The Rivers of the Sun

The sun's rivers are slowing to a crawl.

The Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of fire (hot plasma) within the Sun. It has two branches, north and south, each taking about 40 years to perform one complete circuit. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle, and that's why the slowdown is important.

"Normally, the conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per second—walking pace," says Hathaway. "That's how it has been since the late 19th century." In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s in the south. "We've never seen speeds so low."

It really boggles my mind to consider things moving this slowly on the sun. Science can be so cool! Read Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

While you're there, you can creep yourself out by reading about "unstoppable" flying robot attacks. Sometimes I hate science… 

(seems to me that mini-flying-attack-robots were central to Islands in the Net, one of my all-time favorite novels by cyberpunk daddy Bruce Sterling

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