balls of gas

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Mark your calendars for summer 2018: That’s when we’re launching a spacecraft to touch the sun

In honor of our first-ever mission to the heart of the solar system, this week we’re delving into the life and times of this powerful yellow dwarf star.

1. Meet Parker 

Parker Solar Probe, our first mission to go to the sun, is named after Eugene Parker, an American astrophysicist who first theorized that the sun constantly sends out a flow of particles and energy called the solar wind. This historic mission will explore one of the last regions of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft and help scientists unlock answers to questions they’ve been pondering for more than five decades.

2. Extra SPF, Please 

Parker Solar Probe will swoop within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. The mission will provide new data on solar activity to help us better understand our home star and its activity - information that can improve forecasts of major space-weather events that could impact life on Earth.

3. Majorly Massive 

The sun is the center of our solar system and makes up 99.8 percent of the mass of the entire solar system. If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be about the size of a nickel.

4. Different Spin 

Since the sun is not a solid body, different parts of the sun rotate at different rates. At the equator, the sun spins once about every 25 days, but at its poles the sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days.

5. Can’t Stand on It

The sun is a star and a star doesn’t have a solid surface. Rather, it’s a ball of ionized gas 92.1% hydrogen (H2) and 7.8% helium (He) held together by its own gravity.

6. Center of Attention 

The sun isn’t a planet, so it doesn’t have any moons. But, the sun is orbited by eight planets, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of thousands to trillions of comets and icy bodies.

7. It’s Hot in There 

And we mean really, really hot. The temperature at the sun’s core is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. However, its atmosphere, the corona, can reach temperatures of 3 million degrees. (That’s as if it got hotter the farther away you got from a fire, instead of cooler!) Parker Solar Probe will help scientists solve the mystery of why the corona’s temperature is so much higher than the surface.

8. Travel Conditions

The sun influences the entire solar system, so studying it helps us better understand the space weather that our astronauts and spacecraft travel through.

9. Life on the Sun? 

Better to admire from afar. Thanks to its hot, energetic mix of gases and plasma, the sun can’t be home to living things. However, we can thank the sun for making life on Earth possible by providing the warmth and energy that supply Earth’s food chain.

10. Chance of a Lifetime 

Last but not least, don’t forget that the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the U.S. from coast-to-coast since 1918 is happening on August 21, 2017. Our toolkit has you need to know to about it

Want to learn more? Read our full list of the 10 things to know this week about the solar system HERE.

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

❂ ————– THE LION KING SENTENCE STARTERS.

’ What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula? ’
’ I despise guessing games. ’
’ Oh, goody. ’
’ Yes. Well, forgive me for not leaping for joy. ’
’ When I’m King, what’ll that make you? ’
’ You’re so weird. ’
’ You have no idea. ’
’ Sing something with a little bounce in it. ’
’ I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts. ’
’ Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head… ’
’ Hakuna Matata. It’s our motto. ’
’ What’s a motto? ’
’ Nothing. What’s a motto with you? ’
’ Did I miss something? ’
’ Let me out! Let me out! ’
’ Please don’t eat me. ’
’ Whoa. Talk about your fixer-upper. ’
’ I can’t go back. What would it prove, anyway?  ’
’ You can’t change the past. ’
’ You said you’d always be there for me! But you’re not. ’
’ It’s because of me. It’s my fault. ’
’ Ahh, so you haven’t told them your little secret. ’
’ It’s not true. Tell me it’s not true. ’
’ No! It was an accident! ’
’ It’s your fault he’s/she’s dead. Do you deny it? ’
’ Then you’re guilty. ’
’ No, I’m not a murderer! ’
’ Friends? I thought he/she said we were the enemy. ’
’ Don’t ever do that again! Carnivores, ugh! ’
’ We’re pals, right? ’
’ I don’t wonder; I know. ’
’ The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. ’
’ I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away. ’
’ Fireflies that, uh… got stuck up on that big bluish-black thing. ’
’ Everything the light touches is our kingdom. ’
’ A king’s time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. ’
’ What’s happened to you? ’
’ You’re right, I’m not. Now are you satisfied? ’
’ You know you’re starting to sound like my father. ’
’ The sooner we get to the waterhole, the sooner we can leave. ’
’ So where are we really going? ’
’ Right. So how are we going to ditch the dodo? ’
’ It’s a tradition going back generations. ’
’ Well, when I’m king, that’ll be the first thing to go. ’
’ Well, in that case, you’re fired. ’
’ Nice try, but only the king can do that. ’
’ Your Majesty. I gravel at your feet. ’
’ Why do I always have to save your… Ahhh! ’
’ I know what I have to do. ’
’ Temper, temper. ’
’ I’ve been running from it for so long. ’
’ Ow! Jeez, what was that for? ’
’ It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past. ’
’ Oh yes, the past can hurt. ’
’ But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it. ’
’ You see? So what are you going to do? ’
’ First, I’m gonna take your stick. ’
’ Good! Go on! Get out of here! ’
’ So you’d better have a good excuse for missing the ceremony this morning. ’
’ Perhaps you shouldn’t turn your back on me. ’
’ I wouldn’t dream of challenging you. ’
’ Is that a challenge? ’
’ I’m afraid I’m at the shallow end of the gene pool. ’
’ There’s one in every family sire. Two in mine, actually. ’
’ Pinned you again. ’
’ What’s going on? ’
’ Oh, dear, I’ve said too much! ’
’ Well, I’m brave. What’s out there? ’
’ All the more reason for me to be protective. ’
’ Well, I suppose you’d have found out sooner or later. ’
’ Just promise me you’ll never visit that dreadful place! ’
’ You run along now and have fun. ’
’ I wonder if its brains are still in there? ’
’ Danger? Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger. Ha ha ha ha! ’
’ Do you know what we do to kings who step out of their kingdom? ’
’ Puh. You can’t do anything to me. ’
’ Oh, my, my, my. Look at the sun. It’s time to go! ’
’ Hey! Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size? ’
’ I’m very disappointed in you. ’
’ You could have been killed! ’
’ You deliberately disobeyed me! ’
’ I was just trying to be brave like you. ’
’ I’m only brave when I have to be. ’
’ Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble. ’
’ Whoah. I guess even kings get scared, huh? ’
’ But you’re not scared of anything. ’
’ We were afraid it was somebody important. ’
’ Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder. ’
’ Yeah, be prepared! We’ll be prepared… for what? ’
’ Long live the king! Long live the king! ’
’ If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, now would it? ’
’ If you tell me, I’ll still act surprised. ’
’ You are such a naughty boy/girl! ’
’ You hear that? If you ever come back, we’ll kill ya! ’
’ So it is with a heavy heart that I assume the throne. ’
’ That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard. ’
’ You know, having a lion around might not be such a bad idea. ’
’ Ah, you’re an outcast! That’s great. So are we. ’
’ I’m telling you, kid: this is the great life. No rules, no responsibilities… ’
’ You mean a bunch of royal dead guys are watching us? ’
’ Come on, I just heard about this great place. ’
’ I’m surrounded by idiots. ’
’ I’m kinda in the middle of a bath. ’
’ So where are we going? It better not be anyplace dumb. ’
’ I’ll show you when we get there. ’
’ The waterhole? What’s so great about the waterhole? ’
’ You’re the king? And you never told us? ’
’ You don’t even know what I’ve been through! ’
’ I finally got some sense knocked into me. ’
’ Please have mercy, I beg you. ’
’ You don’t deserve to live. ’
’ Why should I believe you? Everything you ever told me was a lie. ’
’ This looks like a good spot to rustle up some grub. ’
’ I’ll make it up to you, I promise. ’
’ You got to put your past behind you. ’
’ When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world. ’
’ Bad things happen, and you can’t do anything about it. ’
’ There’s more to being a king than getting your way all the time. ’
’ I’m so hungry I could eat a whole zebra. ’
’ Listen kid: if you live with us, you’re gonna have to eat like us. ’
’ Come on, will you cut it out? ’
’ I thought I knew, but now I’m not so sure. ’
’ What’s that supposed to mean, anyway? ’
’ I’m not the one who’s confused. ’
’ You don’t even know who you are! ’
’ This is just the way your father looked before he died. ’
’ So what’s the plan for getting past those guys? ’
’ No wonder we’re dangling at the bottom of the food chain! ’
’ Where is your hunting party? They’re not doing their job. ’
’ Then you have sentenced us to death! ’
’ Well, it sure is a surprise to see you… ’
’ Hakuna Matata. It means “no worries”. ’
’ These are rare delicacies. ’
’ You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. ’
’ You are more than what you have become. ’
’ How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be. ’
’ Will you stop following me? Who are you? ’
’ What’s going on here? Who’s the monkey? ’
Shounen/Shoujo Anime

Aries : Gintama / Kamisama Hajimemashita

Taurus : Soul Eater / Ao Haru Ride

Gemini : Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood / Special A

Cancer : Dragon Ball Z / Toradora

Leo : Bleach / Kaichou wa Maid-sama

Virgo: Hunter x Hunter/ Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Libra: One Piece / Skip Beat

Scorpio : Slam Dunk / Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Sagittarius : Pokemon / Akatsuki No Yona

Capricorn : Inuyasha / Ouran High School Host Club

Aquarius : Naruto / Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda

Pisces : Fairy Tail / Kimi Ni Todoke

insp.

Dean chances a glance at Cas, assuming he’s asleep.

Instead, he sees Cas staring up at the stars and with a pang of guilt wonders if Cas misses being an angel, regrets ripping out his grace for humanity.

“They’re really somethin’ else aren’t they?” Dean whispers, if only to stop his train of thought.

“They are,” Cas murmurs, taking his eyes off the stars.

“You know when me and Sam were kids, and dad was driving us around the country, the backseat was more or less our bed,” Dean says softly, eyes flicking up to the rearview mirror, to Sam spread out and snoring quietly in the backseat.

“And when I couldn’t sleep I’d look at the stars, try to find Andromeda or Orpheus’ lyre.” Dean huffs a laugh, turning to look at Cas again. “In the beginning, I even thought stars were angels.”

“They’re giant balls of gas, Dean.”

“I know,” Dean laughs, shaking his head. “Way to ruin the mome-”

“And yet none of them are as large as my love for you.”

“Oh,” Dean croaks, taking his eyes off the road briefly. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Cas is looking at him, small smile on his face, and Dean can’t help the grin that splits his face.

“Just- c’mere.” Dean tugs on the hand he’s already holding and Cas slides across the seat, rests his head on Dean’s shoulder.

“I love you, too.”

“I know, Dean.”