To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic.
This really inspires me. Just the relationship between Hansol and his sister in general. I judged him poorly when I first saw him on SMTM 4, but then I watched the Seventeen project. It was so heartwarming to see someone working hard to make someone else happy and how supportive the other person can be. I’ve seen idols that are motivated and passionate in pursuing their career, but somehow this cut of Vernon saying how he feels sorry for his sister overwhelms me. I’m really touched to see someone willing to go through a hard time for their loved ones. I’m probably exaggerating this because I love my younger sister dearly or I’m just plain emo af, but I just need to let this off my chest. We need more people like Vernon, seriously.
NASA’s Fleet of Planet-hunters and World-explorers
Around every star there could be at least one planet, so we’re bound to find one that is rocky, like Earth, and possibly suitable for life. While we’re not quite to the point where we can zoom up and take clear snapshots of the thousands of distant worlds we’ve found outside our solar system, there are ways we can figure out what exoplanets light years away are made of, and if they have signs of basic building blocks for life. Here are a few current and upcoming missions helping us explore new worlds:
In May 2013, a second pointing wheel on the spacecraft broke, making it not stable enough to continue its original mission. But clever engineers and scientists got to work, and in May 2014, Kepler took on a new job as the K2 mission. K2 continues the search for other worlds but has introduced new opportunities to observe star clusters, young and old stars, active galaxies and supernovae.
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
Revving up for launch around 2017-2018, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will find new planets the same way Kepler does, but right in the stellar backyard of our solar system while covering 400 times the sky area. It plans to monitor 200,000 bright, nearby stars for planets, with a focus on finding Earth and Super-Earth-sized planets.
Once we’ve narrowed down the best targets for follow-up, astronomers can figure out what these planets are made of, and what’s in the atmosphere. One of the ways to look into the atmosphere is through spectroscopy.
As a planet passes between us and its star, a small amount of starlight is absorbed by the gas in the planet’s atmosphere. This leaves telltale chemical “fingerprints” in the star’s light that astronomers can use to discover the chemical composition of the atmosphere, such as methane, carbon dioxide, or water vapor.
James Webb Space Telescope
Launching in 2018, NASA’s most powerful telescope to date, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will not only be able to search for planets orbiting distant stars, its near-infrared multi-object spectrograph will split infrared light into its different colors- spectrum- providing scientists with information about an physical properties about an exoplanet’s atmosphere, including temperature, mass, and chemical composition.
Spitzer Space Telescope has been unveiling hidden cosmic objects with its dust-piercing infrared vision for more than 12 years. It helped pioneer the study of atmospheres and weather on large, gaseous exoplanets. Spitzer can help narrow down the sizes of exoplanets, and recently confirmed the closest known rocky planet to Earth.
Analyzing the chemical makeup of Earth-sized, rocky planets with thin atmospheres is a big challenge, since smaller planets are incredibly faint compared to their stars. One solution is to block the light of the planets’ glaring stars so that we can directly see the reflected light of the planets. Telescope instruments called coronagraphs use masks to block the starlight while letting the planet’s light pass through. Another possible tool is a large, flower-shaped structure known as the starshade. This structure would fly in tandem with a space telescope to block the light of a star before it enters the telescope.
All images (except SOFIA) are artist illustrations.
1.) The One
“This is also inside the abandoned power
plant in Budapest. It’s an impressive place, with a huge sense of scale,
abandoned machinery everywhere and a strong, haunting atmosphere. I
felt like I was in a science fiction movie, and wanted to create my own
2.) Lost in Space “This image is the result of 180 kilometres
of off-road driving in the Kazakhstan desert, followed by 45 kilometres
of walking in a highly restricted area. We arrived and there they were;
two relics of the Soviet space race in a huge abandoned warehouse. It
may be the single most epic scene I’ve discovered since picking up a
3.) The Lost Era
“This is the Buzludzha monument itself. I
decided to explore the monument at night, defying the thick fog wrapping
the mountain, to experience a close encounter of the third kind!”
4.) The Mothership
“Linnahall is a former concert hall in
Tallinn, Estonia. With a two minute exposure, I could reveal the
architecture of the place, which otherwise sat in darkness. To me, it
almost looks like a spaceship.”
5.) High Frequency
“This picture was taken in a disused
experimental power facility near Moscow, which was closely guarded by
half a dozen dogs. After a little persuasive discussion, the caretaker
let us in.”
6.) Time Capsule
“In Budapest, I also explored this
derelict train graveyard. Located in the middle of an active train
depot, I felt like a child escaping reality to walk for a few hours in
an imagined world of steel monsters.”
7.) Don’t Fall
“This is a strange structure I found near
Sofia, in Bulgaria. The building seemed to be pulling me in. With this
image, I wanted to express something impossible, like the work of
no sé si mucho o poco
tal vez ambas, me encantas en la mañana cuando despierto y pienso en ti como un acontecimiento interestelar
Me encantas cuando escribes y te muestras al mundo en tu forma más noble, en tu estado más simple, eres lo más puro que le sucede a los ojos de un hombre que en silencio sonríe de euforia por tu bendita existencia
Me encantas y puedo decírtelo sin titubeos ni dudas, como si hubieras hecho un viaje largo y yo te esperara en la sala de siempre
Me encantas porque nunca eres vanidosa, porque tampoco sabes ser falsa, porque cada que me hablas me elevas, me sitúas surfeando entre mareas, por ti Dios a veces baja en forma de pajarillo para contemplarte más de cerca
Eres tan necesaria para prolongar la eternidad que entre labios y dedos muerdo y por eso me encantas
Our flying observatory, called SOFIA, is the world’s largest airborne observatory. It is a partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). SOFIA studies the life cycle of stars, planets (including Pluto’s atmosphere), how interstellar dust can contribute to planet formation, analyzes the area around black holes, and identifies complex molecules in space.
1. A Telescope in an Airplane
SOFIA stands for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. It is a Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a 100-inch telescope to observe the universe while flying between 38,000 and 45,000 feet – the layer of Earth’s atmosphere called the stratosphere.
2. The Short Aircraft Means Long Flights
SP stands for “special performance.” The plane is 47 feet shorter than a standard 747, so it’s lighter and can fly greater distances. Each observing flight lasts 10-12 hours.
3. It Flies with A Hole in the Side of the Plane…
The telescope is behind a door that opens when SOFIA reaches altitude so astronomers on board can study the universe. The kind of light SOFIA observes, infrared, is blocked by almost all materials, so engineers designed the side of the aircraft to direct air up-and-over the open cavity, ensuring a smooth flight.
4. …But the Cabin is Pressurized!
A wall, called a pressure bulkhead, was added between the telescope and the cabin so the team inside the aircraft stays comfortable and safe. Each flight has pilots, telescope operators, scientists, flight planners and mission crew aboard.
5. This Telescope Has to Fly
Water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere blocks infrared light from reaching the ground. Flying at more than 39,000 feet puts SOFIA above more than 99% of this vapor, allowing astronomers to study infrared light coming from space. The airborne observatory can carry heavier, more powerful instruments than space-based observatories because it is not limited by launch weight restrictions and solar power.
6. Studying the Invisible Universe
Humans cannot see what is beyond the rainbow of visible light. However, many interesting astronomical processes happen in the clouds of dust and gas that often surround the objects SOFIA studies, like newly forming stars. Infrared light can pass through these clouds, allowing astronomers to study what is happening inside these areas.
7. The German Telescope
The telescope was built our partner, the German Aerospace Center, DLR. It is made of a glass-ceramic material called Zerodur that does not change shape when exposed to extremely cold temperatures. The telescope has a honeycomb design, which reduces the weight by 80%, from 8,700 lb to 1,764 lb. (Note that the honeycomb design was only visible before the reflective aluminum coating was applied to the mirror’s surface).
8. ZigZag Flights with a Purpose
The telescope can move up and down, between 20-60 degrees above the horizon. But it can only move significantly left and right by turning the whole aircraft. Each new direction of the flight means astronomers are studying a new celestial object. SOFIA’s flight planners carefully map where the plane needs to fly to best observe each object planned for that night.