space-weather

Imagine a group of humans and aliens talking about their home worlds while in the ship’s canteen. One world is covered entirely by water (the crew members from there have to wear special masks to help them absorb the oxygen they need from the air); one is full of rare minerals and littered with what, on any other planet, would be precious stones and one is carpeted with dense vegetation and has the more biodiversity than any other planet.


Once they’ve all finished talking about their own planets, everybody turns to the humans and asks them what Earth is like. They’re only doing it to be polite though. They haven’t heard much about humans (except the usual stories, and only fledglings believe in those) and they can’t really believe that these fleshy bald looking things come from anywhere even remotely as interesting as their own planets.


There’s a pause and then one of the humans speaks up, “well, I come from a part of Earth called ‘England’ and, to be honest, it’s nothing like as cool as your planets sound. It’s alright though. We got some snow last year, so I’m hoping that we’ll have some this year as well when I get back.”


“Snow?” one of the water breathers asks, hissing slightly through their mask, “what’s that?”


“Frozen water that falls from the sky.” The human explains, “it’s really fun to play with. It’s only called snow when it’s soft though— when it’s hard it’s called hail. Nobody likes hail, you can’t do anything with it and it hurts if it hits you. I looked up during a hail storm once,” she adds, “when I was a kid. Huge hailstones and one hit me right in the eye! Hurt like Hell.”


“Is your planet really cold then?” one of the aliens asks, sounding doubtful since nothing has looked less equipped to deal with cold weather than a human.


“No,” she says, “not everywhere. England’s pretty cold, but in the Summer sometimes we get heatwaves. Last year I went out in one and forgot to wear suncream and got sunburn all down my arms.”


“Your planet’s sun… burned you?” a horrified creature asks, “was it painful?”


“Not really, just stung a bit,” she shrugs, “it was fine once the skin started to peel.” (At the back of the crowd that has now amassed around their table a voice says “I didn’t know humans moulted.” and another, horrified sounding voice replies “that’s because they don’t!”) the human continues on regardless. “It was really annoying actually, because it meant I couldn’t go out for a bit without wearing a jacket. Then when my burns had finally healed, I wanted to go to the beach, but when I got there there was this huge thunderstorm and I had to go home again.”


“Thunderstorm?” the word is whispered, mainly because the person asking secretly hopes the human won’t hear them so they won’t have to know.


“It’s when the clouds get all dark and it starts raining,” the human explains and everybody sighs with relief. Most planets have rain. “The clouds make these really loud banging noises,” she continues, “that’s the thunder, and electricity shoots down from the clouds— that’s called lightning. Sometimes people get hit by it, a few people even survive. I once—”


But one of her human friends cuts her off. “God,” he says, “you Brits are so boring, always talking about the weather!”


While she argues with him, the creatures seated around the table stare at them in astonishment and start to give a little more credit to those old stories. Because, though they look pretty harmless, a species would have to be tough to be able to survive on a planet where a person could be pelted with ice, burned by the sun and nearly electrocuted by the sky and then have another person describe those experiences as boring!

Everything You Need to Know About the Aug. 21 Eclipse

On Aug. 21, all of North America will experience a solar eclipse.

If skies are clear, eclipse-watchers will be able to see a partial solar eclipse over several hours, and some people – within the narrow path of totality – will see a total solar eclipse for a few moments.

How to Watch

It’s never safe to look at the Sun, and an eclipse is no exception. During a partial eclipse (or on any regular day) you must use special solar filters or an indirect viewing method to watch the Sun.

If you have solar viewing glasses, check to make sure they’re safe and undamaged before using them to look at the Sun. Make sure you put them on before looking up at the Sun, and look away before removing them. Eclipse glasses can be used over your regular eyeglasses, but they should never be used when looking through telescopes, binoculars, camera viewfinders, or any other optical device.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can still watch the eclipse indirectly! You can make a pinhole projector out of a box, or use any other object with tiny holes – like a piece of cardstock with a hole, or your outstretched, interlaced fingers – to project an image of the partially eclipsed Sun onto the ground.

Of course, if it’s cloudy (or you’d just rather stay inside), you can watch the whole thing online with us at nasa.gov/eclipselive. Tune in starting at noon ET.

If you’re in the path of totality, there will be a few brief moments when it is safe to look directly at the eclipse. Only once the Moon has completely covered the Sun and there is no light shining through is it safe to look at the eclipse. Make sure you put your eclipse glasses back on or return to indirect viewing before the first flash of sunlight appears around the Moon’s edge.

Why do eclipses happen?

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow down on Earth’s surface. The path of totality – where the Moon completely covers the Sun – is traced out by the Moon’s inner shadow, the umbra. People within the Moon’s outer shadow, the penumbra, can see a partial eclipse.

The Moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted by about five degrees, meaning that its shadow usually doesn’t fall on Earth. Only when the Moon lines up exactly between the Sun and Earth do we see an eclipse.

Though the Sun is about 400 times wider than the Moon, it is also about 400 times farther away, making their apparent sizes match up almost exactly. This is what allows the Moon to block out the Sun’s bright face, while revealing the comparatively faint, pearly-white corona.

The Science of Eclipses

Eclipses are a beautiful sight to see, and they’re also helpful for our scientists, so we’re funding eleven ground-based science investigations to learn more about the Sun and Earth.

Total solar eclipses reveal the innermost regions of the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona. Though it’s thought to house the processes that kick-start much of the space weather that can influence Earth, as well as heating the whole corona to extraordinarily high temperatures, we can’t study this region at any other time. This is because coronagraphs – the instruments we use to study the Sun’s atmosphere by creating artificial eclipses – must cover up much of the corona, as well as the Sun’s face in order to produce clear images.

Eclipses also give us the chance to study Earth’s atmosphere under uncommon conditions: the sudden loss of solar radiation from within the Moon’s shadow. We’ll be studying the responses of both Earth’s ionosphere – the region of charged particles in the upper atmosphere – and the lower atmosphere.

Learn all about the Aug. 21 eclipse at eclipse2017.nasa.gov, and follow @NASASun on Twitter and NASA Sun Science on Facebook for more. Watch the eclipse through the eyes of NASA at nasa.gov/eclipselive starting at 12 PM ET on Aug. 21. 

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Wine in Witchcraft!

I saw this post by @cosmic-witch and realized… I don’t think I’ve ever seen correspondences written up for types of wine before! So I spent some time and put some together based on their flavors/aromas/etc. Enjoy, wine-loving witches!

Wine in general is associated with happiness, success, love, relationships, and offerings.

Red Wine

In General

Element: Earth
Season: Winter
Associations: Love, warmth, contemplation, happiness, success, money, passion, health, lust

Cabernet Sauvignon

Tastes Like: Full-bodied, bell pepper, olives, herbs, black cherry, tannic/rough
Element: Earth
Associations: Grounding, protection, banishing, strength, energy, lust, fertility, ancestors, written magic such as sigils

Merlot

Tastes Like: Soft/round, blackberry, cherry, plum, herbal notes
Element: Water, fire
Associations: Unity, love, passion, self-care, protection, healing, prosperity, sexuality, sea witchcraft, water magic

Pinot Noir

Tastes Like: Delicate and fresh, fruity, tea leaf, worn leather, tomato leaf, pale cherry, beet root, strawberry, blackberry, earthy
Element: Earth, air
Associations: Prosperity, protection, wealth, success, beauty, passion, glamours

Shiraz

Tastes Like: Hearty, spicy, black pepper, black currant, clove, blackberry, plum, leather, tar
Element: Fire, earth
Associations: Wealth, banishing, divination, tech witchcraft, comfort, mystery, secrets, endings

Zinfandel

Tastes Like: Rich, zesty, raspberry, raisin, black cherry, blackberry, pepper
Element: Earth
Associations: Growth, wealth, plant magic, vigor, stamina, happiness, love, healing, versatility

White Wine

In General

Element: Air
Season: Summer
Associations: Joy, happiness, love, relationships, friendships, endings, success, energy, purification

Chardonnay

Tastes Like: Wider-bodied, light, velvety, apricot, mango, green apple, citrus, melon, vanilla
Element: Water
Associations: Peace, emotions, safety, success, happiness, balance, polarity, purification, mental power/abilities

Muscat

Tastes Like: Sweet, acidic, fruity, grapefruit, musk, citrus, apricot, rose, caramel
Element: Air
Associations: Love, mystery, lust, relationships, fertility, purity, cleansing, healing, love magic

Pinot Grigio

Tastes Like: Crisp, dry, fruity, peach, pear, acidic
Element: Air
Associations: Rebirth, endings, new beginnings, happiness, reality, creativity, longevity, divination (especially open-ended, like tarot)

Riesling

Tastes Like: Steely, crisp, fresh, slightly sweet, pear, apple, peach, petrol, honey
Element: Fire, water
Associations: Energy, movement, growth, rebirth, love, friendship, attraction, activity such as dance, preparation, cleansing

Sauvignon Blanc

Tastes Like: Herbal, grass, bell pepper, green apple, lime, gooseberry, jalapeno, melon, mango, black currant, passionfruit, peach
Element: Air, earth
Associations: Love, peace, friendship, companionship, arts, healing, happiness, joy, spirit work

Rosé Wine

In General

Element: Air
Season: Spring
Associations: Beginnings, happiness, excitement, friendship, new romance, love, passion, playfulness, relaxation, luck

Sparkling Wine

In General

Element: Fire
Season: Summer
Associations: Success, completion, celebration, wealth, opportunity, setting things in motion, prosperity, space witchcraft, weather magic, adding a “spark”

Feel free to use these however you’d like and add your favorite wines!

2

Earth’s magnetic field was hit by a minor solar radiation storm (proton event) that caused a radio blackout on January 2, 2016. The culprit: a long duration M2.3 (medium-sized) flare, followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME). The emerged assembly of coronal loops is called a post-eruption arcade.

Image Credit: NASA/SDO/LMSAL/Scott Green

Venus's turbulent atmosphere

International research team sheds light on Earth’s ‘twin planet’

Venus is often referred to as Earth’s twin because both planets share a similar size and surface composition. Also, they both have atmospheres with complex weather systems. 

But that is about where the similarities end: Venus is one the most hostile places in our solar system. 

Keep reading

history of the entire world, i guess; a transcript

hi. you’re on a rock, floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it, actually most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you. how did this happen? a long time ago, actually never, and also now, nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why its been everywhere. it’s been so everywhere, you don’t need a “where”. you don’t even need a “when”. that’s how “every” it gets. (pause). forget this. i wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start. and that’s exactly where it started. (background noise) woah. i… paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing, in a place. don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet. it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. (about no seconds later). great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three called a “proton” or a “neutron”. and there’s something else flying around too that wants to join in but can’t cause it’s still to (HOT). (about ten minutes later). great news! the protons and the neutrons are now happily married to each other (some of them even doubled up). (about 380,000 years later). great news, the electrons have now joined in. congratulations, the world is now a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together. it’s a staaaar. new shit just got made. some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows newer, more interesting stars to be made, and then die, and explode into even crazier space dust. so now stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. holy shit, we just got hit with another ball of flaming rocks, and it kinda made a mess. which is now the moon. weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside them and now there’s Hot Steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today, and the floor is no longer lava. weather update: its raining. severe flooding alert: the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert: that’s land. there’slifeintheocean. what? something’s alive in the ocean. oh cool, like a plant or an animal? no. a microscopic speck! it lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever. oh yeah, and it can do that. it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight. using a revolutionary technique you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun. side effect: now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky’s blue. then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while, maybe even a coupla times. it’s a sponge, it’s a plant, it’s a worm and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it’s the Cambrian explosion. “wow, that’s animals and stuff.” but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NoO. why? the sun is a deadly lazer. oh okay. not anymore there’s a blanket. now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land! “nope, can’t walk yet. and there’s no food yet so i don’t care.” (100 million years later) ok, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here? “maybe,” said some bugs, and fish. “uh. uh. uh.” (five million years later) “ok so i can go on land but i have to go back in the water to have babies.” (idea) learn to use an egg. “i was already doing that.” use a stronger egg, and put water in it, have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg, baby, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean. aaand now everything is huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. ah fuck, now everything’s dead. just kidding here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one because its about to become the dinosaurs. here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart, don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. and the dinosaurs are gone. its mammal time! here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they’re gonna dominate the world, and one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like ‘that’. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make… pointed rocks. “ouch.” and set things on fire. “yeouch.” and make crazy sounds with their voice (“gneurshk.”) which can mean different things. that’s a human person. and now they’re everywhere, almost. ice age. what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore. i guess we’re stuck here now.

let’s review. there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food. fuck it, time to plant some grass. look at this, i control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great, i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next. more food, and more people who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in, and people to make the houses. and now there’s more people and they invent things, which makes things better and more people come. and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people. and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power. sociiiety. coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing bronze, made with special ingredient tin from the far lands of tin land. i don’t know, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what - egypt. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also, china. and did i mention indusrivervalleycivilization. norte chico. the middle east is getting more complicated, maybe because it’s in the middle of the east. knock knock- er, clop clop, it’s the people with the horses? and they made an empire! and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks, or a beta version of the greeks. let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization. they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china. new arrivals in india. maybe it’s thosehorsepeopleiwastalkingabout or theircousinsorsomething. and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff. you could make a religion out of this. there’s the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business. also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in god. just one though, he’s got like a ten step program. here’s some huge heads, must be the olmec. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. nevermind it’s the babylonian- median- it’s the persian empire. “wow, that’s big.” ah, the buddha was just enlightened! who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke, but while it was breaking confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea, he was…great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it’s chandragupta, he says, “get the hell out of here, will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? ok thanks bye; time to conquer all of india- or most of india”. but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings, no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve got spices. who would like to buy the spices? “me,” said the arabians, swiftly buying them and selling them to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again with good morals as their main philosophy. actually they have three main philosophies. out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload! “bye,” said the parthians, “bye,” said the jews. “hi,” said the parthians, taking over the entire place. “heyyyyyyyy,” said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. “hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular, and then gets arrested and killed for being too popular, which only makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china! they just made a brand new road to the world…or you can get there on water. “sick, new trade routes,” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again. “remember the persian empire? yup,” said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together. china is whole again…then it broke again. still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels. “hell yeah, now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold, and slaves. “hi i live in the roman empire and i was wondering, is loving jesus legal yet?” “no” “actually ok sure,” said constantine, moving the capitol way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall. it’s the golden age of india. there’s the gupta empire. not chandragupta, just gupta, first name chandra, the first. guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. or actually, just half is just fine. but it’s not in rome anymore so let’s give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the staaars. oh, and here’s a huge city, population everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together. how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.

deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear, so he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods, and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this. and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors. here’s all the wisdom, in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom, just in time for the islamic golden age. “let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise, you’re the new roman emperor,” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not france. the northerners, or just norse if you don’t have that much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north, and they find some land. two types of land, and they name them accordingly. they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as vikings. there’s the rus, the kievan rus. are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. ok, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire, the holy roman empire. it’s actually germany but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms! christianizeallthekingdoms. which brand would you like? “mine’s better,” “mine’s better,” “mine’s better”. “time to conquer england,” said william. it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the seljuk turks. “ahh!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small it almost doesn’t exist anymore, “we need help!” they need help, so they call the pope. “hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you wanna take back the holy land.” “yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.” crusade. they did many crusades, some of which almost didn’t fail, but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs, goodbye toltecs, hello mississippi. look at those mounds. there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who’s here? khmer. where? here, and pagan is there, and vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis. i bet that will last a long time! some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time. i just found out where the swahili gets all their gold. look at this chad (means lake), there’s an empire there, right in the middle of africa. the king of mali is so rich he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said. the christians are doing a great job of conquering iberia which will soon be called spain and not spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you are still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming. china’s back, yay. hey khmer, time to share, new kingdoms here and there. oh look who controls all the islands, its the mahajapit. majahapit, mapajahit, mahapajit, mapajahit, majapahit? oh, italy’s really rich, time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth. here’s a printer, lets make books. so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? “yep,” said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. whoops, you missed a spot; don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. “what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless. well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india. “wait,” said christopher colombus, probably smoking crack, “if the world is round, lets go this way to india!” “nah, don’t worry we already got this,” said portugal. so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to go find india by going around back of the world?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.” “please?” “ok.” so he sails into the ocean, and discovers more ocean, and then discovers ‘the indies’ and ‘japan’. let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the habsburgs are marrying into so many royal families they might have to start marrying each other. move over lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let’s make it the other kind of islam, the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy. hey christians, do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell. “that’s bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, that’s a scam, fuck the church, here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. “you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman, wearing an onion hat, “what if the ottoman empire was really big, which it is now.”  “what if russia was big,” said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade, and then that dream was real. and spain realised that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt and all the hipsters move to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” question one: can you get to india through north america? no, but at least there’s beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question but the dutch did it anyway. sugar. guess where all the sugar’s made? in brazil. stolen! in the carribean, and it’s so goddamn profitable you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world, more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did, it’s britain. guess who’s broke? also britain. so they start taxing the hell out of america.

“fuck you,” says america, declaring their independence, and fighting for it. france helps them win, now france is broke. and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? “let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s head off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a reli- no don’t. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?” wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back. luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin america wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains, and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. “hey china,” said britain, “buy stuff from us.” “nah, dude we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked actually, but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy-fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop each other from conquering afganistan. also the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now, that’s just where he lives. india had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before. technology is about to go crazy. the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. “it’s bad,” they decided. and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land, and maybe kick out the mexicans too. “i know, let’s rape africa,” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia.  britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand. the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more. hawaii. cuba. wait spain controls cuba. “well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on them? let’s blame the maine on spain!” so they blame the maine on spain. now we’re in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go. china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns. it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany. russia went on strike and the workers overthrew the government. now everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism, in the soviet union. the arabs revolt, and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind. “let’s cut the cake,” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore empire. except turkey, turkey makes a brand new turkey. and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. hello? yes, it’s the 1920s calling. let’s get in a car and drive to a party and listen to the jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy’s great and it’ll probably be great forever. just kidding. germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model. he’s mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all the jews is a bad idea, but he kills himself before they could explain it to him. that’s world war two. bonus round: pacific showdown, united states versus japan. fight! finish him. let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace. seems legit. “hi i’m gandhi and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india i’m going to starve myself in public. wow, that worked?” bonus: now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans. one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me”, they both said at the same time. “let’s divide up the land so everyone’s happy.” sike! they both get angrier. look out china, there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! “no thanks,” said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china. there’s the korean war, korea versus korea, nobody wins, then it’s on pause forever. let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. fight! wait no that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. “i’ll race you to space. now let’s make some more countries fight themselves.” europe is tired of pillaging other continents, so the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map, with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let’s check the world population. woah. okay. technology’s better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money; except britain because they don’t feel like it. let’s check the mail. surprise! it’s on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america, i bet they’ll remember that. phone call, surprise, it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise, it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket. whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to. surprise, flying robots! with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic. “let’s save the planet,” said everybody, not knowing how. “let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor, after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we?

All Eyes on the Sky for the August 21 Total Solar Eclipse

Just two months from now, the moon will completely block the sun’s face, treating part of the US to a total solar eclipse.

Everyone in North America will have the chance to see an eclipse of some kind if skies are clear. Anyone within a 70-mile-wide swath of land — called the path of totality — that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina will have the chance to see a total eclipse.

Throughout the rest of the continent, including all 50 United States — and even in parts of South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia — the moon will partially obscure the sun, creating a partial eclipse.

Photo credit: NASA/Cruikshank

An eclipse is one of nature’s most awesome sights, but safety comes first! When any part of the sun’s surface is exposed, use proper eclipse glasses (not sunglasses) or an indirect viewing method, like a pinhole projector. In the path of totality, it’s safe to look directly at the eclipse ONLY during the brief moments of totality.

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow down on Earth’s surface. We’ve been studying the moon with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and its precise mapping helped NASA build the most accurate eclipse map to date.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon blocks out the sun’s bright face, revealing the otherwise hidden solar atmosphere, called the corona. The corona is one of the sun’s most interesting regions — key to understanding the root of space weather events that shape Earth’s space environment, and mysteries such as why the sun’s atmosphere is so much hotter than its surface far below.

This is the first time in nearly 100 years that a solar eclipse has crossed the United States from coast to coast. We’re taking advantage of this long eclipse path by collecting data that’s not usually accessible — including studying the solar corona, testing new corona-observing instruments, and tracking how our planet’s atmosphere, plants, and animals respond to the sudden loss of light and heat from the sun.

We’ll be studying the eclipse from the ground, from airplanes, with research balloons, and of course, from space.

Three of our sun-watchers — the Solar Dynamics Observatory, IRIS, and Hinode, a joint mission led by JAXA — will see a partial eclipse from space. Several of our Earth-observing satellites will use the eclipse to study Earth under uncommon conditions. For example, both Terra and DSCOVR, a joint mission led by NOAA, will capture images of the moon’s shadow from space. Our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will also turn its instruments to face Earth and attempt to track the moon’s shadow as it moves across the planet.

There’s just two months to go until August 21, so make your plans now for the big day! No matter where you are, you can follow the eclipse as it crosses the country with live footage from NASA TV.

Learn more about the upcoming total solar eclipse — including where, when, and how to safely experience it — at eclipse2017.nasa.gov and follow along on Twitter @NASASun.  

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Enlightening the world, one sunspot sketch at a time

Hisako Koyama was an astronomer who produced one of the most influential sunspot collections of the past 400 years.

Born in Tokyo in 1916, Koyama grew up in a society that didn’t encourage young women to pursue careers. Koyama graduated from an all-girls high school in the 1930s, which was rare for girls of her time.

From a young age, Koyama was fixated on the sky, and her father nurtured her growing enthusiasm. He bought her a telescope, and by 1944, Koyama directed that telescope toward the sun.

Sunspots temporarily appear when there’s high magnetic activity in a concentrated area on the sun’s surface. The temperature in those places are cooler, and the spots produce less light than the rest of the surface. The sun goes through an 11-year solar cycle, and sunspot numbers fluctuate at the cycle’s end. Scientists track sunspots because they predicate solar activity like solar flares–which can mess with satellite communications around the Earth.

Koyama hand drew sunspots every day. When her renderings are joined,  it’s like watching the spots move as the sun rotates each day.

Koyama watched images like this for more than 40 years. She pulled together her life’s work, about 10,000 sunspot drawings from 1947 to 1984, and published them in her book called “Observations of Sunspots.”

Koyama is considered a pioneer of Japanese citizen science and has been a messenger between the professional and amateur astronomy spheres. Today, astronomers from across the globe are learning from her work and hope her story can inspire young women everywhere to pursue their passions.

Photos: Asahigraph, Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishers, NASA/SDO, National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo

The Daredevil Spacecraft That Will Touch the Sun

In the summer of 2018, we’re launching Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will get closer to the Sun than any other in human history.

Parker Solar Probe will fly directly through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. Getting better measurements of this region is key to understanding our Sun. For instance, the Sun releases a constant outflow of solar material, called the solar wind. We think the corona is where this solar wind is accelerated out into the solar system, and Parker Solar Probe’s measurements should help us pinpoint how that happens.  

The solar wind, along with other changing conditions on the Sun and in space, can affect Earth and are collectively known as space weather. Space weather can trigger auroras, create problems with satellites, cause power outages (in extreme cases), and disrupt our communications signals. That’s because space weather interacts with Earth’s upper atmosphere, where signals like radio and GPS travel from place to place.

Parker Solar Probe is named after pioneering physicist Gene Parker. In the 1950s, Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars — including our Sun — give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind. Parker also theorized an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is hotter than the surface of the Sun itself.

Getting the answers to our questions about the solar wind and the Sun’s energetic particles is only possible by sending a probe right into the furnace of the Sun’s corona, where the spacecraft can reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Parker Solar Probe and its four suites of instruments – studying magnetic and electric fields, energetic particles, and the solar wind – will be protected from the Sun’s enormous heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite heat shield.

Over the course of its seven-year mission, Parker Solar Probe will make two dozen close approaches to the Sun, continuously breaking its own records and sending back unprecedented science data.

Getting close to the Sun is harder than you might think, since the inertia of a spacecraft launched from Earth will naturally carry it in repeated orbits on roughly the same path. To nudge the orbit closer to the Sun on successive trips, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity.

This is a technique called a gravity assist, and it’s been used by Voyager, Cassini, and OSIRIS-REx, among other missions. Though most missions use gravity assists to speed up, Parker Solar Probe is using Venus’ gravity to slow down. This will let the spacecraft fall deeper into the Sun’s gravity and get closer to our star than any other spacecraft in human history.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Parker Solar Probe under construction in a clean room on the NASA Sun Science Facebook page.

Keep up with all the latest on Parker Solar Probe at nasa.gov/solarprobe or on Twitter @NASASun.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Space Weather News http://spaceweather.com

SOLAR ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES:

Sunspot AR2665, which emerged just as few days ago, has mushroomed into a behemoth nearly as wide as the planet Jupiter.

On July 9th the fast-growing sunspot produced an M-class solar flare and a short-lived shortwave radio blackout over east Asia and Australia.

Stronger flares and Earth-directed CMEs may be in the offing as AR2665 turns toward our planet in the days ahead.

psychic: reads my mind
me: hi, you’re on a rock floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it. actually, most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
a long time ago… actually, never. and also now. nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why it’s been everywhere. it’s been so “everywhere,” you don’t need a “where.” you don’t even need a “when.” that’s how “every” it gets.
forget this. i wanna be something. go somewhere. do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here, and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start.
and that’s exactly where it started.
big bang— pause
woah. i paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing! in a place! don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together, because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet! it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees.
about no seconds later
great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three, called a “proton” and a “neutron.” and there’s something else flying around that wants to join in, but can’t cause it’s too HOT.
ten minutes later
great news! the protons and neutrons are now happily married to each other! some of them even doubled up.
about 380,000 years later
great news! the electrons have now joined in. congratulations! the world is now… a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together…
ten million years later
and it’s getting closer together…
500 million years later
and it’s getting closer togeth—
star is born
it’s a star
new shit just got made!
some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit.
space dust!
which allows for newer and more interesting stars to be made, and then die and explode into even crazier space dust!
so now, stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example.
meteor hits earth
holy shit, we just got hit by another ball of flaming rocks. and it kind of… made a mess. which is now the moon
weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space.
weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside of them and now there’s hot steam in the sky.
weather update: cooler temperatures today and the floor is no longer lava.
weather update… it’s raining.
severe flooding alert, the entire world is now an ocean.
volcano alert.
that’s land!
there'slifeintheocean
what?
something’s alive in the ocean
oh, cool. like a plant, or an animal? no! a microscopic speck. it lives in the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup, which is being served hot and fresh, made from gnarly space ingredients left over from when it was raining rocks or whatever.
microscopic speck asexually reproduces
oh yeah, and it can do that.
reproduces three more times
it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say.
tired of living at the bottom of the ocean?
now you can eat sunlight!
using a revolutionary technique, you can convert sunlight into food.
taste the sun!
side effect, now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky is blue.
then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while. maybe even a couple of times.
it’s a sponge… it’s a plant… it’s a worm, and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish.
it’s the Cambrian explosion: “wow, that’s animals and stuff”
but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land?
NO
why?
the sun is a deadly laser
oh okay.
not anymore, there’s a blanket
now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land!
“nope, can’t walk yet.”
“and there’s no food yet, so i don’t care.”
100 million years later
okay, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here?
“maybe,” said some bugs. and fish.
fish gasps for air
five million years later
okay, so i can go on land, but i have to go back in the water to have babies!
idea: learn to use an egg.
“i was already doing that”
use a stronger egg. put water in it. have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg. baby, in the egg, in the water, in the egg.
works for me. bye bye ocean
50 million years later
and now everything’s huge. including bugs.
wanna see a map of the land? sure.
Permian extinction
oh, fuck, now everything’s dead.
just kidding, here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one, because it’s about to become
75 million years later
the dinosaurs.
here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart. don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor.
meteor strikes
and the dinosaurs are gone
it’s mammal time, here come the mammals. look at those breasts.
now they’re gonna dominate the world, but one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like that. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make pointed rocks.
“ouch”
and set things on fire.
“yeouch”
and make crazy sounds with their voice:
“gneurshk”
which can mean different things.
that’s a human person!
and now they’re everywhere. almost.
ice age!
what? you can walk over here? cool.
not anymore
well i guess we’re stuck here now.
let’s review: there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food.
fuck it. time to plant some grass.
look at this. i get to control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses, except mine is bigger because i own the food.
this is great! i wonder if anyone else is doing this.
tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground.
better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping.
guess what happens next?
more food. and more people, who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in and people to make the houses and now there’s more people and they invent things which makes things better and more people come and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power,
Society
coming soon to a dank river valley near you.
meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed.
why is all my metal so lame and lumpy?
tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing: bronze. made from special ingredient tin from the far lands of Tin Land. i dunno, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what?
egypt
meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also,
china
and did i mention
indus river valley civilization
society count: 5

norte chico
the middle east is getting more complicated. maybe because it’s in the middle of the east.
knock knock, er, clop clop. it’s the… people with the horses? and they made an empire. and then everyone else copied their horses.
greeks!
ah look, it must be the greeks! er, a beta version of the greeks.
let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization: they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china.
new arrivals from india… maybe it’s those horse people i was talking about… or their cousins or something…
and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff…
you could make a religion out of this.
there’s the bronze age collapse.
now the phoenicians can get down to business
also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks.
look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel.
and they believe in God
just one though, and he’s got like a ten-step program.
here’s some huge heads. must be the olmecs.
the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies.
here comes the assyrian empire. never mind, it’s the babyloni— media—
it’s the Persian Empire: “wow, that’s big”
enlightenment
ah, the buddha was just enlightened. who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this.
oops, china just broke. but while it was breaking, confucius was figuring out how to have good morals.
enlightenment
ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff.
and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea. he was… great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them.
knock knock, it’s chandragupta. he says “get the hell out of here. will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? okay, thanks, bye”
time to conquer all of india
er
most of india
but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings. no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve gotspices!
who would like to buy the spices? “me!” said the arabians, swiftly buying it and selling it to the rest of the world.
hey, china put itself back together again, with good morals as their main philosophy. actually, they have three main philosophies:
confucianism: have good morals
taoism: go with the flow
legalism: fuck you, obey the law
out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city.
nomads ransack china
let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload.bye, said the parthians. bye, said the jews. hi, said the parthians, taking over the entire place.
heyyyyy, said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland.
“hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular and is then arrested and killed for being too popular, which actually makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this.
want silk? now you can buy it from china. they just made a brand new road to the world.
conquers vietnam
or you can get there on water
“sick! new trade routes!” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast.
hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom.
there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again.
remember the persian empire? yep, said the persians, making a new one.
axum is getting so powerful, they would like to build a long stick.
has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together.
china is whole again…
…then it broke again
still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels.
“hell yeah! now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold. and slaves.
“hi, i’m a member of the roman empire, and i was wondering
is loving jesus legal yet?”
“no”
“actually, okay sure,” said constantine, moving the capital way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall.
it’s the golden age of india
there’s the gupta empire, not chandragupta, just gupta. first name chandra. the first.
guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. actually just half of it, the other half is just fine, but it’s not in rome anymore, so let’s give it a new name.
the mayans have figured out the stars
oh, and here’s a huge city, population: everyone.
the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks.
how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together.
how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them.
korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.
intermission
deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear. so, he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this, and maybe conquer the world as well.
the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus, there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors.
here’s all the wisdom. in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom! just in time for the islamic golden age!
“let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast.
remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now.
wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere?
the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise! you’re the new roman emporer!” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not-france.
the northerners, er, just “norse” if you don’t have much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north. and they find some land— two types of land!— and they name them accordingly.
prankd
they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as “vikings.”
there’s the rus! the kievan rus! are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. okay, fair enough.
the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire. the holy roman empire! it’s actually germany, but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms—
CRISTIANIZE ALL THE KINGDOMS!!
which brand would you like?
“mine’s better”
“mine’s better”
“mine’s better”
“time to conquer england,” said william.
it’s a bird! it’s a plane! it’s the seljuk turks!
“aah!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small and almost doesn’t exist anymore. “we need help!” they need help! so they call the pope.
“hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you want to take back the holy land.”
“yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.”
crusade!
they did many crusades. some of which almost didn’t fail. but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals.
goodbye mayans. hello toltecs! goodbye toltecs. hello mississippi! look at those mounds.
there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff.
guess who’s here? khmer. where? here! and pagan is there. vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government.
china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis! i bet that will last a long time.
some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india.
is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time.
i just figured out where the swahili gets all of their gold.
look at this chad! it means “lake.” there’s an empire there! right in the middle of africa!
the king of mali is so rich, he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said.
the christians are doing a great job reconquering iberia, which will soon be called spain and not-spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you’re still christian when you least expect.
whoops, half of europe just died.
ming! china’s back, yay!
hey, khmer. time to share. new kingdoms, here and there.
oh, look who controls all of the islands. it’s the mahajapit.
majahapit.
mapajahit.
mahapajit.
mapajahit.
ma-ja-pa-hit?
oh, italy’s real rich. time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth.
here’s a printer. let’s make books!
so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? yep, said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. oops, you missed a spot. don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade.
“what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless.
“well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india”
“wait!” said christopher columbus, probably smoking crack. “if the world is round, let’s go this way to india.”
“nah, don’t worry, we already got this,” said portugal.
so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to find india by going around back of the world?”
“no”
“please?”
“no”
“please?”
“wtf”
“no”
“please?”
“…okay”
so he sails into the ocean, and discovers… more ocean. and then discovers the indies, and japan! let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world.
the aztec and the inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent.
the hapsburgs are marrying into so many royal families, they might have to start marrying each other.
move over, lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again.
move over, timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again.
let’s make it the other kind of islam. the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy.
hey, christians! do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell!
“that’s bullshit. this whole thing is bullshit. that’s a scam. fuck the church. here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his new book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation.
“you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman wearing an onion hat. “what if the ottoman empire was… really big?” which it is now.
“what if russia was big?” said ivan, trying not to be terrible.
portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade. and then that dream was real.
and spain realized that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france. “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt, and all the hipsters moved to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam. “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.”
question one: can you get to india from north america? no, but at least there’s beaver.
question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question, but the dutch did it anyway.
and sugar… guess where all of the sugar is made? in brazil! stolen! in the caribbean! and it’s so goddamn profitable, you might forget to not do slavery.
the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger.
britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world. more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven-year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did! it’s britain.
guess who’s broke? also britain! so they start taxing the hell out of america. “fuck you!” says america, declaring their independence and fighting for it, and france helps them win. now france is broke, and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent.
wait, if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses?
“let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s heads off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off.
you could make a rel— no, don’t.
haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?”
wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back!luckily, they banished him to another island.
there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin american wars of independence.
britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains. and conquer india and maybe put some trains there.
“hey, china!” said britain. “buy stuff from us!” “nah, dude, we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked, actually. but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island.
britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop the other person from conquering afghanistan.
also, the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now:“that’s just where he lives.”
india just had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before.
incoming telegram: HI I JUST SENT YOU A MESSAGE THRU A WIRE
technology is about to go crazy!
the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. it’s bad, they decided, and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land and maybe kick out the mexicans too.
“i know! let’s rape africa!” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia…
britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand…
the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more:
hawaii!
cuba!
wait, spain controls cuba.
well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on spain?
u.s.s. maine sinks
“let’s blame the maine on spain.”
so they blame the maine on spain.
now we’re in business.
to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans.
britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go…
china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new, stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and is controlled by a guy from the previous government.
europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns! it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany.
russia went on strike, and the workers overthrew the government. now, everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism in the soviet union…
the arabs revolt and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind.
“let’s cut the cake!” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore-empire.
except turkey! turkey makes a brand new turkey!
and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do.
phone rings
hello? yes, it’s the 1920’s calling. let’s get to a car and drive to a party and listen to jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy is great and it will probably be great forever. just kidding.
germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model, and he’s mad at the jews for existing.
japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited, they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it.
hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all of the jews is a bad idea. but he kills himself because they could explain it to him. that’s world war two!
bonus round! pacific showdown
united states vs. japan
FIGHT!!
united states drops two extinction balls on japan
FINISH HIM!
let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace! seems legit.
“hi, im gandhi, and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india, i’m going to starve myself in public.”
britain leaves
“wow, that worked?”
bonus! now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans, one of them can be bangladesh later.
the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me!” they both said at the same time. let’s divide up the lands so we’re both happy. SIKE! they both get angrier!
look out, china! there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! no thanks, said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china…?
there’s the korean war. korea versus korea! nobody wins, then its on pause forever.
let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which one is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. FIGHT!! wait, no, that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs.
“i’ll race you to space.”
united states plants a flag on the moon
now let’s make more countries fight themselves.
europe is tired of pillaging other continents, and the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by.
the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it.
let’s check the world population!
woah. okay.
technology is better too, that might keep happening.
the soviet union decides to relax a little, and accidentally falls apart.
europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money. except britain, because they don’t feel like it.
let’s check the mail… surprise! it’s on the computer!
whoops, someone just attacked america. i bet they’ll remember that.
phone call! surprise! it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise! it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket!
whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to.
surprise!… flying robots. with bombs.
wanna print a brain?
some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic!
“let’s save the planet!” said everybody, not knowing how.
“let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool.
by the way, where the hell are we?
thanks for watching history
i hope i mentioned everything
psychic: what the fuck

Jupiter: Atmosphere and aurora in unprecedented detail

Subaru Telescope images reveal weather in Jupiter’s atmosphere in the mid-infrared. High-resolution thermal imaging of Jupiter by the Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (COMICS) mounted on the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea is providing information that extends and enhances the information that the Juno mission is gathering in its unprecedented mission to probe that planet’s interior and deep atmospheric structure together with details of the magnetosphere and its auroral interactions with the planet. “The Subaru observations of Jupiter so far this year have been timed to coordinate with the greatest benefit to Juno mission,” said Glenn Orton, PI for the portion of the Keck Telescope exchange time with the Subaru Telescope and coordinator for Earth-based observations supporting the Juno project at JPL.

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The Sun Just Released the Most Powerful Flare of this Solar Cycle

The Sun released two significant solar flares on Sept. 6, including one that clocked in as the most powerful flare of the current solar cycle.

The solar cycle is the approximately 11-year-cycle during which the Sun’s activity waxes and wanes. The current solar cycle began in December 2008 and is now decreasing in intensity and heading toward solar minimum, expected in 2019-2020. Solar minimum is a phase when solar eruptions are increasingly rare, but history has shown that they can nonetheless be intense.

Footage of the Sept. 6 X2.2 and X9.3 solar flares captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light (131 angstrom wavelength)

Our Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite, which watches the Sun constantly, captured images of both X-class flares on Sept. 6.

Solar flares are classified according to their strength. X-class denotes the most intense flares, followed by M-class, while the smallest flares are labeled as A-class (near background levels) with two more levels in between. Similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes, each of the five levels of letters represents a 10-fold increase in energy output. 

The first flare peaked at 5:10 a.m. EDT, while the second, larger flare, peaked at 8:02 a.m. EDT.

Footage of the Sept. 6 X2.2 and X9.3 solar flares captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light (171 angstrom wavelength) with Earth for scale

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb Earth’s atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Both Sept. 6 flares erupted from an active region labeled AR 2673. This area also produced a mid-level solar flare on Sept. 4, 2017. This flare peaked at 4:33 p.m. EDT, and was about a tenth the strength of X-class flares like those measured on Sept. 6.

Footage of the Sept. 4 M5.5 solar flare captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory in extreme ultraviolet light (131 angstrom wavelength)

This active region continues to produce significant solar flares. There were two flares on the morning of Sept. 7 as well. 

For the latest updates and to see how these events may affect Earth, please visit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center at http://spaceweather.gov, the U.S. government’s official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

Follow @NASASun on Twitter and NASA Sun Science on Facebook to keep up with all the latest in space weather research.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Jupiter is stranger than we knew. NASA’s Juno spacecraft completed its sixth swoop past Jupiter as it moves around its highly elliptical orbit. Pictured, Jupiter is seen from below where, surprisingly, the horizontal bands that cover most of the planet disappear into swirls and complex patterns. A line of white oval clouds is visible nearer to the equator. Recent results from Juno show that Jupiter’s weather phenomena can extend deep below its cloud tops, and that Jupiter’s magnetic field varies greatly with location. Juno is scheduled to orbit Jupiter 37 times with each orbit taking about six weeks. 

Image Credit: NASA, Juno, SwRI, MSSS, Gerald Eichstädt & Seán Doran

Eclipse 2017: A Unique Chance for Science

On Aug. 21, the Moon will cast its shadow down on Earth, giving all of North America the chance to see a solar eclipse. Within the narrow, 60- to 70-mile-wide band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina called the path of totality, the Moon will completely block out the Sun’s face; elsewhere in North America, the Moon will cover only a part of the star, leaving a crescent-shaped Sun visible in the sky.

Find eclipse times for your location with our interactive version of this map.

A total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about once every 18 months. But because Earth’s surface is mostly ocean, most eclipses are visible over land for only a short time, if at all. The Aug. 21 total solar eclipse is different – its path stretches over land for nearly 90 minutes, giving scientists an unprecedented opportunity to make scientific measurements from the ground.

No matter where you are, it is never safe to look directly at the partially eclipsed or uneclipsed Sun. Make sure you’re prepared to watch safely, whether that’s with solar viewing glasses, a homemade pinhole projector, or online with us at nasa.gov/eclipselive.

Within the path of totality, the Moon will completely obscure the Sun’s face for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds, depending on location. This will give people within the path of totality a glimpse of the innermost reaches of the Sun’s corona, the outer region of the atmosphere that is thought to house the processes that kick-start much of the space weather that can influence Earth, as well as heating the whole corona to extraordinarily high temperatures.

In fact, scientists got their first hint at these unusually high temperatures during the total solar eclipse of 1869, when instruments detected unexpected light emission. It was later discovered that this emission happens when iron is stripped of its electrons at extremely high temperatures.

This region of the Sun’s atmosphere can’t be measured at any other time, as human-made instruments that create artificial eclipses must block out much of the Sun’s atmosphere – as well as its bright face – in order to produce clear images.

We’re funding six science investigations to study the Sun’s processes on Aug. 21. Teams will spread out across the path of totality, focusing their instruments on the Sun’s atmosphere. One team will use a pair of retro-fitted WB-57F jets to chase the Moon’s shadow across the eastern US, extending the time of totality to more than 7 minutes combined, up from the 2 minutes and 40 seconds possible on the ground.

Our scientists are also using the Aug. 21 eclipse as a natural science experiment to study how Earth’s atmosphere reacts to the sudden loss of solar radiation within the Moon’s shadow.

One region of interest is Earth’s ionosphere. Stretching from roughly 50 to 400 miles above Earth’s surface, the tenuous ionosphere is an electrified layer of the atmosphere that reacts to changes from both Earth below and space above and can interfere with communication and navigation signals.

The ionosphere is created by ionizing radiation from the Sun. When totality hits on Aug. 21, we’ll know exactly how much solar radiation is blocked, the area of land it’s blocked over and for how long. Combined with measurements of the ionosphere during the eclipse, we’ll have information on both the solar input and corresponding ionosphere response, enabling us to study the mechanisms underlying ionospheric changes better than ever before.

The eclipse is also a chance for us to study Earth’s energy system, which is in a constant dance to maintain a balance between incoming radiation from the Sun and outgoing radiation from Earth to space, called the energy budget. Like a giant cloud, the Moon during the 2017 total solar eclipse will cast a large shadow across a swath of the United States.

Our scientists already know the dimensions and light-blocking properties of the Moon, and will use ground and space instruments to learn how this large shadow affects the amount of sunlight reaching Earth’s surface, especially around the edges of the shadow. This will help develop new calculations that improve our estimates of the amount of solar energy reaching the ground, and our understanding of one of the key players in regulating Earth’s energy system — clouds.

Learn all about the Aug. 21 eclipse at eclipse2017.nasa.gov, and follow @NASASun on Twitter and NASA Sun Science on Facebook for more. Watch the eclipse through the eyes of NASA at nasa.gov/eclipselive starting at 12 PM ET on Aug. 21.

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