arctic antarctic

The total solar eclipse is coming! Here’s your chance to ask an eclipse scientist your questions!

Have questions about the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21? Join our Tumblr Answer Time session on Thursday, August 17 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 - 1:00 p.m. PDT. here on NASA’s Tumblr, where space physics researcher Alexa Halford will answer them. Make sure to ask your questions now by visiting: https://nasa.tumblr.com/ask!

See all the #AnswerTime questions here: https://nasa.tumblr.com/tagged/answertime

Alexa Halford is a space physics researcher at our Goddard Space Flight Center and Dartmouth College. She started researching waves in Earth’s magnetosphere as an undergraduate at Augsburg College with Mark Engebretson using ground based magnetometers in the Arctic and Antarctic. She moved away from waves to focus on geomagnetic storms and substorms during her masters at the University of Colorado Boulder with Dan Baker but returned once more to waves with her PhD at University of Newcastle NSW Australia. Her PhD thesis was on Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves during the CRRES mission and their relationship to the plasmasphere and radiation belts.

She is member of the scientific team for a NASA-funded scientific balloon experiment project called BARREL (Balloon Array for RBSP Relativistic Electron Losses) where she looks at the population of particles lost due to these interactions. She is now currently a contractor at NASA Goddard continuing work the BARREL and NASA Van Allen Probes satellite missions.

To get more information about the eclipse, visit: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

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

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Aurora

An aurora, sometimes referred to as a polar lights or northern lights, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere / exosphere), where their energy is lost.

Image credit: Science Channel & Gardar Olafsson

Solar System: 10 Things to Know This Week

The Living Planet Edition

Whether it’s crops, forests or phytoplankton blooms in the ocean, our scientists are tracking life on Earth. Just as satellites help researchers study the atmosphere, rainfall and other physical characteristics of the planet, the ever-improving view from above allows them to study Earth’s interconnected life.

1. Life on Earth, From Space

While we (NASA) began monitoring life on land in the 1970s with the Landsat satellites, this fall marks 20 years since we’ve continuously observed all the plant life at the surface of both the land and ocean. The above animation captures the entirety of two decades of observations.

2. Watching the World Breathe

With the right tools, we can see Earth breathe. With early weather satellite data in the 1970s and ‘80s, NASA Goddard scientist Compton Tucker was able to see plants’ greening and die-back from space. He developed a way of comparing satellite data in two wavelengths.

When healthy plants are stocked with chlorophyll and ready to photosynthesize to make food (and absorb carbon dioxide), leaves absorb red light but reflect infrared light back into space. By comparing the ratio of red to infrared light, Tucker and his colleagues could quantify vegetation covering the land.

Expanding the study to the rest of the globe, the scientists could track rainy and dry seasons in Africa, see the springtime blooms in North America, and wildfires scorching forests worldwide.

3. Like Breathing? Thank Earth’s Ocean

But land is only part of the story. The ocean is home to 95 percent of Earth’s living space, covering 70 percent of the planet and stretching miles deep. At the base of the ocean’s food web is phytoplankton - tiny plants that also undergo photosynthesis to turn nutrients and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. Phytoplankton not only feed the rest of ocean life, they absorb carbon dioxide - and produce about half the oxygen we breathe.

In the Arctic Ocean, an explosion of phytoplankton indicates change. As seasonal sea ice melts, warming waters and more sunlight will trigger a sudden, massive phytoplankton bloom that feeds birds, sea lions and newly-hatched fish. But with warming atmospheric temperatures, that bloom is now happening several weeks earlier - before the animals are in place to take advantage of it.

4. Keeping an Eye on Crops

The “greenness” measurement that scientists use to measure forests and grasslands can also be used to monitor the health of agricultural fields. By the 1980s, food security analysts were approaching NASA to see how satellite images could help with the Famine Early Warning System to identify regions at risk - a partnership that continues today.

With rainfall estimates, vegetation measurements, as well as the recent addition of soil moisture information, our scientists can help organizations like USAID direct emergency help.

The view from space can also help improve agricultural practices. A winery in California, for example, uses individual pixels of Landsat data to determine when to irrigate and how much water to use.

5. Coming Soon to the International Space Station

A laser-based instrument being developed for the International Space Station will provide a unique 3-D view of Earth’s forests. The instrument, called GEDI, will be the first to systematically probe the depths of the forests from space.

Another ISS instrument in development, ECOSTRESS, will study how effectively plants use water. That knowledge provided on a global scale from space will tell us “which plants are going to live or die in a future world of greater droughts,” said Josh Fisher, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and science lead for ECOSTRESS.

6. Seeing Life, From the Microscopic to Multicellular

Scientists have used our vantage from space to study changes in animal habitats, track disease outbreaks, monitor forests and even help discover a new species. Bacteria, plants, land animals, sea creatures and birds reveal a changing world.

Our Black Marble image provides a unique view of human activity. Looking at trends in our lights at night, scientists can study how cities develop over time, how lighting and activity changes during certain seasons and holidays, and even aid emergency responders during power outages caused by natural disasters.

7. Earth as Analog and Proving Ground

Just as our Mars rovers were tested in Earth’s deserts, the search for life on ocean moons in our solar system is being refined by experiments here. JPL research scientist Morgan Cable looks for life on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. She cites satellite observations of Arctic and Antarctic ice fields that are informing the planning for a future mission to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter.

The Earth observations help researchers find ways to date the origin of jumbled, chaotic ice. “When we visit Europa, we want to go to very young places, where material from that ocean is being expressed on the surface,” she explained. “Anywhere like that, the chances of finding biomarkers goes up - if they’re there.”

8. Only One Living Planet

Today, we know of only one living planet: our own. The knowledge and tools NASA developed to study life here are among our greatest assets as we begin the search for life beyond Earth.

There are two main questions: With so many places to look, how can we home in on the places most likely to harbor life? What are the unmistakable signs of life - even if it comes in a form we don’t fully understand? In this early phase of the search, “We have to go with the only kind of life we know,” said Tony del Genio, co-lead of a new NASA interdisciplinary initiative to search for life on other worlds.

So, the focus is on liquid water. Even bacteria around deep-sea vents that don’t need sunlight to live need water. That one necessity rules out many planets that are too close or too far from their stars for water to exist, or too far from us to tell. Our Galileo and Cassini missions revealed that some moons of Jupiter and Saturn are not the dead rocks astronomers had assumed, but appear to have some conditions needed for life beneath icy surfaces.

9. Looking for Life Beyond Our Solar System

In the exoplanet (planets outside our solar system that orbit another star) world, it’s possible to calculate the range of distances for any star where orbiting planets could have liquid water. This is called the star’s habitable zone. Astronomers have already located some habitable-zone planets, and research scientist Andrew Rushby of NASA Ames Research Center is researching ways to refine the search. “An alien would spot three planets in our solar system in the habitable zone [Earth, Mars and Venus],” Rushby said, “but we know that 67 percent of those planets are not inhabited.”

He recently developed a model of Earth’s carbon cycle and combined it with other tools to study which planets in habitable zones would be the best targets to look for life, considering probable tectonic activity and water cycles. He found that larger planets are more likely than smaller ones to have surface temperatures conducive to liquid water. Other exoplanet researchers are looking for rocky worlds, and biosignatures, the chemical signs of life.

10. You Can Learn a Lot from a Dot

When humans start collecting direct images of exoplanets, even the closest ones will appear as only a handful of pixels in the detector - something like the famous “blue dot” image of Earth from Saturn. What can we learn about life on these planets from a single dot?

Stephen Kane of the University of California, Riverside, has come up with a way to answer that question by using our EPIC camera on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite. “I’m taking these glorious pictures and collapsing them down to a single pixel or handful of pixels,” Kane explained. He runs the light through a noise filter that attempts to simulate the interference expected from an exoplanet mission. By observing how the brightness of Earth changes when mostly land is in view compared with mostly water, Kane reverse-engineers Earth’s rotation rate - something that has yet to be measured directly for exoplanets.

The most universal, most profound question about any unknown world is whether it harbors life. The quest to find life beyond Earth is just beginning, but it will be informed by the study of our own living planet.

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

All Pokémon in our Biomes Posts

When I was a kid, I loved pretending my friends and I were Pokémon trainers. We would battle each other, catch wild Pokémon, we would even bring our injured Pokémon back to the Pokémon center (the swingset). One thing that always intrigued me, was where you could find different species of Pokémon. My friends and I always knew that to find ground Pokémon, you would look by the sandbox, and to find grass Pokémon you’d go into the bush. 

Over time, my love for Pokémon or the outdoors hasn’t changed. Now, I’m in college, studying environmental technology and biology, and of course, still playing Pokémon. 

Because my knowledge of biology and ecology has bloomed, I have recently decided to write some posts hypothesizing where different species of Pokémon could be found in our world if they were actually real.

I choose a specific biome, which is a type of environment that shares similar characteristics across the world (deserts, tropical rainforests, etc) then try to estimate what Pokémon could potentially be found in that biome.

I only choose a few Pokémon for each post, but I always try my best to explain my theories as to why that Pokémon would be found in that specific biome. I use the Pokémon’s morphology, abilities, typing, biology, Pokédex entries, and what the Pokémon is designed after from the real world to support my theories.

Below you can find links to all of the Pokémon in our Biomes posts I have written so far:

Of course, these are only the ones I have written so far. There are dozens of biomes, and hundreds of Pokémon species. I will not cover all of the species, but there will be more posts to come as I am constantly writing and thinking of new ideas.

I hope these posts entertain you as Pokémon has always entertained me. Obviously any comments, recommendations, opinions and suggestions are always encouraged, but please remember to credit these posts if you reuse them.

Enjoy!

-mewistheancestor

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Rare Snail Fish Swims by ROV Hercules | Nautilus Live 

The Liparidae, commonly known as snailfish or sea snails, are a family of scorpaeniform marine fishes.

Widely distributed from the Arctic to Antarctic Oceans including the northern Pacific, the snailfish family contains about 30 genera and 410 species. They are closely related to the sculpins of the family Cottidae and the lumpfish of the family Cyclopteridae. Snailfish are sometimes included within the latter family. The snailfish family is poorly studied and few specifics are known. Their elongated, tadpole-like bodies are similar in profile to the rattails… (Wikipedia)

(via: EVNautilus)

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Ten: How a Planet Gains Seasons & Plotting Environmental Zones

Each of the planets you choose to create will have some kind of temperature changes throughout their year, creating seasons. There are a couple of things that impact how seasons look on the planets, most importantly, the planet’s orbital eccentricity and its axial tilt.

Eccentricity:

First off, the seasons are not created by the Earth moving closer and further from the sun throughout its orbit, but the seasons are lengthened and shortened by it. The less eccentric (more circular) your planet’s orbit, the more regular the seasons will be; and the more eccentric (more elliptical), the more extreme the seasons. Remembering that planets orbit faster the closer to their sun they are, a planet with a higher eccentricity will have longer, more intense winters and shorter, more intense summers. With Earth’s orbit having an eccentricity of less than 0.05, the Earth’s seasons tend to be pretty similar in terms of length throughout the year.

Axial Tilt:

Planets rotate around a star in an orbit, but they also rotate as they go around that path. Stretching an imaginary piece of paper across the system from the star to the planet as it orbits is what’s called the orbital plane. The axial tilt is the angle at which the planet itself rotates within its own orbit in relation to that orbital plane:

Axial tilts can range from 0-180°. Planets with a prograde spin (spinning the same direction as their sun) will have axial tilts between 0-90°, and the sun will rise in the east and set in the west; while those with tilts from 90-180° spin retrograde (the opposite direction as their sun) and their sun will do the opposite.

Generally speaking, the planets with higher tilt:

  • are warmer,
  • have more extreme seasons,
  • have less snow and ice,
  • have lower humidity,
  • have less cloud cover,
  • and absorb more light than it reflects,

while planets with lower tilt exhibit the opposite properties.

Remember: If you want your planet to be habitable by humanoids, your axial tilt should be between 0-80° for prograde planets and 100-180° for retrograde planets! More severe tilts create more severe seasonal patterns that are likely to be unfriendly to humanoid creatures.

Tidally Locked Planets:

If your planet orbits as the same speed as its rotation, it’s possible for the planet to become tidally locked with its star. When this happens, the same side of the planet faces the sun the entire time it orbits the sun. This means that only part of the planet gets sun, making one side brutally hot and sun-scorched, and the other perpetually freezing and dark.

Environmental Zones:

Keeping in mind how you want your planet’s overall climate to be, the habitability, and what direction you’d like your sunrises and sunsets to be, you can pick any number in that 0-180° range. Once you’ve chosen your value, you can then start drawing out where the equatorial bands fall across your planet. Some values could give you some really wild and unexpected results, so I highly suggest drawing it out:

Keep reading

Global frequency of Lighting strikes.

Global map of lightning frequency–strikes/km2/yr. The high lightning areas are on land located in the tropics. Areas with almost no lightning are the arctic and antarctic closely followed by the oceans with only 0.1 to 1 strikes/km2/yr there.

i’m cranky

i keep seeing people quote the etymology of Antarctica as “place where there are no bears” because the Arctic comes from the Greek word for bear.

Point 1: “Anti” does not mean “none”. It means “opposite from”. In place names it refers to a place that is across from another place. Ex: Antikythera is an island near Kythera. The Antarctic is as far opposite as you can get from the Arctic.

Point 2: I just learned this while verifying my first point. The ‘bears’ in “Arctic” aren’t real bears. There’s bears all over the place, why would the North be a special place for bears. The Wikipedia page for the Arctic says it refers to the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the modern, Latin names, but they had the same concept in ancient Greece), which are in the northern part of the sky. This makes sense to me because nobody had to go look for or discover polar bears, even.

Maybe i’m ruining the fun or whatever but etymology is near and dear to my heart.

Mermaid AU

It’s finally here, everyone! I stayed up late to finish this, but I hope you enjoy. I really enjoy writing for any kind of Mystical Creature AUs so it was only natural that I decided to write about mermaids. Enjoy yourselves everyone! <3


The Seven Seas

As you may know there are seven main regions that the world’s oceans are split into: Arctic, Antarctic, North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and the Indian ocean. Depending on where a mermaid was born, they have different physical attributes including tails, scales, and body markings. They can also acquire powers, but not all mermaids have them. 

General Rules for Mermaids

  1. Mermaids are unable to walk on land unless they possess an enchanted pendant that can only be acquired by Sea Witches. It’s quite difficult to obtain them, and nothing comes without a price. You have to give in order to get something in return. Most Sea Witches will accept payment in the form of rare items or gems, but some are crueler, and will even ask you o give up your voice in return.
  2. If a mermaid were to take a human lover, they would have to undergo the rights of passage to become a mer-person themselves. That being said, it’s possible to change into a mermaid, but can only be done using an intricate spell that can only be accessed by the King/Queen of the Sea or a specific Sea Witch that goes by the name of Lana. (I kind of had to do this since Sea Witches play a big part in this AU. ;))
  3. For committing crimes, a mermaid can be banished to the human realm (as a human themselves) for all eternity without having memory of who they were before. This rarely happens, but it is possible.
  4. Mermaids are not immortal creatures, but their lifespan lasts for an extensive amount of time. They are able to be killed or mortally wounded.
  5. Mermaids ‘mate’ when it comes to terms of marriage. They choose to have a partner for a life time and undergo the “Rite of Souls”, an ancient ceremony performed by the mer-people to bind two people together, human or mermaid.This allows their life forces to intertwine.

Social Classes for Mermaids

Like a highly-functioning society, there are social classes to keep balance within the population.

Royalty

  • They can be distinguished by the intricate markings across their bodies as well as the appearance of their tail. While colour depends on the region you were born in, a royal’s tail is much larger and extravagant than a normal mermaid’s tail. Usually embedded with jewels and other things to determine status. 

Sea Witches

  • Unlike how you would think, high witches are highly regarded in mermaid culture, the good ones at least. Since they are able to perform a multitude of spells and services, they are highly sought after. They usually have a small crescent moon engraved into a visible area of their body to display their status.  However, there are few (one at the moment) who happens to be both a Sea Witch as well as a Royal. This has only occurred once so far with the Sea Witch and Princess, Lana. (I had to add this i because Sea Witches play a big part, and if you wanted to request something, it’d all come together with Lana in here.)

The “Gifted”

  • This is a class of mermaids who were bestowed powers from birth. Not all mermaids are gifted with powers, but a large amount of them have them. Their powers vary, but aren’t strictly limited to where they were born.

Commoners

  • Regular mermaids that are simply citizens. They perform regular jobs such as being veterinarians, chefs, teachers, etc.

Arctic Ocean 

Mermaids of this region are born in extremely cold temperatures and are able to withstand the coldest weather. Their tails are slender and dip into a sharp ‘V’ shape at the end. Tail colours are usually pale in comparison, ranging from snow white to icy blues. In the light, they appear to look like glittering diamonds. It’s safe to say that many mer-people were jealous of their beauty. This place is known for their adorable seals and guppies.

Who was born in this region?

  • Tsukishima Kei
  • Lev Haiba
  • Semi Eita
  • Aone Takanobu
  • Matsukawa Issei

Antarctic Ocean

Another cold region with mermaids able to withstand freezing temperatures. Similar to those in the Arctic Ocean, their tails are also of blue and lavender hues, but have flecks of pinks and purples embedded in them. The tails are slender, but branch out into wispy fins near the end to give them flair. Known for the penguins and orcas.

Who was born in this region?

  • Kenma Kozume
  • Kageyama Tobio
  • Kiyoko Shimizu
  • Ennoshita Chikara
  • Akaashi Keiji
  • Oikawa Tooru
  • Sugawara Koushi

North and South Atlantic

Depending on where you live in this ocean, it can be warm or cool. This is area is home to hundreds of northern mermaids. Their tails are hues of greens and turquoise mixed together to represent the undertones pf the ocean themselves. The mer-people that reside here are usually friendly people and welcome others to their home. That’s generally speaking however.

Who was born in this region?

  • Yachi Hitoka
  • Asahi Azumane
  • Bokuto Koutaro
  • Nishinoya Yu
  • Tanaka Ryuunosuke
  • Hanamaki Takahiro

North and South Pacific

This ocean is quite warm and a local tourist attraction for traveling mermaids due to the many historical sights. Mermaids who were born of in this region usually have bronze tails decorated with hints of pinks, greens, and even blues. 

Who was born in this region?

  • Daichi Sawamura
  • Futakuchi Kenji
  • Iwaizumi Hajime
  • Kyoutani Kentarou

Indian Ocean

One of the more exotic and warmer areas of the seven seas. This place is home to an exotic type of mermaid and the infamous Royal Sea Witch, Lana. Many are attracted here for the supposedly hidden power that lies here. Mermaids born here have unique tails that tend to vary in size, but each are layered with different sets of fins. The colours usually range from golds to silvery hues dotted with reds and purplish tones.

Who was born in this region?

  • Ukai Keishin
  • Yamaguchi Tadashi

  • Hinata Shoyou

  • Kuroo Tetsurou

  • Ushijima Wakatoshi

My “high fantasy” setting was essentially in a very Tolkien-like world, only the Mideavel battles and the infamous war with the Orcs a thing of the distant past. The world is in modern day with machines and computers. Magic, a sort of wave-particle radiation, permeates the Earth which much technology and organisms depend on (notable exception of humans…).

Humans were Homo Sapiens as we know them. The most populous of all sapient species which most forms of magic. like fibre, is unabsorbable and goes right though our bodies. 

Dwarves are our closest relatives, a light magic using decendant of Neanderthals and the Denisovan hominins. Ranging from 4′6″-5′4″, Dwarves ate a diet heavy in meat and tubers and often lived in underground cmplexes, tho many now use “human-style” architecture. Humans and Dwarves could interbreed easily and produce fertile young.

Halflings” were a critically endangered species descendent of Homo floresiensis who prefers to stay out of global politics. Originally of no “use” there has been a boom of “interest” in them from Humans and Dwarves due to their possible connection with their mysterious extinct “progenitors” (Homo erectus)

Elves were high magic using decendants of Ardipithecus. Extremely lithe and vaguely gibbon-like, their high intelligence and extended lifespan of the elves is due to their heavy dependance on magic. Like the relation of Humans and Dwarves and Hobbits, Elves are actually a genus consisting of several species, notibly the High elves, Drow, and Wood elves (as humans call them). Elves were resistant to use modern technology and in general the tech of other people, older elves are still more likely to use cervine as transport then own a car, tho the hip younger generation of Elves take far more interest in other species.

Orcs were a sapient offshoot of Australopithicus. While often portrayed to be 8 foot tall, in life Male Orcs are only a bit larger then the average man (tho considerably stronger). Orcs hate how the Human-Orc conflicts are taught  and treated, wars that had a incredibly diminishing impact on their people and ended up driving them to poverty for decades.

Trolls had no relation to other species, instead being a mysterious race of sapient terrestrial echidnoderms. Going though highly complex life cycles, Troll larva start off as mouse size bilaterally symmetrical creatures, to the squat “lopsideders” and eventually becoming their 8 foot tall sexually mature adult form. Trolls are nocturnal, and make a thick mucus “cast” around their bodies when they rest that hardens during the day.

The “High Ones” are somewhat the equivalent to the Maiar, mysterious highly powerful entities seemingly like no other creature on earth. They mostly live in the Arctic (and Antarctic) circle, and have. They have curiosity in other species (and manipulating them), but are secretive of their own lives and tech, killing those who come near their settlements. (They also may or may not of been aliens…)

Ogres existed as a Homo habilis-like species that are raw meat and had the intelligence of dolphins. Dragons are semi terrestrial lobe finned fish that like elves were also highly dependant on Magic.

anonymous asked:

Hi Blue!! I saw in the other ask you said something about a planet's orbit affacting the seasons? Could u explain?

Yes! What an excellent question. To have a little explanation of gravity and how you can use it in your stories, go here.

Planetary Seasons

A planet’s year is the time it takes for the planet to complete one orbit around the sun. Scientifically speaking, we call this a planet’s revolution period. The most obvious effect this has on a planet is it’s seasons. Seasons occur because a planet’s axis is generally tilted in respect to the plane of it’s orbit. For Earth, this tilt (or obliquity, scientifically speaking) is about 23.5°. Over the course of a year, each hemisphere is tilted alternately toward and away from the sun. During winter, when that hemisphere is tipped away from the sun, solar heating is less effective for two reasons: sunlight is hitting the earth at a shallower angle, and the days are shorter so the sun doesn’t shine as long. The opposite happens in the summer.

On a planet, the intensity of the seasons depends on the latitude, or the angular distance of a position on the planet north or south of the equator. On Earth, the conditions at the equator hardly change over the year, whereas the poles go from uninterrupted daylight to uninterrupted night. But even in temperate latitudes, the effects are not unnoticeable. At 40°N, for example, which is the latitude of Lisbon, San Francisco, Istanbul, and Beijing, the total heating on the summer solstice (the longest day of the year, somewhere between June 20-22) is three to four times as much as on the winter solstice. 

We use the obliquity and latitude to determine climatic zones. The Arctic and Antarctic circles, which define Earth’s polar regions, are 23.5° from the poles, a distance set by the 23.5° tilt of the axis. These circles are simply the outermost limit at which the sun does not rise or set on at least one day of the year. Similarly, the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which are 23.5° from the equator, mark the latitudes farthest from the equator where the sun will be directly overhead on at least one day out of the year. This region is defined as the tropics, or “torrid zone” where the seasons are barely noticeable. Anywhere between these two extremes, we call the temperate zones.

Applying This To Science Fiction

The intensity of the seasons is set by the amount of axial tilt. From this we can deduce that seasons themselves are not inevitable. If a planet’s axis were upright, seasons wouldn’t even occur, and differences in the year and placement of the planet in it’s orbit would only be noticeable by the changing patterns of the constellations in the night sky. A small tilt (or no tilt) like in this example would have some subtle implications. For example, much of the water supply in Earthen temperate climates comes from snowmelt. If there’s no winter, there will be no snow, and this means deserts are likely to be more widespread. Because the poles would always receive minuscule amounts of heating, the climate zones would be much more extreme. Some tilt, like Earth’s moderate 23.5°, helps even out the heating over the whole planet. For a planet to receive a completely even heating for both the poles and the equator over the course of a year the value of the tilt would have to be ~54°.

But having a greater value obliquity would cause extreme seasons, and this would lead to extreme climate. For a planet with a tilt of 90°–which would mean lying on it’s side, much like Uranus–the Arctic and Antarctic circles  would coincide with the equator, meaning there would be neither tropical or temperate zones. Seasons would be extreme indeed: for over nearly half the planet, the sun would never set during the summer, and never rise during the winter. Only during spring and fall, when the sun would shine on the planet’s side, would the sun rise and set like we’re used to on Earth. 

What would this mean for my characters?

Well, such an extreme tilt could cause any intelligent species to migrate, in order to stay in more habitable regions. Such consistent mass migration would be a significant part of culture: everything would need to be mobile. This could also cause tensions between groups of people as they try to find space to settle or run into each other while migrating. A culture that depends solely on this nomadic lifestyle could be interesting to explore, and for a real-world comparison I would study the culture of the Mongols.

Otherwise, if migration wasn’t a culture norm for the citizens of your planet, then they would have to be prepared to survive in extreme heat and desert-like conditions, followed by a moderate time, followed by intense and everlasting winter and night. Challenges would include shelter and survival (a species that could survive both desert and arctic climates would be incredibly interesting to develop) and a food source. For humans to live on such a planet would require an abundance of technological advances that you would be free to create for yourself in the realms of your story!

Other Ways to Have Seasons

Believe it or not, axial tilt is not the only way to have seasons! According to Kepler’s Laws, planets travel in an elliptical orbit, which means it does not have to be perfectly circular. If a planet had an elliptical orbit, it would mean that the seasons were caused by differences in distances to the sun! What makes this interesting, is that a planet would experience the whole season at a same time. Which would make it more similar to ice ages and then moderate summers (think Game of Thrones, here). So the planet would have similar day/night cycles like Earth but much more extreme, and maybe even longer seasons depending on the severity of the ellipse. 

Notes:

Thanks for asking this question! I had such a fun time answering this. I love answering space questions. Also, tag me or send me links to your stories and fics so I can check out your science fiction in progress. 

love Blue

Heya! Here’s a character + mount illustration I had to do for digital painting class. It was based on a character generator, and I got a human sniper in an urban arctic/antarctic environment with a land-based mount! I only initially joked about having a penguin as the scary/badass mount for the project, but my professor told me, “You can’t make penguins scary!” 

Tldr; me: “Challenge accepted.” 

Taste of St. Petersburg or where is Viktor originally from

Today is December 25th, and it is Viktor’s Birthday!

We don’t have enough information about him as human and skater, and maybe one day in season two authors will open some parts of his life, character and past. 

But we know that Viktor is from St. Petersburg. 

And I think that it is a good idea to give a brief description of the city where Viktor lives. And where currently Yuuri is. ^^

Disclaimer: I’m an inspired and proud citizen of St. Petersburg, born and raised in the city, and I still live here. I’ll try to give an overall description of city and citizens from my point of view just to make more clear picture of the city in ppl’s minds. 

Some people may agree with my vision, some may not. It is okay.

And I apologize for possible mistakes in advance, English is not my mother tongue, but I try my best. ^^

Most photos are taken from internet.

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Pokémon in our Biomes pt. 10: Arctic and Antarctic Tundras

“I’ve recently decided to make a series of posts with hypothetical thinking and analyzing of what Pokémon species could potentially be found in the world’s biomes. Not at all relative to the games, I will be focusing primarily of the elements, design, and relativity to real life flora and fauna of Pokémon to depict where different species would roam on our big blue marble.”

This post will be on Arctic and Antarctic tundras. Our world’s tundras are incredibly cold, and dry environments. Although they have water, it is not in liquid form, and because of its incredibly cold temperatures it is difficult to sustain freshwater bodies, however, in the summer as temperatures rise above freezing, there are quite a few small bonds and rivers that form due to permafrost. As the winter comes, freezing the water over again, the cycle repeats itself. In these trying environments, migration or huddling together for warmth is often a crucial aspect to survival. Most animals do not survive if they choose to stay in the tundra for the winter, as the temperatures drop to such extremes.

Tundras are simply a difficult place to live in. Most of the nutrients actually comes from already dead or dying plants and animals. Although there is indeed warmer temperatures in the summer which allow for plentiful vegetation and animal prey, the summer doesn’t last long, and that’s just the Arctic. The Antarctic barely has any soil to allow for vegetation, and most of the animal life (in both regions really) need to utilize the plentiful underwater prey that school in each summer to feed on plankton. 

Upon making a list of possible Pokémon to list in this post, I realized that like many animal and plant species in real life, several Pokémon species have acclimated, or better yet, have the ability to survive in these harsh regions, at least for the summer. Other than obvious ice types, there are several potential normal, water, and flying types that could utilize the limited resources found in the tundras. Keep in mind, the tundra biomes are different than the ice cap biomes. Most of Antarctica is a giant ice cap, so there may be some Pokémon I will leave out because of the future ice cap biome I will post.

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People of Tomblr:

I have started the audio book for J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World.

It takes place in the future where the temperature of the earth has increased so much that only the Arctic and Antarctic Circles are comfortably habitable. The atmosphere has gotten thin enough that evolution is advancing more rapidly resulting in dragonfly sized mosquitos and enormous iguanas.

Think High-Rise crossed with Skull Island.

We need this movie right now. Here’s why …

The main character, Dr. Robert Kerans, is described as having “thin, angular shoulders and gaunt profile”. His hair is bleached and cropped but his beard has turned white from the polluted environment. He is 40 but his amber tan makes him look 30. He carries a Colt 45 and wears a khaki drill uniform.

Who is going to set up a Kickstarter for this project?

@insanely-smart @zorped @zhora-salome @freckletriangleofdoom @hiddleshoneybunny @lokiwholockfactory @the-haven-of-fiction et al