light phenomenon

10 cool rocks you probably didn’t know about

1) lepidolite

lepidolite is a variety of mica and is typically pink or lavender colored. when tumbled it is extremely glittery – pictures don’t do it justice!

2) ulexite

ulexite is also called “tv rock” and has a super unique optical effect – when placed over something it displays that image onto the top of the rock. it’s not merely opaque – the fibers within the mineral literally project an image onto the surface of the stone.

3) pietersite

pietersite has chatoyancy – much like tiger’s eye – that creates movement and shine through the surface of the stone. however, unlike tiger’s eye, pietersite’s chatoyancy is in swirls instead of straight lines. it’s incredible to behold – i recommend looking up pietersite on youtube and checking out videos of it under good lighting.

4) optical calcite/iceland spar

this type of calcite is actually completely clear, but refracts the light going through it in ways that create rainbows and other neat optical effects. isaac newton himself actually studied this rock to help better understand the nature of light itself & the phenomenon of optical illusions.

5) alexandrite

alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that exhibits a color change! it changes from a greenish hue to a brilliant red depending on the type of light and the source. the color changes in alexandrite are phenomenal and rarely seen in other stones.

6) spectrolite

don’t let the image fool you – this stone is actually pure black. the brilliant colors it exhibits are just a flash (it’s actually called labradorescence, which is what the stone labradorite is named for). spectrolite is an uncommon form of labradorite mined only from finland. some varieties of high quality labradorite from madagascar can show a spectrolite play, but nothing is as dark with as brilliant a flash as spectrolite.

7) specular hematite

specular hematite is a variety of hematite that has a beautiful, glimmering surface especially when polished. much like lepidolite, the shimmer of specular hematite is caused by mica.

8) boulder opal

boulder opal is ironstone with cracks of brilliant natural opal running through it. these formations are entirely natural. opal has the most brilliant and vibrantly colored flash of any other stone.

9) enhydro quartz

enhydro quartz is a variety of quartz that was formed with naturally occuring water & air bubbles within them! in some specimens the water bubbles will actually move underneath the surface of the crystal.

10) fire agate

fire agate is actually a form of chalcedony, and is well known for having a beautiful rainbow effect caused by schiller, rather than flash or labradorescence. 

What’s Up for February?

What’s Up for February? Look to the night sky for a brighter Venus, Comet 45P, asteroid Vesta and more. 

Tonight, you can see Venus along with a crescent moon, Mars and Uranus just after sunset. No binoculars needed! 

While there are no meteor showers this month, behold the zodiacal light!

This phenomenon is caused when sunlight reflects off dust particles in the plane of our solar system. Use Venus and Mars as a cone-shaped guide on the western horizon in late February and March.

Comet 45P will be visible using binoculars and telescope and will make its closest approach to Earth on February 11.

Finally, bright asteroid Vesta can be found in the constellation Pisces.

Follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

Hubble Sees A Smiling Lens: In the center of this image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 and it seems to be smiling.

You can make out its two orange eyes and white button nose. In the case of this happy face, the two eyes are very bright galaxies and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing.

Galaxy clusters are the most massive structures in the Universe and exert such a powerful gravitational pull that they warp the spacetime around them and act as cosmic lenses which can magnify, distort and bend the light behind them. This phenomenon, crucial to many of Hubbles discoveries, can be explained by Einsteins theory of general relativity.

In this special case of gravitational lensing, a ring known as an Einstein Ring is produced from this bending of light, a consequence of the exact and symmetrical alignment of the source, lens and observer and resulting in the ring-like structure we see here.

Hubble has provided astronomers with the tools to probe these massive galaxies and model their lensing effects, allowing us to peer further into the early Universe than ever before. This object was studied by Hubbles Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 as part of a survey of strong lenses.

A version of this image was entered into the Hubbles Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Judy Schmidt.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA
Caption: ESA

Colour helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist’s brain.
—  Henri Matisse ,      ( via huariqueje)
Street light interference phenomenon

Street light interference (SLI) is a term coined by paranormal author Hilary Evans to denote the claimed ability of individuals to turn street lights or outside building security lights on or off when passing near them. Believers in SLI allege that they experience it on a regular basis with specific lamps and more frequently than chance would explain.

Evans’ 1993 book The SLI Effect proposes that the phenomenon is “not consistent with our current knowledge of how people interact with the physical world.” Evans coined the term “SLIder” to refer to someone who allegedly causes this effect, and cites SLIders’ claims of being able to “extinguish a row of sodium vapor lamps in sequence, each one going out as the witnesses nears it. 

Some proponents believe static electricity or "some kind of energy emitted by the human body is responsible for SLI. Others claim the alleged phenomenon is caused by individuals having psychic or psychokinetic ability.


Okay, okay, I sense what’s happening here,
You’re face to face with greatness, and it’s strange,
You don’t even know how you feel,
It’s adorable!
Well, it’s nice to see that people never change,
Open your eyes, let’s begin,
Yes, it’s really me, it’s Revan, breathe it in!
I know it’s a lot, the mask, the might!
When you’re staring at a Jedi Knight!
What can I say except you’re welcome,
For the Star Forge I tore from the sky,
Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay,
You’re welcome,
I’m just an ordinary Jedi!
Who ended the Mandos at Malachor V,
And made sure the Republic would survive?
I did!
In the ocean of Manaan,
Who preserved all the kolto?
You’re lookin’ at ‘em, yo,
Oh, I walked beneath the twin suns,
You’re welcome!
To hunt and slay the Krayt dra-gon!
Also I mapped the stars,
You’re welcome!
To guide your ships and send you far,
So what can I say except you’re welcome,
For the mark I left on the galaxy,
Sorry I can’t stay, it’s okay,
You’re welcome!
Ha, I guess it’s just my way of being me,
You’re welcome!
You’re welcome!
Well, come to think of it,
Look, honestly I can go on and on,
I can explain every Force-made phenomenon,
The light, the dark, the grey,
Use ‘em to make everything go my way,
Flew in the Ebon Hawk, no ship is faster!
My power’s greater than the best Jedi master!
What’s the lesson?
What is the take-away?
Don’t mess with Revan when I’m on the break-away,
And I can steer destiny’s course,
‘Cause I’m at the heart of the Force!
Look where I’ve been,
I make everything happen,
Look at my gizka all tippity-tappin’ an’ tappin’ an’ tappin’ an’ tappin’!
Hey! Hey! HEY!
Well, anyway, let me say you’re welcome,
For the wonderful galaxy you know!
Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay,
You’re welcome!
Well, come to think of it, I gotta go,
Hey, it’s your day to say you’re welcome,
Now I’m going on the attack,
I’m flying away, away,
You’re welcome!
Don’t interfere, I’m not comin’ back,
You’re welcome!
You’re welcome!
You’re welcome!
And thank you!
—  Revan. To everyone.