orbit lights


For the first time I can watch planets orbit another star. (129 light years away in constellation Pegasus)

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Excitation of atom by photon

Electron excitation is the transfer of a bound electron to a more energetic, but still bound state. This can be done by photoexcitation (PE), where the electron absorbs a photon and gains all its energy or by electrical excitation (EE), where the electron receives energy from another, energetic electron.

When an excited electron falls back to a state of lower energy, it undergoes electron relaxation. This is accompanied by the emission of a photon (radiative relaxation) or by a transfer of energy to another particle. The energy released is equal to the difference in energy levels between the electron energy states.

City of Lights
Julian Koster

Oh, here you are

and you’re all you wished to be

you’re alone and you’re not alone

not alone in this.

So close your eyes

hear the whole world

call your name

and you answer

please don’t go

please don’t go away.

All I know is here

and now

and right away.

Call me here

I will appear like

light of day.

All the words

of the songs

we all will sing

mean the same things

and it’s not goodbye

and it’s not “go away.”

Mom, bye.

Dad, bye.

Call my name,

behold the strength

Of my embrace.

All I sing to

hear my prayer

don’t go away.

All of your life

you’ve been holding on

to just one thing

and it calls you

please don’t go

please don’t go away.

Exoplanets: Strange New Worlds

Super Saturn

Around a distant star 420 light years away is a planet with such huge rings that they’re 200 times larger than the rings of Saturn, J1407b. The rings are about 74,560,000 miles in diameter and contain about as much mass as Earth itself. Gaps in the rings, like we see in Saturn’s rings, are likely created by exomoons orbiting around the planet, clearing out paths between the rings and keeping them distinct.

(Image credit: Ron Miller)

The Planet of Burning Ice

The most remarkable things happen when you push physics to extremes.

Far away in the Gliese star system is a Neptune-sized planet called Gliese 436 b. This world is covered in ice that burns constantly at 822.2˚ Fahrenheit (439˚ C).

The reason why the water doesn’t liquify and then turn into steam is due to the massive gravity of the planet - it exerts so much force on the water that the atoms are bound tightly together as a solid: burning ice.

(Image credit: ABC Science)

The Diamond Planet

At about 7.8 times the mass of Earth, 55 Cancri e is an extremely carbon-rich planet orbiting a carbon-rich star. The intense density of the planet means that about 2/3rds of this planet’s core is made up of diamond. It’s literally a giant diamond (larger than Earth).

(Image credit: CfA)


Hd 188753 Ab is a planet candidate with three suns. That’s more than even Luke Skywalker got! It turns out that binary star systems are actually quite common, however, and there are many worlds out there where the sunsets would happen twice (or more) a day. Maybe one day a lucky couple will sit beneath a pair of setting suns, holding hands as each star dips below the alien horizon.

(Image credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Kepler Mission)

The Water World (Miller’s Planet?)

GJ 1214b is 42 light years away from Earth. It’s 25% rock surrounded by 75% water. Its surface is an endless ocean not too dissimilar from what you’d see floating on a boat in the middle of the ocean on Earth.

As you go deeper below the surface though, you’d eventually hit ice. The water surrounding the core isn’t ice because of temperature though: the pressure of the water above it is so intense that it crushes the water below from a liquid into a solid form known as “ice VII”.

(Image credit: Found on Kurir)

Earth 2.0

Kepler-438b orbits a star 470 light years away. It receives a similar amount of energy from its sun as does Earth. Its surface temperature is perfect for liquid water. 

On the Earth Similarity Index it’s received a 0.88, the highest score of any world (except of course Earth). Liquid water almost certainly exists there and with it, the best chance for alien life.

This is the sort of planet that makes me wonder when I look up at the stars, if somewhere far away, there isn’t someone looking back.

(Image credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech)

The walks we take when we are lonely

This is a poem about a walk I took during the worst summer of my life from my shitty apartment in Downtown Denver to a King Soopers grocery store. I wasn’t exactly sober and I really, really needed a Hershey’s cookies and cream bar, king size. This poem is not endorsed by Hersheys. Or King Soopers. 

I was so amused by that place, a single city of many galaxies.

Bright lights leaking from open windows, resting on 

the contrast of summer’s lilac blue evening hue.

It all sounds so peaceful before I admit the loneliness. 

Before I admit an empty heart beating grime down street gutters

looking for a body of water that did not 

taste so dirty. 

Somehow the

rain made the city smell 

whole. The rain told the city that the only thing it needed to become complete

was an afternoon of thunder and heavy traffic.

I became jealous. Bright lights orbited just

above my fingertips behind panes of glass.

I wanted to float into every open window 

and pretend I belonged in someone else’s home until I 

believed my own lies.

I wanted to touch something 

without having to admit my own gravity.

New 'styrofoam' planet provides tools in search for habitable planets

Fifth-graders making styrofoam solar system models may have the right idea. Researchers at Lehigh University have discovered a new planet orbiting a star 320 light years from Earth that has the density of styrofoam. This “puffy planet” outside our solar system may hold opportunities for testing atmospheres that will be useful when assessing future planets for signs of life.

“It is highly inflated, so that while it’s only a fifth as massive as Jupiter, it is nearly 40 percent larger, making it about as dense as styrofoam, with an extraordinarily large atmosphere,” said Joshua Pepper, astronomer and assistant professor of physics at Lehigh University, who led the study in collaboration with researchers from Vanderbilt University and Ohio State University, along with researchers at universities and observatories and amateur astronomers around the world.

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anonymous asked:

Hey, so I have a planet that has two suns. I was trying to have it so one sun would be up while the other sun was on the other side of the world, and then it would switch making it so everywhere was daylight all the time. Is this possible?

With science-as-we-know-it and only two suns, it is not. To set up the system as you’ve described it, it would have to look something like this.

(A, B, and C are positions in time, so that at time A, Planet and Star2 are at their respective As, and the same for B and C.)

This setup wont work to keep Planet in total daylight on all sides because Planet and Star2 orbit around Star1 at different speeds. The closer you orbit a body, the faster you need to go to stay in orbit.

So, while both Planet and Star1 are at position A, the Planet has no nighttime. But, when Planet moves to position B, Star2 hasn’t moved quite as far and there is a part of Planet that is turned away from both stars. When they’re at position C, Planet sees both stars during the day, and has a regular night side that is turned away from both stars.

But, fear not, there are some ways to have a planet with no night. What it results in is some very spectacular, and very strange systems.

Solution 1: Multiple Stars. I mean A Lot of Them.

Situation: Your planet is in a star system with multiple stars - a lot of stars - six, eight, maybe even a dozen or more. So many that anywhere you are on your planet you can see one or more stars. You would have periods of bright day, very bright day, and not-so bright day. Rarely would you have no stars in the sky, and this would bring the occasional truly dark night.

Azimov postulates a planet like this in his novel Nightfall. Lagash is a thriving planet in a system with six suns, and gets nighttime only once every 2000 years. The people know nothing of the rest of the universe and think their planet and suns are all that exists. A couple of scientists predict when the next nightfall happens. and realizes that people will be traumatized by the darkness. When night arrives and the citizens of Lagash see the universe of stars in the night sky, they panic and destroy their own civilization - something they do every time it gets dark.

Hard-Science: Smaran Deshmukh and Jayant Murthy of the University of Bonn, have done the math and concluded that a system like Lagash’s is plausible, but might only be stable over a few hundred years. They continue to state that other solutions may be possible that are much more stable over a much longer periods.

Summary: Plausible, but not likely. Of course. in science-fiction, that’s good enough.

Solution 2: Artificial Stars Around the Planet

Situation: Your planet orbits one star, but your planet has several satellites that radiate heat and light in orbit around it. These mini-suns keep your planet bathed in total daylight. Actually, with a belt of artificial sun-satellites, a planet wouldn’t even need a real sun, and could just be travelling between stars.

Hard-Science: Those mini-suns could be small fusion or anti-matter reactors, or be powered by some sort of magical energy, according to what flavor you want your world to have.

Summary: Plausible. Mini-suns powered by SCIENCE or SORCERY are quite believable. They’d have to use a lot of fuel or pull energy from another dimension or whatever, but that’s just details.

Solution 3: We’re Really at the Center of the Universe And OhMyGodWereAllGoingToDie!

Situation: Your planet is ‘orbited’ by it’s stars.

Hard-Science: I lied. It’s actually possible to have a planet without night with only two stars, but I wouldn’t want to live on that planet.

The binary stars orbit around their mutual center or gravity called the barycenter. In the diagram below, that’s marked with a small red cross. If your planet was located right at that balance point, it would look like the stars were orbiting around the planet, and your planet would have no night.

The barycenter is also a Lagrange point between the two stars - an L1 point, and we know they’re unstable.

Summary: While technically possible, this situation is very very very unstable and is very very unlikely to occur naturally - and if it did. it wouldn’t last long. Very soon (like within a couple of hundred years or less), the planet would either drift into one of the stars or be ejected from the system entirely. Neither one would be very good for the planet.

Did I mention that this situation is very unstable?

However, if you have some sort of super-technology or wizardry, which would prevent the planet from drifting off, it could work. But with that power, why have real stars? Put up some artificial ones, move the planet, and you don’t have to live in a cosmic death trap. :-)

Solution 4: My God - It’s Full of Stars!

Situation: Your planet and it’s star is inside a globular cluster - a region of space that is just lousy with stars. Someone on your planet could see 100 times more stars than we can see with the naked eye from Earth. The night sky would shine with a total brightness of a couple-dozen full moons. Nighttime would be a slightly dim twilight instead of dark night.

Hard-Science:  The stars around Earth are scatter about with an average density of 0.14 stars per cubic parsec (a parsec is 3.26 light-years). The stars within a dense globular cluster - like the one at 47 Tucanae - packs in several hundred stars in one cubic parsec.

Add more stars to the cluster to make the night sky brighter - but be careful! Adding in too many stars and you could cook your planet with too much radiation.

Each star would still be quite a distance away. Far enough that they would appear as points of light to the naked eye. But, there would be so many of them and they would be so very bright. From Earth, we can see 29 1st magnitude (very bright, like Sirius or Canopus) stars. From inside a globular cluster, you could see 10,000 or them,

Summary: Quite plausible, and very beautiful.