Smashing the Final Planetary Frontier!   18 comments

It’s Pluto Time!

New Horizons_Desert Fantasy_New Horizonns7A

Seen from Pluto the Sun would be no more than a very bright star, the large yellow disc of Earth skies would be a distant memory in the mind of the intergalactic tourist. The light Pluto receives from the Sun is a thousand times dimmer than that enjoyed on Earth and although Pluto does have a thin atmosphere, which scatters the little sunlight it receives, the bright skies of Earth will never be seen on Pluto.

Weather and atmospheric conditions can also affect the amount of sunlight received by Pluto although at this point little is known about these matters. What is known however, is that Pluto’s day lasts approximately 153 hours. Combine this with long seasons and a long axial tilt parts of Pluto can remain sunlit for four years at a time!

So what can the intrepid intergalactic tourist actually do on Pluto? Lying on a sun-soaked Plutonian beach catching a fantastic suntan certainly is not on the agenda! Reading a good book, for example, “The Interspatial Tourist Guide Galactica” would be a great starting point – once the eyes have adjusted to Pluto light.

Alternatively it is perfectly possible to take brilliantly clear pictures of the Plutonian planetscape for the photographic enthusiast. For the avid WordPress blogger this would make for great blog material! Be sure to use a long exposure or a wider aperture to collect as much light as possible and better still take a few tips from the New Horizons probe!

pluto-timepluto-seen-from-the-surface-ron-miller2AA

Pluto Time is a moment on Earth when the light conditions at sunrise and sunset matches sunlight at high noon on Pluto.

It’s always Pluto Time somewhere on our planet.

Next Pluto timeFind your personal Pluto Time visiting by NASA’s “Pluto Time” website and entering your location into the NASA web tool.

Pluto Time generates the next exact available time from any location in the world when you can go outside and discover what it would be like to actually be on Pluto experiencing the midday Plutonian light conditions . (Everyone has two chances each day, around dusk and dawn.)

NASA is also encouraging users of the tool to take photos during their local Pluto Time and share the images via Twitter with the hashtag #PlutoTime.

Pluto from Charon_thetimes3Charon, the largest of the 5 known moons of Pluto looms large in the Plutonian sky. It is actually bigger than Pluto and the two worlds both orbit each other – like a double planet. Charon is tidally locked to Pluto and therefore can only be seen from one side of the planet. On that side Charon would, on occasion, shine very brightly in the Plutonian skies. This is a similar effect to that of Earth and The Moon where we see only the bright side of the Moon but never the dark, far-side.

It turns out that we were compluto-lolcatpletely wrong about the colour we always believed Pluto to be which was shades of steely blue or grey.

Recent images sent back by New Horizons show that it is in fact a sandy reddish colour.

Competition for Mars the traditional red planet! However Mars should probably not be too worried now that it is sporting unexpected blue sunsets and green-blue auroras to set it apart from the competition.

Not to be outdone by Mars with its latest batch of tourist-attracting features, images from New Horizons also show that Pluto has a huge heart shape slicing intpluto with square close up highlighted o the surface of what is not far short of fifty percent of its side. Just for good measure the images also show that there is a whale on Pluto! Otherwise known as an expansive shadowy area at the base going by the nick-name of “the whale”.

a-scene-on-pluto-with-charon-its-giant-ron-millerX5

Despite Pluto being undeniably similar in colour to Mars, the reasons for this colouration are worlds apart. Mars’s rich red hues are a result of the iron oxide or rust which colours the planet’s rocks and soil. Whereas in Pluto’s case its colour seems to owe itself to the interaction between the Plutonian sunlight and hydrocarbon molecules. According to NASA, “The reddish colour is likely caused by hydrocarbon molecules that are formed when cosmic rays and solar ultraviolet light interact with methane in Pluto’s atmosphere and on its surface.”

Sources:

space.com 

solarsystem.nasa.gov

mic.com (Tech.mic)

independent.co.uk

universetoday.com

Wolfie Chew-Sticks! You Turned the Air BLUE!!!!   31 comments

Interstellar Tourist Alert! Blue Auroras on Mars!

Don’t Miss This Fantastic Opportunity to see “The Southern Lights” of Mars!

Mars blue aurora wolf_Image credits (background): NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and CSW/DB.

Theoretically it should be impossible for Mars to experience auroras as unlike Earth it no longer has a global magnetic field. On Mars it ceased to exist 3.5 billion years ago. However, in the main in the Southern hemisphere an assortment of “increased magnetic fields” have survived in the surface. These are known as “crustal magnetic anomalies,” and it would seem that these are capable of sparking auroras.

Auroral Glowing Blue Sky_

Sunrise/Sunset Auroras lighting the Wolves of MarsAurora’s appear on a relatively frequent basis after periods of intense solar flare-ups during the life of a solar cycle which on Mars causes  a beautiful, glowing blue sky.  For the intrepid interstellar tourist chasing the Martian lights jumping out of bed bright and early is recommended as they are best caught just before sunrise.

Alternatively for the lazy, late-rising tourist who probably prefers a Martian cocktail on the blue-soaked beaches whilst lounging in a deck chair watching the sun go down, just after sunset is the ideal time to catch the spectacular Martian lights.

  •   On Mars, aurorae also occur in the visible range.
  •   Carbon dioxide in Mars’s atmosphere means skies glow intense deep blue.Southern Skies glow an intense deep blue

Mars’s atmosphere consists mainly of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Consequently the southern skies glow an intense deep blue. On Earth the oxygenated atmosphere causes auroras in shades of red and green – the Northern Lights. It is still possible to see such colours, though in far more subdued tones, on Mars too.

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The research also hopes to help us understand:

  •   More about the atmospheres of other planets and their emissions, and also that of Earth.
  •   The evolution of the Martian atmosphere
  •   Difference in mass between Mars and Earth
  •   Assisting in the ultimate discovery of habitable new worlds

Blue aurorae in Mars’ sky visible to the naked eye_Background Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and CSW/DBBrave new worlds millions of miles from home

”Prime view of the aurora may seem trivial. And yet, on cold, barren planet millions of miles away, one beautiful reminder of home could make a world’s difference.” (Quote Credit: motherboard.vice.com)

Sources:

The Sky at Night
NASA.gov
Motherboard.vice.com
Astronomy Now.com
Washington Post

“Let Us Go You and I…”   44 comments

Martian Sunset…But Not As You Know It!

  Mars_Panoramic

“Welcome to Mars! The home of beautiful red sunsets and romantic pink-hued views of Earth in an exotic Martian dusk…lazy summer evenings in Gale Crater relaxing in your rose-tinted deck chairs on the red Sands of Mars, sun hats glowing softly in cooling evening sun… watching the first glimmers of rising stars in the interstellar regions between the neighbouring gas giant Jupiter red oxide beaches of Mars… the distant howls of the Black wolves of Mars shimmering golden-red shades in the setting sun….all the ingredients of the perfect intergalactic holiday Smile

 

But wait! Action replay!! This web page no longer exists! NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has just blown the whole intergalactic holiday guide to Mars straight out of the water!

“Welcome to Mars! The home of serene blue-hued sunsets and softly blue-tinged skies!! … What! What! Stunning blue sunsets on Mars!!! the distant howls of the Black wolves of Mars shimmering cool blue shades of azure light in the setting sun on the towering foothills of Mount Sharp….all the ingredients of the perfect intergalactic holiday …” REALLY?!!

Sunset on Mars April 15 2015 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Apparently so. Smile  Curiosity doesn’t tell ‘porkies’ and along with the images it kindly sent back to Earth it also saw fit to send a tweet too, so it must be true!

@Curiosity Rover “Let us go you and I…”

But WHY??!!! Are Curiosity and NASA finally losing it? Blue skies on Mars my Icewolfie paw!!! Hmm…well according to Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University – the Curiosity science-team member who planned the observations, maybe not…the theory goes like this….

 

mars_sunset Credit: Google

“When the blue light scatters off the dust, it stays closer to the direction of the Sun than light of other colours does. The rest of the sky is yellow to orange, as yellow and red light scatter all over the sky instead of being absorbed or staying close to the Sun.

Just as colours are made more dramatic in sunsets on Earth, Martian sunsets make the blue near the sun’s part of the sky much more prominent, while normal daylight makes the rusty colour of the dust more prominent.”

 

So! What should have looked like this……

Black wolf of Mars A_Image: Europa's Icewolf

 

….apparently looks like this! Welll…maybe this is slightly exaggerated but hey! You get the general picture yes? ;}

Black wolf of Mars B_Image: Europa's Icewolf

The Curiosity rover gathered enough evidence from around where it landed in Gale Crater (August 2012) to give firm grounds for believing that billions of years in Mars’ past a lake and stream system existed with the potential for habitation.

Today, 3 years later in 2015, Curiosity is hard at work in the centre of Gale Crater checking out Mt. Sharp which soars 3.4 miles (5.5 km) into the alien skies of Mars. Its numerous layers of rock (Mt Sharp that is not Curiosity Winking smile ) contain the key to historic environmental situation variants that have occurred on Mars across the centuries. The purpose of Curiosity’s mission here is to discover how Mars developed from a comparatively temperate and moist world somewhere back in the dim and distant past to the cold, arid desert wilderness world it has transformed into in the present times.

Needless to say mission scientists are yet to discover what any self-respecting intergalactic tourist to the Red Planet is fully aware of, from long nights spent lounging in the BLUE Martian sunsets in their favourite deck chair – the presence of “The Black Wolves of Mars,” howling lyrically long into the alien nights! Smile

 

Black wolf of Mars C_Image: Europa's Icewolf

Sources:

Space.com

Press Trust of India/Washington – The Indian Express

Taking the Battle to Islamic State–Message to IS Terrorists   14 comments

Message to Islamic State_Image Credit: FacebookMessage to All Islamic State Terrorists!!

“To all the Islamic State jihadist, self-titled “lions”… from all the “She-Wolves” of the world whom you seek to subdue and control, and whom you see as the “spoils of war” to be abused and violated to your own vile and disgusting ends…

Never underestimate the “She-Wolves” of this world… Our rights to equality and freedom have been long fought for and died for. We are stronger than you think and we will never give in, and we will never give up.

The “She-Wolves” will never bow to the “lions” and the “She-Wolves” will not be afraid to take the battle to the “lions” whenever and wherever the need arises. We will fight you to the bitter end, for the “She-Wolves” to submit to the “lions” will never be an option.

My growl is warning heed it well!!!

Europa’s Icewolf – Alpha Female of the Europa Pack.”

For the strength of the wolf is the pack….and the strength of the Pack is the wolf.

The She-Wolves taking the battle to Islamic State (IS)   11 comments

The “She-Wolves” Taking The Battle To Islamic State (IS)

IS has met its match! It is facing its worst nightmare! The female of the species!!

Woman and Wolves (Image: Europa's Icewolf) Image credit: Google images

Hundreds of young Kurdish women have volunteered to leave homes and families and sadly in some cases, abusive marriages and other problems, to become tough, trained soldiers, led by Abdullah Ocalan who unusually had for a long time championed equality for women.

These young female soldiers are putting their lives on the line to “take the battle to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria,” determined that women’s rights will not be brutally restricted and snatched away from them by these vile, cruel terrorists.

Image Credit: NEWSHA TAVAKOLIAN

The wild nature belongs to such a woman, it is the essence of her soul, the consciousness of her heart and spirit, the ambient voice of her dreams and aspirations, the compassion of her words of empathy and the song of her humanitarianism. It is the passion that drives her to establish her territory and to seek out and create her pack, and to nurture.

Image Credit: NEWSHA TAVAKOLIANImage Credit: NEWSHA TAVAKOLIANThe Women’s Protection Unit, (YPJ) links to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), a Kurdish nationalist movement -–who like other Kurdish groups battling IS have also been fighting an ongoing battle against Turkey for independence.

IS will be facing off against female fighters. When 18 year old Zilan Orkesh who joined YPJ – in 2011, killed her first IS jihadist, eager to taunt the other IS fighters she cheered and shouted as loud as she could in the hope they would hear her, “I wanted to let them know that their worst nightmare had come true, their friend had been killed by a woman.”

Training half hour from the front line at a free Syrian military camp they are also driven by an all-consuming, single minded desire not only to take up arms against IS but also to free themselves of the inequality in Middle Eastern society that strips women of so many of the rights enjoyed by the men.

She will never give in or give up... (Image Credit: Goog;e images)

Image Credit: NEWSHA TAVAKOLIANThe wild nature gives a woman the strength to stand, and to roar like a lion in the face of injustice, wielding the sword of spirit and infinite determination against all the odds, refusing to fall at the feet of her tormenters, rising against the storm pitted against her in the sure and certain knowledge she will never give in or give up.

“In the pastwomen had various roles in the society, but all those roles were taken from them. WEdit7e are here now to take back the role of women in society” – 18 year old Saria Zilan.

“We live in a world where women are dominated by men. We are here to take control of our future. I injured an IS jihadi in Kobani. When he was wounded all his friends left him behind and ran away. Later I went there and buried his body. I now feel that I am very powerful and can defend my home, my friends, my country, and myself. Many of us have been martyred and I see no path other than the continuation of their path.” – 18 year old YPJ fighter Torin Khairegi

“Where I am now men and women are equal and we all have the same thought, which is fighting for our ideology and the rights of women. My three sisters and I are all in YPJ” – 20 year old YPJ fighter Aijan Dents from Amuda, Syria

 

 

 

 

“The war influenced me a lot. Before joining YPJ, whenever I asked my family about politics and they’d just say ‘that’s not your business you’re just a girl’, But when I saw how the women of YPJ gave their lives for what they believed in I knew that I wanted to be one of them.” – 16 year old YPJ fighter Barkhodan Kochar from Darbesi, Syria

“When my mother told Cicek ‘Please stay with your mother’ she answered, ‘I left to fight for all the mothers of the world. I cannot stay here.” Rojin the sister of YPJ fighter Cicek Derek who died age 17 years, fighting in Kobani Syria

“I fought IS in Jezza and Serikani. Women of YPJ are not scared of IS.” – 20 year old YPJ fighter Beritan Khabat from Derek, Syria who joined YPJ to protect her land of birth and put an end to the suppression of women.

Such a woman is an instinctive creature,

who refuses to bow to shame, who uses her feminine wile and wits

to lead all in her charge

through danger to safety

Wild nature...She who refuses to bow to shame (Image:Europa's Icewolf)

She is a woman of power,

Of a nature that sets her apart from her contemporaires.

She is, through the wild nature,

The She-Wolf!

 

SOURCES:

References to women and wolves taken from 2011 post “Wild Women.”

TIME (photos by NEWSHA TAVAKOLIAN)

Kurdistan.trendolizer.com

Reddit.com

Globoble.com

Lunar Eclipse Fire Wolves–Eclipse Mythology Of The World   34 comments

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“Eclipses are a chance to see the universe working. It’s the solar system doing its thing right before your eyes and it’s a deep and personal pleasure.”

– E.C Krupp director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California

clip_image006clip_image008Blood moon eclipses – the moon is bathed in a red orange hue of refracted (bent) light coming from around the Earth. This April 4, 2015 blood moon eclipse, is part of the series of 4 consecutive Lunar Eclipses known as a “tetrad.” These are set approximately 6 months apart. April 15, 2014 – October 8, 2014 – our most recent one on April 4, 2015 and the shortest Total Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century and the final one on September 28, 2015. The longest Total Lunar Eclipse this century will last 1 hour 24 minutes and will take place on July 27, 2018. Both Lunar and Solar Eclipses habitually occur in 18 year-long cycles known as Saros Cycles. Eclipses separated by a Saros Cycle are incorporated into a Saros Series. The recent Lunar Eclipse is part of Saros Series 132 which includes 71 Lunar Eclipses – the last one being on June 26, 2754.

“It’s an amazing experience, even though you know it’s just the moon moving in front of the sun. That’s why there are so many eclipse chasers”

Eclipse Fire Wolves

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Lunar Eclipse Myths from around the World

The Chinese word for “eclipse” is shih or chi meaning “to eat.” In many cultures people were of the firm belief that demons or animals were swallowing the sun or the moon at the times of eclipse. As a result of this belief they went to great pains to drive them away, commonly banging pots and pans or playing drums to this end.

clip_image012The Vikings view was that two “sky wolves” were chasing the Sun or the Moon and lunar or solar eclipses occurred whenever the wolves caught one of them. Similarly in Korea’s eclipse myths eclipses occurred when “fire dogs,” acting on orders of the king try catch and steal the Sun or the Moon. Although they only ever manage to bite their prey of “fire or ice” their actions spark an eclipse.The_Hunt_resized

Vietnam have slightly different ideas in so far as they believe it is a frog/toad that consumes the Sun or the Moon and on the West Canadian coast the Kwakiuti tribe is convinced that during the occurrence of an eclipse the “mouth of heaven” eats the Sun or the Moon.

– E.C Krupp director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California

In the minds of The Inca lunar eclipses were a result of a Jaguar attacking and eating the Moon. This bloodshed explained the red-brown hue of the “Blood Moon” commonly seen during a total lunar eclipse such as seen recently (4th April 2015) The Inca would fiercely shake their spears at The Moon and make as much noise as possible, often “beating their dogs to make them bark and howl” in the hope of scaring the Jaguar away, afraid that it would fall to Earth and eat the Inca people too!

– David Dearborn, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California

clip_image015Chinese mythology states the Dragon, a “masculine solar energy” causes lunar eclipses when he tries to eat the Moon. The Chinese too would make much noise to chase it away and as late as 19th century cannons were fired by the Chinese navy to this end.

The ancient Mesopotamians whose culture stated that their king also symbolised the land believed that the seven demons they considered to be attacking the Moon at the time of lunar eclipse were also attacking their king. Therefore at such times they would substitute a temporary king – who if he survived the demons attack would probably be killed off later when the real king was reinstated!

Healing Lunar Eclipse Myths

clip_image017In contrast to the more aggressive lunar eclipse myths, The Luisno tribe – Southern California, would sing and chant and say prayers to restore the Moon back to good health and well-being, believing that an eclipse indicated that the Moon was very sick and feeling thoroughly under the weather!

Lunar eclipses are seen as a time of reconciliation by the people of Togo and Benim in Africa – The Batammaliba. In their culture, during an eclipse the Sun and the Moon are in battle with one another. The people work hard to discourage the discord between the two heavenly bodies and it is seen as a time when families and friends get together, and old arguments and disputes are resolved.

– Jarita Holbrook, cultural astronomer at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

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Eclipses are considered to be simply another natural part of the balance of the universe’s cosmic order, by The Navago. It is considered a special time and a time to take a break and reflect on the cosmic order. In order to stay in balance with the universe avoid looking at, sleeping during or eating and drinking for its duration of the eclipse. Instead the time can be spent safely indoors singing special songs and enjoying time with family.

– Nancy Maryboy, President on San Juan Island, Washington working with NASA to bring indigenous astronomy into mainstream awareness

The Hupa were of the mind that 20 wives and an array of pets (Mountain Lions and snakes) were an important part of the Moon’s life. The Moon was required to supply food for them all and when he fell short on his duty he was attacked by the Mountain cats and the snakes. This of course led to blood-letting for the Moon – Blood Moon Eclipses – But luckily for the Moon his 20 wives would come to his aid, protecting him and dutifully collecting his blood so as to restore him to his former glory and good health. This was believed to bring an end to the lunar eclipse.

– E.C Krupp director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.

clip_image004In astrology many believe wars and conflicts, political events and acts of nature such as earthquakes can occur as a result of eclipses. Tibetan Buddhists say that during a lunar eclipse regardless of whether they are good or bad our actions increase by a thousand fold! So if you were naughty during the eclipse look out!!!

Sources:

lifeasmyth.com

Wikipedia

NASA

National Geographic

Solar Eclipse News….The View From Europa!!   15 comments

 

 

Solar Eclipse 2015 – The View from Europa! Smile

     

 

                                            View from Europa

 

                    The view from Europa was somewhat better than the view from Earth…. that view was pretty rubbish Winking smile

 

             solar-eclipse-2015-from Europa      View from Europa 2_Solar Eclipse 2015

In fact the view from Earth left an awful lot to be desired….

                                              View from Earth-Rubbish!                          

 

                                              Eerie Solar Eclipse Light_from Earth

 

A slight change in the shade of grey might possibly have been considered an eerie solar eclipse light… And at least one or two pretty cool Wolfie Herr Selfies resulted from the moment of eerie lightness….and what might possibly have been considered a change in the wind direction…as to the predicted drop in temperature – given that it was already sub zero no shivering icewolf would have noticed the 3 degree difference.

 

                                                        Solar Eclipse Herr Wolfie Selfie!Solar Eclipse Herr Wolfie Selfie2!

 

The solar eclipse was also responsible for the “super-tide” –that afflicted UK, Earth – “the tide of the century!”.  The rare alignment of the Moon, Sun and Earth resulting in a giant gravitational pull on the sea. This created high tides leading to UK-wide flood warnings , It also led to the River Thames in London bursting its banks. Coastline flood warnings and typical cold, wet and windy British weather is now expected to last all week long Smile 

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