Spicules: Jets on the Sun

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Imagine a pipe as wide as a state and as long as half the Earth. Now imagine that this pipe is filled with hot gas moving 50,000 kilometers per hour. Further imagine that this pipe is not made of metal but a transparent magnetic field. You are envisioning just one of thousands of young spicules on the active Sun. Pictured above is perhaps the highest resolution image yet of these enigmatic solar flux tubes… Time-sequenced images have recently shown that spicules last about five minutes, starting out as tall tubes of rapidly rising gas but eventually fading as the gas peaks and falls back down to the Sun. These images also indicate that the ultimate cause of spicules is sound-like waves that flow over the Sun’s surface but leak into the Sun’s atmosphere.” (APOD)

Bush Misses a Trick in Guantanamo

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 2003

Anti-Guantanamo activist Clive Stafford Smith says Bush missed his chance to hand the election to McCain if he had had self-professed 9/11 mastermind and Guantanamo detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial during the campaign season.

I said, it was clear as day that they would charge Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the first defendant in the 2007 military commissions. KSM, as he is normally called, has boasted that he was the mastermind of 9/11. His trial could have filled the 2008 election season with pictures of that terrible crime, reminding the voters to be afraid and vote Republican.

But this is not what the Administration chose to do. Rather, for their first three candidates in commissions, the Pentagon chose two juveniles (Omar Khadr and Mohammed Jawad) and an alleged al Qaeda chauffeur (Salim Hamdan). It was inexplicable, akin to skipping over Herman Goering for the first trial at Nuremburg, and choosing a member of the Hitler Youth.

The Bush Administration marched to the beat of its own bizarre drummer, from one misjudgment to the next. (New York Post )