astronomical pictures

S t a r l i g h t

Pairing: Chen (Jongdae) x Reader

Genre: Fluff (no joke, fLUFF)

Synopsis: The stars were shinning, the lights were blinding, the diamonds were brightening.

Loving him wasn’t a choice, it was a fact. Loving him was easy, but him loving you back? That was a risk you had to take.


Word count: 1934 

Originally posted by vogueksoo

His hand felt warm around yours. The way his fingers curled perfectly around your fingers like they were molded just to fit against your hand, made your heart flutter. It was in the middle of September, meaning there was a brief breeze blowing the leaves out of their place. Your hair was flowing with it, sticking to your face every couple of seconds, but you didn’t mind.

He kept talking, babbling about how out all the stations, this was probably his favorite one. His long legs trailed your way through the path, directing you to his favorite spot. This was your first time seeing it, since it was some sort of his “little secret”. Not even his band mates knew about it, and you being the first one, was a great step.

You knew that when he felt stressed, he frequently left the house in complete silence and drove there, coming back in a completely different mood.

You didn’t mind him not telling you where it was, though. You knew he needed his space occasionally, and that when he felt comfortable enough, he would tell you what was going on in that pretty head of his. Your relationship was like that, where he gave you the space you needed and vice versa. It always worked out, right beside the time it was needed.

The conversation went fluently, most of it having him in the spotlight. It was always like that, since his life was a lot more exciting, and you didn’t mind. The way his eyes wrinkled every time he smiled at a memory; or how his face lighted up while he tells you about his day was probably one of your favorite things. He was mesmerizing, and he didn’t know it.

Out of your distraction, you felt how his hand tightened around yours, as he stopped his tracks in the middle of the trail. Your eyes, glued to his jawline before, moved to observe the view in front of you. The air slowly left your lungs, impressed by the simple beauty it had. You felt a sudden peace, provoked by the soft sound of the wind blowing and the comfort the trees gave to the place. The leaves, all orange and brown, were piling up under the nude branches, making small beds over the grass.

It was an oriel, long forgotten by the visitors of the forest, leaving it for those who dared to discover what was inside the woods. His hand untangled from yours, carefully, as he walked to the railing, pulling a basket from behind it. His warm smile was there again, as he watched you taking small steps in his direction, still looking around amused. His long legs cut the path short, approaching to you with curious eyes.

“I assume you like it, then?”, Jongdae said happily. Part of his hair covered his eyes when a small gust of wind moved his hairstyle out of place, so you took advantage of it to put it back where it belonged, your fingers lingering a little bit on his soft cheekbones. One of his eyebrows was arched as he waited for your response, but instead of answering you kissed him lightly. It wasn’t a long kiss, your lips barely touching  his, but it was good enough to make you dizzy.

“I will take it as a yes”, he chuckled. His hand pulled you with him to the middle of the grass zone, placing the picnic on the floor as you both sat cross-legged in front of each other with cheeky smiles and shinny eyes. The afternoon went smoothly, meaning that most of your time was wasted in eating, laughing and playing lame games with Jongdae just to make his cheeks warm up every once in a while.

As soon as the night fell on the sky, the air began to become even chillier, making your body shiver a little bit. You were looking to the sky when you felt a blanket covering your shoulders as a warm body sat by your side. Jongdae was getting himself comfortable, holding your left hand between his, trying to warm you up with his own heat. His chin rested on you’re the connection between your neck and collarbone, while he left warm kisses on your jawline and whispered lost words over your skin.

The cuteness of it made you happy while you closed your eyes, mumbling a song softly. He sighed, content with himself, brushing the tip of his nose against your temple. You both stayed like that for a while, enjoying each other’s company with small words exchanged, until the rain of stars started. The view summarized in an amount of light flashes rushing in the sky, ripping it with its splendor.

You stared at it with wide eyes, laying still on the floor, enchanted by the astronomic phenomenon, and picturing the sky as a painting that moved by itself, lightening the sky with its beauty. He stayed in silence, admiring at the flashes in the sky, while he laid a hand flat under your shirt, over your stomach. His warmth placed little shocks in tummy, and you sighed content, moving closer to him.

“You know,” you started, “I think I’ve never seen a beauty like this one”. Jongdae snorted.

“I have”, he simply answered.

“Is that so?”

“Yes, her name is Y/N”. Your head snapped in his direction, catching him repositioning himself with his elbow on the floor and his head resting in his hand. His eyes shinned with the bright light of the stars, making him smile at your reaction. You felt both of your cheeks warm, so you covered them with your hands, making him laugh loudly at you.

“Stop”, you slurred the words.

“It was smooth, give me points for that”, he responded. You just punched him softly in the chest with a small smile.

Being with Jongdae wasn’t easy, you couldn’t lie. There were many things that often made you scared of losing him and him of losing you. The long periods without seeing each other, those were you had to sleep with one of his oversized sweaters, attaching yourself to the memories and the vanishing smell of his cologne. He texted and video-called you often, but you needed so much more.

There were also times were the dates inside were safer. His fans, after 3 years, had come to the point of accepting your relationship, but they still mobbed him when they had the chance. They took both of you thousands of pictures when they recognized you on a date, just for you to find about them later scattered all over the internet.

The moments when it was just the two of you were the times you treasured the most. Little picnics in hidden places, lazy mornings making breakfast, dancing around the kitchen laughing like two little kids, and cuddling when it was cold outside were a little peak of everything you both had shared together.

You didn’t know how he had chosen you, out all the girls drooling over him, but you were thankful. Even though you didn’t know who he was at first, the connection was immediate, and since you met in that coffee shop around town, you were never apart again. After what seemed like hours staring at him, he caught your eye, shutting himself up to watch you. Your eyes were tearing a little up, consequence of your mixed-up emotions, and a smile was scattered in your face. You just could imagine how crazy you looked.

His brows furrowed in confusion. “What’s wrong, Y/N?”

Both of his hands held your face, severely concerned about your state, with a small pout on his lips. That just made you smile even wider, touched by his actions. His thumbs cleaned your tears with a caress, as he stared at your face with preoccupation.

“Tell me, baby, didn’t you like it?” You laughed softly, moving your head a little to kiss the tips of your fingers, before shaking your head.

“It’s not that.”

He frowned even more. “Then, what’s wrong?”

I love you.” You blurted out. “I love you so much, and I feel I don’t tell you that often, so I’m telling you now. I love you, Kim Jongdae.” You saw the stress leaving his body, as he relaxed at your words. His signature smile appeared again, this time happier than before. Your body collided with his chest slowly, as he engulfed you in a bear hug. His lips kissed the top of your head repeatedly, making your heart beat faster.

“I love you too, Y/N.” He murmured. “I’m glad you decided to take that coffee with me after all, you know?”

“Why?”, you were genuinely interested.

“The first time I saw you, I knew you’ll turn my world around.  You were a breath of fresh air, smiling at me and talking with me, not with Chen, not with an EXO member. Me. I bet you knew about me before, I don’t believe you didn’t, but even so, you treated me as a person, not an idol. That’s why I’m thankful, because thanks to you, I learned how to love myself so I would be able to love you.

You stayed in silence.

“And the amount of love I have to you is greater than anything else. You’re everything I ever wished for, and I feel that without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. When I’m stressed, I feel relieved knowing that when I come home, you’ll be there waiting for me ready to listen me and comfort me. That when I’m off mood, you’ll try your best making me feel happy and loved. I don’t call our apartment “home” because it’s just a place. You’re my home, Y/N; and I know that wherever I am, as long as I am with you, I’ll be at home.”

He got closer to you, looking you in the eye with a smile. You could see the adoration in his brown eyes, showing you like an open door his emotions to you. He was your home as well, and he had been it from the very beginning. You didn’t know how, but he had carved for himself really quickly under your skin. You were in deeply in love with him, and knowing that he felt the same way about you, was like dancing in the rain.

Your lips crashed in a smooth move, you didn’t know who started it, but it didn’t matter. Not when his tender lips moved in perfect synchronization with yours, sending tickles all around your fingers, while you played with some spot of his neck. Your breathing was unstable, and the touch of his fingers in your bare skin was heavenly, making you kiss him even deeper.

Your kissed him for what seemed like hours, enjoying his caresses and attentions, telling how much you cared through it. He growled silently occasionally, expressing how much he enjoyed your kisses. His mouth left yours for a second, giving you time enough to breathe before attacking you again. You were drunk in his smell, his touch, his kisses, him. He made you fly to the sky without actually wanting to do so. Jongdae affected you in ways no one was able to, and it made you fall even more.

I love you”, he said again, leaving your lips slightly. “And I will love for as long as the stars shine in the sky.

And for a second, you wished that moment, lasted forever. You loved him, and him loving you, was a sign that everything would be alright.


If you enjoyed it, please feel free to give it some love!

If you want to request something, please read the r u l e s !

See you soon! Sofi, x.

Huge storm on Neptune

Spectacular sunsets and sunrises are enough to dazzle most of us, but to astronomers, dusk and dawn are a waste of good observing time. They want a truly dark sky.

Not Ned Molter, a UC Berkeley astronomy graduate student. He set out to show that some bright objects can be studied just as well during twilight, when other astronomers are twiddling their thumbs, and quickly discovered a new feature on Neptune: A storm system nearly the size of Earth.

“Seeing a storm this bright at such a low latitude is extremely surprising,” said Molter, who spotted the storm complex near Neptune’s equator during a dawn test run of twilight observing at W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii. “Normally, this area is really quiet and we only see bright clouds in the mid-latitude bands, so to have such an enormous cloud sitting right at the equator is spectacular.”

This massive storm system, which was found in a region where no bright cloud has ever been seen before, is about 9,000 kilometers in length, or one-third the size of Neptune’s radius, spanning at least 30 degrees in both latitude and longitude. Molter observed it getting much brighter between June 26 and July 2.

“Historically, very bright clouds have occasionally been seen on Neptune, but usually at latitudes closer to the poles, around 15 to 60 degrees north or south,” said Imke de Pater, a UC Berkeley professor of astronomy and Molter’s adviser. “Never before has a cloud been seen at or so close to the equator, nor has one ever been this bright.”

At first, de Pater thought it was the same Northern Cloud Complex seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994, after the iconic Great Dark Spot, imaged by Voyager 2 in 1989, had disappeared. But de Pater says measurements of its locale do not match, signaling that this cloud complex is different from the one Hubble first saw more than two decades ago.

A huge, high-pressure, dark vortex system anchored deep in Neptune’s atmosphere may be what’s causing the colossal cloud cover, said de Pater. As gases rise up in a vortex, they cool down. When its temperature drops below the condensation temperature of a condensable gas, that gas condenses out and forms clouds, just like water on Earth. On Neptune, however, methane clouds form.

As with every planet, winds in Neptune’s atmosphere vary drastically with latitude, so if there is a big bright cloud system that spans many latitudes, something must hold it together, such as a dark vortex. Otherwise, the clouds would shear apart.

“This big vortex is sitting in a region where the air, overall, is subsiding rather than rising,” said de Pater. “Moreover, a long-lasting vortex right at the equator would be hard to explain physically.”
If it is not tied to a vortex, the system may be a huge convective cloud, similar to those seen occasionally on other planets, like the huge storm on Saturn that was detected in 2010. However, such a cloud would be expected to smear out considerably over a week’s time.

“This shows that there are extremely drastic changes in the dynamics of Neptune’s atmosphere, and perhaps this is a seasonal weather event that may happen every few decades or so,” said de Pater.

A windy planet

Neptune is the windiest planet in our solar system, with the fastest observed wind speeds at the equator reaching up to a violent 1,000 mph. To put this into perspective, a Category 5 hurricane has wind speeds of 156 mph. Neptune orbits the sun every 160 years, and one season is about 40 years.

The discovery of Neptune’s mysterious equatorial cloud complex was made possible by the new Keck Visiting Scholars Program, launched this summer, which gives graduate students and post-doctoral researchers experience working at the telescope, while contributing to Keck Observatory and its scientific community.

“This result by Imke and her first-year graduate student, Ned, is a perfect example of what we’re trying to accomplish with the Keck Visiting Scholars Program,” said Anne Kinney, chief scientist at Keck Observatory. “Ned is our first visiting scholar, and his incredible work is a testament to the value of this program. It’s just been an outrageous success.”

Molter is one of eight scholars accepted into the program this year. His assignment during his six-week stay at the Observatory was to develop a more efficient method for twilight observing, making use of time that otherwise might not be used. Most observers in the Keck Observatory community peer deep into the night sky and cannot observe their targets during twilight.

“Ned had never observed before, and he’s very bright, so when Anne told me about the program, I knew he would be the perfect student for it,” said de Pater. “Now that we’ve discovered this interesting cloud complex in Neptune, Ned has a running start on a nice paper for his Ph.D. thesis.”

“I loved being at Keck. Everyone was extremely friendly and I had a ton of personal interaction with the support astronomers and observing assistants,” Molter said. “Being able to go behind the scenes to see how they run the telescopes and instruments every day, getting 10 nights of observing and engineering time on the telescopes and going up to the summit twice to see the incredible engineering behind this gigantic machine has turned me from a student into an actual observer. It was an incredible opportunity.”

The Keck Visiting Scholars Program is sponsored by Roy and Frances Simperman, with major contributions from the M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation, Edge of Space, Inc., Thomas McIntyre, and Jeff and Rebecca Steele.

Molter and De Pater will continue to analyze their data and propose for more twilight observing time at Keck Observatory this fall so they can learn more about the nature of this storm and get an idea of what it will be doing over time.

Having a better understanding of Neptune’s atmosphere will help give astronomers a clearer picture of this icy giant’s global circulation. This has become increasingly more important in the exoplanet realm, as a majority of exoplanets found so far are nearly the size of Neptune. While scientists can calculate their size and mass, not much is currently known about exoplanets’ atmosphere.

IMAGE….Images of Neptune taken during twilight observing revealed an extremely large bright storm system near Neptune’s equator (labeled ‘cloud complex’ in the upper figure), a region where astronomers have never seen a bright cloud. The center of the storm complex is ~9,000 km across, about ¾ the size of Earth, or 1/3 of Neptune’s radius. The storm brightened considerably between June 26 and July 2, as noted in the logarithmic scale of the images taken on July 2. Credit N. Molter/I. De Pater, UC Berkeley & C. Alvarez, W. M. Keck Observatory

will you marry me

WARNINGS: language? (just expect language to be on most of my imagines lol) and fluff? 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: a request by @gunxforhands! i know i’m a bit late but i hope this is what you wanted!

also the griffith observatory is suuuuper cool and i love going there though i’ve yet to go at night! but i will one day… or night lol so if you’re ever in the los angeles area and you like space definitely go and check it out!

p.s. key to text messaging is: 

italic - seb 

you - bold&italic


You loved space and every time there was some space related news, you would jump for joy like a little kid at Disney World. Sebastian adored that about you. He loved listening to you talk about the planets, constellations, galaxies, and how one day we’d be able to live on a planet that wasn’t Earth. He had finally found someone who shared the same interest as him. 

A hot day in Los Angeles, California called for the beach and iced coffee. Maybe even be a little touristy and walk down Hollywood if you got the chance. After all, Sebastian was busy doing a table read which left you to explore the city on your own. 

You two texted back and forth through out the day. It consisted of a lot of emojis and playful teasing. 

Keep reading

Familiar stars in Orion and constellations across the sky now have official names. Over the past year, the International Astronomical Union, the only body officially tasked with naming stars, approved names already in common use for 227 of the brightest stars, including the most famous stars on the sky Sirius, Polaris, and Betelgeuse. Pictured, the constellation of Orion is shown with several of these now-official star names superposed. Spanning about 30 degrees, this breath-taking vista stretches across the well-known constellation from head to toe (left to right) and beyond. The common names for all three stars in Orion’s belt are also now official. At 1,500 light years away, the Great Orion Nebula is the closest large star forming region, here visible just right and below center. Also visible are famous nebulae including the Horsehead Nebula and the Witch Head Nebula. Of course, the Orion Nebula and bright stars are easy to see with the unaided eye, but dust clouds and emission from the extensive interstellar gas in this nebula-rich complex, are too faint and much harder to record. In the featured mosaic of broadband telescopic images, additional image data acquired with a narrow hydrogen alpha filter was used to bring out the pervasive tendrils of energized atomic hydrogen gas like in the arc of the giant Barnard’s Loop.

Credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo

Time And Space

A Sample Clownmoon System, for The Purposes of Astrological and Astronomical Education and Reference,

(pictured left to right)

Moon 069: Orion’s Brazier -  a simple family man. protects clownmoons from meteors with his bottom. 

Moon 666: Planet of The Beasts - the emperor’s private game reserve for the most dangerous game, marbles. circus animal-ridden to spice things up.

Moon 420: Halileo Halilei - questioned the church of tears’ official stance that the universe revolves around the Lunar Clown, finally proving the Lunar Clown right. glassed and varnished with butterscotch and caramel as a reward.

Moon 000: Tombaugh the Palest and Furthest - has been demoted in classification from clownmoon to Shit Tier. there was a brief fleeting outrage in the court.

faction: Clownmoons


** Summary: Astronomers have spent nearly two decades meticulously tracing the motions of 36 rapidly rotating pulsars, so-called millisecond pulsars, inside Terzan 5 – a massive, ancient star cluster near the center of the Milky Way. The pulsars are gradually “falling” throughout the cluster, tugged by gravity toward regions with greater mass. This new research, published in the Astrophysical Journal, is giving astronomers a clearer picture of the cluster’s interior and likely birthplace. **

The Milky Way is chock-full of star clusters. Some contain just a few tens-to-hundreds of young stars. Others, known as globular clusters, are among the oldest objects in the universe and contain up to a million ancient stars.

Some globular clusters are thought to be fragments of our galaxy, chiseled off when the Milky Way was in its infancy. Others may have started life as standalone dwarf galaxies before being captured by the Milky Way during its formative years.

Regardless of their origins, many globular clusters reside either in or behind the dusty regions of our galaxy. For ground- and space-based optical telescopes, however, this poses a challenge. Though it is possible to observe the cluster as a whole, the dust hinders astronomers’ efforts to study the motions of individual stars. If astronomers could track the motions of individual stars, they could see how “lumpy” the globular cluster is or if it contains something really dense, like a giant black hole at its center.

Fortunately, radio waves – like those emitted by pulsars – are unhindered by galactic dust. So rather than tracing the motions of the stars, astronomers should be able to map the motions of pulsars instead. But, of course, things are never that simple. Though globular clusters are brimming with stars, they contain far fewer pulsars.

“That’s what makes Terzan 5 such an important target of study; it has an unprecedented abundance of pulsars – a total of 37 detected so far, though only 36 were used in our study,” said Brian Prager, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and lead author on a paper appearing in the Astrophysical Journal. “The more pulsars you can observe, the more complete your dataset and the more details you can discern about the interior of the cluster.”

The Terzan 5 cluster is about 19,000 light-years from Earth, just outside the central bulge of our galaxy.

For their research, the astronomers used the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. The GBT is an amazingly efficient instrument for pulsar detection and observation. It has exquisitely sensitive electronics, some specifically optimized for this task, and a 100-meter dish, the largest of any fully steerable radio telescope.

Pulsars are neutron stars – the fantastically dense remains of supernovas – that emit beams of radio waves from their magnetic poles. As a pulsar rotates, its beams of radio light sweep across space in a cosmic version of a lighthouse. If the beams shine in the direction of Earth, astronomers can detect the exquisitely steady pulses from the star.

As the pulsars in Terzan 5 move in relation to Earth – drawn in different directions by the varying density of the cluster – the Doppler effect comes into play. This effect adds a tiny delay to the timing if the pulsar is moving away from Earth. It also shaves off the tiniest fraction of a millisecond if the pulsar is moving toward us.

In the case of Terzan 5, astronomers are particularly interested in a class of pulsars known as millisecond pulsars. These pulsars rotate hundreds of times each second with a regularity that rivals the precision of atomic clocks on Earth.

Pulsars achieve these remarkable speeds by siphoning off matter from a nearby companion star. The infalling matter hits the edge of the neutron star at an angle, increasing the pulsar’s rate of spin in much the same way that a basketball balanced on the tip of a finger can be spun up by striking its side.

Millisecond pulsars are a particular boon to astronomers because they make it possible to detect almost infinitesimally small changes in the timing of the radio pulses.

“Pulsars are amazingly precise cosmic clocks,” said Scott Ransom, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia, and coauthor on the paper. “With the GBT, our team was able to essentially measure how each of these clocks is falling through space toward regions of higher mass. Once we have that information, we can translate it into a very precise map of the density of the cluster, showing us where the bulk of the ‘stuff’ in the cluster resides.”

Previously, astronomers thought that Terzan 5 might be either a warped dwarf galaxy gobbled up by the Milky Way or a fragment of the galactic bulge. If the cluster were a captured dwarf galaxy, it might also harbor a central supermassive black hole, which is one of the hallmarks of all large galaxies and can be found in many dwarf galaxies as well.

The new GBT data, however, show no obvious signs that a single, central black hole is lurking in Terzan 5. “However, we can’t yet say for sure if a smaller, intermediate mass black hole resides there. The new observations also provide better evidence that Terzan 5 is a true globular cluster born in the Milky Way rather than the remains of a dwarf galaxy,” said Ransom.

Future observations using more sophisticated acceleration models may better constrain the origin of Terzan 5.

IMAGE….Graphic showing locations of millisecond pulsars inside the globular cluster Terzan 5 in an optical image taken by the Hubble space telescope. Pulsars represented in blue are accelerating toward observers on Earth; those in red are accelerating away. These relative accelerations were derived by measuring minute changes in the speed of rotation of the pulsars.
Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); GBO/AUI/NSF; NASA/ESA Hubble, F. Ferraro

NASA hired Barbara S. Askins, a chemist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, in 1975 to find a better way to develop astronomical and geological pictures. In 1978, the Association for Advancement of Inventions and Innovations named her the National Inventor of the Year for her invention of a process that restored detail to underexposed negatives that would otherwise be useless. In 1978, Barbara Askins patented a method of enhancing the pictures using radioactive materials. The process was so successful that its uses were expanded beyond NASA researchers to improvements in X-ray technology and in the restoration of old pictures.

This dazzling image shows the globular cluster Messier 69, or M 69 for short, as viewed through the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Globular clusters are dense collections of old stars. In this picture, foreground stars look big and golden when set against the backdrop of the thousands of white, silvery stars that make up M 69.

Another aspect of M 69 lends itself to the bejewelled metaphor: As globular clusters go, M 69 is one of the most metal-rich on record. In astronomy, the term “metal” has a specialised meaning: it refers to any element heavier than the two most common elements in our Universe, hydrogen and helium. The nuclear fusion that powers stars created all of the metallic elements in nature, from the calcium in our bones to the carbon in diamonds. Successive generations of stars have built up the metallic abundances we see today.

Because the stars in globular clusters are ancient, their metallic abundances are much lower than more recently formed stars, such as the Sun. Studying the makeup of stars in globular clusters like M 69 has helped astronomers trace back the evolution of the cosmos.

M 69 is located 29 700 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius (the Archer). The famed French comet hunter Charles Messier added M 69 to his catalogue in 1780. It is also known as NGC 6637.

The image is a combination of exposures taken in visible and near-infrared light by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, and covers a field of view of approximately 3.4 by 3.4 arcminutes.

Object Names: M69

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Time And Space



Here’s how to make a solargraph, a six month pin hole photo charting the weather and seasons

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