The Power of the Sun - Web sites Part 2

For Suryanamaskara - The Sun Salutation

Complete Yoga Breath
with Sound!

Links to Sun Series

Click to enlarge images below for complete instructions.

Steps 1, 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Steps 11, 12

Sun Salutation
to print!
The sun in all its glory.Instead of spending hours trying to find the appropriate sites about the Sun, here is a list of my bookmarks for you to learn more and to get more images in your mind.

(This pastel drawing of the sun is by John Hackforth, a great artist, and long-time friend whom I have not been able to locate in northern California. Always loved this. I like to look at the center of this and watch it become like a colorful teepee from the top looking down. It takes on a spinning effect for me. Imagine how the sun spreads itself out like this and down and up through you while you move into all the angles of the Sun Salutation. This will help your practice.) Always keep in mind the angles your body is creating.

It is remarkable that astronomy is not an important subject taught in our schools. Most people know very little about our universe. Just like the Moon, the Sun has its own stories. For instance: The Sun's Vital Statistics are listed at Stanford University's site, which is quite fascinating: The Sun's Vital Statistics:

  • Age: At least 4.5 billion years, in present state.
  • Distance: Mean distance from Earth 1.5 X 10^8 km; Variation in distance through the year: +/- 1.5 percent.
  • Diameter: 109 times the diameter of the Earth and 9.75 times the diameter of Jupiter.

The information in this Sun series was collected from several of the Web sites provided below. To respect their work and all that they have contributed to the world with their immense knowledge, their addresses and short blurbs are provided. Learn from the experts, but remember to bookmark this site and return to this page for updates. If you have any suggestions for a site that should be included here, just write to me. Thanks!


Sun Earth Connection


The Goddard Space Life Center has a a very educational site about the sun. “We live in the extended atmosphere of an active star. While sunlight enables and sustains life, the Sun's variability produces streams of high energy particles and radiation that can harm life or alter its evolution. Under the protective shield of a magnetic field and atmosphere, the Earth is an island in the Universe where life has developed and flourished. The origins and fate of life on Earth are intimately connected to the way the Earth responds to the Sun's variations. Understanding the Sun, Heliosphere, and Planetary Environments as a Single Connected System is the goal of the SEC Division.”

(Note: Hopefully, the research about how to harness the powerful energy of the sun, without creating anything toxic that causes havoc on this island in the universe, will happen sooner than later.)



JPL tell us that the sun is “the 5-billion-year-old star that sustains life here on Earth, powers photosynthesis in green plants and is ultimately the source of all food and fossil fuel. The connection and interaction between the Sun and Earth drive the seasons, currents in the oceans, weather and climate. With a core reaching a fiery 16 million degrees Kelvin (nearly 29 million degrees Fahrenheit), the sun’s surface temperature is so hot that no solid or liquid can exist there. Luckily for us, Earth is a little less than 150 million kilometers (93 million miles) away from the Sun. Although its interior has been modified by nuclear reactions, the outer layers of the Sun are composed of very nearly the same material as the original solar nebula.”

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A NASA Portal publication that is fun reading. I include it because it always has great information about space and is very professional and scientific.



This is really fun. I clicked on World Map to check on Sweden and could see instantly why I couldn't continue living there in the winters! Darkness, except for about 5 hours of charcoal-gray skies. This is free and you can check the movement of the sun from one moment to the next anywhere in the world. It is intended to be a helpful general reference. You can access it any time from your computer with a bookmark (in the same way you can access this site with a bookmark!).



Now you can watch the earth online AS the sun moves around it! This is truly an incredible site. You almost cannot understand that what you are able to do is move around the earth like the sun. If you click on pan and play with the capabilities, you can see some astounding images. I clicked on Florida and suddenly saw half the earth in darkness and other in the sunlight. It's almost like being an astronaut!



Direct from NASA by Patrick Miller. Spectacular images. You have to move around a bit, but you can learn everything you need to know about sun here. They start this page with:

“Our Sun has inspired mythology in almost all cultures, including ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Native Americans, and Chinese. We now know that the Sun is a huge, bright sphere of mostly ionized gas, about 4.5 billion years old, and is the closest star to Earth at a distance of about 150 million km. The next closest star - Proxima Centauri - is nearly 268,000 times farther away. There are millions of similar stars in the Milky Way Galaxy (and billions of galaxies in the universe). Our Sun supports life on Earth. It powers photosynthesis in green plants and is ultimately the source of all food and fossil fuel. The connection and interaction between the Sun and the Earth drive the seasons, currents in the ocean, weather, and climate.”

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The Old Farmer's Almanac is one of the best ways to see just how the sun affects our lives.



For beginners, great images, graphics, and details about the sun.



“The many lives of a star. It warms our homes. It rings like a bell. It is constant, yet always changing. In plain sight, it hides secrets to its own life and clues to lives of stars across the galaxy. Bookmark this page for future stories as the National Solar Observatory—using telescopes and other instruments at Sacramento Peak, NM, Kitt Peak, AZ, and around the world—explores our sun.”

Rise, Set, and Twilight Definitions


Get a new perspective of the sun by studying what the government has learned through military research at the U.S. Naval Observatory. This is how they define words that make us think of the sun:

HORIZON: Wherever one is located on or near the Earth's surface, the Earth is perceived as essentially flat and, therefore, as a plane. The sky resembles one-half of a sphere or dome centered at the observer. If there are no visual obstructions, the apparent intersection of the sky with the Earth's (plane) surface is the horizon, which appears as a circle centered at the observer. For rise/set computations, the observer's eye is considered to be on the surface of the Earth, so that the horizon is geometrically exactly 90 degrees from the local vertical direction.”

RISE, SET: During the course of a day the Earth rotates once on its axis causing the phenomena of rising and setting. All celestial bodies, stars and planets included, seem to appear in the sky at the horizon to the East of any particular place, then to cross the sky and again disappear at the horizon to the West. The most noticeable of these events, and the most significant in regard to ordinary affairs, are the rising and setting of the Sun and Moon. Because the Sun and Moon appear as circular disks and not as points of light, a definition of rise or set must be very specific, for not all of either body is seen to rise or set at once.”

SUNRISE - SUNSET: Conventionally refer to the times when the upper edge of the disk of the Sun is on the horizon, considered unobstructed relative to the location of interest. Atmospheric conditions are assumed to be average, and the location is in a level region on the Earth's surface.”

“For an observer at sea level with a level, unobstructed horizon, under average atmospheric conditions, the upper limb of the Sun will then appear to be tangent to the horizon.”

SOHO Real Time Movies


The latest 48 hours worth of data on the sun is available as both MPEG and animated GIF movies. The movies are updated every hour that SOHO is in real-time contact with the satellite. Incredible sun images and images.

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This is Science & NASA, and it's all about the solstice. Observers north of the tropics see the sun reach its highest elevation of the year during the solstice. This is a major event in Sweden, where I lived for nearly 20 years. Americans tend to not pay much attention to this, which is a real shame. There is a lot to be learned from getting in touch with the seasons of the sun and moon. This site has fun stuff, too: The ratio between your height and the length of your shadow in selected cities at midday on the two solstices: June 21st and Dec. 22nd. If you want to know how long your shadow would be on the first day of summer in New York, multiply your height by 0.31—the ratio listed for New York under June 21. I do love what some might believe is trivia.



From the United Kingdom folklore lives. Thanks to the White Goddess for all the important facts included on this site, which includes this little gem: “The Sun is a typical yellow main sequence star - its mass, size, surface temperature and chemical composition lie roughly midway between the extremes exhibited by other stars. Even though it is the closest star to our planet, its light still takes 8.3 minutes to travel the roughly 93 million miles between the sun and the earth. Cycle Of The Sun is a period of 28 years, at the end of which the days of the month fall on the same days of the week as they did 28 years previously.”

Surfing for Sunbeams


This is a really terrific educational site for anyone who doesn't know that much about the sun. There are even some images on this site from the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics Education Program, University of California at Berkeley that are very interesting to study. Really worth spending some time here.

Windows to the Universe


IMF stands for Interplanetary Magnetic Field. It is another name for the Sun's magnetic field. This site is fun, because it has categories for beginners, intermediate and advanced. For example, did you know that: “Eventually the solar wind and IMF encounter interstellar space. The boundary between space dominated by the Sun (or the heliosphere) and interstellar space is called the heliopause.”  This might not be so interesting to the reader, but for me it brought a lot of other thoughts into my head! And it is the combination of these thoughts that help you while doing the Sun Salutation. Each association that you can find that brings the power of the Sun closer to you, the more you will experience this powerful light that gives you life here on earth.

There were 544,000,000 (!) Web sites on the sun in February 2007. If you know of one that should perhaps be included, please send me the URL (Web site address). Thanks!

The Surface of the Sun


This site has the most in-depth study of the Sun with correct information out of the many I've seen in my research. And unlike so many scientific sites, this one is beautifully done. According to this site: “The sun's photosphere (and there is a link to this) is often mistakenly referred to as the surface of the sun. In reality, however, the sun's photosphere is only a liquid-like plasma layer made of neon that covers the surface of the sun. That visible layer we see with our eyes is more commonly known as penumbral filaments.” I highly recommend this site.

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Space Weather.com


If you want to keep up with what is happening on the sun and how it affects the earth, this is the site to bookmark. You can get daily reports about the latest solar flares and the wind speed on the sun. It's a remarkable site for concrete information. No nonsense here. It doesn't get more real than this.

An example, provided on the solstice, March 21st: “A solar wind stream is due to hit Earth on March 24th, so stay tuned for Northern Lights.” If I still lived in Sweden, I would pay extra attention to this. The Northern Lights are awesome to watch. If you ever get the chance, take it. You'll never forget the feeling.

Visit this sight for visibility maps, safe observing tips and photos of past annular eclipses, too.

A nd finally, when you are doing the Sun Salutation, visualize the color of the sun, rainbow colors, and hues of violet and purple, like clouds in a powerful sunset. And then imagine all those colors converging into a brilliant white light above you. Think of the light of the sun.

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