Kitt Peak Solar Observatory – Pics about space
I had a very unusual childhood. All my parents and grandparents including the women, were all astronomers. I grew up in various observatories from Yerkes in Wisconsin where I was born as my mother left the observatory that night and in California, Texas and above all, Kitt Peak in Arizona, a mountain my father chose because he thought it was beautiful and a great place to live. I am watching in horror as NASA which my dad also, a rocket expert during WWII, helped found with Kennedy, is rapidly being destroyed by the childish ‘global warming’ hysteria which came out of left field, so to speak. I watched it evolve because I know Al Gore and the others involved because they knew my dad.
At WUWT there is this raging debate about our local star which ignores the reality of what this thing is: A SMALL STAR which is insignificant compared to most stars. It is very small, has little power but has endurance because the giant stars all die quickly and blow up spectacularly whereas ours rolls along at the outer fringe of the Milky Way Galaxy puttering along for a billion or so years, happily circled by little planets and so far, evading all the big, explosive, nasty hotter stars that menace us. But alas, as we circle the Galaxy we are also being drawn into that ferocious inferno and will end up annihilated in the bitter end…try telling that to small children!
Which Grandpa Pettit merrily informed me when I was less than ten years old. Hilarious, no?
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My father, Dr. Aden Meinel, was one of the top founders of Kitt Peak and other observatories and he and his associates built the very first solar observatory, the McMath building, on Kitt Peak when I was a teenager back in the 1960’s.
We have a VERY SHORT history of DIRECT observation of the sun. My grandfather, Edison Petitt worked with Dr. Hubble on observing the sun starting with the 1900’s. Even so, it was not constant at all but periodic work.
We have very little direct data to work off of, starting with the famous Galileo first observation of sun spots several hundred years ago. My family, who are mainly astronomers/professors for several generations worried a great deal about Ice Ages and were happy to see sun spots because they figured out back over the last 100 years there had to be a connection between the sun and Ice Ages.
Once we figured out there were MORE THAN ONE Ice Age, the obvious pulse of solar activity is a WARNING we are entering an Ice Age condition. What causes this is still hotly (heh) debated. Cosmologists believe that since our entire solar system is gripped by the Milky Way system which is gripped by the Great Attractor, our little collection of planets and a most unremarkable, relatively small star, moves in and out of various debris fields that form that dark blanket concealing much of the core of the Milky Way and the many stars spiraling endlessly into the maw of the black hole (?) at the center which causes our sun to sometimes be more active due to cosmic dust, etc. distant stars tugging on our much feebler gravity pool, etc.
The sun is NOT CONSTANT and never has been. It is a star with a birth and future death and ‘stable environment’ is IMPOSSIBLE ever and humans, as Goethe said in the famous Faust poems, when we say the world is perfect and beautiful, this is when all things die.
We like the present because we evolved to live like it is today as all other living things want to live but history of the earth shows often shattering even sudden changes and huge and small annihilations and utter chaos followed by some order then chaos again and we cannot change this, we can only swim through it somehow.
I had the misfortune to literally grow up living inside observatories (my bedroom for some periods was very much inside my grandfather’s observatory because our family was very large and it was a nice place to live). I grew up viewing the sun as a variable star, that is, it has pulses and changes and it is more like a living, breathing entity than some passive bright thing in the sky that happens to show up every morning.
Viewing the local star this way helps a lot with the hysteria today. Alas, my father is responsible for Al Gore’s childish view of our planet because he did talk a lot about CO2 and other gases and wondered how this would affect the planet’s climate but then as he came closer to death, he had a revelation after arguing with me, and wrote his last paper, ‘The Sun Is A Variable Star’ and for the first time in his life, could not get it published.
At this point, about ten years ago, I knew the Rulers of our Planet were going to lead the populace on a wild goose chase after a phantom (never changing climate) that is impossible and I cynically decided it was all a dirty scheme to tax thin air our plant life needs to grow. So we will have future famines thanks to too little CO2 for plants who then breath out the O2 we need to survive.
This insane plan means that we have less oxygen and less plant growth which will kill off the majority of humans in due course if they succeed in this nefarious plan, not realizing they, too, will die or become smaller as only small creatures will survive. Remember the giant dinosaurs?
Plenty of warmth, CO2 and OXYGEN.