okay here’s my frickin goddamn

jiang cheng and lan wangji post because we know a) jiang cheng spends those years after wwx’s death supposedly chasing down demonic cultivators, torturing them and whatnot, and b) lan wangji speds those same years - after he’s out of seclusion - chasing down rumors of any and all strange activity, going where the danger is

they are obviously BOTH searching for wei wuxian, although as to what they’re hoping to find? neither of them can be sure. @acutebird-fics and I postulate that they’re both just looking for some Damn Closure.

but here’s the hilarious part okay. sooner or later, they run into each other. sooner or later they’re like ugh fuck what is HE doing here. sooner or later, they have to realize, not necessarily voicing it out loud, that they’re searching for the same damn thing.

think their awkward little tea party from the show’s second episode, only every other month in increasingly ludicrous destinations. think jiang cheng arriving somewhere remote and supposedly teeming with resentful energy, only to find lan wangji sitting down already playing his guqin, looking disinterested (and also maybe slightly sad) as he announces sect leader jiang’s help will not be needed, goodbye.

please think about a letter for hanguang-jun’s hands only, that goes along the lines of ‘so. there’s that cult. near yunping or whatever. just in case you’re headed that way. because I don’t really have the time. do with this information what you will. don’t even THINK about writing back. unless of course you find something. I don’t know. interesting. whatever. BURN THIS.’

just the two of them comparing notes a little bit, never acknowledging doing so, and inadvertently keeping tabs on each other throughout the years. that’s what I want to see, thank you and goodnight.

Meet Ruyah, a sheep who shows up after you have counted more than ten sheeps if you’re having trouble sleeping. She can sing you a lullaby, play a simple song, or even have a little chat with you to help you fall asleep. She can also let you touch her horns if you want to be well rested and even make a cute little creature out of her wool if you want to hold something close to you.  

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I was thinkin about the faves, and how Cloud in KH has never met Riku.

I wonder if the Sephiroth resemblance is why?? lol

Are we alone in the universe?

There’s never been a better time to ponder this age-old question. We now know of thousands of exoplanets – planets that orbit stars elsewhere in the universe.

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So just how many of these planets could support life?

Scientists from a variety of fields — including astrophysics, Earth science, heliophysics and planetary science — are working on this question. Here are a few of the strategies they’re using to learn more about the habitability of exoplanets.

Squinting at Earth

Even our best telescopic images of exoplanets are still only a few pixels in size. Just how much information can we extract from such limited data? That’s what Earth scientists have been trying to figure out.

One group of scientists has been taking high-resolution images of Earth from our Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera and ‘degrading’ them in order to match the resolution of our pixelated exoplanet images. From there, they set about a grand process of reverse-engineering: They try to extract as much accurate information as they can from what seems — at first glance — to be a fairly uninformative image.

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Credits: NOAA/NASA/DSCOVR

So far, by looking at how Earth’s brightness changes when land versus water is in view, scientists have been able to reverse-engineer Earth’s albedo (the proportion of solar radiation it reflects), its obliquity (the tilt of its axis relative to its orbital plane), its rate of rotation, and even differences between the seasons. All of these factors could potentially influence a planet’s ability to support life.

Avoiding the “Venus Zone”

In life as in science, even bad examples can be instructive. When it comes to habitability, Venus is a bad example indeed: With an average surface temperature of 850 degrees Fahrenheit, an atmosphere filled with sulfuric acid, and surface pressure 90 times stronger than Earth’s, Venus is far from friendly to life as we know it.

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The surface of Venus, imaged by Soviet spacecraft Venera 13 in March 1982

Since Earth and Venus are so close in size and yet so different in habitability, scientists are studying the signatures that distinguish Earth from Venus as a tool for differentiating habitable planets from their unfriendly look-alikes.

Using data from our Kepler Space Telescope, scientists are working to define the “Venus Zone,” an area where planetary insolation – the amount of light a given planet receives from its host star – plays a key role in atmospheric erosion and greenhouse gas cycles.

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Planets that appear similar to Earth, but are in the Venus Zone of their star, are, we think, unlikely to be able to support life.

Modeling Star-Planet Interactions

When you don’t know one variable in an equation, it can help to plug in a reasonable guess and see how things work out. Scientists used this process to study Proxima b, our closest exoplanet neighbor. We don’t yet know whether Proxima b, which orbits the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri four light-years away, has an atmosphere or a magnetic field like Earth’s. However, we can estimate what would happen if it did.

The scientists started by calculating the radiation emitted by Proxima Centauri based on observations from our Chandra X-ray Observatory. Given that amount of radiation, they estimated how much atmosphere Proxima b would be likely to lose due to ionospheric escape — a process in which the constant outpouring of charged stellar material strips away atmospheric gases.

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With the extreme conditions likely to exist at Proxima b, the planet could lose the equivalent of Earth’s entire atmosphere in 100 million years — just a fraction of Proxima b’s 4-billion-year lifetime. Even in the best-case scenario, that much atmospheric mass escapes over 2 billion years. In other words, even if Proxima b did at one point have an atmosphere like Earth, it would likely be long gone by now.

Imagining Mars with a Different Star

We think Mars was once habitable, supporting water and an atmosphere like Earth’s. But over time, it gradually lost its atmosphere – in part because Mars, unlike Earth, doesn’t have a protective magnetic field, so Mars is exposed to much harsher radiation from the Sun’s solar wind.

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But as another rocky planet at the edge of our solar system’s habitable zone, Mars provides a useful model for a potentially habitable planet. Data from our Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission is helping scientists answer the question: How would Mars have evolved if it were orbiting a different kind of star?

Scientists used computer simulations with data from MAVEN to model a Mars-like planet orbiting a hypothetical M-type red dwarf star. The habitable zone of such a star is much closer than the one around our Sun.

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Being in the habitable zone that much closer to a star has repercussions. In this imaginary situation, the planet would receive about 5 to 10 times more ultraviolet radiation than the real Mars does, speeding up atmospheric escape to much higher rates and shortening the habitable period for the planet by a factor of about 5 to 20.

These results make clear just how delicate a balance needs to exist for life to flourish. But each of these methods provides a valuable new tool in the multi-faceted search for exoplanet life.  Armed with these tools, and bringing to bear a diversity of scientific perspectives, we are better positioned than ever to ask: are we alone?

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This was the problem: You’d be searching for Field of Dreams, the critical standout film of 1989. But instead of Kevin Costner, you’d get rolling hills and wildflowers. That’s because we’re giving you the best stuff tagged #field or #dreams (or #of).

Here’s the solution: Choosing #tagged in the app bundles the whole phrase together. You just search for something and tap #tagged at the top of the screen to show posts tagged with that exact phrase.

And hey, slugger. Learn about the tons of other ways you can filter a search in our help center, here.

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The Hunt for New Worlds Continues with TESS

We’re getting ready to start our next mission to find new worlds! The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will find thousands of planets beyond our solar system for us to study in more detail. It’s preparing to launch from our Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

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Once it launches, TESS will look for new planets that orbit bright stars relatively close to Earth. We’re expecting to find giant planets, like Jupiter, but we’re also predicting we’ll find Earth-sized planets. Most of those planets will be within 300 light-years of Earth, which will make follow-up studies easier for other observatories.

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TESS will find these new exoplanets by looking for their transits. A transit is a temporary dip in a star’s brightness that happens with predictable timing when a planet crosses between us and the star. The information we get from transits can tell us about the size of the planet relative to the size of its star. We’ve found nearly 3,000 planets using the transit method, many with our Kepler space telescope. That’s over 75% of all the exoplanets we’ve found so far!

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TESS will look at nearly the entire sky (about 85%) over two years. The mission divides the sky into 26 sectors. TESS will look at 13 of them in the southern sky during its first year before scanning the northern sky the year after.

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What makes TESS different from the other planet-hunting missions that have come before it? The Kepler mission (yellow) looked continually at one small patch of sky, spotting dim stars and their planets that are between 300 and 3,000 light-years away. TESS (blue) will look at almost the whole sky in sections, finding bright stars and their planets that are between 30 and 300 light-years away.

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TESS will also have a brand new kind of orbit (visualized below). Once it reaches its final trajectory, TESS will finish one pass around Earth every 13.7 days (blue), which is half the time it takes for the Moon (gray) to orbit. This position maximizes the amount of time TESS can stare at each sector, and the satellite will transmit its data back to us each time its orbit takes it closest to Earth (orange).

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Kepler’s goal was to figure out how common Earth-size planets might be. TESS’s mission is to find exoplanets around bright, nearby stars so future missions, like our James Webb Space Telescope, and ground-based observatories can learn what they’re made of and potentially even study their atmospheres. TESS will provide a catalog of thousands of new subjects for us to learn about and explore.

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The TESS mission is led by MIT and came together with the help of many different partners. Learn more about TESS and how it will further our knowledge of exoplanets, or check out some more awesome images and videos of the spacecraft. And stay tuned for more exciting TESS news as the spacecraft launches!

Watch the Launch!

*April 16 Update*

Launch teams are standing down today to conduct additional Guidance Navigation and Control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) on Wednesday, April 18. The TESS spacecraft is in excellent health, and remains ready for launch. TESS will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

For more information and updates, visit: https://blogs.nasa.gov/tess/


Live Launch Coverage!

TESS is now slated to launch on Wednesday, April 18 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Watch HERE.

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