using nothing more than newton’s laws of gravitation, we astronomers can confidently predict that several billion years from now our home galaxy, the milky way, will merge with our neighbouring galaxy, andromeda. because the distances between the stars are so great compared to their sizes, few if any stars in either galaxy will actually collide.
any life on the worlds of that far off future should be safe, but they will be treated to an amazing billion-year-long lightshow.
a dance of a half a trillion stars, to music first heard on one little world, by a man who had but one true friend.
A total lunar eclipse will take place on October 8, 2014. It is the latter of two total lunar eclipses in 2014, and the second in a tetrad (four total lunar eclipses in series).
Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, however, for a total lunar eclipse to occur, the Moon and Earth have to be on the same orbital plane with the Sun — this is known as a syzygy. During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon travels completely into the Earth’s shadow (umbra). Even though the Moon is immersed in the Earth’s shadow, indirect sunlight will still reach the Moon. As sunlight passes through Earth’s atmosphere it gets absorbed and then radiated out (scattered). The atmosphere filters out most of the blue-colored light. What’s left over is the orange- and red-colored light. From the Moon’s perspective the Earth’s edge appears to glow bright orange or red. This red-colored light passes through our atmosphere without getting scattered, projecting indirect, reddish light onto the Moon.
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Every star is a sun as big, as bright, as our own. Just imagine, how far away from us you’d have to move the sun to make it appear as small and faint as a star. The light from the stars travels very fast. Faster than anything. But not infinitely fast. It takes time for their light to reach us. For the nearest ones, it takes years. For others, centuries. Some stars are so far away it takes eons for their light to get to Earth.
By the time the light from some stars gets here they are already dead. For those stars, we see only their ghosts. We see their light, but their bodies perished long, long ago.
- Episode 5: A Sky Full Of Ghosts, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
poetry, pure poetry.
Asa Smith. Celestial Illustrations from Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy. 1851.
Wood engravings with hand highlighting, written by the principal of Public School No. 12 in New York City with the goal “to present all the distinguishing principles in physical Astronomy with as few words as possible”.
Just want to take a break from the usual stuff to talk about how amazing stars are. When we look at stars we get to look into the past. Due to the way and speed light travels(186,282 mps) in, we see stars as they once were. It takes light, from the closest star to us, to travel to Earth in about eight minutes. When Earth based telescopes look at the sun, they are seeing it as it was eight minutes ago. Using Earth based telescopes and advancing technology we can see stars that no longer exist.
There are stars out there that are more than thousands, millions or billions of of light years away. So, if a star is a million light years away and died a million years ago, we will see it die now. If another star died four million years ago, but is a hundred million light years away, we’ll still be able to see it for another 96 million years.
and this is why, kids, stars are pretty wonderful.
Terraformation of Mars: A New Look
We look at Mars now as a forgotten Red Planet that almost seems barren and life-less judging from our available images and study of it. But study shows Mars was once as ecologically prosperous as our own Earth. But what happened to all of its waters? Better yet why is it so dry and lacking any plants? Once the abundance of oxygen left and the waters froze over or dried off the planet became what it is today. But what if we can in a way reactivate’ Mars? Welcome to Mars, Terraformed’.
Transforming Mars will be a long and complicated process. But this is exactly the type of subject that interests space researchers like Christopher McKay of NASA Ames Research Center. First, greenhouse gases, like chlorofluorocarbons that contribute to the growing ozone layer on Earth, will be released into the atmosphere. This traps the heat from the Sun and raises the surface temperature by an average of 4 degrees Celsius. In order to achieve this, factories would manufacture chlorofluorocarbons derived from the air and soil. A single factory would require the power equivalent of a large nuclear power plant.
The increasing temperature would vaporize some of the carbon dioxide in the south polar cap. Introducing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would produce additional warming, melting more of the polar cap until it has been vaporized completely. This would produce an average temperature rise of 70 degrees Celsius.
With the temperature this high, ice will start melting, providing the water needed to sustain life. This water would raise the atmospheric pressure to the equivalent of some mountaintops. While this would be a survivable level, it may still require the use of an oxygen mask. The next step, which may take up to several centuries, would be to plant trees that thrive on carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
Terraforming is the process of transforming a hostile environment into one suitable for human life. Being that Mars is the most Earth-like planet, it is the best candidate for terraforming. Once just the subject of science fiction novels, it is now becoming a viable research area. The famed astronomer and Pulitzer prize winner, Carl Sagan, says that there is enormous promise in the search for ancient life on Mars. If life was once sustainable on Mars, it is important to know what caused Mars to evolve into the cold and lifeless planet it is today. With this knowledge, we can terraform Mars by reversing the process.
NASA scientists believe that it is technologically possible at the present time to create considerable global climate changes, allowing humans to live on Mars. But this will not be by any means an easy task. Raising the atmospheric pressure and surface temperature alone could be achieved in a few decades.
This research has strong environmental implications for Earth. What researchers are trying to do involves global warming, a sort of greenhouse effect on the cold planet Mars. Scientists may be able to test their hypotheses about global warming in their attempts to elevate Mars’ surface temperature. Likewise, once theories, they may be applied to our own planet in an attempt to reverse environmental damage done by pollution and deforestation.
And shortly after we can terraform earth from Mars.
this is porn for me. what a wonderful morning read to go along with my coffee. also, pretty fucking awesome to think that we could just travel between motherfucking planets.
If Andromeda were brighter, this is how it would look in our night sky.
They’re all out there, we just can’t see themDistance to Earth: 2,538,000 light years
if this would be visible on our night sky i would be looking at it all night long every night.
This incredible photo taken off the coast of Uruguay shows the contrast of bioluminescence created by tiny creatures called ‘sea sparkles’ and the glow of the Milky Way in one of the darkest skies in the world.from ScienceAlert
this is amazing on so many levels.