Post on Facebook National Solar Observatory

A Plea for real Data and real tools for Students and Life long learners. Not dumbed down, not lossy images, not all the noise and information stripped out and glossed over. Real data is complex and ever changing. We, the human species, need to learn to handle many different kinds of signals of great complexity, in not ones and twos, but in millions and billions of data streams. Because our lives are that complex. And our world will run on technologies where handling vast data streams is the basis of everything around us.

I see your nice pictures of granules. Can you tell me precisely where those lossless images are stored? Not some vague, “over there somewhere”. I say that because the solar sites all talk about data and when you go to find it, it is always somewhere else. And the explanations somewhere else. And the tools somewhere else.

I just want to study the shapes of these granules as closely as possible. Since they are quite complex and ever changing, I figure more would be better. But there does not seem to be a ‘download some region of the sun that is quiet”. Most of your downloads never estimate the difficulty of processing. You must assume your users all have supercomputers. I don’t want more that a terabyte. I don’t want jpeg images that have mushed all the pixels. But I will NOT install FITS tools because whoever wrote all those has perfect eyesight and made every icon and character so small that when I enlarge it to see, every other thing on my system it five times too large.

Is there a human I can talk to? If I went to a physical library, in the old days, I would go to the library. explain what I was looking for, and usually go directly to what I needed. On the Internet, every single page of every single site is different. Different colors and layouts. Different navigation clues and methods. Every query is unique to the site or page. Can you meet me half way?

I can program in Javascript, Fortran, C, Visual Basic, and other languages. I am using Windows and have 20 TB of disk. It is cheap, I can add more. I have 110 Mbps download, which is 13.75 MBps. But things get slow. Say 5 MBps, for a day is 0.432 TB per day. I am not greedy. I don’t want a full disk every time. The pixels are too large to see much anyway.

On Wikipedia I read that the granules are about 1500 km across and last 8 to 20 minutes. That is pi*750^2 = 1,767,146 km^2. Your too small to see and too fast to watch carefully comparison of Inouye Solar Telescope and Dunn Solar Telescope (with no links the make sense) says the final size of the region shown is 10000×10000 km and the pixels are 30×30 km^2. That would be (10000/30) => 333×333 pixels at final. And 36500/30 => 1216×1216 pixels to start.

Can I have some of those? Or is that in the future? Apparently the Dunn gives 36500/160 => 228×228 to start, and 10000/160 => 62×62 to end. I completely fail to understand what you were trying to do in that comparison. Can you use the Dunn low resolution image data over time to constrain a model of the granules so well that their modeled or estimated pixels are sol close to what Inouye gives that you don’t need Inouye at all? Someone was not careful. And like I said, too small too fast too ambiguous. Facebook NEED not be stupid or incomplete. Writing anywhere on the web requires more effort, if many people will read it.

Now I found no description of what lossless pixels are offered from “publicly funded telescopes”. Can I get a days worth of one of those 160km pixels for a region 500×500 pixels. You have no information on data. So how many bits per pixels? How many frequencies per pixel? If you are going to use Facebook, and NOT providing basic data information, you are hurting lots of people who want to do more than watch pretty pictures.

About one in a thousand of people on earth have the background to count pixels and look at these processes and try to understand them. There are about 4.5 billion people on the Internet so roughly 5 million people could do a good job of studying and discussion granules, if you would let them. But if you make them all have to spend days (8 hours per day) or weeks (40 hours per week) that is 40 million hours at minimum, at GDP per capita for mathematically inclined people, about $15 per hour. So we are nudging up to $600 million of human spent to just start looking at your data. The human species is that large. And I bet you collectively have not spent your own time to make this site and the related ones useful. Because simple pixel counters have many others with other reasons to look at the sun. Otherwise why did we all pay for it?

I am trying to convince you to work much harder at making this data really accessible. There are about 1.92 Billion kids from 5 to 20 in the world. And, in future value, they cannot be valued less then $32 per hour. They impact everyone around them. They might change the course of the future. I am throwing around these numbers to give you a way to justify to yourself and Congress and your funders — put in the effort to make this data accessible to EVERYONE on the Internet, not just a few ten thousand or million who happen to already be studying or getting paid to look at these things.

Now I am an old retired mathematical statistician. I love time series of images. I want to look at the statistics on the pixels of these images over time. For superconducting gravimeters I use months and years of data. For seismometers months and years. But when I got to find pixels from the sun, you have wrapped it and mediaized it so badly, no one can find anything. It is too spread out, too many voices, too many hand built pages and uncoordinated arbitrary conventions and choices. I know. I have spent the last 22 years looking at the whole web, and data and model sharing global network groups particularly.

Please. Where are the lossless pixels? In a form that a grade school kid can try their hand at statistics, or simply basic image processing. Do you remember turtle graphics? Think about turtle granule modeling language. You are smart enough to keep real data and give entry to anyone. You do it by NOT requiring people to memorize and use your own words. Pixel, color, size, area. You can start that simple. Get a few hundred million people looking. Let them all talk to each other, and share what they find. NOT dumping stuff on millions of pages – but curate, categorize, mentor, teach the teachers who are struggling to make web accessible teach materials. We have gone from talking heads and blackboards to self-guided exploration with communities of peers, and communities of students working alongside the people who do things every day.

Well, now I worry that I write all this and some arbitrary person says, that is too much. But I still want to know where to find a few hours, or days, or months or years of pixels from the sun in a form that anyone on the Internet can use. That means Javascript in browsers, and tab separated ascii files, or json objects to start with. Binary does not work on the web. The cost to maintain it is too high because you have no way to guarantee that all the people will have the proper viewer. Something that works for everyone is better for society, than something that only works for insiders.

You cannot hear my heart or my voice. I truly want to work with some pixels. And I want to let everyone on earth be able to see them with me. To do it themselves, and learn the kind of future skills they will need when all publicly funded sensors and many corporately and privately funded sensor live and lossless streams and their archives of raw data and global communities of users and researchers and developers are the norm, not the exception.

Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation

What is the resolution of the image

https://nso.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Full-Image-high-2-scaled.jpg

Is this a LOSSLESS format?

When was it taken? What is in view? What were the details of this measurement? What frequencies were used to make the colors? What do all the colors and intensities mean with respect to the original? What are the temperatures, densities, intensities in absolute units.

Are all the images on your site lossy? I think you really ought to explain to visitors and user what lossless data means and not offer them things that cannot be compared between sites. Undocumented and lossy is not science.

Thank you. Are you going to, or have you, posted accessible pixels from your images? In a form that anyone on the Internet can use.

Richard Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation

Richard Collins

About: Richard Collins

Sculpture, 3D scanning and replication, optimizing global communities and organizations, gravitational engineering, calibrating new gravitational sensors, modelling and simulation, random neural networks, everything else.


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