Archive for the ‘life’ Tag

Martian Gemstones   25 comments

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_Image Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL

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.

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

NASA Discover Alien Planet Earth Twin –Kelper-22b   46 comments

 

Alien Earth-Twin: Planet Kelper-22b

NASA Kelper: Planet Hunting Spacecraft

Kepler 22b, the new alien planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which NASA scientists say embraces the most hopeful possibility to date for potential future human habitation. Scientists also believe there is a tantalising option for the presence of continents, oceans and even alien life forms living on its surface. Kepler-22b is the first of many such planets that it is hoped will be discovered by the Kepler space telescope.

The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Program for detecting potentially life-supporting planets-. those where liquid water might exist on the surface of those around other stars in the habitable zone. Terrestrial planets. (i.e. those one half to twice the size of the Earth)

Kelper Telescope

NASA’s Kelper planet-hunting spacecraft, a Space Observatory, that has been orbiting Earth since it was launched in March 2009 is the most powerful telescope in space. It needs a large field in order to observe the necessary large number of stars.

Beginning in the Star Fields

Kelper will be searching constantly in the Cygnus star field, staring unblinkingly at around 155,000 stars every half hour, looking for tiny drops in brightness that betray the presence of planets, for the duration of it’s 3.5 years+ mission. Cygnus is ideal as it lacks in bright stars that would hamper the instruments and it contains many stars similar to our Sun

image

Kepler’s targetd star field in nearby region of the Milky Way. Credit: NASA

The star around which Kepler 22b orbits in the region of the constellations of Lyra and Cygnus, is slightly smaller than our Sun and about 25% less bright. The alien planet was discovered after making a "transit" across the front of its parent star – when a planet crosses in front of its star (Sun) it blocks a small fraction of the light from that star.

                               Cygnus Star field                                       Kelper's Transit Method

Image 1. Kepler’s targeted star field. Credit: Carter Roberts of the Eastbay Astronomical Society   \mage 2. Artist’s rendering of Kepler’s Transit Method of Detecting Extrasolar Planets. Credit: SETI Institute

It is these microscopic variations in the star’s brightness that Kelper can detect. These tell the planet size. The time between ‘transits’ indicates the size of the planet’s orbit and estimates the planet’s temperature. These factors determine possibilities for life on the planet.

Alien Planet Kelper-22b

kepler22b-artwork

This artist’s conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
CREDIT: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

2.4 times the size of earth Kelper 22b orbits a star similar to, but smaller and cooler than, our own sun. Scientists say it is 15% closer to its own star than Earth is to our Sun and is located at the somewhat daunting distance of 600 light years away from our own Solar System. At 290 days, the duration of a year on Kepler-22b is not far off our own and the planet’s surface temperature is an agreeable 22deg C. (72deg F) (Sign up here if you wish to join Wolfie on a summer holiday) 😉

Its atmosphere is of a nature that could potentially support life and Kepler-22b is the first “Earth twin” known that is situated in the ‘habitable zone’ of another Sun-like star. This allows for temperatures fitting to the existence of liquid surface water throughout its orbit. I.e. Kelper- 22b could have Earth-like continents and oceans…and where there is liquid water there is also a strong possibility of life. It is even possible, according to scientists that Kelper-22b is in fact already inhabited!

However scientists have yet to figure out whether Kepler-22b is of a primarily rock, liquid or gas composition. A rocky surface would be the best ideal for life. However, a certain Professor Abel Mendez of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory has pessimistically suggested that the chances are that the new and alien planet is likely to be too big to be a habitable world… well there’s always one!

To date the Kepler space telescope has discovered a grand total of 48 planets in the habitable zone of their own solar systems. (The “Goldilocks zone”) Kepler-22b is just the first alien world within such a zone to have been confirmed by other telescopes observations.

NASA announced the discovery of Kepler-22b on Dec. 5 2011.

 Planets and orbits to scale

Comparison chart of our own solar system and  Kepler-22, a star system containing the first "habitable zone" planet discovered.

"This discovery supports the growing belief that we live in a universe crowded with life," ~ Dr Alan Boss, from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, helped identify the planet from data collected by the Kepler space telescope.

"This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth’s twin," ~ Douglas Hudgins, a member of the Kepler telescope team.

“Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," ~ William Borucki, who led the team that discovered Kepler-22b.

Fire-Wolves of Io (©2010 Revised Re-post)   32 comments

Fire Wolves of Io (Revised Re-post)

Copyright Europa’s Icewolf – All Rights Reserved

 

Jupiter and moon Io (Copyright Europa's Icewolf)

Silent cosmic explosion of shattered worlds colliding. Volcanic furls of solar fire lighting up the burnt golden worldscape displaying in flaming bursts of moulton gold heralding the birth of the “Fire Wolves of Io.” Melting plumes of moon- fire moulding the dancing array of DNA into burning smouldering embers of life-giving essences, forming and changing in an altered reality, until the birthing cry of the founding Fire Wolf of Io resounded in a wild, agonised shriek through the roaring maelstrom of a world newly and violently born.

 

FirewolfBurnished gold orbs surveying the smouldering world the first of the Fire Wolves had been brutally and dreadfully born into. Its cindered moon- black mask was in startling eclipse to its sun-bronzed coat, an otherworldly glint caught the astral light, shadowing across the volcanic land forms dotted across the newly formed solar terrain. The air tasted hot and of sulphur, twisting pockets of flames still flaring from the cracks and crevices of the scorched surface ground. Shaking itself tentatively, testing each newly formed limb, tasting the alien atmosphere it was born to with sensitive nose it tensed in its own sense of power, feeling the call of its sun-fired heritage to run and hunt and know the furnace of exhilaration that threatened to explode from deep within its burning, sultry-golden form.

It uttered a strange and involuntary noise – a deep rumbling growl of anticipation. An unfamiliar sound to the new born of Io, before leaping away untouched by the pockets of flames that were an integral part of its Fire Wolf make-up. It moved in moulton luxury feeling the flow of bone and muscle, sliding under glittering cosmic coat, searing wind currents lifting it hotly as the star wolf itself flew on winged paws across red-tinged terrain, caught in the joy of being, of its own wild untamed vitality,untouched and all instinct and wild primal hunter. “FIRE WOLVES OF IO….”

All too often in life we cling with the utmost urgency onto the very thing we cannot keep hold of and even when we know it is lost to us our lives are shaped by that all-consuming longing and the fierce refusal to give ourselves over to the process of adaptation. So it is with those who become like fired moulton rock – they are trapped in an unchanging form. We force ourselves into the form of unyielding moulton rock because we FEAR TO CHANGE.

Is There Life On Other Worlds?   11 comments

Does Life Exist Elsewhere In The Universe?

 

The presence of water is absolutely vital to the existence of life no matter where it may lie in the universe.  In searching for the best habitat to harbour life, the essential criteria could be viewed as a rocky planet with a liquid surface ocean – plant and animal life living near the surface would need to utilise the sunlight.  An atmosphere would also be necessary to prevent the freezing or evaporating of the ocean and it would offer protection from potentially lethal ultra violet light. 

 

Tidal Heating is an important factor in ensuring water is kept warm in multiple-moon systems such as those orbiting Jupiter.  Three of Jupiter’s moons – Europa, Ganymede and Callisto show indications of possible vast oceans beneath thick icy crusts.  Tidal heating prevents the oceans from freezing and heated water bubbling up from the ocean bed provides energy for the beginnings of life’s processes.

 

Europa

Although largely an icy frozen world it could provide a suitable environment for life to form.  Its surface is one of the brightest in the galaxy, and also one of the smoothest. Surface images show strong similarities to thawing pack-ice on Earth’s polar seas, and there is strong evidence suggesting the existence of a subsurface global ocean, sustained in liquid form as a result of tidal heating.

 

Titan

Saturn’s largest moon and 2nd largest in Solar System is composed of rock and water ice, and has a nitrogen-methane atmosphere with a reddish cloud layer above the surface.  Liquid methane can produce the same effect as water on Earth in terms of cloud formation, rain and liquid pools and possibly even lakes and oceans.

 

Enceladus

Saturn’s moon and the shiniest in the solar system.

The part of the atmosphere over its south pole consisting of water vapour gives rise to the notion that below its icy crust could be a hidden ocean. The newly discovered surface geyser, “Cold Faithful,” jetting water ice and vapour out of the fissures backs this theory.

  

Mars

2001-2002 Mars Odyssey found evidence of water ice near the surface. Polar ice caps are underlayed by caps of water ice. 2008 Phoenix Lander confirmed the existence of Martian water in frozen soil.  September 2008 snow was detected falling from Martian clouds. Whether any reaches the ground before evaporating remains to be seen.

 

(Related photos in album “Europa(Homeworld Of The Icewolf)And Beyond”)