Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ Category


So, here’s what I found out about Mars.  It’s the red planet because it’s rusted, but you probably knew that.  It’s iron after all.  A dead planet, stripped of it’s atmosphere (still losing it) and vulnerable to the Solar Winds and massive radiation.

Anyway, Mars and Earth started out pretty much the same.  Water, nice and cushy for life, but Mars never really had a chance.  It’s small, smaller than we are, and that was a death sentence, since it’s core couldn’t produce enough heat to keep it going.

The reason it’s small is because of Jupiter, the next biggest thing in our neighborhood after the sun.  Jupiter’s gravitational pull grabbed all the debris, rocks, and things, floating around, toward itself, leaving no building material for Mars to grow with.  I know I ended the sentence with a preposition.

It’s possible we would have been larger as well, maybe a Super Earth, but Jupiter didn’t leave much for any of us to grow.

So that’s why Mars is wee and why it died, well mostly.

Jupiter is responsible for lots of things and the only reason it finally stopped moving around, in the beginning, is because Saturn locked on to it and kind of held it in place and even pushed it farther from the sun.  It was definitely heading toward the sun.

Some think Jupiter is responsible for the death of the dinosaurs, having thrown a huge rock out of it’s orbit, which it does now and then, but it also take lots of impacts that protect us from getting hit.  So, like everything in life, it has a good side and a bad side.  The thing is, it has no real intent, it just is.

Mars never really had the potential to become another earth.  Just like our sun, which will never become a black hole, because even in the universe, size matters.


Photo:  Planet Volumes


silhouette of people standing on top of electric post under starry night

We’re so tiny, just a dot on the arm of the Milky Way and yet, we keep trying to be heard.  It’s funny but maybe someday, someone will care enough to answer.


Photo:  Nico Iseli

Milky Way…not the candy…snicker, snicker, that’s not the candy either. A poem

Milky Way, River, Starry Sky, Landscape

the Milky Way
lights up the sky
as it sparkles above us
filled with planets
bright suns
and clouds of gas
a nursery
for new stars


Photo:  Pixabay

From: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Satellites over Orion

This is interesting and important…from: Astronomy Picture of the Day

Dark Matter in a Simulated Universe

Beautiful…from Astronomy Picture of the Day

Iron in the Butterfly Nebula

THIS is amazing…from Astronomy Picture of the Day

Star Formation in the Tadpole Nebula

From: Astronomy Picture of the Day

IC 1805: The Heart Nebula

You are HERE…Ramblings

Solar System, Planet, Planetary System

I used this picture because Pluto’s in it.  When our probe flew by Pluto, the scientists were surprised, since there’s a lot going on, on that wee planet.  Scientists now call Pluto a Dwarf Planet.  That’s the nice thing about life, if we want Pluto to be a planet we can ignore what the scientists say and call it anything we like.   We can call the scientists things too, that’s the way it works.  Anyway, you can see Pluto, it’s the tiny white dot on the upper left.  And just for the record, Pluto doesn’t care what we call it.  We name everything so we can understand what other people are talking about.  That, however, doesn’t always work, so then we go to war and kill them.  But what we name doesn’t actually care if we call it anything at all, which is my point.

When the sun starts turning into a red giant, you can clearly see who will get eaten first, right?  And when you look at the Sun, you’re looking at a Star, so that’s what all the stars in the sky look like.  How did we ever come up with the pointy things we call stars?  Maybe the person who invented stars didn’t know that the sun was one.  A big orange and red ball on the top of the Christmas tree would look funny, now that we know that’s what should be there.

When I look at the picture I want to run my fingers through the orbital lines and watch what happens.  The problem is that I’d have to b a LOT bigger to be able to do that.  Still, it’s fun to think about.  Everything would wobble, go flying into someone else, or into space.  Hey, it’s just a thought.

Gas planets are strange.  To put it mildly.  Why don’t we talk about those things more often?  Gas planets are confusing, since we know so little about them.  They may have a core, or they may not.  It could be rocky, iron, or frozen hydrogen.  Scientists have no idea. Well, they have no idea about most things.  Everything’s really far away and dangerous, so there is that.

Anyway, think about the fact that all around us there’s Dark Matter, Space, Junk, and a gazillion planets, stars, black holes comets,  silence, and things we can’t imagine AND there are no edges.  You could walk FOREVER and never reach an edge because edges do not exist.  Humans like edges, beginnings and endings, so that’s hard for us to think about.

But the truth is, we don’t know what the truth is.  Maybe there is an edge, how could we possible know when working with a scale that large?  We’re like preschoolers, when it comes to the universe.  Maybe we’re floating in a great big casino like the ones at Vegas and we don’t know that either.  Things can be bigger than the universe can’t they?  We don’t know for sure that there can’t be things that are bigger.  Maybe the universe is inside a gigantic hamster wheel, that’s why we keep spinning.  Anything can happen, right?  Ha!  No you say, but you can’t be sure because no one knows what’s really out there, or what’s really gong on.

Maybe we’re pets of some long lost group of beings and someone, or something, forgot to bring us inside.  Or maybe this IS inside.  It’s impossible to believe the FACTS, since they change so often.  NEW info is coming in all the time and so is disinformation.  Actually, I’m going with the idea that almost all we get is disinformation.

Don’t you think yoyo’s can teach us a lot?  I mean if we concentrate, there’s a lot going on with a string and two macaroon sides.  Everything needs to be right for things to work, well, work in a way we’re used to.  You can WALK THE DOG with a yoyo but, if someone puts their finger on the string, while you’re doing it, it turns Walk the Dog into, Where is the Dog?   That’s what I mean about playing with the orbital lines on the picture.

What if the earth stopped spinning?  If the earth just STOPED, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, would be GONE. because the 1,100 mph atmosphere would still be moving and rip everything away and toss it into space.  Good thing that’s not going to happen soon.  At least we don’t think it will.

What if one of the planets moved?  They’ve done it before, but that was a long time ago, before they all decided where they wanted to live.  Still, if one gets really bored…

Okay, I was just having fun, thinking about cool things, and now I’ve gone and dragged you along with me.  But really, we sit in tiny chairs and live inside  tiny things and everything around us is bigger than we can ever imagine, but not a lot of people seem to think about that.  Why don’t they?

Okay, so…

Planet, Saturn, Saturn'S Rings

I’ve been watching PBS, The Plants.  Last night was Saturn.  I’m still trying to get over the death of Cassini.  Horribly sad.  It was difficult for the people to talk about it without tearing up or even bing unable to speak.  I couldn’t even look at the poor probe as it dove to it’s death after 13 years of perfection.  As it was following it’s orders  to  dive to its death they read all the names of the people who had been involved in the mission, to make sure the probe knew it was cared about, I would say loved, since it was just following orders, and didn’t know it was going to die.  it was terribly sad.

Anyway, there were a million fascinating things said about Saturn but, of course, I can only remember a couple of them.  One thing was that when the dinosaurs were alive, Saturn didn’t have rings.  An ice moon got too close and Saturn’s gravity pretty much tore it to shreds.  It just pulled it apart.  So that’s how they think the rings were formed. On one of the rings there are huge ice structures, which really look cool and surprised everyone, to say the least.

One of the things that’s so hard for me to imagine is:  Saturn doesn’t have a core.  It’s a gas planet and that’s pretty much it.  It started out with a rocky core but that was in the beginning.  There are lots of storms raging inside but to imagine that if you fell in, you’d never land on anything, is just weird.  Of course you’d be torn to bits before you knew got to that part, but still.

They think there might be life on the moon Enceladus, because of the geysers.  Cassini flew through the geysers a few times and they are made of water, salt and from what they think is an underground ocean.  So they think there may be life, unconnected to earth somewhere on the moon.  That’s cool.

Lots of fabulous info and pictures but I’m still trying to picture the inside of the planet.  Also the rings are only 30 feet thick and are made up of ice chunks as big as apartment buildings (don’t know how many floors) down to itty bitty pebbles.

What’s really nice is to see all the brilliant women, leading, or on the teams.  Makes me so happy.

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