Station Crew Sees ‘Night-Shining’ Clouds

In both the Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres polar mesospheric clouds are at the peak of their visibility, during their respective late spring and early summer seasons. Visible from aircraft in flight, the International Space Station and from the ground at twilight, the clouds typically appear as delicate, shining threads against the darkness of space–hence their other names of noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds.

On June 13, 2012, when this image was taken from the space station as it passed over the Tibetan Plateau, polar mesospheric clouds were also visible to aircraft flying over Canada. In addition to the still image above, the station crew took a time-lapse image sequence of polar mesospheric clouds several days earlier on June 5, while passing over western Asia. It is first such sequence of images of the phenomena taken from orbit.

Polar mesospheric clouds form between 47 to 53 miles (76 to 85 kilometers) above Earth’s surface when there is sufficient water vapor at these high altitudes to freeze into ice crystals. The clouds are illuminated by the sun when it is just below the visible horizon, lending them their night-shining properties. In addition to the polar mesospheric clouds trending across the center of the image, lower layers of the atmosphere are also illuminated. The lowest layer of the atmosphere visible in this image–the stratosphere–is indicated by dim orange and red tones near the horizon.

Image Credit: NASA


Picking the skin off my lips to numb the ache, I catch
ashes and drag them through the water, let them squirm
under my tongue before the tide takes them away from me.
I swallow the feathery things that dare
get too close to me, dare to rest themselves
against the surface where I can eat them in one bite;
I pick my teeth with their bones.

You must have known, somewhere in the
that this was no baptism,
but a burial at sea.

Gods must have turned their backs, stirred up
rainstorms that made the sky black and
sliced through the waves with their mere,
dark thoughts about you. Archangels
must have had a hand in parting
the clouds so they would not catch you
as you plummeted.

I expected you to shatter like glass,
all wax and broken promises about redemption.
But the ocean is kind, sometimes,
when it is not cruel.

You were cradled, fractured
starlight locked in your chest cushioning the impact,
the seafoam kissing your skin whenever
it could bear to let you surface for
a moment of breath.
You swallowed enough of the sea
to be forgiven by it.

I respired the red water, looking
for something to sink my teeth into— I’ve always wanted
to devour a seraph you see. To taste
something like holiness. Maybe
it would make me a little holy, too.

Not that the water has any need of righteousness.

Would angels
taste like seagulls, screaming and
writhing and snapping under pressure?
I could hardly wait to find out.

Quick Update!

Hello Everyone out there! So I have not forgotten about my “New Years Resolution.” However school has kept me in relative lock down and I haven’t had a chance to update my progress so far. 

So here it is:

I have just passed the 4 week mark the other day (Jan 28th) and I have covered a distance of 617.30 km, averaging just over 22 km a day! At this rate it’s going to take me around 41 YEARS just to make it to the moon. I mentioned before I plan on covering milestones and little information blurbs about these. so here is what I owe you as a community thus far:

Mt Everest - January 2nd (Day 2)

Passed through the Troposphere to the Stratosphere - January 2nd (Day 2)

Passed Stratosphere to Mesosphere -January 4 (Day 4)

Orbit of the International Space Station (400 km) - Jan 19th (Day 19)

Straight line distance from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay (600 km) - Jan 28th (Day 28)

The Linux Foundation Forms Open Source Effort to Advance IO Services

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired - February 11, 2016) -  The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today is announcing (“Fido”), a Linux Foundation project. is an open source project to provide an IO services framework for the next wave of network and storage software. The project is also announcing the availability of its initial software and formation of a validation testing lab.

Early support for comes from founding members 6WIND, Brocade, Cavium, Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, Huawei, Inocybe Technologies, Intel Corporation, Mesosphere, Metaswitch Networks (Project Calico), PLUMgrid and Red Hat.

Architected as a collection of sub-projects, provides a modular, extensible user space IO services framework that supports rapid development of high-throughput, low-latency and resource-efficient IO services. The design of is hardware, kernel, and deployment (bare metal, VM, container) agnostic.

“The adoption of open source software has transformed the networking industry by reducing technology fragmentation and increasing user adoption,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. “The project addresses a critical area needed for flexible and scalable IO services to meet the growing demands of today’s cloud computing environments.”

Software Features

Initial code contributions for include Vector Packet Processing (VPP), technology being donated by one of the project’s founding members, Cisco. The initial release of is fully functional and available for download, providing an out-of-the-box vSwitch/vRouter utilizing the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) for high-performance, hardware-independent I/O. The initial release will also include a full build, tooling, debug, and development environment and an OpenDaylight management agent. will also include a Honeycomb agent to expose netconf/yang models of data plane functionality to simplify integration with OpenDaylight and other SDN technologies.

Future contributions from the open source community and members are expected to extend capabilities in areas such as firewall, load balancing, LISP, host stack, IDS, hardware accelerator integration, additional SDN protocol support via additional management agents, and other critical IO services for network and storage traffic.

VPP is production code currently running in products available on the market today. VPP runs in user space on multiple architectures, including x86, ARM, and Power, and is deployed on various platforms including servers and embedded devices. VPP is two orders of magnitude faster than currently available open source options, reaffirming one of the core principles of, a focus on performance. Prior to the formation of, an independent test lab conducted a performance evaluation on VPP. The full report is available here.

Validation Testing Lab also announces the formation of its Continuous Performance Lab (CPL). The CPL provides an open source, fully automated testing infrastructure framework for continuous verification of code functionality and performance. Code breakage and performance degradation is flagged before patch review, conserving project resources and increasing code quality. The CPL allows to guarantee performance, scalability, and stability for each release. The physical hardware needed to run the performance testing will be hosted at, with donations of a diverse set of hardware from many vendors.

Just as open source efforts such as the OpenDaylight Project (ODL), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) and Open Network Operating System (ONOS) have formed to advance orchestration and network controller capabilities, will foster similar innovation in the critical, and, as yet, unaddressed area of IO services. will help advance the state of the art of network and storage infrastructure and will quickly become a “must have” technology in next-gen service provider and enterprise data center strategies as its benefits to areas like SDN and NFV are realized.

The Project is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

For more information or to learn how to participate in the Project, please visit:

Comments from Platinum members
“We’re past debating the importance of technology shifts to NFV, Cloud, and containers. was created to meet the needs of developers, deployers and operators that require high-performance, scalable and resource efficient I/O, packet processing, and data plane management across bare metal, Hypervisor and container environments. is more than just fast networking and fast storage. Accelerating the pace of innovation and improving the developer experience around these services was a big design principal in With the modular nature of VPP Technology, flexible architecture and the inclusion of a dev, test and continuous performance toolset, the project was designed with a vibrant open source community of contributors in mind.”
David Ward, SVP, Chief Architect & CTO, Cisco

“Ericsson is one of the leading drivers of open source communities related to SDN and network virtualization, such as ODL and OPNFV. Open source communities give the industry a way to collaborate, innovate and align and will play a key role in the transformation of current networks. We always support collaboration fora in the industry, and that’s the reason we are happy to be a founding member of the project to investigate and innovate around the virtualization of the data plane together with other partners in the industry.”
Jan Farjh, Vice President and Head of Standardization & Industry at Ericsson

“The data plane transformation that began with DPDK more than five years ago is now amplified by the framework. Community-driven innovations in software-based packet processing will accelerate NFV and SDN across communications service providers, cloud service providers, and enterprises.”
Sandra Rivera, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel

About The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

The Linux Foundation and Linux Standard Base are trademarks of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Image Available:

Composition of earth’s atmosphere

In proportion to the earth,  our atmosphere is a very thin layer of gasses covering the surface of our planet. Without the atmosphere we would not be here, they are our protectors against the suns harmful radiative UV rays.

The main gasses here are Oxygen (21%) and Nitrogen (79%), the rest is made of carbon dioxide, methane and other gasses.

Our atmosphere has 5 layers, the bottom being the Troposphere, the next one up being the Stratosphere, Mesosphere,  Thermosphere and Exosphere.  

The earth’s chemical composition by mass, 

Iron 32.1%

Oxygen 30.1%

Silicon 15.1%

Magnesium 13.9%

Sulphur 2.9%

Nickel 1.8%

Calcium 1.5%

Aluminium 1.4%
[1602.02333] Introduction to the Special Issue on Sounding Rockets and Instrumentation

[ Authors ]
Steven Christe, Ben Zeiger, Rob Pfaff, Michael Garcia
[ Abstract ]
Rocket technology, originally developed for military applications, has provided a low-cost observing platform to carry critical and rapid-response scientific investigations for over 70 years. Even with the development of launch vehicles that could put satellites into orbit, high altitude sounding rockets have remained relevant. In addition to science observations, sounding rockets provide a unique technology test platform and a valuable training ground for scientists and engineers. Most importantly, sounding rockets remain the only way to explore the tenuous regions of the Earth’s atmosphere (the upper stratosphere, mesosphere, and lower ionosphere/thermosphere) above balloon altitudes ($\sim$40 km) and below satellite orbits ($\sim$160 km). They can lift remote sensing telescope payloads with masses up to 400 kg to altitudes of 350 km providing observing times of up to 6 minutes above the blocking influence of Earth’s atmosphere. Though a number of sounding rocket research programs exist around the world, this article focuses on the NASA Sounding Rocket Program, and particularly on the astrophysical and solar sounding rocket payloads.