Ask Ethan #108: Is there any “instant” sunlight?

“I’ve heard a number of times that light takes thousands of years to get from the center of the sun to the surface. I understand that. What I want to ask is this. Is there ANY sunlight that is created at the surface of the sun and therefore gets to leave immediately?”

It’s a good thing that sunlight doesn’t reach us simply from its moment of creation in the core of stars, otherwise we’d be bombarded with lethal gamma rays, rather than the life-giving UV, visible and infrared light we actually experience. But the neutrino signatures from those reactions can travel to us directly, allowing us to observe that direct sunlight indirectly, rather than from the photosphere or corona.

Pages 4–5 of the ‘Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere Portfolio Photosphere’. Introduction here.

Mission statement for General Resource LTD. Part of me cringes a bit at the justification of the text, but mostly I love the tenacity of it – it’s just so cool. The whole spread does well to establish GR’s character – expressionless, rigid, monolithic, mysterious.

On a side note, this is where my blog name comes from. Data Swallow is a General Resources OS used to upload stuff to the Electrosphere, where it is visualised and made accessible to anyone with a connection.