Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘Astronomy’


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

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.


Background, Space, Sky, Planets, Stars

I have always loved the planets and outer space.  I just watched three PBS programs on planets, and I’m so happy.  There is new info from all of our probes and everything is so exciting.

We all know the sun will eventually turn into a Red Giant, eat the first two planets, Mercury and Venus, and maybe us.  Then it will eventually turn into a White Dwarf, because it’s not big enough to become a Black Hole.

Basically, we will eventually have to move, or be fried.  But don’t start packing, there’s a few billion years until it gets the sun gets that big, although by the time it’s on it’s way to munching on Mercury, it’s going to be really hot on earth.  Huge star, looking for a snack.  What a fabulous thing.  Aging star eats Mercury for breakfast.  Actually, the Sun won’t even register the end of Mercury or Venus, I mean why would it?  It’s so tiny, compared to the massive sun, it won’t notice.  Earth, next in line, after Venus goes, will be uninhabitable, as they say.  I think that’s an understatement of epic proportion, but hey, that’s the word they used.   No life at all.  No water, not a single thing to let anyone know we ever existed.  We will be erased, leaving NOTHING behind, which is fitting, since we just can’t seem to catch on to the fact that we really don’t matter.

So, Mars, was our twin.  It was just ended up getting hit and having it’s atmosphere and outer crust stripped away, which made it even smaller.   But it was pushed farther away from the sun.  Too small to hold onto it’s magnetic field, all of it’s water was sucked into space and the planet died.  We, of the inner rock planets, are the only ones to have held onto our water, which we are now destroying all by ourselves.  Because we are idiots and there is a supreme idiot running the show in washington.

Anyway, the planets moved.  They were not all neat and tidy like they are now. They think Jupiter moved into position later, after we were all setting up house.  Jupiter, the big dog on the block, can have it’s way with anyone.  It’s huge and doesn’t really care about anyone else.  Which makes me think humans must have taught it something, somewhere along the way.  But the sun is always in charge.

Here’s the thing…all planets end…everything ends.  All planets change, just like the stars.  They AGE and with age comes change and death.  It just takes awhile, unless something hits us and then it’s over right away.

They believe that Mars may have had life.  I don’t know why they are still guessing.  Seems obvious to me, but I don’t know anything, so, there is that.  They don’t know what happened to the life that was there.  I don’t get that part, since no one will know what happened to us either, once we’re gone.

Moving on, they think there’s a moon, and I can’t remember which one, that may be be able to sustain life.   Of course, that’s only after the sun gets closer to it and warms it up, so that it’s not a solid rock of ice.

Look, I know we have a long time to work on this stuff but seriously, unless we can travel a LOT faster through space, how many generations will it take to get to these places.  Maybe in a million years, we’ll be able to disapparate to anywhere we like, but right now…mmm…they need to work faster.  Getting a hundred people off earth isn’t going to cut it.

The gas giants are currently living hells, but incredibly interesting.  There’s no chance for us to be able to live on one of them.  Liquid lakes of Mercury…yeah, I don’t think so.  And storms, not to mention the temperatures. Eight hundred degrees F. Or three hundred degrees below.  A bit uncomfortable.  BUT, when the sun does her thing, who knows what they will turn into, right?  They will warm up.  Greenhouse gases may dissipate.

It’s all about the star.  Our sun is in charge of everything and she’s getting older.  It’s all those nuclear reactions she goes through every second of every day.  Sigh.  She never gets a break.

There is no way to avoid what’s coming.  Stars die.  Ours will.  So will earth.  When Mercury and Venus are digested, our planet will look as it did in the beginning…molten…unless it’s eaten, then it won’t look like anything at all.

The scientists said we seem to be under the false impression that things are stable.  They are not.  We’re just in a nice cozy period.  Anything can happen, stuff moves around.  If Mars didn’t get caught in it’s weird oval trip around the sun, it would have been flung into space, like other things have been ejected, who knows where.  Look, we can’t be sure of anything.  The desert moves, climates change.  Planets die, move around, and hit each other planets, moons and really big rocks, comets and whatever else they can find to hit..  Galaxies MERGE, and it’s all super VIOLENT when they do those things.  The Universe is a VIOLENT place.  It explodes, grows, shrinks and kills things, while new stars/suns are born and the cycle begins again.  Black holes are born from the death of HUGE dying suns/stars. I love it.  Recycling at it’s best.

Suppose nothing hits or eats us, (it will, but just suppose).  The end will come and all the suns/stars will go black and there will be NO LIGHT AT ALL and a bunch of rocks hanging in space.  No life, no light, no ANYTHING AT ALL.  A frozen wasteland.  Nothing will be alive and NO LIGHT ANYWHERE.  Colder than we can imagine.  PITCH BLACK.  Hard to imagine how BLACK that time would be.

It’s so exciting and amazing and yet, we still keep killing each other, instead of enjoying the time we have left.  Hate, inequality, racism, war, poverty…all the disgusting things we choose to live with, when we only have a certain amount of time to be here. Nothing of us will be left on earth.  Nothing. A fitting end to a species that loved violence, death, power and money.  Sad, but true, nonetheless.  I wish we liked gardens, animals and each other instead, but no one cares about what I wish.  People eat living beings who suffer because of that, every single day.  The don’t care.  They never think about the fear, terror, pain and misery animals go through so people can eat them.  We do horrible things to everything that lives.  I think it’s great that we won’t leave anything behind.  Hopefully, we won’t get off this planet, so we can start killing somewhere else.  I think we’ve destroyed enough.

Maybe some other species will come into being, somewhere else.  A species who is kind and thoughtful and not into killing everything…or not.  It would probably be better if nothing existed but the stars and planets themselves.  I’d definitely go with that.  Or ducks.  Maybe ducks. Lots and lots of ducks.

Wow! From: Astronomy Picture of the Day

M83: The Thousand Ruby Galaxy

All you have to do is look at this picture of multiple galaxies to know that it’s ridiculous to think that we are alone…Astronomy Picture of the Day

A View Toward M106

Stars…2 pictures

The sun is an actual STAR.  It’s a flaming orb.  Round and hotter than we can imagine. We know what a start looks like.  We have a star of our very own.

Sunset, Evening, Romantic, Sun

So, if we know what stars look like…why do we draw them like this?

Star, Texas, Lone Star, Stars



Iris gave a lecture yesterday.  All the chicklets and guests were there.  Below is her lecture, word for word:

“My beautiful friends and family, welcome.

This is about stars.  We do not look out at the stars, we move among them.  They are all around us.  The clostest star is the sun.  It’s so close, it keeps us warm.  If we were closer to our star we would die because it would be too hot.

Little ones, don’t worry, the sun won’t get that hot for a VERY long time.  I promise.  The sun is our star and our friend.  It takes eight minutes for light from the sun to get to us.  If the sun went out, that’s how long it would be until we froze to death, but little chicklets, you don’t have to worry about that either, so you can open your eyes again.

Are there any questions?

“Yes, other stars are on fire too.”

“I don’t know what we’re having for lunch.”

“Anything else?” she asked, looking around.

“Yes, I did draw the picture myself.  Thank you.”

“I don’t know who named the sun, but I agree that Fire would be a better name.”

Thank you all for coming to the lecture.  I think there’s ice cream in the kitchen.”



Very short TED Talk…about really cool stuff

Blogger D. M. Hutchins says that the Saturn photo form NASA is fake…

D. M. Hutchins says:
December 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm (Edit)
No drama, its just a fake photo. I covered it here.

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