOD IS GOD PARTICLE, LIKE ATOMS, nucleotides, DNA, RNA, Sun, Earth, humans, Jesus, buddha, Allah, Indian GOD”S ,… and myself, because GOD is Intelligent Creator, its everywhere, its shapeless, it can take any shape, it is in everything, it is universe, its everywhere,… its out of matrix???? am i out of matrix????, i am god of myself,… i am balanced, how by balanced thoughts, mind, heart, speech and behavior, its all life and free to know and protect, to act wisely(good) but not as stupid or unconscious(bad). I respect and accept only their thoughts of positive, harmless and helping hand from humans like Jesus, buddha, or poor people or intelligent people, by animals, birds, so on. I love all, i take good to lead, sometimes bad(unknowingly or knowingly as stupids) as lessons but not to harm and live, let others too live. Why jesus helped, because some needed help, why he got help, because someone can see jesus tears, so gave him water to kill thirst, just like that help, and take help… its balanced. So i don’t pray, i take his thoughts as mine, so healed his heart as mine, just like others. Its a universal strategy,… so balance everything, and experience it, not become addicted too much to human body or mind or stupid to pray closing eyes. Don’t close same time to 3rd eye. So intelligent creator exists but never do restriction to other world, its simply restricting yourself as stupid and un-wise. Balance it, and respect all by healing bad or ill to good and lovable as human as life changer

          • Dave_Mowers


            Take it back right now or face the consequences!

            You never know whom, right around you everyday, is a Bunnyite…be wary carful aboot hundin’ wabbits.

        • Plenum

          Proof of non-existence is not proof of existence.

          • AmericanWoman

            Plenum, Your statement “Proof of non-existence is not proof of existence” is illogical. I think you meant to say that FAILURE to prove non-existence is not proof of existence.
            Again, I will pray for you. God loves you. (John 3:16)

          • Plenum

            My statement stands. Non-existence proven cannot be proof of existence – and is purely logical, duh. But I do agree with your statement, as well, that failure to prove non-existence does NOT prove existance. So what’s the problem? Does (our) my failure to prove non-existence PROVE existence of a deity? No. So, what’s the problem in the logic?

            In your spirituality, the holy spirit was a dove before he became Jesus. FYI, there is a church in southern Germany where you can see two eggs laid by that very same dove! (Christians, due to their obligatory requisites for their faith, are so gullible and perfect for capitalism and prone to illogic, magic, and pre-programmed to be led to war or the latest product. Get smart, use your head, quit your church as most have been doing for the last 200+ years, and join sceptical, but rational people around the world! Save yourself – and not through some weird, childish stories!)

          • AmericanWoman

            Plenum, You have apparently been misled and deceived as to Christian beliefs:

            You state: “In your spirituality, the holy spirit was a dove before he became Jesus.” Absolutely wrong!

            First, understand that the “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost” is another name for the Spirit of God, an eternal and individual member of the triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

            1) Read following verse: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:
            and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17, start at verse 13 KJV also Mark 1:9-11 & John 1:29-34.) Note the wording “like a dove.”

            ** The Holy Spirit never was a dove – the dove is merely a symbol of the Holy Spirit!

            ** The Holy Spirit never “became Jesus,” but entered Him upon His baptism.

            ** God’s Holy Spirit was present at the creation (Genesis 1:1-5), and
            is described as present and active throughout the Bible. (Genesis 6:3, Isaiah
            44:3 & 59:21, Joel 2:28, Zechariah 4:6, etc)

            ** God give His spirit to those who belong to Him. (John 7:39, John 14:7, Acts 2:1-4, Galatians 3:14)

            ** God, himself, is a Spirit (John 4:24)

            2) As to your statement “there is a church in southern Germany where you can see two eggs laid by that very same dove:” I wonder if you are confusing this with the celebration of WhitSunday, or Pentecost (when God poured out His Spirit on the apostles and other Christians as described in Acts chapter 2.) As I said above, the dove is a Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit, and to commemorate this event, some Churches in Europe decorate eggs just like they do at Easter.

            3) You also refer to Christians’ “obligatory requisites for their faith” that make them “gullible,” “prone to illogic,” etc. Do you even know what obligatory requisites
            for our faith are? Here are the main ones:

            ** “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)

            ** “…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9 KJV)

            ** “… Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
            shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38 KJV)

            ** “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8 KJV)

            ** Master,which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou
            shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two
            commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV. Also Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18)

            ** Other “obligatory requisites” include: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and visiting the sick (Matthew 25:31-46); not to oppress or afflict strangers,
            widows and the fatherless (Exodus 22:21-24 KJV); loving our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44); and other similar things.

            I will pray for you.

          • Plenum

            don’t waste your time, dear. we are billions.

          • Krystal01

            You see, apparently the proof you seek will come but it will be too late for anyone to switch sides at that moment. God is looking for those who are willing to put faith in him even before they have every proof there is. Yep, he is looking for those who have cleaned their hearts and washed their hands from unrighteous acts and finds them worthy of salvation. Salvation from what? His wrath. He is coming in anger to punish the world for all their atrocities, immoral acts, and such. If he was able to create a man (perhaps through genetic engineering or not, whatever case may be) then, he is also capable of resurrecting dead. So, yep they will not escape judgment from him. There is no hell, only judgment. So, if you are sincere and wish to do things God’s way you can be give the gift of everlasting life here on earth after Armageddon, but if judged as unworthy, then you are simply cut of as if you never existed. It is nothing to him to open up the earth from underneath you and bye, bye birdy for you. You are not a match for him, Plenum. Get some sense in your head.

          • Plenum
      • Krystal01

        You look like a man who wouldn’t lie. What’s your source?

      • Sean Ryan
    • Plenum

      First, shut up, then grow up. Use your brain. There is no god.

      • Abba Okoro


      • AmericanWoman

        Plenum, you seem to be bitter and angry. I will pray for you. God loves you.

        • Plenum

          You mistake my sentiment. It’s frustration at too-often expecting reasonable science-oriented commentary to science-oriented articles, but having to wade through religious responses.
          Here’s where my religious sentiment lies:

          Jesus and Moses were strolling by the Red Sea, when Moses nudged Jesus and said, “Psst. Hey, Jesus, I’ve still got it. Watch..!!”

          Moses turned towards the Red Sea and lifted his staff on high. The
          angels began to sing, the gentle sea breeze turned into a raging gale,
          and the mighty waters of the Red Sea were parted.

          Moses lowered his arms and,
          with a smug grin on his face, turned back to face Jesus.

          Jesus scoffed. “Moses, my boy,” said the Messiah, “I have still got it.”
          And with a flourish of his robes, Jesus stepped onto the waters of the
          Red Sea and began to stride across without so much as a ripple.

          But to Moses’ amazement, halfway across the water, Jesus suddenly began
          to sink! He splashed into the water and began to choke and flounder as
          the waves tossed Him around. Moses grumbled at Jesus’ sillyness and
          parted the water once more. Moses helped Jesus back to shore, as the
          Saviour hacked up salt water.

          When they finally reached shore, Moses placed a consoling hand on
          Jesus’ shoulder and said, “Don’t worry about it, Lord. Last time you
          tried it, you didn’t have holes in your feet.”

      • Sean Ryan
        • Plenum

          The problem isn’t a god (if there is one), it’s religion.

          • Sean Ryan

            The problem isn’t religion, it’s irrational people attempting to impose their irrational beliefs on others by force.

            The people doing that these days aren’t, by-and-large, people who believe in god but people who believe in statism.

          • Plenum

            And, if the two are combined?

          • Sean Ryan

            The two aren’t combined…but most everything else is combined w/the state and people are fine w/it.

          • Plenum

            And, you’re saying religion isn’t irrational?

          • Sean Ryan

            No, just saying I don’t care what kind of nonsense you want to believe in as long as you don’t try to force it on me.

            These days, in the West anyways, its not religious folks won’t leave me alone, its Statists (esp. Left-wingers) of varying degrees…

    • stephen ramsden

      oh brother, see what kind of ridiculous anti-intellectualism this type of unfounded “conspiracy theory-esque” story promotes?

      • AmericanWoman


        I will pray for you. God loves you.

        “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:1-3 KJV)

        • stephen ramsden

          American Woman, you should probably do a little less praying and a little more reading of actual non-fiction. Maybe a science book for starters?

          • AmericanWoman

            Stephen, in college I studied physical anthropology, evolution, and astronomy. I also enjoy reading simple writings about quantum physics, as well as cosmology, etc. The hand of God can be clearly seen in the magnificence of His creation. All you have to do is to look with an open mind.

            By the way, I rarely read fiction; the Bible is not fiction.

            Again, I will pray for God to open your eyes. God loves you.

          • stephen ramsden

            Then how can you possibly rationalize the ridiculous biblical posts you are putting up? You do realize (as an Anthropology guru) that there are over 100 religions in the world, with different Gods, right? And as a woman, by the way, you are excluded from most of them as an unimportant servant. I mean really, what possible rationale are you using to display the arrogance needed to assume that your particular God knows all the answers and is the “true” God? I know, I know…Faith. lol

          • AmericanWoman

            Stephen, I am truly sorry for you – you for you surely fit the following statement of Jesus: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and
            their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matthew 13:15 KJV)
            I will, however, pray for you…

          • stephen ramsden

            oh brother…

            thanks for the sentiment but I dont want or need your prayers. Do you have any idea how self righteous and arrogant you sound? No wonder people are leaving the christian churches in droves

          • AmericanWoman

            Stephen, I am sorry you think I am self-righteous and arrogant. I am just a sinner, forgiven and saved by God — not because of any goodness or righteousness of my own – but solely by His grace, mercy and love.
            God loves you, too, and stands ready to extend His forgiveness and
            salvation to you. Read the Bible with an open mind, starting with the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
            I will continue to pray for you.

          • stephen ramsden

            Im going to pray to the Great Squirrel that your internet access goes out…permanently

          • Mike

            Haha…All hail the Great Squirrel!!!

          • Ran1976


          • Krystal01

            You are implying that Christians are leaving churches because they are sick of each others hypocrisy. No, that’s not the reason. They are leaving because they are not getting satisfying answers from their religious leaders. Add to that two world wars and a dollop of Darwinism and you get your equation.

          • Krystal01

            …lol indeed, a ‘creation’ doubts his ‘Creator’. Not much wisdom in that kind of reasoning. You’re not even smart enough to notice that. You don’t want God in your life because your life is miles apart from where he wants it to be. You want to lavish you miserable, corruptible flesh to the brim without having to answer to anyone for it. It wouldn’t surprise me if you are gay. A good person may not believe in GOD but a good person will hesitate to speak against GOD. Why? Out of respect for those that believe in GOD. It could be your parents. But a less upright person needs to shout insults not only to those who believe in GOD but to GOD himself. All you prove with that is that you are undeserving of his kindness and are making it easier for him not to worry about you. You don’t fear him because you think he’s not there. Little do you know that he has made it easy for types of your caliber to show who they are. He does not need you. You need him for your existence. Your arrogance is also a sign of your foolishness.

          • stephen ramsden

            Are you my ex-wife? OK, superchristian ladies, please just one shred of evidence that God exists that doesn’t count on faith, just one?

          • Krystal01

            read my post to Plenum

          • honeybeemee

            Well said…but don’t waste your breath on people who refuse to believe in God, or in the finished work of Jesus Christ, or ANYTHING that is said in the Word of God…God will make Himself known and REAL to them, in due time, but it will be too late for His mercy to be showered on them…they will be just what was said earlier, it will be as if they never existed…”Today is the day of salvation”….

      • Sean Ryan

        Anti-intellectualism is rampant in the world, and Christians aren’t any near the most dangerous kind:


  • holly

    Dear Mr.Powell,

    Sadly, your comments on Fox have led to on outpouring of pathetic fear mongering posts. I stand by Goddard , Spaceweather and an individual that stood his own “Christian Harris”. However, I have no affiliation with any of these groups/ people.

    Your comments were absurd and I can think of no other reason that your magazine should allow you to comment, but to justify your wellbeing and to slander your image?

    You seem like an educated individual having read your past commentaries.
    Why would you make a fool out of yourself on the air? Ratings, really?

    ” Chunk of sun hitting our face”. “Gas” in use of a plasma cloud?

    I bust my butt daily in hopes to someday be qualified to report on the sun. Your misinterpretation was a slap in the face!!

    Best Endeavours, Corey!

  • Carrie Saxe

    Stephen, you seem to want evidence but you’re challenging the wrong source.
    Why don’t you do what I did and just ask God to prove he’s real?
    That is, unless you really don’t want to hear the answer.
    Signed…a former skeptic turned “super Christian lady.”

  • aa

    Sun must have extreme north and south holes just like Earth, but on what philosophy i don’t know exactly. And if it is true, all living objects must have two holes?????!!!!

  • Ness Anne Marie Miller

    But what happened? Is it still there? Does it have anything to do with this new giant rectangular one??

    If anyone has any theory’s I would love to hear them.




ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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