Archive for the ‘Earth’ Tag
New evidence from NASA indicates that the most likely places to find life beyond Earth are Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus. They, like Earth, are both ocean worlds and in both therein are some of the key ingredients for life.
A wealth of hydrogen molecules in water plumes soaring from the ruptures in Enceladus’s icy surface, have been detected by the Cassini spacecraft. The vital chemical methane, could also be establishing itself in the ocean beneath the ice.
The elusive presence of a water plume erupting on the warmest part of Europa’s icy surface, which has a salty liquid ocean beneath it was shown by the Hubble Space Telescope. The ocean itself contains double the amount of water found in the oceans of Earth.
Europa could be the pick of the bunch for life-bearing within our own solar system outside of our homeworld. will launch In the 2020’s the Europa Clipper will be launched, and should arrive at Europa a few years later. It will be the first to explore an alien ocean and will also fly through the plume to collect data.
It will definitely be a first to discover Intergalactic Liver Cake – staple diet of Icewolves, and indeed most domestic canines Earth! The structure of the Liver Cake may differ slightly from much-loved Earthly treat, but the Europan version is just as mouthwatering and tasty to both lupine and canine alike 🙂 And what better time than Easter, the time of ressurection and new life, to discover tantsalising new life hopes on worlds not so very far from home?
Icewolf of course, did not go hunting any down without telling Clowie, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog…she would never dream of such indiscretion 😉 …. Never!
Image: Europa’s Icewolf 2017_ Europa’s Icewolf: Jupiter, seen from Europa.
K9 Psychology Graduation Day! 🙂
Many thanks to all who participated in the “Special Study” – Canine Nutrition, the final part of my Canine Psychology course. I achieved an A-grade for this study! My tutor described it as “A brilliant study and beautifully presented!” But most important thing is that I have now passed the course and graduated with a distinction and can continue onto the higher level one. This would not have been possible without your participation! If anyone is interested in what I was doing with the survey the study will be available in PDF form in due course. Give me a howl if you’d like a link to it at any point.
I have had the all-clear from my tutor to provide a PDF version of the study, (some material is not allowed to be reproduced so it’s prudent to check first or risk court action for breach of copyrights!), and in-line with her instructions; it is important to point out that this study was on a relatively small number of dogs and using a comparatively small variety of foods. It does not however detract from the value and significance of the study 🙂
Recent events have brought a shadow of darkness into our lives, once again, and it would be inappropriate for me to end this post on the subject of celebration and success, without acknowledging that darkness that chases us all, wherever we are in the world. The above candles are a creation of Tom Merriman on his blog “Beyond the Sphere” – a symbolic way to share a little light around the world. He has offered a selection of them to us to share on our blog pages as we see fit. I have chosen the Earth candle and the Peace candle, I hope they will shed light and peace into your world too as you visit this page and encourage us all to “Focus on the Light.” Thank you Tom 🙂
“We Are Not Afraid”
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?
The Birth of a New Ring World Earth
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….
On 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
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
On 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.
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.
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!
Not quite the useless lump rock some people seem to think it is then!
Happy New Year 2016!
Interstellar Tourist Alert! Blue Auroras on Mars!
Don’t Miss This Fantastic Opportunity to see “The Southern Lights” of Mars!
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.
Aurora’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.
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.
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
”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)
The Sky at Night
The Gemstones of Mars
Precious gems are not exactly what you would expect to find on Mars. The “Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars,” CRISM, for short, is a nifty device that has already found indications of water on Mars; a pretty cool move in itself, using a technique known by the fancy title of “reflectance spectroscopy” which allows it to "see" minerals on the Martian surface.
Not satisfied with just being a smart Imaging Spectrometer it goes one step further and on occasion becomes super-smart and really shows off detecting gemstone. The pretty picture below is a Martian crater’s central peak, the vari-coloured area representing minerals, whilst the pretty pink areas represent concentrated hydrated silica better what is known on Earth as Opal.
CRISM Finds Opal in a Martian Crater: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL
Opal is a really cool discovery. One reason is that opal often has high water content. And on Earth opals often contain preserved fossils and other signs of biology consequently it could potentially preserve the history of life on Mars. Martian Opal is also more valuable than the most precious diamond shining brightly in the sol light of Earth. Collect a handful and you could be an incredibly rich Earth dweller!
Opal is the birthstone for October, so what better place to go for your birthday treat than Opal hunting on Mars? Who knows how many of these precious and beautiful gemstones are lying in wait for you birthday babes in the Craters of Mars just waiting for you budding October opal babes to flash your geologists hammer to expose these glimmering gemstone treasures in the shimmering Martian sun.
Read more about CRISM on a new web site dedicated to the instrument and its discoveries on Mars.
“A New Moon is a brand new doorway to walk through…
Wherever you are in the world, if you will look to the sky, the only light you will see up there, are softly twinkling stars.
The night before New Moon, is known as the night of the balsamic moon. It is a time that focuses on confidence, creativity and generosity, a time that may bring about a desire for contemplation and preparation. We are here on Earth at this time in history to be agents of change and growth. Discard what no longer serves your life. Re-balance yourself. Know yourself.
Most importantly, remember that we all need our “dark time”— the time we are not visible, where we are softly planning and nurturing our knowledge in a quiet and private space. The space where intuition grows.
Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
You have the chance to explore your sense of self and discover something new about who you are. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. Trying to be anyone else is a waste of your beautiful, unique spirit.
This the gift of the dark, balsamic moon. – enjoy!
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
~ Martha Graham”
The Magic of the Moon song –
When the Moon meets the Sun on a late summer’s night.
A Polaris moon spun gently in alien star- blue wolf eyes… A galaxy of possibilities swirling around a spinning polarity solarised by the dull orange-gold glow of a fiery, giant sun. Glowing embers of sun-forged fire woke, rotating slowly along the ever spinning lines of polarity. Even a small switch in the bands of polarity would change the outcome for the viewer in a Nano-second, transforming their perception of the universe in the blink of an ice wolf’s eye, exchanging ember-red-giant sun for its exact solar opposite; defined by the red shifts, and the rainbow of possibilities that mirrored the visions of the future, and the “Labyrinth of the Night” (Labyrinthis Noctis) where the black wolves of Mars were born.
Behind her lay the roiling Jovian storm clouds bruised and darkly brooding, driven on by screaming winds and the occasional howl. Ahead, glowing embers of the red-giant sun, its remnants burning red-gold against the skeletal silhouettes of shadowy black tree trunks.
The stars called softly. There was a thrill in the night sky. The Star born of Europa shivered elatedly in glittering, timeless shards of planetary-light pillows in the new moon mist gliding across the regolith. A magical qualitative excited her senses twinkling in darkness and light and the cool embrace of another world, on the rim of the galaxy, cooling the contours of the high-modern architecture.
Soft New moon winds shimmered with elfin light through moon darkened whiskers, tickling her senses with a New moon night’s perception. It created in her an eagerness to step up into the drifting alienness of the night’s cool New moon, mysterious and gothic in the magic of the last nights of late summer’s golden glow and the first hints of early autumn’s onset; the sounds of the night a haunting interstellar music that stirred distant memories; and she gazed into the past and the future, a thousand worlds away.
©Europa’s Icewolf 2013
Extreme Dinner is Served!
How do we grow food in space?!! This is one of our most prevalent challenges, although it may well become an even bigger one here on Earth if we cannot figure out how to grow enough on the home world to feed our ever-expanding population!
Launching supplies into space is, of course, costly. So the ultimate aim for any long-duration interplanetary trip or long-term human presence on the surface of Mars would be to develop sustainable food cultivation techniques.
Extreme Gardening on Mars
Future Gardening on Mars may yet become a reality with the European Research Project MELiSSA on track to grow vegetables on the Red Planet. MELiSSA is an ESA project which “strongly promotes the implementation of space research based innovations on Earth via Industry.” Initially vegetables will be grown from seeds in a closed Earth system, later progressing to growing on the Moon. The first Martian vegetables will be grown in a Mars-bound spacecraft and if all goes to plan the ultimate planting and growing on Mars will follow.
Nurturing vegetation and growing crops in such a hostile environment as space is fraught with difficulties and would involve a high degree of human ingenuity and new science. It would also require an intense and complex support system in order to succeed. In particular there is also the question of drinking water production, nutrients and crop cultivation techniques which will also require research.
If this plan does succeed, the new technologies and science necessary to achieve it could also be put to good use back on Earth, to develop land around the world which is not at this time suitable for food cultivation. This could provide a much needed lifeline to those countries where many of their citizens are starving, and also be of overall benefit in feeding our ever expanding population in general.
"Also companies on Earth can benefit from the space research. For instance, new energy efficient light systems can be developed and commercialized for growing plants in green houses." ~ Prof. Benedikt Sas from the Centre of Excellence Food2Know.
China to Grow Mars Veg’
State media in China have reported Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on the Moon and Mars. A successful test held in Beijing was conducted and completed for research purposes, consisting of four different vegetable types. Growing in an "ecological life support system" which relies on plants and algae this environment would create an opportunity for fresh, home-grown vegetables to be harvested for healthy, nutritious meals.
“Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extra-terrestrial bases in the future,” ~ Deng Yibing, a researcher at Beijing’s Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre quoted by Xinhua news agency.
3-D Printing of food
One potential solution to these issues could be 21st century open-source technology in the form of 3-D printers. Already being used in industry and the arts, 3-D printing looks set to become ‘one of the defining technologies in human space travel and colonization.’
So! If you are one of those angry American citizens raging furiously against the changes to your gun laws and the shortage of aforementioned item and plentiful supplies of ammo’ or possibly even a really determined, hard core survivalist then this 3-D printer maybe the revolutionary solution you have been feverishly searching for…just print a nice, shiny new gun and you’re right there in business to exercise your right to bear arms!
But how could the growth of a replenishable source of ‘Martian mushrooms and cosmic cucumbers’ – a healthy stock of crisp, garden-fresh veggies being a vital ingredient in ensuring colonies are in good physical shape – viably be achieved?
A 3-D printer controlled by software recipes, such as the one being developed by researchers at Cornell University, could be the answer to your unappeasable appetite for a nourishing snack.
It’s not quite a vegetable but it is the perfect choice for the first printed to order 3-D printed food; at your heady request it can print off a lovely big space pizza to satisfy even the largest of man-sized appetites!
It would be created by printing the first layer –dough for the pizza base, which will speedily bake on the hot plate it would be deposited on. This would be topped with a combo-layer of powdered tomato puree and oil then yet a further layer – of protein and ideally a blend of all nutrients and minerals required to create a thoroughly healthy pizza! Unheard of though a healthy pizza is, should it become possible it may even be possible to add medications where necessary, via computer commands.
NASA has been so enthusiastic about this innovative proposition for a galactic pizza express 😉 that it has approved a $125,000 grant for the development of a “universal food synthesizer,” a prototype dreamed up by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, of Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) in Austin, Texas. Based on 3-D printing technology this prototype also has the advantage of eliminating the problem of food waste.
“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life. The way we are working on it is all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.” ~ Anjan Contractor
Although this innovative design is currently only at the ideas stage, in the future it could transform the way we conceive food here on Earth. This in-turn may help feed the planet.
“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently. So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.” ~ Contractor