dust in light

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we'll leave our bones in the dust - light_rises - Undertale (Video Game) [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

“Well, I mean,” you say, almost petulantly, because of course it would be dumb to back out now, “you said this was a story, right? If you have an ending in mind, of course I wanna know what it is.”

Chara’s breath hitches. Not like they’re caught off-guard; it’s the pause between stanzas, or the space between pages, like when you make them read your favorite picture books (because the cadence of their voice is the best, better than your mom’s or dad’s or anyone you know) and they’re being super theatrical about the whole thing.

That impression doesn’t vanish when Chara whispers, warm and hoarse, “It’s not written yet. That’s why it has to be a wish.”

hey who’s down for 3.7k of pre-canon charasriel with a dose of dramatic irony?? i know i am

You feel like you’re nothing,
Not a whiff in the wind.
The feeling’s so crushing,
How could you be so blind?

You are my everything.
You are my sun and my moon,
You are my ups and downs.
You are my whole life,
You are my smiles and my frowns.

You are those little moments of bliss
You are my thoughts and my feelings.
You are my first kiss
You are myself and my being.

You control my thoughts
You make me think of you
You take away my free will
You make me say,
You make me do.

You must understand that this is not a bad thing
You are my guidance
You are my compass
You are my saviour
You are my hero

You are who I need
You are for whom I breath.

Black Hole Sculpts an Hourglass Galaxy

When it comes to galaxies, our home, the Milky Way, is rather neat and orderly. Other galaxies can be much more chaotic. For example, the Markarian 573 galaxy has a black hole at its center which is spewing beams of light in opposite directions, giving its inner regions more of an hourglass shape. 

Our scientists have long been fascinated by this unusual structure, seen above in optical light from the Hubble Space Telescope. Now their search has taken them deeper than ever — all the way into the super-sized black hole at the center of one galaxy.

So, what do we think is going on? When the black hole gobbles up matter, it releases a form of high-energy light called radiation (particularly in the form of X-rays), causing abnormal patterns in the flow of gas. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Meet Markarian 573, the galaxy at the center of this image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, located about 240 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cetus. It’s the galaxy’s odd structure and the unusual motions of its components that inspire our scientists to study it.

As is the case with other so-called active galaxies, the ginormous black hole at the center of Markarian 573 likes to eat stuff. A thick ring of dust and gas accumulates around it, forming a doughnut. This ring only permits light to escape the black hole in two cone-shaped regions within the flat plane of the galaxy — and that’s what creates the hourglass, as shown in the illustration above.

Zooming out, we can see the two cones of emission (shown in gold in the animation above) spill into the galaxy’s spiral arms (blue). As the galaxy rotates, gas clouds in the arms sweep through this radiation, which makes them light up so our scientists can track their movements from Earth.

What happens next depends on how close the gas is to the black hole. Gas that’s about 2,500 light-years from the black hole picks up speed and streams outward (shown as darker red and blue arrows). Gas that’s farther from the black hole also becomes ionized, but is not driven away and continues its motion around the galaxy as before.

Here is an actual snapshot of the inner region of Markarian 573, combining X-ray data (blue) from our Chandra X-ray Observatory and radio observations (purple) from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico with a visible light image (gold) from our Hubble Space Telescope. Given its strange appearance, we’re left to wonder: what other funky shapes might far-off galaxies take?

For more information about the bizarre structure of Markarian 573, visit http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12657  

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

GUYS THE FIRST SCRIPT SNEAK-PEAKS

The universe seems to be smiling at those of us wanting news about His Dark Materials today! 

From this exciting bit we have learned several things:

  • The first episode is called “Roger” (though this can of course change as production goes on)
  • We will begin in Lyra’s world.
  • We’ll probably start on what seems to be the northern lights? That would be my guess. 

EDIT: Also, main writer Jack Thorne is being cheeky with us on twitter, and I kind of love it.

The Witch Head Nebula : Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble . maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigels starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebulas color is caused not only by the stars intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earths daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earths atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. via NASA

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Why Webb Needs to Chill

Our massive James Webb Space Telescope is currently being tested to make sure it can work perfectly at incredibly cold temperatures when it’s in deep space. 

How cold is it getting and why? Here’s the whole scoop…

Webb is a giant infrared space telescope that we are currently building. It was designed to see things that other telescopes, even the amazing Hubble Space Telescope, can’t see.  

Webb’s giant 6.5-meter diameter primary mirror is part of what gives it superior vision, and it’s coated in gold to optimize it for seeing infrared light.  

Why do we want to see infrared light?

Lots of stuff in space emits infrared light, so being able to observe it gives us another tool for understanding the universe. For example, sometimes dust obscures the light from objects we want to study – but if we can see the heat they are emitting, we can still “see” the objects to study them.

It’s like if you were to stick your arm inside a garbage bag. You might not be able to see your arm with your eyes – but if you had an infrared camera, it could see the heat of your arm right through the cooler plastic bag.

Credit: NASA/IPAC

With a powerful infrared space telescope, we can see stars and planets forming inside clouds of dust and gas.

We can also see the very first stars and galaxies that formed in the early universe. These objects are so far away that…well, we haven’t actually been able to see them yet. Also, their light has been shifted from visible light to infrared because the universe is expanding, and as the distances between the galaxies stretch, the light from them also stretches towards redder wavelengths. 

We call this phenomena  “redshift.”  This means that for us, these objects can be quite dim at visible wavelengths, but bright at infrared ones. With a powerful enough infrared telescope, we can see these never-before-seen objects.

We can also study the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. Many of the elements and molecules we want to study in planetary atmospheres have characteristic signatures in the infrared.

Because infrared light comes from objects that are warm, in order to detect the super faint heat signals of things that are really, really far away, the telescope itself has to be very cold. How cold does the telescope have to be? Webb’s operating temperature is under 50K (or -370F/-223 C). As a comparison, water freezes at 273K (or 32 F/0 C).

How do we keep the telescope that cold? 

Because there is no atmosphere in space, as long as you can keep something out of the Sun, it will get very cold. So Webb, as a whole, doesn’t need freezers or coolers - instead it has a giant sunshield that keeps it in the shade. (We do have one instrument on Webb that does have a cryocooler because it needs to operate at 7K.)

Also, we have to be careful that no nearby bright things can shine into the telescope – Webb is so sensitive to faint infrared light, that bright light could essentially blind it. The sunshield is able to protect the telescope from the light and heat of the Earth and Moon, as well as the Sun.  

Out at what we call the Second Lagrange point, where the telescope will orbit the Sun in line with the Earth, the sunshield is able to always block the light from bright objects like the Earth, Sun and Moon.

How do we make sure it all works in space? 

By lots of testing on the ground before we launch it. Every piece of the telescope was designed to work at the cold temperatures it will operate at in space and was tested in simulated space conditions. The mirrors were tested at cryogenic temperatures after every phase of their manufacturing process.

The instruments went through multiple cryogenic tests at our Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Once the telescope (instruments and optics) was assembled, it even underwent a full end-to-end test in our Johnson Space Center’s giant cryogenic chamber, to ensure the whole system will work perfectly in space.  

What’s next for Webb? 

It will move to Northrop Grumman where it will be mated to the sunshield, as well as the spacecraft bus, which provides support functions like electrical power, attitude control, thermal control, communications, data handling and propulsion to the spacecraft.

Learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope HERE, or follow the mission on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

The Witch Head Nebula : Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble . maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigels starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebulas color is caused not only by the stars intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical process causes Earths daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earths atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. via NASA

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🎈 ARIES PIXIE ~

She is a little fireball of delight, laughter, noise, and excitement. This little treasure is loud, excited, fun… and  you know when she is quiet she is up to no good. She has a bit of a temper, so whatever you do, do not put her in a cage. She needs freedom to fly. When she gets mad, her wings set alight. Her pixie dust is blood red. You will likely come home to a messy house, she loves getting into everything


👗 TAURUS PIXIE ~

She is a little earth princess and she will enjoy as much time as possible out in your garden to dance amongst the flowers. She makes music when she flies and will be found getting into your make up and beauty products. She would love a home filled with candles and fragrance. And the little pixie loves cookies. She loves to relax with you on your days off. Get her a hammock to sleep in so she can hang it between two sunflowers


🍒 GEMINI PIXIE ~

She is a playful and mischievous little pixie who is here in a moment and vanishes in the next. She is a clever creature who will be found flittering amongst your bookshelf and tip toeing through the encyclopedia. She will help you with your homework and enjoys going to school with you, hiding in your pencil case and listening in on the learning. She knows how to make you laugh and giggles as she flies. Her pixie dust is the colour of teal



🌙 CANCER PIXIE ~

This cuddly little pixie is a delicate delight who loves cosying up underneath your blankets and sleeping most of the time. She prefers to stay indoors and likes to flitter around your photographs. When she cries, she sprays a lilac perfume, but her laughter is a melody, and she is happiest when surrounded by your whole family. She has a way with babies and likes to sit on their nose and play. This little pixie needs a lot of affection and to be reminded she is safe and loved. She really fears being abandoned. Her pixie dust is the colour of light purple


🎀 LEO PIXIE ~

She is very playful, a flittery childlike pixie who requires lots of love, kisses and cuddles. She will become fiercely protective of you in times of danger.  She will lose her sunlight without adequate devotion and affection. She has a bright yellow aura and glows in the dark. She may be found rummaging around in your precious jewellery. Her pixie dust is the colour of the gold. She will love playing with your pets and giggle her heart out around children. You will need to remind her everyday how beautiful she is


💭 VIRGO PIXIE ~

This flowery little pixie petal is very clever and loves nature. She will need lots of time outside amongst the wildlife and also loves cosying up with a book. She is a very talented pix and fixes anything you have broken. She also has a great knowledge of medicine and will be of tremendous help when you get ill. She needs a lot of reassurance because sometimes her anxiety can get the best of her. Better for somebody who likes to keep their room very tidy. Her pixie dust is the colour of lime green


💋 LIBRA PIXIE ~

This precious little pixie is charming, cute, and very friendly. She will need somebody by her side at most times and may get scared or sad when she is left alone for too long. She will be found getting amongst your make up, beauty products, and she loves to be read to - especially Disney fairytales. She makes beautiful sweet music whenever she flies. Her best friend is Cupid. Her pixie dust is bright fuchsia 


🦇 SCORPIO PIXIE ~

She is a solitary and moody pixie who needs a lot of alone time and space to fly away into her own world. She will be a lifelong healer and devotee to those who love and respect her, and she will teach you more about the hidden secrets and magic of the universe than any other! She may be found flittering away in your journals or secret safes and enjoys heirlooms. She will also enjoy the night and prefer to stay awake in the dark. She likes to sit near crystals. Her pixie dust is bright purple.


🍓 SAGITTARIUS PIXIE ~

She is a fun, frivolous, and funny pixie who enjoys traveling with you and sleeping on a globe. She loves to tip toe along the countries in the atlas and enjoys watching documentaries with you. She needs a lot of freedom to fly and flitter amongst flowers and nature. Good for a person who has a puppy - she loves dogs. Perfect for a frequent traveler or a backpacker. She knows a few different languages. Her pixie dust is the orange of Jupiter. She is a lucky charm


🦄 CAPRICORN PIXIE

She is a dainty little creature who likes to keep busy and occupied. She would prefer a home that is in order and will be found sitting on the edge of the clock hands bouncing as the minutes tick by. She will help you with your homework and always stay up later than you so you are protected while you sleep. She likes to think herself as your parent. And take her out in the snow.. she is a snow angel. She has a halo ring around her like the rings of Saturn. Her pixie dust is sparkly silver


🌈AQUARIUS PIXIE ~

She is a clever little creature who enjoys swimming in chemistry sets and flittering around your textbooks. She likes the warmth of the laptop and likes to sit on top of your iPhone. She has a great knowledge of the world and can answer anything you inquire. The pixie has trouble sleeping and has some strange domestic habits. You’ll never have to use power again - she has her own electricity. Her pixie dust is baby blue


🐚 PISCES PIXIE ~

She is a water baby pixie who needs frequent time around the ocean and see her mermaid friends. She will frequently go missing flying in the direction of her daydreams but bring back a well of mystical and enchanting stories. Lots of love and reassurance required. She sleeps often and will often be found in slumber under your pillow. Her pixie dust is lilac and turquoise. When she flies, you can hear the sound of harps. If you can’t find her - check her bed

The Elephants Trunk in IC 1396 : Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephants Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Of course, the cosmic elephants trunk is over 20 light-years long. This composite was recorded through narrow band filters that transmit the light from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms in the region. The resulting image highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within the obscuring cosmic dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. via NASA

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