Posts Tagged: solar system

Weekday TidBits and Links for You

Sherman Alexie on Not Being “The Kind of Indian That’s Expected” : On what it means for Trump to treat the entire country like a reservation — and writing a memoir about a great woman who was not a great mother.

If Republicans Love Their Country, When Will They Show It?

From the nice folks at Volcanoe Cafe: Rockall: The lost continent of Middle Earth

Books (or Series) to Read if You Like The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

The Archetypes of American Folklore – wherein most of the American archetypes are bigger, faster, bolder, and more of braggarts then those of the old country.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a warning to Conservative Women:
“America is rich in Serena Joys…The world she wanted to build could not coexist with the world that allowed her career.”

The Exquisitely English (and Amazingly Lucrative) World of London Clerks : It’s a Dickensian profession that can still pay upwards of $650,000 per year.

Evidence mounts for Planet Nine

The weird power of the placebo effect, explained. Yes, the placebo effect is all in your mind. And it’s real. “Belief is the oldest medicine known to man. ” – Brian Resnick

How do we know where the carbon is coming from?
I found the part on Carbon-14 cycle most interesting – given that there was spike in C14 in the 1950s-1960s due to above ground nuclear bomb testing. And then the amount of C13 can tell us where the added CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from:

“We can now distinguish between the three possible sources of added CO2. We can immediately excludes the circulating pool, because the added CO2 contains no 14C. Of the remaining two possible sources, carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will be depleted in 13C relative to a mineral standard, while carbon dioxide from mineral sources will not. So the question is, has atmospheric carbon dioxide become more depleted in 13C over time, as its amount has risen?

Unambiguously yes.” – Paul Brateman


Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

Mon 12.01.14 – Digital artist and animator Erik Wernquist has created a wonderful short film on space exploration called Wanderers.

Wanderers is a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.
Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds – and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there.

The nice folks over at Cumbrian Sky have written a good blog post about the film and what it evokes:

Every few years a space exploration-related film comes along which actually *gets* it. It gets the beauty and drama of space exploration. It gets the beauty of what’s “out there”. It gets it Right. Every few years a film comes along which, with its breathtaking images and optimistic message has the power to excite and inspire a generation, and leaves even the most hardened space cynic picking their jaw off the floor.

Ok. Hands up who thought I was talking about “Interstellar” there… ?

No, I wasn’t. I know that’s the movie of the moment, and huge amounts of bandwidth has been eaten up with glowing reviews, praising to the sky its accurate science and its deep message and meaning. Review after review claims that it will be as inspirational as 2001 was when it was released. So I imagine you were thinking it was Interstellar I was talking about.

No, it wasn’t. I was talking about a film called “Wanderers”, posted yesterday without any fanfare on the Vimeo video sharing site.

Go watch it and then go look at the gallery of stills from the film as they are wonderful.

Thank you, Mr. Wernquist!

Venus and Other Planets in the Evening Sky from Larry Koehn

Venus in the evening sky 45 minutes after sunset from December 2014 through August 2015 from LarryKoehn on Vimeo.

Larry Koehn has created a great visual in the form of the above Vimeo video to illustrate where Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter will be in the evening western sky over the course of the next year! EarthSky has a wee bit more info here.

Here is Larry Koehn’s description of the video:

Each frame represents one day with a total of 238 days from December 10, 2014 through August 3, 2015. The focus of the animation is on Venus, since it is the brightest planet as seen from Earth. Last year, Venus traveled low along the horizon from the northwest to the southeast. This year, our "sister planet" is moving in the opposite direction and making a steady climb high into the sky with it peaking early next summer. From now through August, Venus will come closer and closer to the Earth with it reaching inferior conjunction on August 15, 2015. But before reaching that point, Venus will reach greatest elongation east on June 6. Around May 10th, Venus will be the furthest from the horizon.Venus will be in conjunction with Mercury on January 11th, then Mars on February 22nd, and finally with Jupiter on July 1st. Many of the dates were obtained at

I have inserted a small view of what you would see if you were to watch Venus through a telescope over the coming months near the green buttons. Venus starts off small and round in December. As the days progress, Venus becomes larger and closer to the Earth, and it goes through various phases of illumination much like the Moon. By the time it reaches August 2015, Venus will have a thin crescent phase.