Archive for the ‘Nitrogen’ Tag

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

Interstellar Tourist Alert! Blue Auroras on Mars!

Don’t Miss This Fantastic Opportunity to see “The Southern Lights” of Mars!

Mars blue aurora wolf_Image credits (background): NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and CSW/DB.

Theoretically it should be impossible for Mars to experience auroras as unlike Earth it no longer has a global magnetic field. On Mars it ceased to exist 3.5 billion years ago. However, in the main in the Southern hemisphere an assortment of “increased magnetic fields” have survived in the surface. These are known as “crustal magnetic anomalies,” and it would seem that these are capable of sparking auroras.

Auroral Glowing Blue Sky_

Sunrise/Sunset Auroras lighting the Wolves of MarsAurora’s appear on a relatively frequent basis after periods of intense solar flare-ups during the life of a solar cycle which on Mars causes  a beautiful, glowing blue sky.  For the intrepid interstellar tourist chasing the Martian lights jumping out of bed bright and early is recommended as they are best caught just before sunrise.

Alternatively for the lazy, late-rising tourist who probably prefers a Martian cocktail on the blue-soaked beaches whilst lounging in a deck chair watching the sun go down, just after sunset is the ideal time to catch the spectacular Martian lights.

  •   On Mars, aurorae also occur in the visible range.
  •   Carbon dioxide in Mars’s atmosphere means skies glow intense deep blue.Southern Skies glow an intense deep blue

Mars’s atmosphere consists mainly of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Consequently the southern skies glow an intense deep blue. On Earth the oxygenated atmosphere causes auroras in shades of red and green – the Northern Lights. It is still possible to see such colours, though in far more subdued tones, on Mars too.

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The research also hopes to help us understand:

  •   More about the atmospheres of other planets and their emissions, and also that of Earth.
  •   The evolution of the Martian atmosphere
  •   Difference in mass between Mars and Earth
  •   Assisting in the ultimate discovery of habitable new worlds

Blue aurorae in Mars’ sky visible to the naked eye_Background Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and CSW/DBBrave new worlds millions of miles from home

”Prime view of the aurora may seem trivial. And yet, on cold, barren planet millions of miles away, one beautiful reminder of home could make a world’s difference.” (Quote Credit: motherboard.vice.com)

Sources:

The Sky at Night
NASA.gov
Motherboard.vice.com
Astronomy Now.com
Washington Post

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