Yesterday’s lecture in my AP World History class included the telling of the Mayan creation myth, the Popol Vuh. It’s a beautiful and unusual story that talks about the creation of the earth, of man, and of prayer. It’s also a story of the birth of the sun and the moon, when the twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, that are the protagonists of the narrative, successfully defeat the gods of Xibalba (the underworld), and ultimately become the sun and moon, to forever light the heavens and the earth. (You can see a beautiful animated film of the Popol Vuh here, I highly recommend it).
Now I’ve posted much about the moon, including these photographs by Laurant Laveder that I simply love, but nothing about the sun. While watching the film with my students today, however, I remembered having seen, sometime last year, a series of images of the sun that blew my mind. The photographer is Alan Friedman, and more of his amazing work can be found here.
The filters he uses create images where sun seems almost soft in texture, the colors are so rich and deep, and the prominences are downright stunning. Well, I’ll let you see for yourself. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words…
One more thing. I’ve written about how difficult it is to get a sense of scale when looking at photographs of space. Before we get to the rest of the images, click here to see how the Earth relates to what we’re seeing..