Archive for the ‘Jupiter’ Tag

Happy Easter from Europa :)   13 comments

 

 

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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.

 

europ_wolf (2) copy1B

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.

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonic_moon_boom_tvtropes.org_creative commons license__moon_explosion___space_art_by_raju7

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.

 

Tidal Chaos Confused smile

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

Full Wolf Moon–January 5th 2015   21 comments

howling-at-the-moon-hippotipus-dff_080723 

 

119453360_640Full Wolf Moon Registration Banner

The Wolf Moon rising at 17:15 – 5th January 2015, for the one and only time this New year, is the first full moon following the winter solstice. In a little touch of moon wolf magic the 2015 Wolf Moon also coincides with the arrival of Earth at the closest point to the sun that it is possible for it to reach in its orbit (perihelion).

Earth stands just 91.4 million miles from the sun, at this point and consequently the full moon burns brighter than even the Europan Ice Wolves on their frozen world of ice…

The Wolf Moon has also come to mark the start of a long year of stargazing.

January is the only month of the year when Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can be viewed without a telescope. And if you look very carefully in the magic of the moonlight and maybe wish upon a star you may see the flash of the moon wolves of icy Europa…moon of Jupiter….if you’re really quiet you may here the call of the wolf-song across the star-ways of time and space…the moon-song of the star-born of Europa….

Happy New Year 2015 from the Ice-wolves of Europa!

You Won’t See This In Sochi! Final Tails Of 2014 Galactic Olympics   51 comments

You Won’t See This in Sochi!!

The Final Tails of Valhalla Basin Winter Galactic Olympics

Running alongside the renowned cosmic Galactic Winter Olympics are the equally well renowned Space Galactic Dog Trials. The enthusiastic and well-informed interstellar tourist will undoubtedly have ensured their place at the Opening Ceremony on Io –the fiery, sulphuric neighbour of Europa’s Icewolves glittering world of ice; home to the magnificent and mysterious Firewolves of Io, creatures as wild and fiery as the stunning sulphur volcanoes erupting in explosive abandon throughout their moon-world, their presence at the trials opening ceremony guaranteed a truly alien dimension to this un-missable cosmic K9 event.

europa_solarsystem.nasa.gov_Credit_NASA_JPL-Caltechnewhorizons_jupiter_iosolarsystem_astro.cornell.eduIo_Jup_RaPWolf

Entertainment abounds at this time of the Galactic Winter Olympics both for the 2-legged thrill seeker and also for the 4-legged K9 variety:

MercuryMercury Tandoori Chicken Tracking Trials

Great for Galactic Olympic tourists who enjoy basking in a slightly warmer environment than is offered by the outer planets of the galaxy where the Winter Olympics are taking place.

  1. K9 Cross-country Tandoori Chicken Tracking – across the Van Eyck Formation (Mountain ranges on Mercury).
  2. Morning jogging –lose 50-60lbs, watch the awesome double sunrises and relax in the evenings and lay down to get great views of the other planets.
  3. Mercury’s Polar Ice Caps which offer wonderfully strange and bizarre views to thrill and tantalise the senses of even the most hardened galactic tourist.
  4. Roast marsh mallows whenever you like without worrying about nasty gases polluting the environment.

Warning!

Don’t forget the sunglasses and shorts!! And definitely don’t forget the sunscreen! Factor 1000000!

Martian chicken_Universe Today_Credit-SDOVenus Piri Piri Chicken Pursuit Events

Arrive here at light speed – about 2 minutes. Arrive by snail transport – 5 months – from Earth/Sochi. But no need to worry about sunburn – sun blocked out by clouds.

  1. 1. Lose weight in the natural outdoor saunas (460 degrees – hottest in Solar System – 40,000,00m closer to the sun).
  2. 2. Shower in the rain afterwards or for the more adventurous enjoy a Venutian mud bath.
  3. 3. Visit the mind bogglingly huge Maxwell Montes volcanoes – a Venutian star attraction for any galactic tourist, and pop down to Maat Mons’s frozen lava rivers.
  4. 4. Hi speed cooking – dinner will be cooked in less than one minute so no need to pack the microwave.

Warning!

Don’t forget the 100000 bottles of sunscreen factor and the 100+ towels! You and your equipment will erode very quickly in Venus’s yellow skied, highly toxic, corrosive atmosphere 🙂 So cover everything up well and check it’s safety certified and insured!

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

Mars Dog Agility-Black Wolves of Mars

                                                           Weaving Collie_Photo credit_animalwatchers.comBoxer_agility_tunnel_Photo by Donn Dobkin-Just a Moment Photography_Wiki  GNU Free Documentation License

1. Labyrinthis Noctis- The Labyrinth of the Night-(Maze-like channels on Mars) 

  • Martian Dog Agility Trials 

2. Visiting Mars for the Martian gemstone medal ceremonies if you’re not too dazzled by the glinting opals you may be lucky enough to spot the Black Wolves of Mars!

Callisto_Credit_nssdc.gsfc.nasa.govIditarod Sled Dog Race_Photo Credit(AP Photo-Al Grillo)_newsminer.comCallisto – Valhalla Basin K9-Curling with Liver Cake

  1. Or if you prefer the views there, hop across to the Martian Polar Caps for the K9 Curling Finals.
  2. K9Flyball – High energy, high speed K9 sport – fun for all the family!
  3. Sled Dog Racing across Valhalla Basin and Asgard Crater
  4. Flying Disk dog Sports – Eye-catching, spectacular displays of teamwork and athletics.

 

Titan_Credit NASA JPL Space Science InstituteSaturn-titanSaturn’s Moon Titan – The Big Splash!

Saturn’s mysterious frozen, cloud covered world where methane acts like water on Earth and methane oceans lap its shores.

 Dock Jumping_en.wikipedia.org 1. K9Dock Jumping/Diving– The big splash! Dogs race down dock, fly off the end and into the methane oceans. Distance is the goal.

saturn-compositeSaturn’s rings – Heelwork to Music

  1. Freestyle and Heelwork to music.
  2. Ring rock hopping in this beautiful and exotic zero-gravity playground.
  3. Ring walking in zero gravity.

enceladus_NASA JPL Space Science InstituteEncaladus – Dog Scootering for Kids

Saturn’s bright, white, low gravity, snowy moon with erupting ice plumes shooting into the sky – floats back to the surface as snow.

1. Dog Scootering behind dogs for kids amongst the erupting ice geysers.Laufhundesport_Credit www.canicross.at

2. Great hop scotch attraction so long as no one lands too hard and disappears down an ice crevasse!

Uranus’s Moon Miranda – Bison Staring Stand-Offs

20120905_uranus_voyager_C2709128_rgb_150pct_lakdawalla_f537Miranda_Close up_Credit moon.nasa.govThe star attraction of the Uranian system with its very own Grand Prix racetrack features in the form of a variety of concentric “coronae” ranging from smooth curving corners, to sudden sharp turns – great work-out for Canicross fans.

  1. 1. Canicross-dog powered running where the dog takes you for a run attached by harness and shock absorbing line.
  2.                   1303320624_canicross_2011_033
  3. 2. Skijoring -Skiing behind dogs on the huge cliffs towering far into the Mirandian sky.

                                                 Bison_Credit bloximages3. Bison Staring Stand-offs; low gravity float-downs when you lose your staring stand-off and they butt you off the edge of a cliff, have their own unique thrills – and the views are cosmic! And the kids will love it!

 

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

 

Valhalla Basin (Galactic Winter Olympics)–Let The Games Begin!!   20 comments

 

2014 Galactic Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Galactic Olympic Winter Games (22nd Galactic Winter Olympic Games)

Held at Valhalla Basin, Callisto (Jovian System).

2014 Valhalla Basin (Galactic Winter Olympics)

The main venue of the Galactic Winter Olympics, Valhalla Basin, (Hall of Odin or Hall of the Slain in Norse Mythology), is also a crater produced by an impacting meteor. It sports the largest multi-ring impact crater on both Callisto (Galilean moon of Jupiter, sister world of Europa) and within the Solar System.

hqdefault_Callisto_solarsystem.nasa.govSochi symbolValhalla Basin_Callisto_harding.edu7043-sochi-olympics-opening-ceremony

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 Basin Highlights:
    • speed skating_ventspils.lvIce skating on the frosty, bright-floored central basin.
    • Sochi Snowboarding_dw.deSnowboarding and Hi-speed skating around the 8+ concentric frozen mountainous ridges.

West of Valhalla is Asgard, the second largest multi-ring impact crater on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. (Realm of the gods in Norse mythology)

Asgard crater_seasky.org

  • Asgard Crater Highlights:
    • X-country skiing around the multi ring structure.
    • Snowboarding jumps and ski jumping from the centrally-situated domed Doh impact crater dominating Asgard.

                  sochi-2014-skiing_fieldofplay.eusochi-ski-jump_telegraph.co.uk Winter Olympic skiing_bbc.co.uk

The Galactic Olympic Village And Opening Ceremony

Gale_Crater_dlr.deGale Crater_MarsThe Galactic Winter Olympic Torch is lit at Gale Crater on Mars, the host world of the Summer Galactic Olympics. The torch will be embedded with one of the infamous Martian gemstones, these glittering galactic opals marking the beginning of the renowned Solar System-wide Torch Relay.

 

On completion of its tour throughout our stunning and remarkable galaxy – The Milky Way, it will arrive on Callisto in time for the Opening Ceremony taking place at Valhalla Basin.

Callisto_map_labeld_britastro.org Callisto_Valhall Basin_johnstonsarchive.net Sochi Opening Ceremony 

Asgard crater_fas.orgPlease take note of the Crater you are heading for – the nearby Asgard Crater houses the 3-D Printed Galactic Olympic Village. It does NOT host the Galactic Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony where all those lovely super-hot and fit athletes will be hanging out! So you will not be able to sneak in any secret romantic liaisons during this time and you might just as well Bob sleigh yourself and your naughty and wicked ways right back to where you should have been in the first place – Valhalla Basin!! Now off you go…shoo!!

  Sochivillage  Meteoritic Medals and Martian Gemstones

Medal events taking place on Mars on Valentine’s Day (14th for the benefit of you forgetful male viewers – do not forget to buy something awesomely,

romantically special for the love of your life or they might never speak to you again!) will bring, for the lucky medal winners of that day, lovingly prepared Galactic Olympic medals embedded, in the spirit of this romantic day, with beautiful, heart-shaped Martian gemstones – cosmic Opals full of love and romance!

Martian Opal_Gemstone of the Year_Image Credit_ NASA  JPL-Caltech  University of Arizona 

The anniversary of the Russian 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.

Russian Chelyabinsk meteor_apod.nasa.gov Sochi 2014 Medals OLYMPICS-SOCHI-MEDALS

On this day fragments of Valhalla Basin the main venue of the Galactic Winter Olympics, (and also a crater produced by an impacting meteor, too many moons ago to remember, just in case you’ve forgotten already, or worse still, have only started reading from here… how rude!!!), will be embedded in medals for medal events taking place on Callisto, the most cratered moon in the galaxy, in recognition of and in respect to the Russian Chelyabinsk meteor event. ‘Team GB’s bronze medal win was a pretty awesome meteoritic achievement too!! >>>>>

Jenny Jones Olympic Bronze medal_Snowboarding_dailymail.co.uk

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/

When the Moon Meets the Sun   70 comments

 

 

“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.

moondoor

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!

newMoonThere 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”

Source:

eatingwithangels.com


The Magic of the Moon song –

When the Moon meets the Sun on a late summer’s night.

Icewolf - When the Moon Meets the SunThe Star-born of Europa_cool embrace of another world

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

Alien Sunsets   33 comments

Watching the sunset on another world 150 light years from Earth….

What would it look like?

Osiris

HD 209458 b (Osiris) is a large exoplanet or extrasolar planet that orbits the Sun-like star HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light-years from Earth’s solar system. First discovered on November 5, 1999 during “Spectroscopic studies.”

Osiris_HD 209458bOsiris

Osiris is a 7th magnitude world, visible from Earth with good binoculars or a decent telescope. Osiris (HD209458b), 150 Ly from Earth orbits very closely to its sun. Measured by the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope on March 23. 2005 it had an atmospheric temperature of around 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) it’s year lasts just 3.5 Earth days long. Very bad for the aging process!

Osiris Firsts:

First PrizeHD 209458 b was the first transiting extrasolar planet discovered:

  • Known to have an atmosphere
  • Observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere
  • Found to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon
  • One of the first two extrasolar planets to be directly spectroscopically observed
  • The first extrasolar planet found to have water vapour in its atmosphere. (April 2007)

(Sunset On HD 189733 – Osiris)

Sunset on HD209458b (reconstructed from the HST/STIS transmission spectrum): Image: Frederic Pont of the University of Exeter: based on data form a camera on-board the Hubble Space Telescope)

Osiris doesn’t actually have as surface on which to sit peacefully watching an alien sunset but for the purposes of this post we will pretend it does. What it does have however is an atmosphere, which when passed through by the light from its star (sun) – it does this every so often when Osiris passes between Earth and its own sun (transits)– allows the scientific types here on sunny Earth to figure out in a scientific way mostly beyond the understanding of the average Earthling, exactly which colours its sun would set in, should Osiris have a surface – as already stated it doesn’t but… and we were spending a happily romantic evening sitting on the (make-believe) surface.

I said it HASN’T got one!!! So don’t try it!! It won’t be any good for you!!

In the image to the right Osiris’s sunset can be seen as it would appear if having travelled at light speed to reach it, you were floating 6,200 miles/10,000 km above the planetary surface – preferably not in a deckchair unless you’re wearing a heavy duty space suit 😉 a space station would do nicely.

Floating 6,200 miles above the planetary surface...The Osirisian sun- HD 209458– it’s star, is, much like Earth’s Sun, white – yes I know…The Sun is yellow…but if there was no atmosphere it would look white – not that we would see it because without an atmosphere life on Earth would have survived for approx. 20 seconds before exploding into instant extinction.

An alien sunset on Osiris really does look alien – unlike Earth’s. Osiris’s atmosphere consists of sodium which when starlight (sunlight) zips through it, absorbs the red light. (think prisms and colours of rainbows when white light is split) This results in the remaining starlight appearing blue. It makes perfectly good sense if you were paying attention in your school science lessons. If you weren’t then it’s your own fault and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself!!

As back home on Earth the blue light from the star is scattered (“Rayleigh scattering,” a mechanism also responsible for the Earth’s sky being blue) creating a progressive change through the blue end of the spectrum through to a pretty green and later a deep, dark shade of green as its star dips further beneath the horizon.

The more sensible approach to watching the Osirian sunset...In such colours you should be able to get a good view of Osiris’s sun without going instantly blind in which case you will notice it looks oddly flat around the southern half. The same effect occurs when we watch the sun setting from Earth. This is the consequence of diffraction (light bending) and nothing to worry about..

Osiris, Eygptian god of the Underworld_Credit Jeff DahlWhilst you are relaxing in the Osirisian sunset you can reflect on the little snippet of mythology attached to it’s title… Osiris was an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh’s beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. His green skin is symbolic of new birth. This image is based on New Kingdom tomb paintings.

    

      AND FOR COMPARISION PURPOSES, THE SUNSET ON HD 189733 b

    Sunset on HD 189733 bSunset on HD 189733 b looks like an especially awesome Earth sunset when the sky is very clear and there is only a small amount of dust in the atmosphere. HD 189733 b is much closer to its star (sun) than Earth is to our Sun so its star looks considerably bigger 25 times larger than Earth’s sun when viewed at sunset compared.

Soaking up the atmosphere on HD 189733b

HD 189733 b’s sun is orange and nowhere near as hot as Earth’s Sun and consequently is coloured orange as oppose to the white of our Sun. Instead of undergoing a gradual change of colour as it sets, this alien sun transforms straight from its original orange colour to deepest red in the thick layers of the lower atmosphere.

Jupiter and HD 189733 b size comparison

HD 189733b discovered in 2005 is an extrasolar planet of similar size to Jupiter. It orbits a star (it’s sun) in a binary system called HD 189733 in the constellation of Vulpecula in two Earth days. The aging process on this world would be terribly fast in our terms and those wrinkles would appear in a frighteningly super-smart short time!! The star system itself one of the closest planet-star systems known making it extremely hot. It is located near the Dumbell Nebula, approximately 62 light years from Earth and is known as a “Hot Jupiter.”

HD 189733 and M27, the Dumbbell Nebula. Credit: Daniel Jaroschik

HD 189733b shares many similar characteristics as HD 209458b (a.k.a. “Osiris) Although HD 189733b’s atmosphere isn’t thought to be evaporating like Osiris’, atmospheric gases extend far beyond it and out into space. This is significant in that starlight can also pass through meaning that scientists have been able to figure out that the atmosphere contains water and methane resulting in the probability that HD 189733b may have a blue hue, reminiscent of Uranus.

The atmosphere also contains iron, silicate and aluminium oxide particles. These would seem to collect in HD 189733b’s upper atmosphere, forming a thin, hazy, reflective cloud in the exosphere. This leads to the natural conclusion that the weather on HD 189733b is hot and cloudy.

Thanks to the Spitzer telescope it was discovered in February 2007 for the first time that the atmosphere of exoplanet HD 209458b (Osiris) is relatively dry, thick and dusty. Osiris even contains grains of sand (silicates).

Exoplanet

Although it is not suitable for the existence of alien life it is an exciting step on the road to discovery of such worlds.

Sources:

PhysOrg.com

Prof. Frédéric Pont

ExoClimes.com

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.

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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)