natural satellite of earth


Beware that rip

Since it’s still summer where I live and I just got back from a beach where this phenomenon is an ever present danger (depending on Oceanos’s mood of the day) a quick line on rips seemed appropriate. They can sweep you out to sea unawares, and if one panics and tries to swim against it rather than parallel to the beach to get out of it, one could end up in serious, even fatal trouble. These narrow currents flow out from the surf zone of sandy beaches, scouring the sea bed to make deeper calm looking hollows where they occur.

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The HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft has been taking pictures of the planet’s surface for more than a decade now. At its highest resolution, it can see features less than a meter across - the scale of geologic units, sand dunes, and boulders. It can also be targeted by request from literally anyone, if you had a site you wanted to image. Using the publicly available photographs from HiRISE, this video is stitched together as a flight over Mars, including a glimpse of its moon Phobos.

Explore the craters, mountains, and valley networks of the red planet. Somehow both geologic and yet different from what we’re used to.

Your fave is problematic: ISS
  • while the Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite, the ISS (international space station) is Earth’s only hella big artificial satellite 
    • notice the scientific term ‘hella big’ here, obviously there’s lots and lots of other satellites orbiting Earth
  • the ISS is a human-made habitable structure in low Earth orbit, speeding around our planet at 27,600 km/h, orbiting about 15.5 times a day! (your dad’s car would never go this fast)
    • that means every 92 minutes they go around once! is that fkn cool or what
  • the first module was launched in 1998, and the ISS has been continuously inhabited by humans for 16 straight years! since then, many nations have added modules to the ISS and it has grown a lot
  • why would we make the effort to build a speeding living room in space you ask?
    • the ISS is basically a huge research laboratory in which scientists (astronauts) can conduct experiments that are impossible on Earth (zero gravity and exposure to space are just two factors)
    • the ISS helps humans exploring space by providing an environment in which spacecraft systems required for Moon or Mars missions can be tested.
    • thirdly the ISS is helping with scientific outreach and education to get ya dumbasses interested in space 
  • summary: a pure force of good, helping international cooperation between nations, producing insane fkn research and making us better as a species - 13/10 would love until the end of time
Sailor Theories: Who is Queen Serenity?

Forget Sailor Cosmos; I’ve always been far more interested in hearing Queen Serenity’s origin story.

Now, we do know quite a bit about Serenity. We know that she was the Queen of the Silver Millennium, the mother of Princess Serenity, and the wielder of the Ginzuishou. From what we’ve seen, she was a very kind, generous, wise, fair, and benevolent ruler as well as a loving, selfless mother. She sacrificed her life- as well as her chance of being reborn (well, that’s the implication I get, anyway)- in order to ensure that her daughter and all of her subjects would be reborn on Earth in the far future and given the chance to lead normal, happy lives.

Despite all this, we know next to nothing about Queen Serenity’s past before the birth of her daughter. She has no other known relatives and we have no idea how long she reigned as Queen of the Silver Millennium. The only hint to her past is contained in the Dream (aka SuperS) arc of the manga, more specifically in Act 48:

Now, Queen Nehellenia isn’t exactly a reliable narrator, but Serenity doesn’t refute her claims. If Nehellenia is to be believed- and the manga doesn’t really give us a reason to not believe her regarding this particular tidbit- then Serenity is not a native Lunarian. So, given this precious little information, here is my theory as to where Serenity came from.

Serenity was born into royalty on a peaceful planet far away from our Solar System (but still in the Milky Way). Her family looked after the planet and its inhabitants; I imagine that her family looked after a sort of proto-Ginzuishou (more on that later). Serenity had a happy childhood, but when she was a teenager, war broke out. Her planet was invaded by a warlike alien clan and Serenity’s people were forced to defend themselves. Serenity’s family fought to protect their people, but after years of war and bloodshed, they were forced to sacrifice their lives by using the proto-Ginzuishou (the proto-Ginzuishou was far weaker than the future Ginzuishou, requiring more life energy to produce results that were weaker than what the future Ginzuishou was capable of producing).

After years of fighting, the war ended, but not without terrible costs. Serenity was the sole surviving member of her family, her populace was reduced to a mere fraction of what it was before the war, and the planet itself was left barren and cold. Devastated by her experiences, Serenity (who was only the equivalent of 18 or so at this time) swore to reproduce the peaceful and happy planet of her childhood, to protect what remained of her people, and to uphold her family’s duty of guarding the proto-Ginzuishou.   

Serenity and her people wandered the galaxy for years, looking for somewhere to call home but finding nothing. Just as Serenity was about to lose hope, she came across a beautiful blue planet that flourished with life: Earth. However, Earth already had a native population, and Serenity’s experiences with the invaders of her home planet made her very adverse to settling somewhere where others already lived. Despite that, Earth had a natural satellite that had no native lifeforms, which the Earthlings called the Moon. Despite its lack of life, the Moon itself had a bounty of energy and held massive potential. It was exactly what Serenity and her people had been searching for.

Serenity and her people began to settle the Moon. At some point, Serenity merged the proto-Ginzuishou (which was the Star Seed of her home planet) with the Star Seed of the Moon, producing the Ginzuishou we know. Using the Ginzuishou, Serenity was easily able to build a new kingdom for her people, who had finally begun to strengthen their numbers after settling on the Moon. Although the Earthlings wanted nothing to do with this new kingdom, the kingdoms of the rest of the Solar System- Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto- were intrigued. They had never seen anyone like Serenity or anything like the Ginzuishou. In a short amount of time, Serenity had produced a kingdom far stronger and more thriving than anything they had ever built.

Still clinging onto the ideals of her parents and never wavering on her own convictions for a second, Serenity swore that her kingdom would be a place of peace and happiness; she welcomed the other kingdoms to join her, although she would never force them to. The other planets (minus Earth) flocked to join her, merging into a super-kingdom, run by Serenity, named the Silver Millennium. And so Serenity was finally able to recreate the home planet she so loved… until Queen Metalia arrived and ruined everything, of course.

I’d like to go more into my theories about the Silver Millennium itself, but I’ll save that for a future post. But this is how I personally envision Queen Serenity’s past!

Io: Moon over Jupiter : How big is Jupiters moon Io? The most volcanic body in the Solar System, Io is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, about the size of planet Earths single large natural satellite. Gliding past Jupiter at the turn of the millennium, the Cassini spacecraft captured this awe inspiring view of active Io with the largest gas giant as a backdrop, offering a stunning demonstration of the ruling planets relative size. Although in the featured picture Io appears to be located just in front of the swirling Jovian clouds, Io hurtles around its orbit once every 42 hours at a distance of 420,000 kilometers or so from the center of Jupiter. That puts Io nearly 350,000 kilometers above Jupiters cloud tops, roughly equivalent to the distance between Earth and Moon. In July, NASAs Juno satellite began orbiting Jupiter and will sometimes swoop to within 5,000 kilometers of Jupiters cloud tops. via NASA


Algal bloom in the Baltic Sea

As the spring warms the sea and life reawakes after the winter, algal blooms (sometimes overfed by nutrient runoff from over fertilised fields) form, often creating beautiful patterns, but the deep green swirls of this one in the Baltic has an almost surreal cosmic air, resembling some nebula out in deep space or a serious attack of aurora borealis… until one minds the track of the boat ploughing through from the top centre of the photo towards the bottom left. What a beautiful world!


Image credit: ESA