50 years of time and space

I just saw Hidden Figures and let me just say if you are free at any point in time in the near future please go see this movie. The representation for black women in this movie is absolutely astounding and uplifting, especially if you are a young black woman like I am. I’m disappointed I and many other people are only just now hearing that black women helped put men in space and on the moon through a movie over 50 years after the fact but I’m very grateful that we are at least hearing it-and seeing it- be portrayed in such an artistic, meaningful, and powerful way.

star trek: voyager (1995-2001)

Transported 75,000 light years from Earth by a mysterious accident while chasing Maquis rebels in dangerous space, the crew of the newest Federation starship Voyager must form an uneasy truce with the Maquis in order to find what - or who - it was that rocketed them to the farthest corner of the galaxy. With the differences between them rendered meaningless by time and distance, the Federation and Maquis crews unite aboard Voyager. Together, they embark on their new mission: to boldly go - home.

Prompt: “ Is there any way you could write a small fic for all the people who are panicked in light of recent news?” - Anon

Word Count: 2,347

Author’s Note: Remember that this isn’t the end. It’s going to be hard. There’s going to be some really terrible times to come, but on the other end in 4 years, America will rise up on the other side of this and become a stronger, more accepting nation. Stay strong, be careful, and fight for what is right. Fight for what is right for everyone.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 17,823/50,000

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- Aku, the Master of Masters, The Deliverer of Darkness, The Shogun of Sorrow, is having therapy with himself.
- He even refrains from saying Jack’s name because it’s a safe space
- Apparently he destroyed all time portals, and 50 years of waiting for Jack to die off made him a miserable, depressed mess whose disinterested in everything.
- Poor Jack has suicidal thoughts, in the form of his inner self suggesting it to him, but he thankfully holds on and cuts the suggestion off. 50 years really did take a toll on his mental health.
- The art is amazing as always, especially all that play of light and shadow when the Daughters ambushed Jack in the labyrinth.
- Whose skeleton is sitting on the throne in the tomb room? Also, the fucking music is badass.

tastethegays  asked:


omgomgomgomgomgomg i lo VE IT

Yuuri grew up hearing legends about the famed skater Victor who had suddenly disappeared off of the face of Earth one day – nobody knows what had happened to him. Then, he bumps into somebody in the bathroom at one of his competitions and recognizes him as Victor Nikiforov and FREAKS OUT. Victor slaps a hand over his mouth and tells him not to tell.

Victor tells the Doctor that he wants to stay with Yuuri for the remainder of the season, the Doctor goes back to traveling and promises to pick them up in a few months’ time. They fall in love and the Doctor returns and Yuuri insists that he’s not worthy of space travel but Victor INSISTS and then they travel the stars together with the tenth doctor :(

Prompt: “By some miracle, Jim’s father is alive and after so many years they meet and the reader is there to give him support when his emotions crumble before/afterwards?” - Anon

Word Count: 2,085

Author’s Note: I’ve been toying with the idea of travelling through time and space in the Star Trek universe, and I’m glad I got to explore it with George Kirk as a vehicle. Also, Angst!Kirk is so good. Enjoy.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 49,343/50,000 (We’re almost there, guys! I can’t believe this!)

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Relativistic electrons uncovered with NASA’s Van Allen Probes

Earth’s radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet, were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behavior is still not completely understood. Now, new observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission show that the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are not present as much of the time as previously thought. The results are presented in a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research and show that there typically isn’t as much radiation in the inner belt as previously assumed – good news for spacecraft flying in the region.

Past space missions have not been able to distinguish electrons from high-energy protons in the inner radiation belt. But by using a special instrument, the Magnetic Electron and Ion Spectrometer – MagEIS – on the Van Allen Probes, the scientists could look at the particles separately for the first time. What they found was surprising –there are usually none of these super-fast electrons, known as relativistic electrons, in the inner belt, contrary to what scientists expected.

“We’ve known for a long time that there are these really energetic protons in there, which can contaminate the measurements, but we’ve never had a good way to remove them from the measurements until now,” said Seth Claudepierre, lead author and Van Allen Probes scientist at the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California.

Of the two radiation belts, scientists have long understood the outer belt to be the rowdy one. During intense geomagnetic storms, when charged particles from the sun hurtle across the solar system, the outer radiation belt pulsates dramatically, growing and shrinking in response to the pressure of the solar particles and magnetic field. Meanwhile, the inner belt maintains a steady position above Earth’s surface. The new results, however, show the composition of the inner belt isn’t as constant as scientists had assumed.

Ordinarily, the inner belt is composed of high-energy protons and low-energy electrons. However, after a very strong geomagnetic storm in June 2015, relativistic electrons were pushed deep into the inner belt.

The findings were visible because of the way MagEIS was designed. The instrument creates its own internal magnetic field, which allows it to sort particles based on their charge and energy. By separating the electrons from the protons, the scientists could understand which particles were contributing to the population of particles in the inner belt.

“When we carefully process the data and remove the contamination, we can see things that we’ve never been able to see before,” said Claudepierre. “These results are totally changing the way we think about the radiation belt at these energies.”

Given the rarity of the storms, which can inject relativistic electrons into the inner belt, the scientists now understand there to typically be lower levels of radiation there – a result that has implications for spacecraft flying in the region. Knowing exactly how much radiation is present may enable scientists and engineers to design lighter and cheaper satellites tailored to withstand the less intense radiation levels they’ll encounter.

In addition to providing a new outlook on spacecraft design, the findings open a new realm for scientists to study next.

“This opens up the possibility of doing science that previously was not possible,” said Shri Kanekal, Van Allen Probes deputy mission scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, not involved with the study. “For example, we can now investigate under what circumstances these electrons penetrate the inner region and see if more intense geomagnetic storms give electrons that are more intense or more energetic.”

The Van Allen Probes is the second mission in NASA’s Living with a Star Program and one of many NASA heliophysics missions studying our near-Earth environment. The spacecraft plunge through the radiation belts five to six times a day on a highly elliptical orbit, in order to understand the physical processes that add and remove electrons from the region.

tagged by @astrangetypeofchemistry

Nickname: i’m known by Jas on the internet? I guess? i don’t know who started that

Star sign: Cancer ♋️

Height: 5′1″

Time right now: 1:16 pm

Last thing I googled: “miraculous ladybug nathanael”

Favorite musician: Right now it’s MAMAMOO

Song currently in my head: no song in my head lol but give me ten minutes

Last movie I watched: ANTZ - still find the animation terrifying

Last TV show I watched: Bones. Season 5, Episode 1. Right now.

What I’m wearing right now: Floral dress that was 50% off

When I made this blog: during the dark times of tumblr when that stupid mishacoplyse or whatever was near the end and supernatural gifs were damn everywhere i can’t give you a year

What kind of stuff I post: everything but gore and horror tbh sometimes i avoid political stuff because i just need space from it now and then tho

Do I get asks regularly: um depends on the day? not really lmao

Why I chose my URL: idk man it was a less stupid version of my original url panda-bookworm-from-hell and now i don’t wanna change it because then id have a bunch of broken links on posts

Hogwarts House: slytherin or hufflepuff, pottermore has given me both houses several times

Pokémon Team: Team Instinct

Fave Characters: yikes how you gonna ask me something like that but anyways it’s felix agreste and bridgette cheng they deserved better than what they got

Dream job: “Anesthesiologists make a lot of money, and I want to go into the medical field, but I also want to be a corpse.” is what @astrangetypeofchemistry wrote and honestly you all need to see this lmao but really i want to be a writer or an editor

Number of blankets I sleep with: it used to be three but my dad made me throw them away because they were “old” even though they were perfectly fine and clean, so now i sleep with one comforter that doesn’t keep me very warm in the winter but luckily the weather is warmer

Following: 412 but i just unfollowed like 30 blogs the other day so

I tag

@brokenroses-stand-tall @recklesssketches @the-wickedness-that-is-zai @my-insanity-is-an-artform @dudettte @mysterious-prophetess

A cosmic blossom

IC 5148 is a beautiful planetary nebula located some 3000 light-years away in the constellation of Grus (The Crane). The nebula has a diameter of a couple of light-years, and it is still growing at over 50 kilometres per second — one of the fastest expanding planetary nebulae known.
The term “planetary nebula” arose in the 19th century, when the first observations of such objects — through the small telescopes available at the time — looked somewhat like giant planets. Although the name stuck, it represents the expanding shell of gas ejected from old red giant stars late in their lives.

And now this one resembles a lovely blossom with layered petals.

Credit: European Southern Observatory

This huge swirling mass of stars, gas, and dust occurs near the center of a nearby spiral galaxy. Gorgeous spiral NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years distant, toward the constellation Leo. Spanning some 50,000 light-years, its central region is shown in this dramatic image, constructed from data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The close-up view highlights this galaxy’s characteristic multiple, patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust and clusters of young, blue stars. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms. A relatively bright galaxy in planet Earth’s sky, NGC 3521 is easily visible in small telescopes, but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies, like M65 and M66.

Object Names: NGC 3521

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, HST

Time And Space

50,000 Years

Here’s something that bugs me slightly about the timing of Reaper invasions.

They’re supposedly every 50,000 years. The galactic disk is, roughly speaking, ~100,000 light years in diameter. (Obligatory note: actual estimates vary between - don’t quote me on this! - 90-120 kLY, due to practical difficulties associated with doing the observations *from the inside the same disk*. But, 100K is a reasonable round-number ballpark.)

This means that the light from the last invasion hasn’t had time to completely-leave the disc yet. So, with a sufficiently-good telescope, it is possible to observe the previous invasion and - perhaps - learn from it.

Granted such a telescope would have to be a) huge, b) presumably space-based and c) frighteningly-expensive to build. (The minimum specs would be an instrument able to resolve a ~2Km Reaper from distances greater than 50 kLY. Given that they’re basically black in colour, the limiting magnitude must have to be something impressive too.) But, there’s nothing physically-impossible about it. And the Reapers were impressively-paranoid about everything else. I mean, Vigil even suggests that they cleaned up after themselves to hide the evidence of their presence.

The light-travel-time issue just seems like an odd thing for them to have missed. I suppose to some extent, their hands (tentacles?) might be forced by the development-time issue for subsequent organic civilisations. But again, it seems unlikely that this is always every 50,000 years. Are organics really that regular?

Sample Return Robot Challenge

It’s been a long, technical journey for the seven teams competing this week in Level 2 of our Sample Return Robot Challenge. Over the past five years, more than 50 teams have attempted the $1.5 million competition, which is looking to develop autonomous capabilities in robotics. Basically, we want robots that can think and act on their own, so they can travel to far off places – like Mars – and we can rely on them to work on their own when a time delay or unknown conditions could be factors.

This challenge has two levels, both requiring robots to navigate without human control and Earth-based tools (like GPS or magnetic compassing). The robot has to find samples, pick them up and deliver them to home base. Each of the final seven teams succeeded at Level 1, where they had to find one sample, during previous competition years. Now, they have a shot at the much more difficult Level 2, where they have a two-hour window to locate up to 10 samples of varying point values, but they don’t know where to look or what exactly they’re looking for.

Get to know the final seven, and be sure to cheer them on as we live-stream the competition all day Sept. 4 and 5.

West Virginia University Mountaineers
Hailing from: Morgantown, West Virginia
# of Team Members:  12

Behind the Name: In West Virginia, we call ourselves mountaineers. We like to explore unknown places and be inspired by nature.

Motivation: To challenge ourselves. Through this venture, we are also hoping to create research and career opportunities for everyone on the team.

Strategy: Keeping things simple. Through participating in SRR challenge during the last three years, we have gone a long way in streamlining our system.

Obstacles: One of the biggest challenges was finding and nurturing the talent of individual team members and coordinating the team in making real progress on time.

Prize Plans: We donated 50 percent of our 2015 Level 2 prize money to create an undergraduate “Robotics Achievement Fellowship” at WVU. The rest of the funding was allocated to support team member professional development, such as traveling to conferences. A similar model will be used if we win in 2016.

Extra Credit:  We did an Easter egg hunt with our robot, Cataglyphis (named after a desert ant with extraordinary navigation capabilities), last year.

Hailing from: Los Angeles, California
# of Team Members: Jascha Little

Behind the Name: It’s short, simple, and what the robot spends a lot of its time doing.

Team History: We work together, and we all thought the challenge sounded like an excellent way to solve the problem of what to do with all our free time.

Motivation: We are all engineers and software developers that already work on robotics projects. Reading too much sci-fi when we were kids probably got us to this point.

Strategy: We are trying to solve the search-and-return problem primarily with computer vision. This is mostly to reduce cost. Our budget can’t handle high quality IMUs or LIDAR.

Prize Plans: Probably build more robots.

Extra Credit: Favorite pop culture robot is Bender (Futurama). Alcoholic robots are the best.

Alabama Astrobotics (The University of Alabama)
Hailing from: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
# of Team Members: 33

Behind the Name: “Alabama Astrobotics” was chosen to reflect our school affiliation and our mission to design robotics for various space applications.

Team History: Alabama Astrobotics has been involved with other NASA robotics competitions in the past.  So, the team is accustomed to the competition environment.  

Motivation: We are pleased to have advanced to Level 2 in our first year in the competition (the first team to do so), but we are also not satisfied with just advancing.  Our goal is to try to solve Level 2.

Strategy: Our strategy is similar to that used in Level 1.  Our Level 1 approach was chosen so that it would translate to Level 2 as well, thus requiring fewer customizations from Level 1 to Level 2.

Obstacles: As a university team, the biggest challenge was not having all our team members available to work on the robot during the time since Level 1 completed in June. Most of my team members have either graduated or have summer internships, which took them away from campus after Level 1.  Thus, we didn’t have the manpower to address the additional Level 2 technical challenges.

Prize Plans: Any prize money would be donated to the University of Alabama College of Engineering.

Extra Credit: Alabama Astrobotics also competes in the annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition held at the Kennedy Space Center each May.  We have been fortunate enough to win that competition three times in its seven year history, and we are the only team to win it more than once.

Hailing From: Santa Clara, California
# of Team Members: 4

Behind the Name: Several reasons: Team leader is Greg Maxwell, and his school nick name was Max. Our robot’s name is Max, which is one of the most common name for a dog, and it is a retriever. Our efforts on this has been too the max…. i.e. MAXed-Out. Our technology requirements have been pushed to their limits - Maxed-Out.

Team History: Greg Maxwell started a Meet-up “Silicon-Valley Robot Operating System” SV-ROS that was to help teach hobbyists how to use ROS on their robots. We needed a project to help implement and make real what we were teaching. This is the third contest we have participated in.

Motivation: There is still such a long way to go to make robots practical. Every little bit we can contribute makes them a little bit better and smarter.
Level 1 was a test, as a minimum viable product to prove the tech worked. For Level 2, we had to test and add obstacle avoidance to be able to cover the larger area with trees and slopes, plus add internal guidance to allow for Max to be out of the home base camera tracking system.

Obstacles: Lack of a cost effective robot platform that met all the requirements; we had to build our own. Also time and money. The two months (between Level 1 and 2) went really fast, and we had to abandon lots of cool ideas and focus on the basics.

Prize Plans: Not sure, but pay off the credit cards comes to mind. We might open-source the platform since it works pretty well. Or we will see if it works as expected. We may also take a break / vacation away from robots for a while.

Extra Credit: My nephew, Max Hieges, did our logo, based on the 1960-era Rat Fink sticker.

Mind & Iron
Hailing From: Seattle, Washington
# of Team Members: 5

Behind the Name: It was the original title for Isaac Asimov’s “I Robot,” and we thought it was a good combination of what a robot actually is – mechanical and brains.

Team History: Three of us were WPI undergrads and met at school; two of us did our master’s degrees at the University of Washington, where we met another member, and then another of us brought on a family member.

Motivation: We saw that there was an opportunity to compete in a challenge that seemed like there was a reasonable solution that we could tackle with a limited budget. We saw three years of competition and thought that we had some better ideas and a pretty good shot at it.
The samples and the terrain are much more complex in Level 2, and we have to be more careful about our navigation. We are using the same tools, just expanding their capability and scope.

Obstacles: The team being spread over three different time zones has been the biggest challenge. We are all doing this in our free time after work. The internet has been really handy to get things done.

Prize Plans: Probably invest in more robot stuff! And look for other cool projects we can work on, whether it’s another NASA challenge or other projects.

Extra Credit: We are hoping to collaborate with NASA on the professional side with surgical robots to exoskeletons. Challenge-related, our robot is mostly made of plywood – it is a composite fiber material that works well for fast development using cheap materials.

Hailing From: South Hadley, Massachusetts
# of Team Members: 4

Team History: We are a family. Our kids are both robot builders who work for Boston Dynamics, and they have a lot of robot expertise. Both of our kids are robotics engineers, and my wife is intrinsically brilliant, so the combination of that makes for a good team.

Motivation: Because it’s a really hard challenge. It’s one thing to drive a robot with a remote control; it’s another to do the whole thing autonomously. If you make a single change in a robot, it could throw everything off. You have to think through every step for the robot. On a basic level, to learn more about robotics and to win the prize.
Very similar to Level 1. We approached Level 1 knowing Level 2 was there, so our strategy was no different.

Obstacles: It is very difficult to do object recognition under unpredictable conditions – sun, clouds, weather, sample location. The biggest challenge was trying to recognize known and unknown objects under such a wide variety of environmental possibilities. And the terrain is very different – you don’t know what you’re going to find out there.

Prize Plans: We haven’t really thought about it, but we will give some away, and we’ll invest the rest in our robotics company.

Extra Credit: The first robot we had was called Robo-Dad. Dan was training to be an astronaut in the 1990s, so we built a toy remote-controlled truck that Dan - in Texas - could control via the internet in the house. Robo-Dad had a camera that Dan could see the house with. It had two-way communication; it was a little before it’s time – the internet was very slow.

Team AL
Hailing From: Ontario, Canada
# of Team Members: 1

Team History: I was looking for competitions that were open, and my dad had followed the Centennial Challenges for a while, so he alerted me to this one. I was already doing rover projects, and it was appropriate and awesome and interesting. I felt like I could do it as a team of one.

Motivation: Difficult challenges. I’m definitely inspired seeing really cool robots that other people are building. New emerging tech really motives me to create new things.

Strategy: I showed up with another robot to Level 2. I built three, but ran with only two. It did make it more complicated, but the strategy was to send them to different areas and have them be able to communicate with each other. Everything physically was the same from Level 1.  The idea is that they would all go out with different missions and I would maximize field coverage.

Obstacles: Time. More time would always be nice. Being able to make something like this happen under a timeline is really difficult. I feel like I accomplished a lot for a year. Also, manpower – being a team of 1, I have to do all of the paperwork and other related stuff, but also carry the hardware and do the programming. You have to multitask a lot.

Prize Plans: I’d like to start a robotics company, and be able to expand some of the things I’ve been working on associated with technology and maker education.

Extra Credit: My story is not linear. A lot of people are surprised to hear that my background is in molecular biology and  research. I once lived in a tent in Madagascar for a few months to do a biodiversity study, and I have multiple publications from that side of my life. I am in a whole different place now.

The competition is one of many run by our Centennial Challenges program, which looks to the public – citizen inventors, academics, makers, artists, YOU – to help us advance technology and bring a different perspective to obstacles that gets us outside of our traditional solving community. See what else we’re working on here.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com 

The Astra-Gnome - Industrial designer Richard Arbib’s 1956 ‘Time and Space Car.’ The concept vehicle was Arbib’s vision for travel in the year 2000. Among other neat features, the Astra-Gnome featured the unique ‘integra-luggage’ system - six pieces of integrated luggage designed to fit in otherwise wasted spaces within the interior.                        

Meet “Turdy,“ name change pending. This big beautiful slider turtle was living in a very small aquarium and was at risk of being set loose despite being a friendly animal acclimated to a captive diet. ACS agreed to take her and a friend of ours arranged to have her shipped all the way from Kentucky. 

Slider turtles grow to be extremely large (at least 8-10″ shell length, females often significantly more) and require at LEAST 50-100g of water (not tank) when grown; we keep ours in (full) 110g stock tanks and for our tanks housing multiples will be moving up to 300g stock tanks as they continue to grow. These animals live decades and are not something that one should buy casually; they are a significant commitment of time, money, space, and effort.

“Turdy” is slider turtle #9 at ACS currently, and that is having adopted several out over the years. Red eared and yellow bellied sliders are surrendered more than any other species of reptile to our rescue, and sadly some are too far gone to save by the time they get to us, especially hatchlings. 

The image shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a group of galaxies that has erupted multiple times over 50 million years. Cavities, or bubbles, shape hot gas that envelops the galaxies. Chandra’s X-rays render the cavities and bubbles from those eruptions as pink. In turn, the image is combined with visible light data that shows up gold.

"Whether we will ever cross that sea nobody can say."
When the New Horizons craft passes Pluto as expected July 14, we will have explored the known worlds.
By Dennis Overbye

Dennis Overbye on the exploration of Pluto:

But the inventory of major planets — whether you count Pluto as one of those or not — is about to be done. None of us alive today will see a new planet up close for the first time again. In some sense, this is, as Alan Stern, the leader of the New Horizons mission, says, “the last picture show.”

It’s hard to write these words and know what they might feel like 50 years from now. I never dreamed, when Apollo astronauts left the moon in 1972, that there might come a day when there was nobody still alive who had been to the moon. But now it seems that could come to pass. How heartbreaking is that?

You could say that we have reached the sea, the very icy and black sea between us and the stars. Whether we will ever cross that sea nobody can say.

What a sad, but beautiful way to put it.