Posted by: John | June 27, 2011


Thermals are columns of rising air caused by the sun heating the earth unevenly. They are one important way a glider stays aloft. Near our gliderport, there’s a little brick country church with its attendant cemetery. One time, I was flying with a student when we found some lift over the church. As we circled in the thermal, I looked down the wing at the peaceful church grounds and wondered if that’s not where all our thermals end anyway – in a cemetery. I remembered watching the news and hearing scientists say that in seventy million (or so) years, our sun will implode on itself. There won’t be any more thermals after that inevitable event.

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