Archive for the ‘Galactic’ Tag

Valhalla Basin Winter Galactic Olympics–Do YOU Have What It Takes?!!   23 comments

Valhalla Basin Winter Galactic Olympics Latest! (Events and Locations)

Galactic Olympic Wannabe?? Do You Have What It Takes?!!!

 

                                 Moons of the Solar System_Image Credit NASAsaturn-compositesolarsystem_astro.cornell.edu

As any self-respecting Galactic Olympic enthusiast will be very happily well aware, the 2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Olympics is now in full swing. Meteoritic medals are being won, and a variety of arms and legs are in danger of being broken, along with a smattering of other appendages as brave and heroic Galactic athletes take breath-taking risks hurtling down icy bob sleigh runs and mind-blowing ski slopes, snowboarding at break-neck speeds on tiny little “tea trays.” 😉 and spinning gracefully around zero-gravity ice rinks to name but a few.

Naturally the hard-core Galactic Olympic enthusiast will have been overcome by an all-consuming desire to participate in these exciting, heart-stopping winter sports events…so where can you show off your finely honed skills?!! And what’s on offer for you excitable Galactic Olympian wannabes?!!! Look no further for all you need to know about the Galactic Winter Olympic Events and Locations!

Callisto_Credit_nssdc.gsfc.nasa.govCallsito [Jupiter’s Moon] – Valhalla Basin

Ice Events (Figure Skating, Ice Dancing and Short Track Speed Skating)

  • Ice skating on the frosty bright-floored 360 km wide central basin.
  • Snowboarding and hi-speed skating around the 8+ concentric frozen mountainous ridges

Asgard Crater

Nordic Events (X-country skiing and Ski Jumping) Snowboarding events

  • X-country skiing around the multi ring structure
  • Snowboarding jumps and ski jumping from the centrally-situated domed Doh impact crater dominating Asgard.
  • The uneven terrain and tenuous CO2 atmosphere allows athletes to pull off some very impressive stunts during these events!

Europa [Jupiter’s Moon]:

europa_solarsystem.nasa.gov_Credit_NASA_JPL-Caltech europa1_Credit apod.nasa.govSkiing Events (Alpine and Freestyle) Nordic Event (Ski Jumping)

It should also be noted that skiing on Europa will involve:

  • Slower acceleration when skiing downhill (Gravity compared to Earth’s, Mars <1/3, Europa <1/7, Moon 1/6)
  • Bigger skis maybe necessary to help with turning
  • Ski jumping will require longer ramps as there is less acceleration – no air resistance. No air at all in fact!
  • Crashes and falls will not lead to lost marks as you will be dead!!!

Snowboarding:

  • Naturally occurring ½ pipes stretching for 100s miles (caused by gravitational tides changing the shape of the surface)
  • Tenuous atmosphere means no aerodynamic drag so snowboarders can stand tall going downhill, not the usual crouch. Steering is also easier.

Ice Event: Curling:

  • Europa is ideal for this activity having the smoothest surface in the solar system.

WARNING!!

Radiation is very harsh on Europa; the result of dangerous belts of radiation from Jupiter’s planetary magnetosphere – the largest and most powerful in the Solar System. So don’t forget your radiation suit and iodine tablets! And remember! Snowboarding/skiing in lead lined radiation suits will provide an excellent muscle workout!

Martian Ice Caps:

Skiing Events and Ice Events: Bob sledding, Ice Hockey

                             Mars ice cap_rutgersprep.orgMars_Chasma Boreale_N Polar Ice Cap_themis.asu.edu

WARNING!!

Don’t forget your scarf! And remember Mar’s atmosphere is very thin so you don’t get any protection from the Sun’s energy bursts. You also don’t get to enjoy snowball fights on the Ice Caps – the atmosphere’s too weak and cold meaning snowballs can’t /hold together like they’re supposed to. And no! You can’t throw the ice; it’s very, very bad form!

A Martian Ice Cap sounds like the ideal skating rink but it is actually not that great for skating being cold and dark and snowing carbon dioxide. In fact it is probably better suited to Roller Skating!

Tethys [Saturn’s Moon] : Ithaca Chasm and Odysseus Crater:

Tethys_JPL_map_Credit celestialmotherlode.nettethys-ithaca-chasmaAll Nordic Events: X-country skiing and Biathlon

  • Great valley named after Greek Island Ithaca and the country ruled by Odysseus in mythology.
  • 100 km wide, 3-5 km deep and 2000km long running ¾ of the way round the circumference making it one of the longest valleys in the Solar System.
  • Runs approximately concentric with the massive Odysseus Crater, located on the opposite side of Tethys
  • Giant Impact Crater – Odysseus 400 km diameter is almost 2/5 of the whole of Tethys.

WARNING!!

Cold, airless and heavily cratered world! Surface temperature -187 degrees, very icy, and very reflective. Don’t forget the woolly scarf, thermal undies and snow/sun-glasses!!

Triton [Neptune’s Moon]:

triton-cryovolcanos_Credit wanderingspace.netNordic Combi: Ski Jumping, X-Country Skiing, and Snowboarding

  • Relatively flat, sparsely cratered surface with extensive ridges, troughs, furrows, plateaus and valleys, and icy, smooth volcanic plains
    • Perfect for X-Country Skiing.
  • Highly reflective polar caps consisting of nitrogen and methane.
    • A great spot to catch Galactic Olympic Ski Jumping!
  • Mounds and round pits formed by icy lava flows; long double ridges of ice with troughs in the middle.
    • Particularly well suited to Cosmic Snowboarding events.

WARNING!!

To aid launch jumping Nitrogen-gas heated shoes for generating explosive puffs of gas when feet touch the ground, are strongly recommended for all competitors.

Crashing is not recommended!!

Sources:

space.com

solar system.nasa.gov

 

2014 Winter Olympics–Coming Soon to a Crater Near You!!   46 comments

Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics 2014

 

2014 Winter Olympics – Chelyabinsk Meteor Anniversary

2014-winter-olympics-logoThe 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games (22nd Winter Olympic Games), are set to take place from 7 to 23 February 2014, in Sochi, Russia.                 clip_image001clip_image001[1]

Chelyabinsk meteor Chelyabinsk meteor 2The Chelyabinsk meteor was a Near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013 exploding in an air burst about 40 km above Korkino, south of central Chelyabinsk Oblast. The explosion created a bright flash, churning out a sizeable quantity of small meteorite fragments and a formidable shock wave.

Lake Chebarkul The meteorite fragments fell in and near to Lake Chebarkul with the largest extracted from the bed of the lake on 16 October 2013. Despite its 654 kg (1,442 lbs.) mass tipping and breaking the scales it was weighed on, it proved very fragile and shattered into three distinct pieces. In the aftermath of the Chelyabinsk meteor event an unofficial market swiftly arose for meteorite fragments.

The anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor event will be in Sochi, Russia on 15 February 2014. A total of seven gold medals are available to be won during the anniversary day’s medal events and each will contain fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

2014 Winter Olympic Medals with meteorite fragmentsFragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

 

Callisto (2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics)

callisto2In a very interesting to note lol that by some strange cosmic coincidence the 2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics will be held on Jupiter’s extremely ancient Galilean moon Callisto, the most heavily cratered moon in the Solar System.

Callisto’s impact-battered surface features multi-ring structures, variously shaped impact craters, and chains of craters (catenae). Probably due to the icy nature of its surface Callisto lacks any large mountains. The water that has spread over the surface forming bright rays and rings around the crater is a result of the meteorite impacts puncturing holes in Callisto’s crust.

It is now believed that beneath Callisto’s crust may lie a salty, subsurface ocean of liquid water around 50–200 km deep indicated by studies of the magnetic fields around Jupiter and its moons. This leaves open the option that there could be extra-terrestrial microbial life on Callisto, though conditions are thought to be less conducive to life than on neighbouring Jovian moon Europa.

Callisto in Olympian Mythology

Mount-olympusZeus and CallistoZeus-greek-mythology-god-of-the-godsCallisto is named after one of Zeus – god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus’s many lovers, in Greek mythology. It is said that Callisto herself was a nymph who was associated with the goddess of the hunt, Artemis.

Zeus was held in exceptionally high esteem and power by the Ancient Greeks and once every four years the Olympians held a festival including games to honour their god. Today nations still meet for the Olympic Games but not to honour Zeus, rather the ability of the athletes themselves are considered and rewarded.

 

Valhalla Basin (2014 Galactic Winter Olympics)

Valhalla Basin_Credit_WikipediaValhalla Basin_Credit NASA_JPLIn another wildly unlikely cosmic coincidence, the main venue of the Galactic Winter Olympics, Valhalla Basin, is also a crater produced by an impacting meteor. (Not the same one as Russia’s! Don’t be silly!) Furthermore it is not only the largest multi-ring impact crater on Callisto but also in the Solar System.

Discovered by the Voyager probes in 1979–80 it is located slightly to the north of the equator on Callisto’s Jupiter-facing hemisphere. Part of an extensive system in the

Valhalla region Valhalla’s bright-floored central basin stretches across a diameter spanning 360 km. It is surrounded by at least eight concentric mountainous ridges, which resemble frozen rings of ‘ghostlike ripples’ extending as far as 1,500 km from the basin’s central point.

Valhalla in Mythology

ValhallaOdinThis huge impact crater is named after Valhalla, Odin’s great hall in Norse mythology.  

                                                                         

Valhalla_was_in_Asgard_Home_of_the_fallen_VikingsValhalla, Hall of the Slain, in Norse mythology is the most beautiful of Asgard’s many great halls. It was here with Odin that the W Door Valhalla Guarded by a Wolfheroes who had been slain in battle – the Einherjar, feasted nightly on the meat of the boar Schrimnir and from the goat Heldrun, mead, whilst preparing for the up and coming battle of Ragnarok. Eight hundred warriors marching shoulder to shoulder will emerge from each one of Valhalla’s five hundred and forty doors when this time comes.

Vast and daunting Valhalla was said to have spears for rafters and golden shields providing roofing thatch, along with a fine array of breast plates, scattered around the Hall.

The western door of Valhalla is guarded by a wolf and hovering high above the door an eagle. Outside the front of the hall is Glasir, a golden tree and on the roof of Valhalla, the green leaves of another tree known as Læraðr – happily munched through by the goat Heldrun and the stag Eikþyrnir.

Asgard Crater Region– Callisto

To the west of Valhalla is another large multi-ring basin—Asgard Crater; the second largest multi-ring structure (impact crater) on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. The crater is named after Asgard, the realm of the gods in Norse mythology,

Asgard in Norse Mythology – Olympic Links

Bifrost and ValhallaThe Norse equivalent to Mount Olympus in Greek mythology, Asgard was the home and stronghold of the Norse gods. Set in the skies the only way to reach it was to cross Bifrost – the rainbow bridge.

Valhalla, the dwelling of Odin was the grandest and most magnificent of the many gold and silver halls to be found in Asgard. Norse mythology stated that Asgard would be destroyed at Ragnarok -"Doom of the powers (gods)," also known as “Gotterdammerung” which in Norse mythology means “the end of the cosmos.” A huge final battle would be fought and the world enveloped in flames; the gods defeated by giants and demons. But a number of the gods will survive, or will be reborn and out of the sea a green and fertile world will emerge.

2014 Valhalla Basin Galactic Winter Olympics!

Coming soon to a Crater Near You!!

Valhalla Basin_Credit NASA_JPL

Sources:

Viking Mythology : http://www.missgien.net

http://www.wikipedia

Related blogs on this site.

Zeus god of the Olympics and Supreme Ruler of Mt Olympus – https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/zeusgod-of-the-olympics-and-supreme-ruler-of-mt-olympus/

Russian Fireball Explodes over Chelyabinsk–And it’s all the US’s Fault!!!! https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/russian-fireball-explodes-over-chelyabinskand-its-all-the-uss-fault/

Galactic Olympics – Mars 2012 https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/2012-gale-crater-galactic-olympics/

2012 Gale Crater Galactic Olympics   59 comments

Galactic Olympics ~ Gale Crater 2012

original629904185Scoreboard_1488x1080-hpfeat

Mars Rover Curiosity – the Mars Science Laboratory has arrived safely on Mars  August 6th 2012 ~ right in the middle of Earth’s Olympics…

 

Let the Galactic Olympics Begin!!

Valles Marineris Canyon (The Mariner Valleys)

imageNamed after its discoverer the Mariner 9 space probe, Valles Marineris is definitely not for the faint-hearted! For those with nerves of steel it is perfect for **Abseiling. However! Assuming that you haven’t already fallen over one of the massive cliff edges; be warned! The colourful canyon walls are unstable and could collapse suddenly due to the onslaught of temperature changes and Martian dust storms. It will be little consolation in this case scenario to know that Valles Marineris, as the presence of sedimentary rocks shows, was once an underwater area – because it isn’t now! It’s very rocky and you will meet your doom on them! You will also meet it considerably faster than you would on Earth due to Mars’s low air density meaning that it will not slow your worrying speedy descent to a rather unpleasant doom.

Winter Olympics are best held very early in spring as Martian night lasts for thmars-snowree months and whilst Skating on the Martian Polar Icecaps may be a fantastic sport and lots of fun doing so in pitch black conditions on an alien and potentially dangerous planetscape may not be the most well-advised of activities. And unless you have a particular penchant for breaking your neck, ski-ing is probably best saved for Jupiter’s moons Europa (watch out for Ice wolves) and Callisto where frosty-white Valhalla Basin offers excellent skiing options. Alternatively you may prefer to visit Saturn’s moon Titan where high-speed Winter Olympian Ice skating and Ice Hockey events take place on the frozen methane ice sheets.

However spring does not disappoint bringing rewards of its own. With the sunlight reflecting off dazzlingly layers of frosted Carbon Dioxide the crunch through the Martian snow, will show the true depths of the very beautiful sights the Polar Icecaps of Mars have to offer.

There are of course certain other risks attached to holding the Olympics on Mars…

Discus ThrowingThere is of course only one place for this Olympic event to take place; from the very top of the huge extinct volcanic mountain Olympus Mons. The largest known volcano in the solar system it is best viewed either at sunrise or sunset on Mars, when the rippling lava flows, otherwise hidden are brought into sharp relief and are easy to see. This is in sharp contrast to your discus which will travel at rocket speeds in Mars’s low wind resistance. Your distance scores will be phenomenal but unfortunately so will everybody else’s. It is also quite possible that you will never see your discus again unless you are also an Olympic marathon sprinter.

Alternatively The Tharsis Bulge, a chain of Great Volcanoes ; Arsia, Paionis and Ascerus Montes, of which Olympus Mons, although it is set apart from, also belongs to, is a fantastic venue for the Olympian Mountain Biker and also for BMX Racing. It also provides something of a challenge for those athletes unfamiliar with Mars, who are not so heavily weighted down by gravity as on Earth, or elsewhere. It does raise the issue of exactly how high and how far you’re going to bounce when you leap-frog over those lava ridges and the bumps in the track. But if you harbour a secret, all-consuming desire to risk becoming rocket man careering into space at something resembling light-speed, this is the sport for you.

Warning! Riding a mountain bike down the sides of a volcano is not recommended for the non-Olympian mountain biker. Stick to rock climbing at the base of Olympus Mons and fossil hunting in its dried-up ocean basins. Even the smaller volcanoes all stand higher than the Hawaiian volcanoes that rise up from the Pacific Ocean floor on Earth, and far above the Tharsis Bulge itself on Mars.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Galactic Olympic Events are taking place at various different venues around the Solar System…

Sailing The Jovian moon of Callisto is a dangerously thrilling venue offering rowing races in the dark on a liquid ocean of sea salt.

You might wish to take your Olympic Torch with you to this event, (one that will stay alight on Callisto would be useful) assuming you wish to see where you’re going and keep tabs on far behind you your opponent is trailing. And if they’re not and look like they may be in danger of ‘going for gold’ you may wish to torch their boat.

titan_surfacenasaWater Polo and Canoe Sprints are highly popular Olympic events on Saturn’s moon Titan, in the methane oceans, though depending on what species you are and which world you hail from Swimming may not be a great experience for the average Olympic swimmer. It may be an interesting experience but if you’re from Earth, best not to give it a go. You won’t get the gold and you’re unlikely to live to tell the tale. Spectators should take note, unless you thrive in methane rain you would be well advised to bring an umbrella. Earth dwellers will be comfortably familiar with the rain showers routine and will carry an umbrella as a matter of course, but anyone else, take heed!

The razor-blade crags of Saturn’s moon Hyperion play host to Olympic Hurdling events whilst the Caloris Basin on Mercury, a crater with cliffs that reach up to 3km (2miles) high and stretching for hundreds of kilometres in diameter, provides great terrain for the Equestrian Cross-country events. For sight-seeing spectators the polar ice caps, a strange and bizarre sight on this baking little world are home to frozen water-ice lakes that co-exist alongside roasting rocks so hot they could easily melt the Earth metal, lead.

Venus Credit J WhatmoreThe frozen lava runs on Venus’s Maat Mons offer thrill-seeking spectators heart-stoppingly dangerous Bob sleighing races along with stunning views of Venus’s highest mountain at 4.9km (3miles) high – Maxwell Montes. And if you have survived this far you may wish to return to Gale Crater on the host world, Mars for the Olympic Show Jumping and Dressage events. Don’t get too carried away if you are taking part in the Martian Show Jumping. The low gravity on this world is something of a liability in this sport and unless you have changed your mind about not becoming the next rocket man and wish to do so still attached to your mighty Olympic steed, extra care should be taken at jump-take off. Given the excessive speed you will be propelled forward at should you have an ill-timed collision with a fence in such low Martian wind resistance, you would be well advised to avoid such an error of judgement unless you fancy plastic surgery.

Galactic Olympics Closing Ceremony at: Mount Scarp, Gale Crater!

Curiosity - Gale Crater_Mt Scarp

**(Not strictly an Olympic sport that I’m aware of, but if the Olympic Torch can abseil to London Bridge then I think that qualifies it for a mention)