"The sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured," starts the latest news from the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy. It sounds a little funny ("of course the sun is round!") but most celestial bodies have a bit of a bulge in the middle because they rotate. Even the Earth, a terrestrial planet, bulges around the equator just a bit -- the diameter measured at the equator is about 26 miles longer than between the poles. So it seems strange that the sun, which is not a solid body, would have almost no bulge at all. The team of scientists used data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory to take precise measurements, and found that if "scaled to the size of a beach ball, it would be so round that the difference between the widest and narrow diameters would be much less than the width of a human hair." Sounds like they have yet another solar mystery to solve.
Photo: NASA / SDO