Far away in the celestial wastelands at the outer edge of our Solar System further out even than Pluto, lies a lone dwarf planet going by the name of Sedna.
Conspicuously red and shiny and boasting the sharing of its name with an Inuit goddess who according to mythology was the creator of the Arctic’s sea life, Sedna was likely enjoying its privileged position of unique lonesomeness. Having enjoyed this status since it was first discovered in 2003 it may not however have been quite so impressed to learn that it had company!
Ever so slightly freezing cold at approximately -430 degrees F and very pretty in pink, dwarf planet 2012 VP113 lies 7 ½ billion miles from Earth’s sun (Earth lies at 93 million miles from its sun); although when it suits, it has the capacity to swing out to as far as 42 billion miles from our Sun; this is due to it’s having what is technically known as an “eccentric and elongated orbit.” Not to be outdone by its fainter pink neighbour Sedna can swagger out up to double this distance at 84 billion miles from the sun.
Frozen pink world, VP113 is also a very small dwarf planet at only 280 miles in diameter meaning that Sedna can at least enjoy the satisfaction of being twice the size; although Earth dwarfs them both with a 7,900 miles diameter .VP113 is not at all shiny and therefore despite being very, very pretty in pink was extremely difficult for astronomers to spot. Hence its existence remained unknown until 2012 when it was discovered by the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory telescope based in Chile.
So what exactly is so fascinating about a faint, frozen pink dwarf planet somewhere out in the farthest reaches of the solar system?
Basically it is likely there are many more such worlds to be found in this remote region of the solar system just waiting to be found. Scientists hope that they will, as a collective, shed light on the formation of both the new worlds such as VP113 and also our Solar System.
Hazardous Days Of
Wolfie Herr Selfie Creations!
Life can be very Herr-y (Hairy) at times…The taking of a top-quality, prize winning Wolfie Herr Selfie can be a truly herr-raising and frankly quite terrifying experience…. It frequently leads to the likes of the “Freaked-out, Shock-Horror Wolfie Herr Selfie,” is entirely the fault of the camera, and is totally impossible to correct with even the most sophisticated photo-editing software available
On many inexplicable occasions there is no accounting for the behaviour of the camera’s wide variety of Exposure modes. The “Underexposed, Green-eyed monster Wolfie Herr Selfie” has become an increasingly common problem, particularly for DSLR camera owners. That said, if you’re smart enough to get to grips with one of these mind-blowingiy complex contraptions then you really ought to be smart enough to know better than to attempt a Wolfie Herr Selfie in the first place
It’s also very well advised to switch off the hair dryer during the Wolfie Herr Selfie taking session…Drying your hair with one hand whilst taking a Wolfie Herr Selfie just doesn’t work… All too often it leads to the “Herr Dryer-Distortion Extraordinaire Wolfie Herr Selfie,” and nobody really wants to be sporting the “Dragged through a hedge backwards” (UK saying for the benefit of the US and European viewers) look
When attempting to take a semi-respectable Wolfie Herr Selfie it is generally best not to try taking it through a Europan Ice berg….it really isn’t a good look…and neither is the resulting “Tufty-eared, Sphereised Wolfie Herr Selfie…” just because you have a fancy camera sporting a massive, over-sized zoom lens doesn’t mean you have to let the camera create a “Herr Wolfie Through the Looking Glass Wolfie Herr Selfie.” (Remember it’s always the fault of the camera when things go wrong; which of course they do – frequently… !)
How wrong a Wolfie Herr Selfie can go is, to a point, a matter of dubious personal opinion. For example some Selfie-takers may, questionably, be seriously impressed by their camera’s previously unknown ability to take Wolfie Herr Selfies in 3-D… The “3-D Squashed-In Nose Wolfie Herr Selfie” certainly has some unique qualities all of its own. Naturally this is on the equally questionable assumption that you haven’t in fact created a 3-D printed Icewolf on the quiet, on your very own, very secret 3-D Wolfie Printing machine….
Even then things can still go a little “pear-shaped” (“horribly wrong” for those of European and US leanings ;) ) Of course if you like the “Solarised, Black Wolf of Mars Wolfie Herr Selfie” look then you may well be thrilled and highly impressed by the above Wolfie Herr Selfie… otherwise you may find yourself glaring furiously into the camera lens wondering disconcertedly how, exactly, the Selfie Camera or possibly your 3-D Wolfie Printer, yet again took matters into its own
settings, hands, paws… whatever!!!
Ultimately it’s probably best advised to give up on technology altogether when it comes to creating an effective Wolfie Herr Selfie…For those gifted characters blessed with the ability to exercise artistic creativity with paints and brushes a very pretty “Snowy Sumi Super Wolfie Herr Selfie” is an excellent look to aim for… and will show-case your enviable talents perfectly
But for those who aspire only to the highly technical Wolfie Herr Selfie Camera or the 3-D Wolfie Printer, both of which, as everybody knows, have infuriating minds of their own and do whatsoever they please to a Wolfie Herr Selfie, exactly when they please, there is only one option left open when all else fails…Pot luck!!
Very, very occasionally, usually at the time of Full Moon when the skies are clear and a certain Full Moon madness is reigning, a lovely, “Ripply Icy Wolfie Herr Selfie” can occur, embracing the soft blending of moonlight over snow on the Ice-world of Europa, where the voice of the alien Icewolves howls the haunting song of the stars, echoing timelessly across the planetscape of their frozen world of Ice.
Herr (Hair) Selfies
As everyone who has ever tried to take the Perfect “Selfie” knows, things don’t always go quite to plan…
Selfie disaster can strike at any moment causing anything from mild, slightly amused chuckles of disdain all the way through to screaming, horror-struck frustration and a deep sense of darkest doom and gloom…usually leading to a speedy and far more rewarding visit to the unfortunate Selfie-taker’s favourite tipple or/and their largest and most calorific box of naughtier than naughty, but hopelessly irresistible conciliatory chocolates…
It is also of course a painfully well-known fact that Selfies have a mind very much of their own and in the main exist only to cause a whole range of Selfie psychological disorders…these are, quite naturally, not at all easily ironed out and inevitably end up
full of unsightly creases leading to a whole new batch of Selfie disasters
Hence the appearance of a whole new breed of Selfie…The Herr (Hair) Selfie! If you thought the taking of a good Selfie was leading you into a whole new world of psychological disasters consider the Herr Selfie minefield for a moment …
The Twirly-Tripping Herr Selfie is the cause of many a seasoned Selfie taker sobbing uncontrollably into their camera’s latest top-of-the-range len’s whilst clinging hopelessly to a very large tub of dynamite-strength hair gel…
Windblown Herr Selfies are always a little worrying….
And of course the camera settings can change at will, the Wrong colour Herr Selfie being a favourite of any self-respecting Herr selfie camera…. and nothing at all to do with the Herr Selfie taker themselves….
The Out of focus, fragmented Herr Selfie is another time tested favourite in Herr Selfie disasters….
and the Herr Rastafarian Dreadlock Selfie is not unheard of in the right circumstances either….
However! Before you lose the will to live it IS possible to produce the Perfect Herr Selfie!!!
Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)
Inuit mythology tells of Sedna the goddess of the sea and marine animals, Sedna known also as the “Mother/ Mistress of the Sea,” is the star of what is essentially creation mythology, and the tale of the events that led to her becoming the mighty ruler of the Inuit underworld – Adlivun.
The mythology of Sedna exists in several different forms but they all contain common factors.
Sedna the daughter of Anguta, a creation god, takes the form of a giant, who under the influence of an insatiable hunger attack her parents in a misguided attempt to assuage her raging appetite.
An alternative version alleges that she was so frustrated and unhappy with her father’s choice of men for her to potentially marry that she chooses instead to marry a dog!
Still more versions of Sedna mythology portray her as a beautiful young woman living in a village of hunters, and whom despite receiving many eager proposals of marriage from the village’s male hunters, rejects them all. Consequently her disillusioned father hands her over to a new and previously unknown hunter as his wife in exchange for a plentiful supply of fresh fish. Unfortunately for Sedna her newly betrothed hunter-husband proves in reality, to be a mighty bird spirit who resides in a large cliff top nest. He is filled with a great wrath which ultimately leads to his vengeful stirring up of a huge storm designed to destroy both Sedna and her father when Sedna’s remorse-ridden father tries his best to rescue her from the plight he has unwittingly plunged her into.
In another version again, Sedna is the abducted and imprisoned on a floating ice island by a different bird like being. In its absence her father sails valiantly to her rescue in a kayak. Consumed by furious outrage at her escape the bird being, calls up a great sea spirit to assist him in wreaking terrible revenge on Sedna and her father, seeking to drown them both in mighty and violent waves of the like that had never before been seen.
Although the exact nature of the assortment of myths regarding Sedna are many and varied, they all have in common three important points:
1. Her father tossing her out of the kayak and into the ocean waves.
2. Her father chopping off her fingers when she fights to climb back into it, so that she sinks to the ocean depths, down to the sea bed itself.
As she does so, what had been her fingers undergo a miraculous transformation into the sea animals that the Inuit regularly hunt – Walruses, Seals and Whales. She is sometimes said to have had her head chopped off or to have grown a tail before her descent to the sea bed.
3. She becomes a mighty sea goddess who commands every mammal of the sea.
Sedna considered a vengeful goddess, is the “Mistress of Life and Death” to the Inuit people because she is their provider. Consequently she is worshiped and prayed to by the hunters who seek to please her so that she will liberate the sea and marine life they rely on for their food supply.
She does so happily if she is treated with due respect and concern. But she also expects that one person be willing to undertake the dangerous journey to her home to relieve the torturous pain she experiences in her hands when she is not respected. If this does not happen, and as a result of her pain and suffering, she in turn punishes the people with a combination of storms, starvation and sickness.
There are many great riches to be found if we are but willing to take a risk and venture deep into the dark, cold places each one of us harbours, and that we fear the most. No matter what illnesses and disabilities we may have the misfortune to experience, or the stupid and thoughtless mistakes we may make in life, we are still worthy of love and respect and have every right to expect, and even demand, that others treat us well.
It’s Rocket Science! From Space Exploration to 3-D Printing
London Science Museum 2014 (South Kensington)
(All photos: Copyright: Europa’s Icewolf 2014)
Exotic Blue-Marble Planet Raining Glass…Sideways!
Exo-Planet HD 189733b
We all know exotic alien planets can be very strange and bizarre, and turbulent blue marble exo-planet HD 189733b in the constellation of Vulpecula (The Fox) is no exception. In fact this alien world is a shining example of wild and exotic alienness. Scoring a first for humanity (and Europan Ice Wolves if you happen to be lucky enough to be part of the Pack) those clever NASA and ESA astronomer types with a smidgling of help from the Hubble Space Telescope have figured out the real planetary colours of an alien world circumnavigating another sun; something it does this in 2.2 Earth days tucking in very close and cosy with its parent star (sun).
Although at first glance, and this would have to be a very close up glance, this deep azure blue world, a giant gas planet known as a “hot Jupiter” bears a remarkable similarity to the heart-warming blue colour of Earth as seen when floating just above it in a cosmic deck chair whilst sipping an intrepid tequila in intergalactic space and admiring the view.
However, before you all go rushing off to dust off those aeon old telescopes lying forgotten in the attics and lofts of the home world, don’t! Not a good idea at all. Leave them right where they are…gathering very un-alien like Earth dust! HD 189733b is one of the closest exo-planet’s to Earth but it still lies 63 light years (630 trillion kilometres) from Earth and despite the fact that it shares pretty much the same size and mass stat’s as the Europa’s Ice wolves mother world, Jupiter, and still shines with that beautiful star-blue glow, and even has awesome sunsets, you won’t be able to see it!! No… not even a little blue dot so just take a nice deep breath of Earth air and calm down!
Colour is where the similarity between this exotic exo-planet and Earth end, swallowed hungrily by its dramatically unstable and exotic, atmosphere where it rains glass sideways (drops of molten magnesium silicate particles) in a furious frenzy of hurricane-force winds hitting a ferocious, hyperactive 7000 kilometres-per-hour (4,350 mile per hour). With a searing atmospheric temperature of 1000+ degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit/1000 degrees C day side, 1,200 degrees F/650 degrees C night side – tidally locked so one side always faces its sun) atmospheric water exists in the form of steam, intermingled with vapour mists and fierce, blazing flares. 1,000 tons of its atmosphere is blown away with each passing second by its sun’s (star’s) intermittent solar surges.
And why is HD 189733b a deep and shiny azure blue colour? I hear you ask…albeit very quietly in a “don’t tell Wolfie we asked or we’ll be here all night” kind of tone. The sideways-raining glass (magnesium silicates) in its hyperactive atmosphere, scatter blue light very effectively to create this effect. Earth shines bold and blue due to the blue colours in the sunlight scattering in the atmosphere. Yes, the sun is still there to achieve this very important end even if you can’t mostly see it through all that lovely grey cloud cover. Cold, distant Neptune is also a blue planet, but for the entirely different reason that its air has copious levels of methane gracing it. This decidedly non-breathable Neptunian methane does a pretty good job of absorbing red light blotting it out altogether to human eyesight so that Earth dwellers beady little eyes will only see the blue light reflecting back to them and therefore Neptune is blue. This is a very therapeutic and relaxing colour for the average Earth dweller to cast their beady little eyeballs on according to the therapists.
Exo-planet temperature map data revealed by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope In 2007 allowed scientists the opportunity to chart the bizarre weather environment of the exotic, alien world of exo-planet HD 189733b. It was concluded that there are roughly 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius), differences between the daytime side and night-time side temperatures, and these are also responsible creating the wild, gale force winds buffeting this beautiful marble blue world amongst the stars.
NASA and ESA
The Eye Of The Needle
(The Watcher At The Window)
The stars glowed strangely bright in a clear, black sky; their soft touch turning to cosmic fire, the Star-born of Europa a ghostly trace gazing remotely into the night; the silence of eternity echoing off rare and segregated structures, night darkened and towering into the galactic moon-rise.
Fascinated the “Observer” watched avidly through the “window of the universe” – the rift in time and space that had appeared inexplicably on the tail of the meteorite aftermath on that cool winter’s night… Defying all natural laws it hovered gently before the watchful eyes of the Observer, stretching the full length of the laboratory and set against the backdrop of the slowly turning satellite receivers monitoring the night sky; veiled in dark shadows, playing steadily amongst the emissions of a hazy, glowing spring moon…
Soundless void, the voice of eternity dancing in the eyes of the universal Ice-wolves of Europa. Echoing separation of endless night sky calls. Resonances of eternal silence blending with the haunting night, the incomprehensibility of a star-filled void shrouding the alien structure – “the Eye of the Needle.”
Motionless in the arching structure that was the interplanetary gateway – the Eye of the Needle…untouchable… Enigmatic moon-wolf, daughter of the Europan Star Streams caught in thrall to the infinite and devastating loneliness of frozen ice cavern, looking out across acidic seas under the skies of another world.
Sequestered in the murmuring extra-terrestrial solar winds; her only whispering companion on a deadly world of isolated beauty. Rainbow rings slanting across startlingly bright moon, catching a mesmerising, multiplexed dreamscape; another-worldly dimensional-diffusion of light-induced mysteries in the genesis of worlds. The nemesis of space.
Astral-lunar wolf shivering in countless galactic mysteries, indistinct now as she regarded the startling acid seas, distant eyes lost in faraway fantasies, dreaming in the other worldly touch of outlandish lapping oceans glittering in bright astral-beams, reflecting off the golden waters of a world at the end of time. The first quarter moon a cool shimmering globe, still as a space-stone from a distant and unfamiliar world. Locked in the crystallised ice-rock dreams, she gazed out at airless, quarantined moons from the gulf of a thousand worlds.
For a moment it seemed that the interstellar Ice-wolf now walking in direct line towards the Observer turned startling azure eyes, burning fiercely with the power of the stars, directly upon her enthralled viewer; surely seeing the “Watcher at the Window” as certainly as she herself was seen. Drawing a sharp breath, hardly daring to release a further one, the Observer froze, captured by the absolute, undeniable alienness that infiltrated so completely the astral eyes of the Star Born of Europa, before remembering they were separated by the boundaries of time and space…
Solar winds shivering through silky strands slanting stealthily across the still, outlandish brilliance of acrid, acid seas, carrying on intergalactic winds the state song of the universe; sliding unseen through the timeless structure that was the Eye of the Needle at the end of the universe – an astronomical mirror of cosmic space under the unfathomable night sky of an exotic, stellar world.
Achingly lonely and compellingly beautiful, poised aloofly before the acidic seas of another world, she was growing faint now and hazy, even to the watchful scrutiny of her observer, drawn inexorably back into the misty timeline-dimensions from whence she had appeared, azure eyes glowing with the wisdom of the universe and the ancient heartache of a cosmic eternity. Otherworldly lunar light slid silently as a star wolf navigating the paths of the celestial moon tracks, boundless tears in a soundless pool of acid seas. Rainbowed riches that alternatively danced and shattered to the heart bleed of the universe. Universal star song. The dance music of the stars.
“If we could look into each other’s hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance and care.” – Marvin J Ashton
(“The Eye of the Needle” – © Europa’s Icewolf 2014)