gigantic worlds

Incoming! We’ve Got Science from Jupiter!

Our Juno spacecraft has just released some exciting new science from its first close flyby of Jupiter! 

In case you don’t know, the Juno spacecraft entered orbit around the gas giant on July 4, 2016…about a year ago. Since then, it has been collecting data and images from this unique vantage point.

Juno is in a polar orbit around Jupiter, which means that the majority of each orbit is spent well away from the gas giant. But once every 53 days its trajectory approaches Jupiter from above its north pole, where it begins a close two-hour transit flying north to south with its eight science instruments collecting data and its JunoCam camera snapping pictures.

Space Fact: The download of six megabytes of data collected during the two-hour transit can take one-and-a-half days!

Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments are helping us get a better understanding of the processes happening on Jupiter. These new results portray the planet as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world that we still need to study and unravel its mysteries.

So what did this first science flyby tell us? Let’s break it down…

1. Tumultuous Cyclones

Juno’s imager, JunoCam, has showed us that both of Jupiter’s poles are covered in tumultuous cyclones and anticyclone storms, densely clustered and rubbing together. Some of these storms as large as Earth!

These storms are still puzzling. We’re still not exactly sure how they formed or how they interact with each other. Future close flybys will help us better understand these mysterious cyclones. 

Seen above, waves of clouds (at 37.8 degrees latitude) dominate this three-dimensional Jovian cloudscape. JunoCam obtained this enhanced-color picture on May 19, 2017, at 5:50 UTC from an altitude of 5,500 miles (8,900 kilometers). Details as small as 4 miles (6 kilometers) across can be identified in this image.

An even closer view of the same image shows small bright high clouds that are about 16 miles (25 kilometers) across and in some areas appear to form “squall lines” (a narrow band of high winds and storms associated with a cold front). On Jupiter, clouds this high are almost certainly comprised of water and/or ammonia ice.

2. Jupiter’s Atmosphere

Juno’s Microwave Radiometer is an instrument that samples the thermal microwave radiation from Jupiter’s atmosphere from the tops of the ammonia clouds to deep within its atmosphere.

Data from this instrument suggest that the ammonia is quite variable and continues to increase as far down as we can see with MWR, which is a few hundred kilometers. In the cut-out image below, orange signifies high ammonia abundance and blue signifies low ammonia abundance. Jupiter appears to have a band around its equator high in ammonia abundance, with a column shown in orange.

Why does this ammonia matter? Well, ammonia is a good tracer of other relatively rare gases and fluids in the atmosphere…like water. Understanding the relative abundances of these materials helps us have a better idea of how and when Jupiter formed in the early solar system.

This instrument has also given us more information about Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones. Data suggest that the belt near Jupiter’s equator penetrates all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures.

3. Stronger-Than-Expected Magnetic Field

Prior to Juno, it was known that Jupiter had the most intense magnetic field in the solar system…but measurements from Juno’s magnetometer investigation (MAG) indicate that the gas giant’s magnetic field is even stronger than models expected, and more irregular in shape.

At 7.766 Gauss, it is about 10 times stronger than the strongest magnetic field found on Earth! What is Gauss? Magnetic field strengths are measured in units called Gauss or Teslas. A magnetic field with a strength of 10,000 Gauss also has a strength of 1 Tesla.  

Juno is giving us a unique view of the magnetic field close to Jupiter that we’ve never had before. For example, data from the spacecraft (displayed in the graphic above) suggests that the planet’s magnetic field is “lumpy”, meaning its stronger in some places and weaker in others. This uneven distribution suggests that the field might be generated by dynamo action (where the motion of electrically conducting fluid creates a self-sustaining magnetic field) closer to the surface, above the layer of metallic hydrogen. Juno’s orbital track is illustrated with the black curve. 

4. Sounds of Jupiter

Juno also observed plasma wave signals from Jupiter’s ionosphere. This movie shows results from Juno’s radio wave detector that were recorded while it passed close to Jupiter. Waves in the plasma (the charged gas) in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter have different frequencies that depend on the types of ions present, and their densities. 

Mapping out these ions in the jovian system helps us understand how the upper atmosphere works including the aurora. Beyond the visual representation of the data, the data have been made into sounds where the frequencies
and playback speed have been shifted to be audible to human ears.

5. Jovian “Southern Lights”

The complexity and richness of Jupiter’s “southern lights” (also known as auroras) are on display in this animation of false-color maps from our Juno spacecraft. Auroras result when energetic electrons from the magnetosphere crash into the molecular hydrogen in the Jovian upper atmosphere. The data for this animation were obtained by Juno’s Ultraviolet Spectrograph. 

During Juno’s next flyby on July 11, the spacecraft will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system – one that every school kid knows – Jupiter’s Great Red Spot! If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno.

Stay updated on all things Juno and Jupiter by following along on social media:
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Learn more about the Juno spacecraft and its mission at Jupiter HERE.

Sometimes people come into your life and you are never the same. Whether they stay or not. Love is not about staying. Sometimes it’s about walking away. Sometimes it is knowing the absolute best for a person, an individual, and knowing where they need to grow. This world is gigantic and breathless, and far too often we box ourselves in, suffocate ourselves by not wandering and not seeing all the truth and beauty in different dimensions, different plains, countries, people. I think once you find yourself, and you must, you then are ready, a perfumed, blossomed heart, for love.
—  Christopher Poindexter
Sometimes, staring at walls for hours, listening to your playlist on repeat can be healing. They soothe you. Because even in the daily hustle bustle of your daily life, you tune out. You form your own little corner in this gigantic world, to realize plain truths of life. It just proves that all our hearts are cracked from within, with frayed hems because the only way we can rise up is by falling once.

“Did you know, that I met you exactly twenty-three days after my birthday?” Sherlock closes his eyes as John pours water over his sudsy curls.

“Is that true?” John collects more water, then pours it over Sherlock’s head again.

“Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t say it.”

“Was I the best gift you got?” John smiles when Sherlock peeks open his eyes. 

“That year in particular,” Sherlock grins too. “Or ever in my whole life?”

“Ever.” John decides. “And tell the truth, don’t lie. I can handle it.” He mimics puffing up his chest real big and tough.

Sherlock leans out of the bath and brings his lips to John’s. “You’re the greatest thing I’ve ever received in my entire life.”

John’s heart melts.

_ Sometimes, staring at walls for hours, listening to your playlist on repeat can be healing. They soothe you. Because even in the daily hustle bustle of your daily life, you tune out. You form your own little corner in this gigantic world, to realise plain truths of life. It just proves that all our hearts are cracked from within, with frayed hems because the only way we can rise up is by falling once _
singing to drown out the trolls

Look, folks, there’s been a lot of random anon flaming going around the Stormpilot tag. If it happens to you, I’m so sorry. Come message me for a hug and/or for some help in figuring out whether the commenter is a troll or a genuine critic. 

If someone on here has a genuine problem with my work, please, for the love of mercy, tell me clearly, calmly, and politely. Commenters who accuse without having read the fic, who repeat their accusations without having read my response to their first comment, are just trolls looking for attention. 

Don’t feed trolls. 

The only way to beat trolls is to sing more loudly. One comment from a troll on a fic with no comments is scary and painful. One comment from a troll on a fic with many kind comments is laughable. I’m fine, right now, thank god. Another fic author might not be, and that scares me. 

So COMMENT ON FICS! Tell authors how much you like their work. Tell them which lines were your favorite. Tell them how happy/sad/moved their story made you feel. Give them a pile of emojis that express your joy upon reading the fic. Tell them clearly, calmly, and politely what you would prefer they do better next time. Keyboard smash. Whatever feels right to you. 

Originally posted by dreamworksanimation

"The Skin Thing" by Adrian Van Young

Recommended by Gigantic Books

Issue No. 92

When the Skin Thing, we called it, first came to our doorstep, the growing season was upon us. The only thing we grew were onions. We had come to Oblivia hoping for better, but onions were all that would take in the soil. The colony soured with expired-milk complexions. The allotments we tended were sallow and scuffed.

The Skin Thing dragged itself along on two great stalks that looked like elbows. Imagine a person, out prone on the ground, that drags himself by fits and starts. The elbows strove to gouge the earth, as sharp and tall as circus poles, and they levered the body along by great drags. Its head stuck out eyeless, oblong as a horse’s. Behind the elbow-things it used to drag itself across the ground there stretched, like a laundry sheet strung out for drying, a tensile wall of thick pink skin.

Read the rest of the story at

About the Author

Adrian Van Young is the author of The Man Who Noticed Everything, a collection of stories, which won the 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award, and is out now on Black Lawrence Press. His fiction and non-fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Lumina, Black Warrior Review, Electric Literature, The American Reader, The Believer, Slate, The New Inquiry,  and Bookslut, among other publications. He lives in New Orleans with his wife Darcy.

About the Guest Editor

Gigantic Worlds is a forthcoming anthology of science flash fiction published by Gigantic Books and edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto. It features work from Ted Chiang, Lynne Tillman, J. Robert Lennon, Meghan McCarron, David Ohle, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Jonathan Lethem, and many more. Gigantic has been publishing magazines since 2009, and we felt it was finally time to try our hand at a full length book. The resulting anthology contains 51 stories by 51 authors who range from best-sellers to up-and-comers and from masters of science fiction to literary authors trying something new. All of the stories are new or previously uncollected in book form. The hardcover book, which features a cover by Michael DeForge and color interior art, is currently available for preorder at

About Electric Literature

Electric Literature is an independent publisher working to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture. Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, invites established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommended great fiction. Once a month we feature our own recommendation of original, previously unpublished fiction, accompanied by a Single Sentence Animation. Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations: the author chooses a favorite sentence and we commission an artist to interpret it. Stay connected with us through our eNewsletter (where you can win weekly prizes), Facebook, and Twitter, and find previous Electric Literature picks in the Recommended Reading archives.

From the forthcoming book GIGANTIC WORLDS. Copyright © 2014 by Adrian Van Young. To be published in spring 2014 by Gigantic Books.

Want it on your Kindle? Click below!


(A/N): This idea popped into my mind the minute I started watching Iron Man. I needed to write this down. Oh, Tony, my baby. I just love him so much. Enjoy!

Pairing: Tony Stark x reader

Warning: angst-y, bit of language, not that sad as it might look

Words: 3500+


Originally posted by cinziadowney


               Everything was terrible – the Avengers team fell apart, Pepper broke up with him before the whole Civil War happened and now, he was all alone in this gigantic, crowded world. The tower never felt emptier like today. He was standing alone in the massive living room, his hand hidden in pockets and his dark brown eyes were glued on the people that looked like ants from the perspective. At least the world was peaceful and saved – for now. It’s been weeks since he used the newest prototype of the Iron Man suit.

               After a deep sigh, he decided to go outside and take a long walk. Maybe the people would approach him to take a photo or talk to him, or not. For the first time, he admitted how lonely he felt. Some attention wouldn’t hurt him and there was always a possibility he would meet someone – it could be Natasha, who was hiding, or Sam, Steve? Of course not, they were on the run too.

Keep reading

That’s why high school, or a crappy job, or any other restrictive circumstance can be dangerous: They make dreams too painful to bear. To avoid longing, we hunker down, wait, and resolve to just survive. Great art becomes a reminder of the art you want to be making, and of the gigantic world outside of your small, seemingly inescapable one. We hide from great things because they inspire us, and in this state, inspiration hurts.
—  One of the best articles I’ve ever read. Rookie Mag. By Spencer Tweedy.
The largest insects that ever lived were dragonfly-like bugs of the order Protodonata, sometimes referred to as griffinflies. They had wingspans of nearly 2.5 feet across and huge mandibles, making them formidable predators. Thankfully, they went extinct a long time ago at the end of the Paleozoic Era.