Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Deadliest Life-Giver

If you ask 10 people how and why we're alive here, on this rock that was once dust circling a very young star, you'd get 10 different answers. One fact cannot be disputed: Life should NOT be able to thrive here. We're too close to a star, middle-aged but very potent, throwing off super-solar storms of radiation continually. Right now, hundreds of billions of cosmic rays are penetrating your thumbnail. Our bodies are exposed to toxic cosmic rays from our star, the sun, all day, all night, all the time, all these years we've been in existence. Not just us: ALL LIFE.

So: Life shouldn't exist here in Earth, it's bombarded by radiation. Look at these sun-spots, they are causal to solar flares and our weather. Dangerous emissions of radiation. It makes you wonder, once again, about life itself - is it a fluke, following no blueprint but it's own DNA, a mutation of the evolution of our galaxy?

What protects life here is our Magnetosphere. You can see the solar winds in this picture hitting our EMF or electro-magnetic field which protects us in layers, sending the majority of cosmic radiation out and around us. So again, our sun, this close star, can eradicate a world. But a combination of many things keeps us from looking like Mars.

So let's look at Mars. I chose this picture because of the amazing mountain range shaped like a human face, but of course, re-shaped with the shadows. Anyway, Mars has no atmosphere because the Sun ripped it away. Mars has no magnetosphere. Our star destroyed it, radiated the planet, yet we've managed to get there using incredibly intelligent "scientist robots" and many cosmologists know we can colonize Mars. I'm off topic:

Sol, our star, the sun, has a corona surrounding it and expanding out into space about 100 millions miles. In that corona exists something called CME (Coronal Mass Emissions) which are exactly what they sound like. Hugh ejections of solar radiation, flares, prominences, SUPER storms, SUPER flares, just a mind-numbing amount of power - which we should be using more to our advantage. Also, it's the reason the outer sun is hotter than the inner. Sun-spots affect flares and prominences too. The first picture in this post is a real picture of prominences jetting hundreds of thousands of miles into the corona then falling back into the sun.

The Sun has it's own Electro-magnetic field too, and a great amount of gravity, enough to keep all the planets in orbit. When an object like an asteroid from between Mars and Jupiter is bumped out of orbit, it careens out and DOWN, following gravitational pull, and we see alot as "shooting stars" but I assure you they are FAR from stars. If they were, they'd burn us up into a cinder.

By the by, every picture here that looks obviously real, is.

So the next time you wish upon a star, why not make it the one you know best? Our Sun.

Note: Click here for "Our Unquiet Sun" and alot of great pix

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Day Late, A Meteor Shower Short

Here it is mid-August, time for the great Perseid meteor shower, and I missed posting for its 8/11-12 peak-time. Sorry am I!! If you've seen the shower each year (or any year) you know how incredible it can be. The moon glared down from constellation Aries right next to the shower's radiant in Perseus, so it was a rather disappointing show. (The radiant is that red dot in the center.) If you're looking Northeast near midnight you can still catch them, out in open unlighted spaces. Perseids can appear in any part of the sky, but their tails always point back to the radiant.
Actual photos of Perseids trailing through the night sky.

Coo-coo Conversation

Yes it's a repost but bear with. This is an exchange between me and my brother Chris. Stick it out, you might laugh:


Chris looked at me. "I just had a cup of that new decaffinated stuff." he said.

"No", I retorted, "that's the condition of a cow who just gave birth. De-CALF-inated. See?"


"What...?" Chris said. "And I suppose Russians get their milk from MosCOWS?! Loodee, you're nuts."


Chris started walking away.

"Awwww, don't be so cow-towed, Chris!" I yelled. He walked faster.

"So where ya going, huh? The mooo-vies?"

Now he kicked into a full run, stiffling giggles. I couldn't resist.

"Gee Chris, you're so mooo-dy." I shouted. "Come on, wait up! I can't mooo-ve as fast as you!"

Distinct sounds of laughter coming from Chris now. He started to slow down, finally stopping with his hands on his knees, head bent down, trying to catch his breath.

"You're an idiot, Cath." he managed.

"Yeah, I know."

Chris looked pensive. "Hey, write those down, and any more you can think of, I have a friend who loves stuff like that."

I thought about it. "Is he a COWboy?" I asked?

Moans from Chris. "No, he's a park supervisor."

"Does he look for moose? You know, MOO-se?" I asked with the devil's own smirk.

Chris turned from me, cupping his mouth.

"You think your COWboy friend herds MOO-se? What do they call guys like that, Mooseboys?" Chris's eyes were starting to water.

"Why would anyone need to herd Moose anyway? Why not owls? Say! If an owl got hit with an awl, would it hurt more?" I pondered. "What about a trowel?" I mused. "Why do owls hoot and wolves howl, do you think?" I looked straight at Chris.

He couldn't speak, his speech center was choked off by laughter.

"Howling owls, imagine ...." I said slowly, rubbing my chin.

Last I saw Chris, he was sitting at the table, writing something down.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cosmic Creature Of The Night

P L E A S E C L I C K !!!
Look what NASA'a Spitzer Space Telescope brought in for us: a coiled creature called NGC 1097 and spiraled, like our Milky Way galaxy. This is 50 MILLION light years away.

Those long, spindly "arms" are all stars and look at the center, at the "eye". That's a monstrous BLACK HOLE surrounded by a ring of stars. In this color-coded infrared view from Spitzer, the area around the black hole is blue, the stars are white.

This black hole is truly a monster - 100 MILLION TIMES THE MASS OF OUR SUN. It feeds of
f gas and dust, and the occasional unlucky star. Our Milky Way's central black hole is quite tame in comparison, with only a few million suns, or stars.

The ring around the black hole is BURSTING with new star formations. Other dots in the picture are stars from our galaxy or other distant ones. LIFE!! Explosive eh?