Archive for the ‘Environment and Climate’ Category

Another Earth? Exoplanet Kelper-452b   32 comments

What Would it Be Like to Live on Earth’s Cousin?

The discovery of Kelper 452b was announced on 23/05/15, and is 1,400 Light years away.

 

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Photo Credit: Kelper 452-b JPL/NASA

An alien experience!

Exoplanet Kelper 452-b is 60% wider than Earth and approximately 5x as massive so much stronger surface gravity.

This provides for a great workout! For the manly among us this essentially means it will make you much stronger 🙂

For everybody chilling on this Earth cousin, the higher gravity would probably lead to significant body changes long term – e.g. becoming stockier built. This is probably not a plus if you’re already on the stocky side…you may become very short and squat…like a rotund garden gnome 😉

 

A Familiar Experience

As this world’s sun is roughly the same distance away as on Earth, the light factor would be much the same as on our home-world and Earth plants transported to its cousin-world could photosynthesis the same as on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

So Kelper 452-b is similar to Earth but not the same. Its sun is 6 billion years old whereas our Sun is only 4.5 billion years old. Kelper 452-b’s sun is at a far more energetic life-stage therefore it is hotter. And it is about 10% larger and 20% brighter in the sky. Not bad for the sun tan then 😉

Kelper 452-b completes one orbit every 385 days so it’s year is only about 20 days longer than Earth’s. Pretty much home from home.

 

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Photo Credit: Kelper 452-b JPL/NASA

 

“…substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

(Jon Jenkins, Kelper data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in Moffat Field, California. (Led team that discovered Kelper 452-b)  )

 

 

 

 

FireWolves of Io   26 comments

Howling New Moonshine….

Spirit of the FireWolves…

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Howling new moonshine tumbling and stealing across the contrasting volcanic world of Io’s Fire wolves. Half hidden in the new moon shadows they gathered in moon dark silhouettes amongst the volcanic mountain ranges, calling the song of the stars, drawing on the fiery heart of the pack to call home the Fire wolves of Io, adorned in the mighty colours of the volcanic fire breed. The “Watcher at the Window” gazed in alluring fascination at the mountains peaks of Io bejewelled in the spectacular rainbow arrays of black and gold, catching too the starlight dancing in the gold-fire eyes of the Fire wolves of Io, bathed in the new moon darkness gliding around craters and dark plains.

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Green Oasis, Brutalist Utopia   22 comments

 

The Barbican Conservatory

On returning to the Urban Utopia (or Brutalist hell depending on your perception lol Winking smile) known as The Barbican, Wolfie had originally intended to indulge in morning of culture in the exhibition centres. Unfortunately culture proved to be extremely expensive and Wolfie went off the idea pretty quickly on this occasion! Sorry to disappoint the cultured reader who was hoping for a wonderfully cultural and classy post…it definitely isn’t that Smile

However! I did discover The Barbican Conservatory Smile So hopefully this will appeal to the nature-orientated reader….bearing in mind this was right in the middle of central London surrounded by the country’s finest Brutalist architecture it was a breath of fresh air,a green oasis and well worth a visit should you find yourselves in this particular spot in the universe!

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                                                                                                                              (All photos in this post Copyright Europa’s Icewolf 2016)

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Anniversary–30 Years On   24 comments

 

“Sirens were sounded at the same moment as the first explosion at the reactor, in the early hours of 26 April 1986.

The meltdown at Chernobyl Nuclear Plant was the worst nuclear disaster in history.”

 

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“Chernobyl is not a historical event in Ukraine but a living reality for an unquantifiable number of people.” –Tom Burridge, Chernobyl

 

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“We honour those who lost their health and require a special attention from the government and society,” he said in a speech in Chernobyl. “It’s with an everlasting pain in our hearts that we remember those who lost their lives to fight nuclear death.” – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

 

 

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“The magnitude of the tragedy could have been immeasurably larger if it were not for the incomparable bravery and self-sacrifice of fire fighters, military personnel, experts and medics who honourably fulfilled their citizen’s duty. Many of them sacrificed themselves to save others.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin

Sources:

bbc.co.uk

europe.newsweek.com

Urban Utopia or Brutalist Hell?   21 comments

The UK’s Leading International Arts Centre

The Barbican – Urban Utopia or Brutalist Hell? – Love it or Hate it!

“The Barbican Centre, a vast concrete housing complex of 2,000 flats and a leading arts complex, is a prime example of brutalist architecture, softened a little by time and rectangular ponds of friendly resident ducks. The lakeside terrace and adjoining café are good spots to take a rest from visiting the art gallery, cinema, theatre, concert hall or library within the complex. The art gallery on the third floor stages exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture, while on the ground floor, the Curve is a free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art.” – (timeout.com)

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The Barbican Centre was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon with the aim of transforming the devastated WW2 bombing location where it is situated into an urban utopia. Built amongst the long-previously designed system of striking brutalist buildings, the Barbican’s brutalist exterior is created with “enough concrete to make 19 miles of six-lane motorway: 130,000 cubic metres which was textured by hand with electric drills. Presumably because the architects hated the neighbours.” Winking smile (timeout.com)

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Considered one of the most important 20th century architectural accomplishments it was opened in 1982 by The Queen who referred to it as ‘one of the modern wonders of the world.’

In September 2001, the Barbican Centre complex was designated a site of special architectural interest and given Grade II listed building status. In September 2003 an opinion poll voted it “London’s ugliest building” for its Brutalist styling.

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The Barbican is not only one of London’s greatest illustrations of Brutalist architecture but also Europe’s largest multi-purpose performing arts and conference venue. From when it first opened it has housed the London Symphony Orchestra and in 2013 became the Royal Shakespeare Company’s London base.

NB: To access the Barbican Centre required a long walk through the Barbican Housing Complex to reach it. It was also a freezing cold day and Icewolf’s paws were rapidly developing frostbite of the photo-snapping claw Freezing

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20160316_123408 (2)Therefore any photos of the inside of the Barbican Arts Centre (where permitted, obviously…after all anyone who knows Icewolf knows Icewolf never ventures anywhere Icewolf is not supposed to venture….Angel) will not be available until a second visit can happen, hopefully when it is considerably warmer! However since the main purpose of this first visit was to see the ‘brutalist architecture’ for myself, I believe the mission was accomplished SmileThumbs up

(Click photos to enlarge – All photos: Copyright Europa’s Icewolf 2016)

Sources:

barbican.org.uk

timeout.com

Never Again!!   15 comments

 

 

NEVER AGAIN!! – Fukushima Nuclear Disaster/Tsunami

5 Years: 11 March 2011 -2016

 

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<ChernoFireWolf7

What If We “Got Shot” of the Moon? :   23 comments

 

No “Year In Review” From WordPress….So!

What If We “Got Shot” of the Moon?!!

‘The geological history of the moon and Earth are intimately tied together such that the Earth would be a dramatically different planet without the moon.’

It would? So what exactly would happen if we just got rid of it altogether and there was no moon? Which there probably wasn’t so far as many of us were concerned over Christmas! But say we blew it up?!! Blasted it completely out of the sky? After all do we actually need this shiny ball in the sky anyway?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Birth of a New Ring World Earth Surprised smile

All those tiny fragments of blown up moon would be far too small to stick back together and create a new, if rather misshapen and little moon, which would have at least managed a near normal gravitational pull on Earth…important scientific detail….

A lovely ring would form around Earth consisting of little lumps of moon shrapnel …very, very tiny ones…very pretty but trouble is they wouldn’t be content with staying out there in space. Oh no, they would much rather make a regular and devastatingly determined habit of periodically hurtling out of their ring-world and slam-dunking into the Earth’s surface, bombarding us with meteorites that should otherwise never have thought of coming anywhere near us…oh dear! Moulton moon rain, cities destroyed, countries obliterated….

Moon formedImage NASA JPL-CaltechOn top of which, if we have blown the moon sky high all those particularly dangerous outer space meteorites that had previously hammered the moon’s surface would no longer have anything to prevent them making a bee-line for Earth, happily re-creating the Moon’s surface on the home-world! Great! Craters everywhere… Even more cities destroyed, countries obliterated….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Axial Tilt of Earth Eye rolling smile

In between moon rocks and meteorite bombardments from the rest of the cosmos, Earth, minus the moon’s gravitational pull would develop a wobble…it had a little one before but it was stabilised by the Moon, which also protected it from the gravitational pull of the other planets…now it would have a huge wobble, and be pulled one way by Mars and another way by Jupiter – our planetary neighbours. Consequently with no moon to slow Earth’s orbit down we would be flying merrily around the sun in a wildly unhinged and erratic orbit…. shortening Earth’s day from 24 hours to only 8 – 10 hours.

Catastrophic seasonal changes Disappointed smile

moon_asexuality.orgOn top of which whilst currently we are worrying about global warming and climate change….or at least those of us with a scrap of common sense are, with the moon gone these problems will seem trivial….of course to the uneducated or just plain stupid they already are, but you “aint seen nothing yet!!”

Earth would be a very, very different place. As it would now be rotating so much faster, 160-200 km winds would be zooming across Earth’s surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Earth’s now unstable axial tilt, we would see dramatic environmental changes over the course of thousands-millions of years – the loss of our conventional seasons and radical modifications in temperature would cause wide-ranging consequences for the growth of plant life and crops. This in turn would create some major headaches and very thorny problems for producing food for the billions of people dwelling on Earth. The animal world would have to adapt pretty quickly to a much shorter life pattern in terms of mating, migration and hibernation.

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Moreover, the changing temperatures would lead to the loss of Earth’s N and S Poles. To an extent this is already happening but in such circumstances melting ice would have a hugely dramatic effect on the oceans which would rise to a point where they change the all the world’s coastlines.

Life on Earth both in countries and in cities would have no choice but to adapt pretty drastically in order to survive or disappear into extinction.

 

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With no moon to affect the tides, which show a configuration related to the lunar phase cycle, Earth’s oceans would become very tranquil and still. Solar tides would have a very small effect; about half that of the Moon, so there would be the odd wave or two. (Assuming we hadn’t blown the Sun up as well 😉 ) Tides were also important in life’s early stages of evolution so this would be terrible news for sea life which would rapidly become extinct. Barely-there tides do not mix oceans which therefore do not circulate nutrients required for sea-life’s survival…so fishermen would quickly go out of business and no –one would be microwaving their “Fisherman’s Pies” ever again!

Game Over_Image Credit fpif.org_Photo Mykl Roventine-Flickr

     Not quite the useless lump rock some people seem to think it is then! Be right back

Happy New Year 2016!

Sources: spaceanswers.com

dailymail.co.uk

The Mansionoid Meteorite Showers (3)   17 comments

 

The Mansionoid meteorite Showers(3)

New Horizons_Image Credit: Google ImagesCindy, the intrepid traveller and highly skilled, photographer was hitching a ride aboard NASA’s New Horizons probe, busy capturing extraordinary images of Pluto and beyond for NASA although she didn’t actually realise that this was the case, and was instead happily engrossed with preparing a series of exotic intergalactic blog posts for her WordPress blog!

She couldn’t help but notice that The Holler appeared to be accompanying her… a strange phenomenon she noted absently, smiling as she added a caption to her latest photo, but presumably nothing to be overly concerned about – after all NASA knew what they were doing…didn’t they?

 

Black Hole_ Image Credit: Google Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was a little surprised the next time she pointed the camera lens into the depths of intergalactic space to be confronted with the extraordinary sight of the Cameraoid meteorite shower and a very large black hole swirling towards her…great photography! She thought unfazed by the situation.

With the natural expertise of a born-photographer she aligned the complex photographic apparel of the New Horizon’s probe with the fast-approaching vortex and took a closer look at the tiny speck of starlight twinkling away cheerfully in the distant heart of it… Tom’s Mansion!! Cindy was delighted to find such a photographic gem availing her vision and further magnification proved the “starlight” to be the lights from the the Cameraoid meteorite shower glinting and sparkling off the bright new windows the Mansion had recently fitted for itself without Tom’s knowledge… and it was snowing! How wonderful! Cindy beamed to herself, admiring the architectural enhancements highlighted by glittering snow flakes against the backdrop of galactic space…it all looked rather warped however, she noted frowning slightly…must be something to do with the effects of the temporal shift occurring within the vortex New Horizons reported after completing a tentative probe into the subject. She should probably check out his blog page…he’d probably got a post up about that by now!

Tom most definitely had not posted anything on his blog page! In fact he wasn’t even thinking about it at that point, for a change. Instead he was busy fielding a particularly large and dangerous key that was burning it’s way towards the Mansion which itself seemed to be indulging in some serious shake rattle and roll techniques. He eyed up his reflection in the Mansion’s rather impressive new wiTom's Mansion took many forms! Image Credit: Google Imagesndows, impressed by the level of wildness his hair had reached whilst he dived and rolled in tune with the Mansion’s shake rattle and roll dance moves…possibly the perfect time for a selfie…well…possibly not right now…

 

 

 

A bone rattling shudder rumbled through the Mansion as it’s pace through the vortex – or at least Tom hoped it was travelling through…this would imply there was a way out…hopefully….eventually…. – increased rapidly surpassing the speed of light…the effects of which were…different!

Tom gurgled and somewhere in the part of his brain that was still vaguely rational and not, unlike the rest of him suddenly flattened and distorted like a lump of play-dough accidently trodden on and flattened into…. Curious shapes….warp speed he presumed giving up temporarily on the hope of recapturing normality again anytime soon. Oddly, and presumably as a consequence of having passed light speed and careered cheerfully onto into warp speed Tom’s eyeballs sprouted extraordinarily long stems and popped out of his currently flattened skull to wave around enthusiastically like two magnificent water lilies…there was no shortage of “interesting” things to feast the popped out of the head eyeballs on…..Tom just wasn’t sure whether his brain cells were at this moment working well enough to register what he was seeing….Quite possibly not he decided, taking note of what his inner physicist was working over time to explain to him.

In a concerted effort to prove his inner Physicist wrong the popping eyeballs sprouted a sudden growth burst – distorted reality his inner physicist whispered in his head reassuringly…not, and the view down the telescope that was a prime feature in the Mansion’s official Observatory presented itself to the flattened Tom in dramatic scenes of ….

The Mansion underwent a certain amount of distortion... Image Credit: Google Images

TO BE CONTINUED!

Read more about Tom and his awesome Multi-Dimensional Mansion Here! (Beyond the Sphere) https://wellheregoes.wordpress.com/

Read more about Tom’s fantastic new blog Here! (Splodge and Splatter)  https://tlmerriman.wordpress.com

Read more about Cindy the extraordinary photographer Here! (cindyknoke.com)  http://cindyknoke.com

Inexorable–Stealing Away the Last of the Sunlight   19 comments

Inexorable – Stealing Away the Last of the Sunlight

Monochrome Moon Wolves

 

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Monochrome moon wolves! A subtle, relentless shadow crept across the face of an alien sun sending a soft, fiery glow sliding across the abandoned landing unit tips where only the moon wolves resided and the wild vegetation flourished growing rapidly in the cracks and crevices of the deserted buildings, long since abandoned by their alien civilizations. The abandoned shuttle port and its overgrown, unused space crafts roamed only by the Wolves_Abandoned SpacePort glowing moon wolves sliding subtly amongst the empty shells, food in plentiful supply around the crumbling, rusted hulls and skeleton cruisers.

 

 

Inexorably the eclipse light silenced them, cooling the air as the light faded into eerie, unnatural night, changing the atmosphere into something apocalyptic and alien to the moon wolves drawn back to the higher ground on the rooftop. Gradually stealing away the last of the sunlight till only the corona remained – a glowing fire burning flames and solar flares bursting across the darkened skies… The moon wolves watched with heads thrown high to the solar winds as darkness descended and the world feel silent. The eerie howl of the wolf song echoed on… and on through the monochrome eclipse light.

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Wolfie Chew-Sticks! You Turned the Air BLUE!!!!   35 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