Eternity Through the Stars

We are indebted to Chris Hedges for reminding us of an extraordinary text written by Auguste Blanqui while in prison for various revolutionary activities: L’éternité par les astres.

Writing during an age like our own, where assembled ranks of mandarins regularly confused the expansion of scientific knowledge and technical expertise with “progress”, Blanqui understood that there is nothing new beneath the sun, and that the possibility for barbarism remains endlessly and infinitely present in every second, and within every cell of our existence.

Excerpts below, with images from the book Cosmigraphics.

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The transition from a sunspot’s umbra to penumbra, revealing changes in magnetic field. The interface between a sunspot's umbra (dark center) and penumbra (lighter outer region) shows a complex structure with narrow, almost horizontal (lighter to white) filaments embedded in a background having a more vertical (darker to black) magnetic field. Farther out, extended patches of horizontal field dominate. For the first time, NCAR scientists and colleagues have modeled this complex structure in a comprehensive 3D computer simulation, giving scientists their first glimpse below the visible surface to understand the underlying physical processes.

 

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