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Visualization of the Sun's Invisible Magnetic Field

Most of us can appreciate the Sun and all its complexities, but there is a lot going on with the big ball of gas and plasma that goes unnoticed. To help clear up some of the mystery, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) recently shared the video above, which explains the Sun's magnetic field lines through the use of a computer model.

"The Sun is a beautifully magnetically driven star, but we can't actually see magnetic field lines," explains the video's narrator, GSFC solar physicist Holly Gilbert. "They're essentially invisible, and so we have to turn to models in order for us to see the global magnetic structure of the Sun."

The model in the video—which was created using a vector magnetograph, according to Nerdist—shows the magnetic activity of the Sun over the course of four years. Using color-coded lines to represent open magnetic field lines that extend far into space and others that loop out and back into the Sun, the visualization spotlights the sun's activity. The result is a psychedelic dancing orb that is both fun to watch and informative. 

Knowledge of the star's magnetic structure is crucial for scientists. It helps researchers better understand things like solar storms, the fields of radiation that spacecraft travel through, and what the GSFC refers to as "space weather on Earth," Gilbert explains.

Head to GSFC's website for more about the study of the sun's magnetism.

Banner image via NASA Goddard on YouTube

[h/t Nerdist]

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Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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