abundance of elements


The Scientific Story Of How Each Element Was Made

“Neutron star mergers create the greatest heavy element abundances of all, including gold, mercury, and platinum. Meanwhile, cosmic rays blast nuclei apart, creating the Universe’s lithium, beryllium, and boron. Finally, the heaviest, unstable elements are made in terrestrial laboratories. The result is the rich, diverse Universe we inhabit today.”

When the Big Bang first occurred, the Universe was filled with all the various particles and antiparticles making up the Standard Model, and perhaps still others yet to be discovered. But missing from the list were protons, neutrons, or any of the atomic nuclei key to the life-giving elements in our Universe today. Yet the Universe expanded, cooled, antimatter annihilated away, and the first elements began to take shape. After billions of years of cosmic evolution, we arrived at a Universe recognizable today: full of stars, planets, and the full complement of elements populating the periodic table. More than 100 elements are known today, 91 of which are found to occur naturally on Earth. Some were formed in the Big Bang, others were formed in stars, still others were formed in violent cosmic cataclysms or collisions. Yet every one has an origin whose story is now known, giving rise to all we interact with today.

Come get the full story behind how all the elements were made in some fantastic pictures, visuals, and no more than 200 words on this edition of Mostly Mute Monday!

Seeing those “Humans as seen through alien eyes“ posts that cross my dash every one in a while, one of the things I end up thinking that as far as I know it’s possible that humans are weird because their short-lived animals who require an abundance corrosive poisonous element in their atmosphere to live. 

“We can’t go down there Captain Zqyxxx, the atmosphere is poisonous and it’s dangerous.“  “Oh we can just send the human, he can handle it and hey, if he doesn’t, he was never going to live very long anyways.“

anonymous asked:

I was rewatching season 2 and I found interesting that Blue seems to be the only one to get a power bust in her element, Pidge doesnt mention anything like that in Greening the cube or Hunk when he is on earth.

Anonymous said:I mean power boost, sorry

I’d argue Greening The Cube had a pretty obvious indication of the Lion getting a boost from its element. Other times before, we’ve seen the Lions have to take significant time to recover if they’re knocked down and out the way Green was, but, with Ryner and the other Olkari surrounding Green with vines and passing energy into the vines- Green obviously pulled energy from that.

So what it seems to be that’s happening is that the Lions can be recharged faster, or supercharged, by being close to their native element, but, at this point, it would seem to have a couple of limitations. It’s not been discussed in canon, but what I’d guess is, determining factors are:

  • Abundance of said element
  • Proximity of element to the Lion
  • Quality of the element

This would explain perfectly why Lance, far and away, had the biggest observable effect- because he was on an entire planet’s worth of ocean, underwater, and capped by ice. Every conceivable part of Blue was touching water.

Green definitely would’ve had a boost just being on the woodlands of Olkarion, with its massive trees, but much of that fight was above the treeline. When Ryner and her followers go to recharge Green, though- once again, they loop the vines, and, in Ryner’s case, she rests her own hand directly on Green’s surface. It would probably have been a much more dramatic effect if they’d bundled Green in a massive root ball like Pidge found it in.

As far as the Yellow Lion, yeah, Yellow would get a boost any time his feet are on solid ground (a bit like his paladin) but really optimal conditions for Yellow would be being buried alive- which might sound counterproductive except for the part where, in s1e1, it’s shown that Yellow burrows through the ground very easily.

I don’t think you’d get an observable boost from, for example, Blue putting her foot in a puddle, or someone lighting a bunch of soothing candles around Red.

I mean, this raises interesting questions of if Black, as the guardian of Sky, actually has better stats than the other Lions, or if practically she’s much closer in build to Blue, and just is supercharged almost all the time. It’d be interesting to see Black engage an opponent underwater or underground- somewhere that cuts her off from her joint domain of air and space.

(Because thematically, it would be just like Shiro if Black is highly competent in most situations but might have a kind of magic-enforced claustrophobia if she doesn’t have figurative room to breathe)

The whole quality of the element thing is pretty much speculation on my part- I doubt, for example, a sickly, withering forest growing in poor soil would give Green much energy, or that Red could take much from smoky fire burning bad materials. Even in cases of abundance, rootless soil blowing around in the wind wouldn’t do good for Yellow, nor would stagnant, polluted seas help Blue, or choking smog lend power to Black.

This would, now that I’m thinking about it, lend a perfectly sensible explanation to the Lions’ very themed environments- when they went to ground, it was probably not in ideal circumstances. So to recover, they sought out their own elements- Green overgrown with roots, Yellow burrowing beneath the ground, Blue seeking out underground reservoirs. Red and Black were both sealed by others, but while Red could not have had a restful sleep trapped on Sendak’s ship away from any heat source (a sensible move on the empire’s part, as it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to give the temperamental, loyal Lion that served their enemies a bunch of energy, considering she’d probably just use that to blast the hell out of them as soon as she could), Alfor, a little more sympathetically, put Black aboard a spaceship, so her element was near even if she was somewhat separated from it.


Nitrogen is the most abundant element in Earth’s atmosphere, making up 78% of its total. It’s vital for life and especially important in the creation of proteins, but despite it’s abundance it’s not easy to isolate and use. That is because nitrogen forms molecules of two atoms, joined together by an extremely strong triple bond. This stability is the reason for its abundance. Nitrogen is familiar to most people in its liquid form, which forms at extremely low temperatures and is used as a cryogenic.




Morganite is rare and beautiful, heart energy that effortlessly cleanses and activates your heart, bringing love into our life. It opens the flow of loving thoughts that lead to action and reverence for all of life. Helping us to act from love, so we can speak from the heart. Morganite is known both as an angel stone and a heart stone. It can bring love to one’s live or rekindle old love. It helps with communicating with angels. Morganite also brings compassion, empathy, self-control, and patience. It can also balance emotions and ease the pain of separation. It has been said to be one of the highest frequency stones available. Physically, morganite is used for healing emphysema, tuberculosis, heart disease, breathing problems, and throat problems. Morganite is associated primarily with the heart chakra, and can open, balance and clear this chakra. Helps us to see true equality in friendships between the sexes. Morganite can be beneficial in Native American Ceremonies, used around the medicine wheel. Brings in good karma and spirits.

Morganite (Pink Beryl) gemstone meaning

Morganite is the stone of Divine Love. This delicate yet powerful stone opens one to the frequency of the universal heart.

Morganite attracts love and maintains it.

Morganite promotes abundance of the heart and prosperity of love.

It assists in connecting with Divine Love and angelic energies:

  • Helps to release unhealthy emotional patterns

  • Aids in developing trust

  • Brings a sense of joy and inner strength

  • Healing properties of Morganite

Morganite is used by healers to counter stress and stress-related illness. Asthma, heart problems, impotence, lung difficulties.

Chakras: Heart

Astrological Sign: Libra

Energies: Love, Abundance

Element : Water Element

Silly Man

want-to-stop-time Requested:

OC has had a horrible day, because period and cramps and Andy cheers her up somehow. lots of fluff.


I’m so glad I finally got this done, I feel like I’ve take too long to write it. I really hope you like it, want-to-stop-time.


She felt horrible. She trudged into the living room and took a seat next to Andy, cuddling against him. He didn’t say a word, just held her against him and stroked her hair soothingly.

“Do you need anything, babe?” He asked her, rocking her pitiful form as she pouted in pain.

“It hurts.” She whined, and he chuckled.

“I know, honey, I know.” He cooed, rocking her. “How about I make you a chocolate fudge Sunday?” He offered, and she shook her head, not in the mood for food.

“Oh, wow. Okay, how about a piggy back ride?” He asked, grasping at thin polystyrene tubes, to help her somehow.

“Would you like it if we went for a drive?” He asked, but she just shook her head.

“How about a movie, I’ll grab some snacks, you can eat if you want, and we can watch whatever you want.” He said, and she took a moment, considering it.

“Okay,” she said, and he chuckled.

“Alright, you pick a movie, and I’ll go get some stuff.” He said, and she nodded, taking the remote he offered her and scrolling through Netflix.

When she finally settled on one of her favorite movies Andy came in, arms full of everything she could have possibly wanted, and considering it was her time of the month that was really saying something. She laughed as Andy fumbled to put everything on the table and ended up spilling the vast majority of snacks onto the carpet. The only real damage done was a bowl of popcorn, but most of it fell on the table and after the two of them scooped it up and put what wasn’t ruined back into the bowl they had a good laugh.

“Two trips probably would’ve been beneficial.” He conceded, and she laughed.

“You’re probably right.” He chuckled, pulling her back into his embrace.

“The sentiment was appreciated though,” she assured him, kissing him gently on the lips as they settled together to watch the movie she had picked.

“I brought most of the kitchen in,” he said as the opening credits rolled, and she laughed.

“I don’t doubt that, you even brought the pickles.” She laughed, looking at the jar that could’ve easily shattered and made a huge mess, but thankfully didn’t.

“Just getting it all to fit in my arms was more difficult than I expected. I feel like maybe I should’ve seen that coming.”

“Yeah, just a little,” she sighed happily, leaning her head against his chest.

“I love you,” he whispered randomly.

“I love you, too,” she giggled as the movie began. She sighed contently as Andy rubbed his hand over her belly, where he knew it hurt, like his touch could somehow soothe it, and if she didn’t know she’d just taken Midol she might have believed that he was the reason her cramps were fading from horrible pains to slight twinges.

“You’re so beautiful.” He murmured, kissing her forehead. “I’m sorry you don’t feel well.” He told her, squeezing her gently.

“Just being around you makes everything better.” She laughed, nuzzling his chest gently.

“I’m the miracle drug, as well as the seagull king, the Prophet, and a gazelle legged batman.” He laughed, and she laughed with him.

“You always know what to say.” She sighed contently as the movie played.

“Actually, I never know what to say, I just make shit up and hope that nothing stupid comes out.” He laughed, and she laughed with him.

“Well, then you’re really good at making shit up, babe.” She laughed.

“I know.” He said, and she smacked him in the chest.

“Don’t be so conceded.” She said, smiling, giving away that she wasn’t being serious.

“I will never stop being conceded, because you love it.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.” She joked, and he pouted.

“Tell me that you love me.” He said, and she smiled, kissing his lips.

“I love you, very very much.” She assured him.

“I love you more.” He said, smiling wickedly.

“No, we’re not starting this, last time we did this it lasted a week.” She warned him, but the glint was there, and she knew he wasn’t going to drop it.

“You’re just mad, because you lost last time.”

“I didn’t lose, I just wasn’t going to stoop to your level.”

“You lost, because I love you more.” He said, and she sighed.

“Andy, I don’t want to start this.”

“Well I do. You know it’s eating at you, when I say that. I love you so much more, it’s not even reasonable. Your love for me may be the size of the earth, but my love for you is the size of the Sun.”

“Andy.” She warned.

“Admit it, and I’ll stop. You may love me like the solar system, but I love you like the galaxy.

“Well that’s where you’re wrong. I love you like the universe, not the solar system.” She smirked.

“I love you like a hydrogen atom. I make up the entire universe in one way or another.”

“I love you like empty space, which is more abundant than any element in the world.”

“I love you like dark matter.”

“I love you like a black hole.”

“I love you like Narnia.”

“I love you like Hogwarts.” She said, and he smirked.

“Narnia is bigger than Hogwarts.”

“Hogwarts is better than Narnia.”

He gasped, horrified. “Take it back.”

“No.” She smirked, and he growled.

“Take it back.” He said, glaring at her.

“Never, because I love you more.”

“No, you don’t.” He said, eyes narrowing to slits, and she knew what he was going to do. “Shit.” She murmured, starting to get up, but he caught her around the waist and pulled her back to him.

“Take it back, or else.”

“Andy, come on, sweetie, let’s be reasonable.”

“Alright, I will be, take it back.”

“I can’t do that Andrew.” She said, like it was a very serious fight.

“Then you leave me no choice.” He said, and suddenly he was tickling her.

“Shit, Andy, stop!” She yelled, laughing as he tickled her relentlessly.

“Take it back.” He laughed along with her, and she shook her head.

“Then say I love you more.” He allowed, but she just shook her head again.

“Fine,” He said, kissing her as he continued to tickle her.

“Andy, stop!” She begged, her stomach beginning to hurt as she tried to bat him off of her.

“Tell me that you don’t love me as much as I love you.” He demanded, and she shook her head.

“Just stop, Andy!” She yelled.

“Fine.” He said, pulling her back towards him. “But I still love you more.” He told her, and she just shook her head.

“I’ll agree to disagree with you on that one.” She told him.

“No, I don’t agree to that.” He said as they settled back into place on the couch.

“Well then, let the war begin.” She laughed, laying her head on Andy’s chest as they settled into the couch.

“And may the best Andy win.”

“There’s only one Andy,” you said, wrinkling your nose at his faulty logic.

“Then that casts the odds considerable higher in my favor, doesn’t it?” He asked, chuckling, and she just shook her head, entertained by the antics of her silly man.

The Signs as Accurate Elements

Aries: Barium because its symbol is Ba, and that’s the sound rams make. Barium scatters X-Rays in much the same way a ram’s horns can scatter small children.

Taurus: Bismuth, the heaviest element that isn’t radioactive. The symbol for Taurus and the alchemy symbol for Bismuth are almost identical. Bismuth is used in medicine to calm the stomach.

Gemini: Carbon, the base of life, yin and yang, night and day, charcoal and diamond. The most abundant double bond in the universe is the bond between two carbon atoms.

Cancer: Copper. Crabs and spiders, unlike most animals on Earth, have copper-based blood. Copper is soft, flexible, and conducts electricity and heat well, but although it seems common and simple, it’s a profoundly important element.

Leo: Platinum. The majority of you come from Africa, and you’re heavy and rare, and you never tarnish or wear out. The physical international standard for measurement of the meter is made of platinum.

Virgo: Magnesium, the lightest useful metal on the Periodic Table. Magnesium produces a super bright white light when burned, and it’s very strong, very flexible, and used to build everything from delicate electronics to warships!

Libra: Zirconium is balanced in the middle of the Periodic Table, and it has no biological applications, just as Libra is the only inanimate sign.

Scorpio: Plutonium; the scariest and most dangerous element. Heavy and intense, plutonium is found as a trace element on Earth—secretive, crystalline, and hard to come by, quiet and mysterious, plutonium must be conjured and warped into existence from uranium in a fission reaction in order to be exploited as the explosive ingredient in nuclear weapons.

Sagittarius: Tungsten, a hard, difficult metal that can be combined with carbon to make the sharpest, toughest weapons. Tungsten has the highest boiling point of all the elements (very suitable for a sign that dwells at the coldest part of winters in the North and the hottest part of summers in the South), and is the heaviest element known to exist in lifeforms.

Capricorn: Hydrogen, the most abundant and hardworking element in the universe, mirrors Capricorn, the most ambitious and hardworking sign. It’s a clean element that makes up the water we need to survive—on its own, it’s quite stable, but given a mission, it can make a star.

Aquarius: Mercury, one of only two elements to exist as a liquid at room temperature. Mercury loves to form alloys, but it hates losing electrons—like an Aquarius, Mercury refuses to be less than itself. Alchemists thought Mercury was the first primitive element—prima materia—the base of all other elements.

Pisces: Cobalt. Pisces is one of the most romantic and loving signs, and Cobalt, similarly, is always found joined with other elements. It doesn’t exist by itself on Earth. Cobalt pigment is deep sea blue and has been used by humans for centuries in art, pottery, and glass making.

  • Me (to patient's parent): "any allergies should I know about"
  • parent: oh she's allergic to laughing gas but other than that nothing else
  • ME: ...
  • ME: Laughing gas/ N2O is literally nitrogen and oxygen which are the two most abundant elements on earth how the fuck could your child live to the age of 8 with out any complications/ be dead

Cecilia Payne (1900-1979) is a real-life astronomer who discovered the chemical composition of the stars (and the fact that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe).

Because her findings were so revolutionary, Prof. Henry Norris Russell scoffed and called the result “clearly impossible.” He persuaded her to add a sentence to her thesis stating that her findings were “almost certainly not real.”

But her findings were real, and she was right. Four years later, Russell published a book that reached the same conclusions as Payne.

Hence Cecilia Payne’s warning to young scientists:

“If you are sure of your facts, you should defend your position.”

(Image from “Science Sleuths of History: Cecilia Payne” in JILL TRENT, SCIENCE SLEUTH #2, written by D.M. Higgins & Charley Macorn, art by Kelly Phillips & Andrea Scott. Available now on Kickstarter.)

How Exactly Do We Plan to Bring an Asteroid Sample Back to Earth?

Our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launches tomorrow, and will travel to a near-Earth asteroid, called Bennu. While there, it will collect a sample to bring back to Earth for study. But how exactly do we plan to get this spacecraft there and bring the sample back?

Here’s the plan:

After launch, OSIRIS-REx will orbit the sun for a year, then use Earth’s gravitational field to assist it on its way to Bennu. In August 2018, the spacecraft’s approach to Bennu will begin.

The spacecraft will begin a detailed survey of Bennu two months after slowing to encounter the asteroid. The process will last over a year, and will include mapping of potential sample sites. After the selection of the final site, the spacecraft will briefly touch the surface of Bennu to retrieve a sample.

To collect a sample, the sampling arm will make contact with the surface of Bennu for about five seconds, during which it will release a burst of nitrogen gas. The procedure will cause rocks and surface material to be stirred up and captured in the sampler head. The spacecraft has enough nitrogen to allow three sampling attempts, to collect between 60 and 2000 grams (2-70 ounces).

In March 2021, the window for departure from the asteroid will open, and OSIRIS-REx will begin its return journey to Earth, arriving two and a half years later in September 2023.

The sample return capsule will separate from the spacecraft and enter the Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule containing the sample will be collected at the Utah Test and Training Range.

For two years after the sample return, the science team will catalog the sample and conduct analysis. We will also preserve at least 75% of the sample for further research by scientists worldwide, including future generations of scientists.

The Spacecraft

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is outfitted with some amazing instruments that will help complete the mission. Here’s a quick rundown:

The OCAMS Instrument Suite

PolyCam (center), MapCam (left) and SamCam (right) make up the camera suite on the spacecraft. These instruments are responsible for most of the visible light images that will be taken by the spacecraft.

OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA)

This instrument will provide a 3-D map of asteroid Bennu’s shape, which will allow scientists to understand the context of the asteroid’s geography and the sample location.

OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES)

The OTES instrument will conduct surveys to map mineral and chemical abundances and will take the asteroid Bennu’s temperature.

OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS)

This instrument will measure visible and near infrared light from the asteroid. These observations could be used to identify water and organic materials.

Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS)

REXIS can image X-ray emission from Bennu in order to provide an elemental abundance map of the asteroid’s surface.

Touch-and-Go Sample Arm Mechanism (TAGSAM)

This part of the spacecraft will be responsible for collecting a sample from Bennu’s surface.

Watch Launch and More!

Wednesday, Sept. 7 at noon EDT
Join us for a discussion with representatives from the mission’s science and engineering teams. This talk will include an overview of the spacecraft and the science behind the mission. 
Social media followers can ask questions during this event by using #askNASA.
Watch HERE

Uncovering the Secrets of Asteroids
Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. EDT

During this panel, our scientists will discuss asteroids, how they relate to the origins of our solar system and the search for life beyond Earth.
Social media followers can ask questions during this event by using #askNASA.
Watch HERE


Thursday, Sept. 8 starting at 5:30 p.m. EDT
Watch the liftoff of the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:05 p.m. 

Full coverage is available online starting at 4:30 p.m. Watch HERE

We will also stream the liftoff on Facebook Live starting at 6:50 p.m. EDT. Watch HERE

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

Elements || Hydrogen || Ron/Hermione || PG

So I started a series of small bits of fic that each somehow related to an element. I think I’ll post one for each day of R/Hr’s ship week.

Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe’s chemical elemental mass. Naturally occurring elemental hydrogen is relatively rare on Earth.

1. Hydrogen

May 12th, 1998

They stood amidst a crowd, and he could feel the hollow place where others had been, even those he hadn’t known so well. It was a glaring, rumbling note of absence that haunted the still-crumbling walls as they lived, now free, inside a castle they’d once called home. Her hair was at his shoulder, and knew he could always look and find her there. Merely knowing she would not leave his side made the air around him lighter, easier to breathe.

They’d spent ten days in sadness, red-rimmed eyes and silence over the dead. He’d lost his brother, and yet he’d run out of tears to cry. He’d run out of things to say long before that. He could not recall the last words he’d actually spoken to her, and he felt a pang of guilt as her fingers laced with his. He could be better for her. And maybe he hadn’t been what she’d needed, all the time. But she’d always been exactly what he’d needed.

He could not have imagined a more perfect ending for the two of them, with the knowledge that she wanted to be with him after everything. Unfortunate, then, that he’d not been able to speak. Though so many people had someone there for them today, he felt oddly singular in his love just then, holding Hermione’s hand. And it must be rare, this feeling of peace, for a moment, weightless. He could have a future, now. And she could. Was there any reason to keep on stretching the days and waiting for pain to fade? There never really was.

“Come with me?” he asked, gently, tugging her hand. And she nodded, following him out of the Great Hall, into the dull echoing whispers of the crowd from behind them as they descended the front steps, into the night.

The air was cool for mid-May, tickling the overgrown hairs on the back of his neck. But her hand was warm in his, and he clutched her more tightly as he crossed the grounds, headed for a moonlit, partially hidden tree, just before the long slope downward, toward the lake. He paused under the tree’s branches, dropping her hand only long enough to turn and face her, taking her other wrist in his fingers instead.

“Are you alright?” she asked, concerned voice floating on a light breeze, stars glimmering in her darkening eyes.

“I am now.”

He bent and kissed her top lip, so soft and short, enough to be brave. And he felt her break into goose flesh as he traced his fingertips up her arm to pause at the skin of her exposed collarbone.

“It’s so obvious now,” he sighed scratchily, clearing his throat as he pulled back enough to look into her eyes, heavier than they were before, as she smiled softly back up at him. “I don’t know why I waited so long. I really don’t.”

“It’s only obvious because now you know I love you,” she whispered.

His stomach lurched with excitement, perfection in words she’d said so casually, like they’d always been there, waiting.

“I hadn’t meant- blimey! I was trying to say… obvious because- shit.“ He had to pause to swallow back his own rambling words as he tried to still his overactive heart. “But, bloody hell, I didn’t know that you actually… I just- But, you do… You really-“

“Oh,” she squeaked, eyes wide. Evidently, she had thought the whole thing too obvious for him to question… as if of course he already knew.

He grinned, unable to continue, and she blushed in the moonlight.

“Sorry,” he whispered in a low-toned, raspy voice. “I dunno what- Hermione… What-”

But she shook her head, shyly grinning back at him, and she tugged his hand, pulling him down to sit atop the soft, cold grass beneath the tree.

“You weren’t making any sense,” she explained, sensibly. “Want to try again?”

She bit her lip lightly, and he laughed, shaking his head. He scooped her neck into the palm of his hand and softly tilted into her, angling his lips against hers to fit perfectly as they closed their eyes.

He felt the gentle pressure of her fingers against the sides of his neck as he kissed her, and he relaxed every muscle in his body until he’d pulled back enough to wrap an arm around her waist and tug her down sideways, to lie on the grass, facing each other.

She laughed softly as he studied every curve of her face, lines and tiny freckles, barely visible. And he smiled because he knew, in contrast, that she could see so very many freckles against his own pale skin. How different they were, really, and how perfect. How unbelievable that at the end, he’d been rewarded. For nothing. For a life he’d never counted for too much before. Of course he’d wanted to live. But now, with no proper place to be or plans to make, he could live for her. And that was essentially, exactly, what she wanted in return.

He watched her swallow, nervous.

Realising he had yet to tell her all he had to say, his eyebrows shot up and he tensed momentarily beside her.

“What is it?” she asked, slightly alarmed.

Sod it. There was only one thing, honestly.

“I love you, too,“ he said, so sincerely. “That’s all I was trying to say before, really.”

Tears glowed in her eyes as he watched her, his own chest still tight with open wounds. He might have them there, the absence of his brother… the weight of it. He might keep them forever. But he gathered her into both of his arms, turning onto his back until she was lying half on top of him.

He marveled at her weightlessness and the ease with which they fit together. So much of what was left of him was made up of her. And he’d never had to try. She’d become such an integral, entwined part of his existence. He could almost irrationally wonder if red, yellow and blue would look a shade different if he’d never met her. Could he honestly have never known what it was like, to love her? Was there a way on earth he could have lived without her?

Was it just that he’d picked the right card, unknowingly?

She kissed his neck, and he fluttered his eyes shut, and she gathered him closely, tighter, as if somehow, someway, they could melt down into the same, unending person, forever.

“Come home with me,” he said, and though he’d meant a new home, something they hadn’t said before, he knew she’d say yes. Brilliantly, he absolutely knew.

He knew that he wasn’t done being afraid, too heavy with loss. He knew that he’d have moments he’d regret, days when he’d wake up and the world wouldn’t look quite as bright as it did tonight, even with the sun tucked away and the black veil of nearly midnight stretching thickly overhead. But, if after all they’d been through so far, she really still wanted him…

He didn’t dare to expect she’d never change her mind. But, for now, knowing that she was with him, tonight… knowing that she loved him and had loved him and wanted him to go on loving her…

It was more than enough.

Day 12 - Magnesium

In the third Period and the second Group, Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the universe.

Magnesium is used in the human body in over 300 biological processes, which is why Magnesium is needed in diets. It’s also used in chlorophyll in plants.

Milk of Magnesia is made of Hydrogen, Oxygen, and (unsurprisingly) Magnesium! It’s used to treat indigestion, and is also often used as a laxative.

The USA has a reserve of Magnesium in natural deposits, most of it residing in Nevada. The estimated total is 65 Metric Tons!

Magnesium is flammable, and is often used in fireworks, flares, and sometimes even bombs!


Cosmic Neutrinos Detected, Confirming The Big Bang’s Last Great Prediction

“What’s incredible about this is that there is a phase shift seen, and that when the Planck polarization spectra came out and become publicly available, they not only constrained the phase shift even further, but — as announced by Planck scientists in the aftermath of this year’s AAS meeting — they finally allowed us to determine what the temperature is of this Cosmic Neutrino Background today! (Or what it would be, if neutrinos were massless.) The result? 1.96 K, with an uncertainty of less than ±0.02 K. This neutrino background is definitely there; the fluctuation data tells us this must be so. It definitely has the effects we know it must have; this phase shift is a brand new find, detected for the very first time in 2015. Combined with everything else we know, we have enough to state that yes, there are three relic neutrino species left over from the Big Bang, with the kinetic energy that’s exactly in line with what the Big Bang predicts.

Two degrees above absolute zero was never so hot.”

The hot Big Bang — proposed seventy years ago — is a tremendous success story. Predicated on the assumption that the Universe was hotter, denser, more uniform and expanding faster in the past, it’s allowed us to predict the rate of cosmic expansion over distance and time, the primeval abundances of the light elements, the formation and evolution of large-scale-structure, and the existence and properties of the cosmic microwave background: the leftover photon glow from the Big Bang. All these predictions have been borne out, but there’s one more prediction that had yet to be tested: the existence and properties of a cosmic neutrino background. A new technique taking advantage of data from the Planck satellite has just detected the cosmic neutrino background definitively and in a new way. After seventy years of searching, we’ve finally confirmed the greatest prediction of all: the cosmic neutrino background’s existence and temperature!

Carbon and Our Changing Climate

Carbon is the backbone of life on Earth. We are made of carbon, we eat carbon and our civilizations are built on carbon. We need carbon, but that need is also entwined with one of the most serious problems facing us today: global climate change.

Forged in the heart of aging stars, carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the Universe. Most of Earth’s carbon – about 65,500 billion metric tons – is stored in rocks. The rest is in the ocean, atmosphere, plants, soil and fossil fuels.

Over the long term, the carbon cycle seems to maintain a balance that prevents all of Earth’s carbon from entering the atmosphere, or from being stored entirely in rocks. This balance helps keep Earth’s temperature relatively stable, like a thermostat.

Today, changes in the carbon cycle are happening because of people. We disrupt the cycle by burning fossil fuels and clearing land. Our Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite is providing our first detailed, global measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere at the Earth’s surface. OCO-2 recently released its first full year of data, critical to analyzing the annual CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

The above animation shows carbon dioxide released from two different sources: fires and massive urban centers known as megacities. The animation covers a five day period in June 2006. The model is based on real emission data and is then set to run so that scientists can observe how greenhouse gas behaves once it has been emitted.

All of this extra carbon needs to go somewhere. So far, land plants and the ocean have taken up about 55 percent of the extra carbon people have put into the atmosphere while about 45 percent has stayed in the atmosphere. The below animation shows the average 12-month cycle of all plant life on Earth (on land and in the ocean). Eventually, the land and oceans will take up most of the extra carbon dioxide, but as much as 20 percent may remain in the atmosphere for many thousands of years.

Excess carbon in the atmosphere warms the planet and helps plants on land grow more. Excess carbon in the ocean makes the water more acidic, putting marine life in danger. Forest and other land ecosystems are also changing in response to a warmer world. Some ecosystems – such as thawing permafrost in the Arctic and fire-prone forests – could begin emitting more carbon than they currently absorb. 

To learn more about NASA’s efforts to better understand the carbon and climate challenge, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/carbonclimate/.

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

anonymous asked:

How was planet Earth born tho?

Astronomers think the whole Solar System was born together, so to understand how Earth formed, you have to understand how the Sun formed. 

Stars like the Sun are born in enormous clouds of gas and dust called nebulae. The nebula that gave birth to our Sun and planets was 99% hydrogen and helium - the lightest and most abundant gases in the Universe - laced with 1% heavier elements like iron, silicon, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. These elements, which make up most of our planet and our bodies, were made inside earlier generations of stars and released into space when they exploded, so we are quite literally made of stardust. This is still the pattern of elements we find in the Sun today.

About 4.57 billion years ago we think the shockwave from a nearby supernova (exploding star) rippled through our nebula, causing it to become unstable, and the nebula began to collapse under its own weight. It’s a bit like disturbing a house of cards. (This can also happen if nebulae collide, or due to spiral density waves rippling through the Galaxy’s disk. In our case we’re pretty sure it was a supernova because meteorites from the Solar System’s earliest days contain the leftover decay products of short-lived radioactive elements that are only produced in supernovae.) 

The densest parts of the nebula began to collapse the fastest (as they had the strongest gravity) and so the nebula broke up into a cluster of small, collapsing globules of gas and dust. Our little globule was called the Solar Nebula because it would go on to form our Solar System. As the Solar Nebula shrunk as gravity pulled everything inwards, two things happened:

  1. The nebula began to heat up, as gas and dust was squeezed into a smaller and smaller space. Compressing a gas will heat it up.
  2. Nothing in space is still, and the nebula originally had a small amount of spin. Not enough to be noticeable at first, but it was spinning very, very slightly. The only way you wouldn’t get an overall spin is if all the random motions of gas and dust particles in the cloud exactly cancelled each other out - not very likely! As the nebula shrunk, however, that tiny spin got faster and faster as everything was drawn in towards the centre, like an ice skater drawing their arms in when they spin on the ice. As it spun faster and faster, it began to bulge out at the edges more and more, like pizza dough. The end result was that most of the material ended up falling towards the centre of the shrinking nebula, but a small amount was flung out into a flattened disk around it.


Collisions between gas and dust particles also helped flatten out the disk, as particles above and below the disk tended to collide and either destroy each other or cancel each others’ motion out until everything stabilised in one flat plane, with everything spinning around in the same direction. So at this point the Solar Nebula looks like this:


You’ve probably guessed that the big blob in the centre of the nebula is going to become the Sun, and the disk around it is going to form the planets. So how do we know this happened? One piece of evidence is that the planets, moons, asteroids, dwarf planets etc. mostly orbit the Sun in the same flat plane, the plane of the Sun’s equator, orbit around in the same direction the Sun spins, and spin around their axes in the same directions too, with moons orbiting planets in that direction and plane as well. This is what you would expect if the whole Solar System formed together out of a spinning flat disk. (There are exceptions, of course - the orbits of Mercury, Pluto and many small bodies are quite tilted, and Venus and Uranus spin backwards, but these exceptions have their own explanations which we’ll come to later. The overwhelming majority of everything in the Solar System orbits and rotates in the same plane and in the same direction, so that’s strong evidence we all came out of the same disk.)

The second big piece of evidence for this stage is that we can actually see it happening! When we look at other nebulae we can sometimes see dusty disks surrounding newly forming stars in them:

(Source, source)

This disk is sometimes called the protoplanetary disk, because the planets formed in it, and sometimes called the accretion disk because accretion is a later stage in planet formation.

As the Solar Nebula’s central bulge, now called a protostar, contracted, it got hotter and hotter, and began to glow. Hot things expand, so this hot gas pushed back against the force of gravity pulling it inwards. For now, gravity is winning, causing the proto-Sun to shrink and making it glow hotter and hotter…

The protoplanetary disk had grown hot during its collapse too, and only the toughest grains of interstellar dust (pre-solar grains) had survived without being vaporised. (More on these later!) As the disk settled down into a flat plane though, it stopped collapsing and began to cool down. As it cooled, solid grains of dust began to form again, condensing out of the gas molecule by molecule like raindrops or snowflakes in a cloud. Like the proto-Sun, the disk was made mostly of hydrogen and helium, with a tiny smattering of heavier elements. But hydrogen and helium remain gases down to fractions of a degree above Absolute Zero and are gases even in the coldest regions of space. The other elements, however - oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, iron, silicon, magnesium, sulfur - all condensed out to form microscopic grains of various solid substances. This condensation stage progressed slowly, and what kind of dust grains formed depended on where you were in the disk. 

Close to the proto-Sun, it was very hot. The cloud was denser there, with rings of gas and dust whirling round at high speed and rubbing against each other, and the blazing heat of the young proto-Sun intensifying. As a result, only high-temperature materials could condense out, stuff like metallic iron and grains of silicate minerals. Further out, the temperature was a little cooler. Conditions were right for iron to oxidise and form more minerals, so more rocky dust condensed out and less metallic iron. Even further out, organic materials began to condense out, and carbon-rich sooty material formed. Further out still, water ice could begin to form, and tiny snowflakes condensed out of the cloud just like the ones you see falling from the sky in winter. The distance from the proto-Sun at which this started to occur is called the frost line or snow line, and this was significant. Remember, hydrogen made up most of the disk, and oxygen was the third most abundant element in it after hydrogen and helium, so hydrogen oxide - water - was by far the most abundant compound in the disk and the biggest source of solid grains. There was probably about ten times more solid material just beyond the frost line than there was just inside it, because of the enormous amount of ice that formed there! Finally, even further out, gases like methane, ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and even nitrogen froze in the outermost regions of the disk, where the disk was thinnest, particles moved most slowly and were more spread out, and where the proto-Sun was little more than a distant twinkle in the sky.



The next phase in planet formation was accretion - you’ve seen it yourself if you’ve ever stepped out on a snowy day and seen snowflakes clinging together on your scarf and gloves, or if you’ve ever seen dust bunnies form under your bed. Accretion simply means “clumping together.” Experiments done on board the International Space Station show that in zero gravity, dust particles will gently stick together through static electricity if given a slight shake. Fluffy aggregations of dust and ice particles began to form, sometimes glued together through localised melting and forming small glassy droplets called chondrules. Exactly why these chondrules formed is a bit of a mystery, although some think static discharge in the disk as rings of dust and gas rubbed against each other and caused small flashes of lightning in the disk. Whirlpools and eddies of gas also helped concentrate dust particles together in one place, causing more gentle clumping and bigger fluffballs to form. As fluffballs grew larger, they began to grow faster, because they had a larger surface area for more dust and fluff to stick to. 

Once fluffballs had grown to a few hundred metres or a few kilometres in size - something computer simulations suggest may have taken a few hundred thousand years - their gravity began to become quite significant. Their interiors were squeezed, compressing fluff into solid rock. Gravity pulled in more dust and fluff and rocks, and soon collisions turned from gentle clumping into violent cosmic traffic accidents. The rocks - now called planetesimals - began crashing into each other at high speeds. Some of them were destroyed and broke up into smaller rocks, but the biggest continued to grow faster and faster as they pulled in more and more material, their surfaces grew larger, and their gravity grew stronger…


As planetesimals grew larger, they began to heat up - partly from gravitational compression (just like the Solar Nebula itself!), partly from radioactive decay of certain elements (the individual atoms released only a tiny amount of energy, but accretion formed lots of those atoms into one place, releasing a lot of energy together, and causing things to heat up quite a lot. This was especially true for planetesimals that accreted quickly in the early stages of planet formation, as the supernova explosion that had caused the nebula to collapse in the first place produced quite a few short-lived radioactive isotopes like aluminium-26, which are only highly radioactive for a few million years), and partly from the release of energy during collisions (not much when it was just tiny dust grains sticking together, but huge amounts of energy when it was asteroids colliding!) All this heat at first had a small but noticeable effect - melting ice and driving water out of certain water-rich minerals caused liquid water to flow through some of these planetesimals, precipitating out other minerals that cemented them together, or perhaps chemically altering some of the minerals and causing metamorphism. Some planetesimals however grew so hot they melted, and as they melted, the denser metals sank to the centre (forming cores) while the lighter rocks floated on top (forming mantles and crusts). So some planetesimals remained a relatively primitive mixture of rock and metal, some planetesimals were slightly altered by heat and pressure and fluids, and some got so hot they melted and differentiated into layers.


Evidence for this era comes in the form of asteroids and meteorites. Asteroids are thought to be planetesimals that never made it past this stage (and why that happened, I’ll explain soon!), and they show the general pattern we’d expect from the condensation theory - more rocky asteroids on the inner edge of the asteroid belt, while those further out contain more dark, carbon-rich material and those on the outer edge of the belt even contain some ice. Meteorites are also known to be fragments of asteroids that have broken up in collisions and ended up on Earth, so examining them can tell us a lot about planetestimals. 

Some meteorites appear to be jumbled up mixtures of rock and iron, named chondrites. Chondrites consist of a matrix of grains of rock and metal all stuck together (sometimes cemented together by other minerals or the action of water, or sometimes quite crumbly and only weakly stuck together) - the grains seem to have formed from cooling and condensation of solid material in the Solar Nebula, and then clumped together during the accretion phase. Some chondrites have a relatively pristine matrix, while others seem to have been altered by heat, pressure or reactions with water and other fluids, so they show the accretion process in many different stages. Chondrites also contain chondrules - those small, glassy droplets I mentioned earlier - and many contain pre-solar grains (grains of substances like silicon carbide that have a REALLY high melting point and survived from the earliest solar nebula before it began to contract and heat up) and calcium-aluminium inclusions (fluffy aggregates of metal grains rich in calcium and aluminium that formed at high temperatures, showing the earliest stages in accretion). What’s more, several minerals in chondrites can be dated, showing them all to be a similar age - somewhere between 4.57 and 4.55 billion years old. This is strong evidence that they really are bits of leftover planetesimals from the earliest Solar System. Finally, if you ignore gases like hydrogen and helium and focus only on the elements that formed solid grains in the Solar Nebula, the matrices of most chondrites have pretty much the same chemical composition as the Sun - further evidence that they came fresh out of the Solar Nebula.


Chondrites also come in three main types - enstatite, ordinary, and carbonaceous chondrites - with slightly different chemical make-ups. Carbonaceous chondrites, for example, contain more oxidised iron and less metallic iron than enstatite chondrites, and are much richer in water-containing minerals and carbon-rich material, giving them a dark colour. It seems that enstatite chondrites formed at a higher temperature than ordinary chondrites, which formed at a higher temperature than carbonaceous chondrites. We think these correspond to asteroids that formed in the inner, middle and outer regions of the asteroid belt respectively, where different grains condensed out.

Some meteorites are also much richer in silicate minerals (more “rocky”) than chondrites and are called stony achondrites. Some contain blobs of metal mixed in with rock, or blobs of rock mixed in with metal - these are stony-iron meteorites or pallasites. Finally, iron meteorites are made almost entirely of iron and nickel. We think these three groups come from the outer layers, middle layers, and core of differentiated planetesimals destroyed in huge collisions respectively.


As the Solar Nebula aged, planetesimals and protoplanets continued to collide, growing larger and larger. Enormous collisions were now generating so much heat that all of the largest protoplanets melted and differentiated out into layers. Their gravity was strong enough to overcome the forces keeping their shape and pull equally in all directions, rounding them into roughly spherical shapes. Planets were forming - and they hit each other. It was highly unlikely these collisions would totally destroy any forming planets, though, as their gravity was so strong that after being shattered into pieces those pieces would most likely pull back together and re-form into a larger, combined planet under their own gravity. Slowly but surely, a recognisable Planet Earth appeared out of these collisions, taking about 30 million years to form - so Earth should be about 4.54 billion years old. No rocks on Earth have ever been found that are older than this, except meteorites, so we think this value for Earth’s age is correct. These major collisions, by the way, may explain some of the unusual spins and orbits mentioned earlier that don’t fit the pattern of the Solar Nebula. Everything formed spinning in the same plane and the same direction, and major collisions have wrecked a small minority of them and spoiled the nice neat pattern.

What kind of planets formed depended on what kind of material had condensed out of the Solar Nebula. Close to the Sun where only rocky and metallic dust had formed, rocky and metallic planets formed - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Further out, the asteroid belt contains some carbon-rich material, and even ice-rich rocks on its outer edge. Just beyond the snow line, there was a LOT more solid material to build planets out of, causing enormous balls of rock and ice to form. These globes were so large they could hold on to the light hydrogen and helium gas that made up most of the Solar Nebula, and ballooned to enormous sizes, becoming the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. (Jupiter is the reason the asteroid belt never formed into a planet - with lots of sticky snow and ice around to grow into a huge, fast-forming planet, Jupiter formed earlier than the other planets. Jupiter is huge, and its gravity stirred up the asteroid belt, flinging most of the asteroids out of it and leaving the belt mostly empty, and perturbing others into eccentric, inclined orbits that regularly collided with each other. So asteroids in the belt found themselves either too spread out from their neighbours to collide with them and grow any bigger, or forced into violent, high-speed collisions that were more likely to cause them to break up and shatter than stick together and grow. Thanks to Jupiter, collisions slow enough to facilitate planet growth just couldn’t happen!) Further out still, the ice giants Uranus and Neptune formed from more diverse and colder frozen gases like methane as well as just water, and they too grew large enough to hold on to thick atmospheres of hydrogen and helium. However, these planets formed from material that was more spread out and orbited the Sun more slowly, so it took longer for them to build up their icy cores. By the time they’d grown large enough to hold on to their gaseous envelopes, the Sun had blown most of the gas left in the nebula away into outer space, and so Uranus and Neptune contains more ice and less gas than Jupiter and Saturn. Even further out, where Pluto is, material was too widely spaced out and moving too slowly to accrete into large planets, and remained a bunch of frozen tiny comet nuclei and dwarf planets, made of rock, frozen gases, and water ice as hard as steel is on Earth. So the nebular theory explains the structure of the Solar System too - four small, rocky inner planets close to the Sun, an asteroid belt, four giant gassy and icy planets, and finally small icy comets and dwarf planets far out.


So Earth was born from collisions, a molten ball of rock and iron constantly being bombarded by everything from dust to rocks to planetesimals to protoplanets. Earth even suffered a few collisions with small planets - the last big one happened after Earth had differentiated into a rocky outer mantle and iron inner core, stripping some Earth’s outer layers off. The Moon probably formed from the debris of this collision, which is why the Moon is chemically very similar to the outer layers of the Earth but doesn’t have a large iron core like Earth does.


Our newborn molten Earth was a terrible place to live, but slowly, the debris of planet formation began to clear away. Planetesimals either collided with planets, were flung out of the Solar System altogether, or ended up safely stored in the asteroid belt or the deep outer Solar System beyond Neptune. Collisions slowed down, although they’ve never entirely stopped (ask anyone who’s ever seen a shooting star!), and the young Sun - now finally stabilising and stopping its contraction as nuclear reactions began in its core - blew away most of the remaining gas and dust with the solar wind, a stream of charged particles. The early Solar System was still more violent than it is today by a long way - we think the outer planets have moved since they first formed, due to gravitational tugs from each other and from planetesimals, leading to a second, much smaller round of collisions around 4 billion years ago. (This time it was a bombardment by asteroids and comets - no more major collisions of planets!) But in general, Earth had cooled and a solid outer crust had formed by 4.4 billion years ago, as this is the age of Earth’s oldest minerals. Earth would have had an atmosphere of carbon dioxide with some nitrogen and steam, and perhaps some methane and ammonia, belched out from volcanoes or directly from the previously-molten ground in a process called outgassing. Steam may have been driven out of minerals, or it may have arrived as ice from further out in the Solar System beyond the snow line from asteroids or comets. Either way, as Earth cooled further, steam in its atmosphere began to cool and condense, and millions of years’ worth of rain slowly began to form the first seas and oceans. Earth was slowly becoming the planet we know today.




The hellish conditions on Earth at this time would have killed any human time traveller - intense heat, blasted by solar radiation with no ozone layer to protect them, heavy meteorite bombardment, a poisonous atmosphere and a total lack of breathable oxygen. But these conditions are similar to today’s hot springs and deep-sea volcanic vents, places where quite alien microbes thrive. Earth wouldn’t have been suitable for us - but it was the perfect place for some microbes. With liquid water, a source of energy, and abundant carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements required for life on Earth’s surface, the stage was now set for life to begin. 


Messier Monday: The Most Elusive Messier Globular, M55

“Because what you’re looking at isn’t just a faint, diffuse cluster of stars, these are stars that date back to some of the earliest times in the history of our galaxy! Our Sun contains lots of heavy elements: carbon, oxygen, silicon, sulphur, iron, and so on, and it’s the abundance of those heavy elements that allowed rocky planets to form around it. Stars that formed longer ago, and in regions that had fewer generations of stars live-and-die to enrich the interstellar medium, tend to be poorer in these heavy elements, and give us a glimpse of the stars that formed when the Universe was much younger.

Globular clusters tend to have older stars, but Messier 55 has just 1.1% of the heavy elements found in the Sun, one of the most metal-poor globulars known to exist!”

Even though Messier knew about this object since the 1750s, and started looking for it in the 60s, it wasn’t until 1778 that he finally found it. Sometimes, the hard work you put in makes the discovery all the more rewarding!