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!

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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

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Mark your calendars for summer 2018: That’s when we’re launching a spacecraft to touch the sun

In honor of our first-ever mission to the heart of the solar system, this week we’re delving into the life and times of this powerful yellow dwarf star.

1. Meet Parker 

Parker Solar Probe, our first mission to go to the sun, is named after Eugene Parker, an American astrophysicist who first theorized that the sun constantly sends out a flow of particles and energy called the solar wind. This historic mission will explore one of the last regions of the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft and help scientists unlock answers to questions they’ve been pondering for more than five decades.

2. Extra SPF, Please 

Parker Solar Probe will swoop within 4 million miles of the sun’s surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it. The mission will provide new data on solar activity to help us better understand our home star and its activity - information that can improve forecasts of major space-weather events that could impact life on Earth.

3. Majorly Massive 

The sun is the center of our solar system and makes up 99.8 percent of the mass of the entire solar system. If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be about the size of a nickel.

4. Different Spin 

Since the sun is not a solid body, different parts of the sun rotate at different rates. At the equator, the sun spins once about every 25 days, but at its poles the sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days.

5. Can’t Stand on It

The sun is a star and a star doesn’t have a solid surface. Rather, it’s a ball of ionized gas 92.1% hydrogen (H2) and 7.8% helium (He) held together by its own gravity.

6. Center of Attention 

The sun isn’t a planet, so it doesn’t have any moons. But, the sun is orbited by eight planets, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of thousands to trillions of comets and icy bodies.

7. It’s Hot in There 

And we mean really, really hot. The temperature at the sun’s core is about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. However, its atmosphere, the corona, can reach temperatures of 3 million degrees. (That’s as if it got hotter the farther away you got from a fire, instead of cooler!) Parker Solar Probe will help scientists solve the mystery of why the corona’s temperature is so much higher than the surface.

8. Travel Conditions

The sun influences the entire solar system, so studying it helps us better understand the space weather that our astronauts and spacecraft travel through.

9. Life on the Sun? 

Better to admire from afar. Thanks to its hot, energetic mix of gases and plasma, the sun can’t be home to living things. However, we can thank the sun for making life on Earth possible by providing the warmth and energy that supply Earth’s food chain.

10. Chance of a Lifetime 

Last but not least, don’t forget that the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the U.S. from coast-to-coast since 1918 is happening on August 21, 2017. Our toolkit has you need to know to about it

Want to learn more? Read our full list of the 10 things to know this week about the solar system HERE.

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

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NASA is planning to “touch the sun”

follow @the-future-now

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?

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!

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

Seven Years of Tracking the Solar Cycle

Our sun is ever-changing, and a satellite called the Solar Dynamics Observatory has a front-row seat. 

On February 11, 2010, we launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory, also known as SDO. SDO keeps a constant eye on the sun, helping us track everything from sunspots to solar flares to other types of space weather that can have an impact on Earth.

After seven years in space, SDO has had a chance to do what few other satellites have been able to do – watch the sun for the majority of a solar cycle in 11 types of light.

The sun’s activity rises and falls in a pattern that lasts about 11 years on average. This is called the solar cycle.

Solar activity can influence Earth. For instance, it’s behind one of Earth’s most dazzling natural events – the aurora.

One of the most common triggers of the aurora is a type of space weather called a coronal mass ejection, which is a billion-ton cloud of magnetic solar material expelled into space at around a million miles an hour. 

When these clouds collide with Earth’s magnetic field, they can rattle it, sending particles down into the atmosphere and triggering the auroras. These events can also cause satellite damage and power grid strain in extreme cases. 

The sun is in a declining activity phase, so coronal mass ejections will be less common over the next few years, as will another one of the main indicators of solar activity – sunspots.

Sunspots are created by twisted knots of magnetic field. Solar material in these tangled regions is slightly cooler than the surrounding areas, making them appear dark in visible light.

The tangled magnetic field that creates sunspots also causes most solar activity, so more sunspots means more solar activity, and vice versa. Humans have been able to track the solar cycle by counting sunspots since the 17th century.  

Image: Houghton Library, Harvard University, *IC6.G1333.613ia

The peak of the sun’s activity for this cycle, called solar maximum, was in 2014. 

Now, we’re heading towards the lowest solar activity for this solar cycle, also known as solar minimum. As solar activity declines, the number of sunspots decreases. We sometimes go several days without a single visible sunspot.

But there’s much more to the story than sunspots – SDO also watches the sun in a type of light called extreme ultraviolet. This type of light is invisible to human eyes and is blocked by our atmosphere, so we can only see the sun this way with satellites.

Extreme ultraviolet light reveals different layers of the sun’s atmosphere, helping scientists connect the dots between the sunspots that appear in visible light and the space weather that impacts us here on Earth.

SDO keeps an eye on the sun 24/7, and you can see near real-time images of the sun in 11 types of light at sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/data.

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NASA discovered a man-made barrier around Earth that might protect us from space storms

  • Using machines that study electrons and ions in space, NASA recently discovered a man-made barrier around Earth.
  • It could be a force field: The barriers might protect planet Earth from “extreme space weather” such as coronal mass ejections, according to Newsweek, though further study is necessary to prove that theory.
  • Coronal mass ejections are gigantic gas bubbles with magnetic fields that are spit out by the solar corona — the outer layer of the sun’s atmosphere — usually after solar flares.
  • They’re potentially dangerous because they can cause geomagnetic storms on Earth. Read more (5/18/17)

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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

Take a Virtual Tour of NASA

Welcome to NASA! Today, we’re taking you behind-the-scenes for a virtual tour looking at our cutting-edge work and humanity’s destiny in deep space!

Starting at 1:30 p.m., we will host a series of Facebook Live events from each of our 10 field centers across the country. Take a look at where we’ll be taking you…

Glenn Research Center
1:30 p.m. EDT

Our Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH will host a tour of its Electric Propulsion Lab. This lab is where we test solar propulsion technologies that are critical to powering spacecraft for our deep-space missions. The Electric Propulsion Laboratory houses two huge vacuum chambers that simulate the space environment.

Marshall Space Flight Center
1:50 p.m. EDT

Our Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL will host a tour from a Marshall test stand where structural loads testing is performed on parts of our Space Launch System rocket. Once built, this will be the world’s most powerful rocket and will launch humans farther into space than ever before.

Stennis Space Center
2:10 p.m. EDT

Our Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, MS will take viewers on a tour of their test stands to learn about rocket engine testing from their Test Control Center.

Armstrong Flight Research Center
2:30 p.m. EDT 

Our Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA will host a tour from their aircraft hangar and Simulator Lab where viewers can learn about our X-Planes program. What’s an X-Plane? They are a variety of flight demonstration vehicles that are used to test advanced technologies and revolutionary designs.

Johnson Space Center
2:50 p.m. EDT

Our Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX will take viewers on a virtual exploration trip through the mockups of the International Space Station and inside our deep-space exploration vehicle, the Orion spacecraft!

Ames Research Center
3:10 p.m. EDT

Our Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley will bring viewers into its Arc Jet Facility, a plasma wind tunnel used to simulate the extreme heat of spacecraft atmospheric entry.

Kennedy Space Center
3:30 p.m. EDT

Our Kennedy Space Center in Florida will bring viewers inside the Vehicle Assembly Building to learn about how we’re preparing for the first launch of America’s next big rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Langley Research Center
3:50 p.m. EDT

Our Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia will bring viewers inside its 14-by-22-foot wind tunnel, where aerodynamic projects are tested.

Goddard Space Flight Center
4:10 p.m. EDT

Our Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD will discuss the upcoming United States total solar eclipse and host its tour from the Space Weather Lab, a large multi-screen room where data from the sun is analyzed and studied.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4:30 p.m. EDT

Our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA will bring viewers to the Spacecraft Assembly Facility to learn about robotic exploration of the solar system.

So, make sure to join us for all or part of our virtual tour today, starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT! Discover more about the work we’re doing at NASA and be sure to ask your questions in the comment section of each Facebook Live event! 

Additional details and viewing information available HERE

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

Waves on sun give NASA new insight into space weather forecasting

Our sun is a chaotic place, simmering with magnetic energy and constantly spewing out particles. Sometimes the sun releases solar flares and coronal mass ejections – huge eruptions of charged particles – which contribute to space weather and can interfere with satellites and telecommunications on Earth. While it has long been hard to predict such events, new research has uncovered a mechanism that may help forecasting these explosions.

The research finds a phenomenon similar to a common weather system seen on our own planet. Weather on Earth reacts to the influence of jet streams, which blow air in narrow currents around the globe. These atmospheric currents are a type of Rossby wave, movements driven by the planet’s rotation. Using comprehensive imaging of the entire sun with data from the NASA heliophysics Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory – STEREO – and Solar Dynamics Observatory – SDO – scientists have now found proof of Rossby waves on the sun.

Keep reading

Happy Towel Day!

Happy Towel Day!

“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

"More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.“

— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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NASA’s solar dynamics observatory captured trio of solar flares April 2-3

The sun emitted a trio of mid-level solar flares on April 2-3, 2017. The first peaked at 4:02 a.m. EDT on April 2, the second peaked at 4:33 p.m. EDT on April 2, and the third peaked at 10:29 a.m. EDT on April 3. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of the three events. 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 the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

To see how this event 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.

The first April 2 flare was classified as an M5.3 flare, while the second April 2 was an M5.7 flare. The April 3 flare was classified as an M5.8 flare. M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares. The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.


TOP IMAGE….NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare peaking at 10:29 a.m. EDT on April 3, 2017, as seen in the bright flash near the sun’s upper right edge. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is typically colorized in teal. Credit NASA/SDO

CENTRE IMAGE….NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare peaking at 4:33 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2017, as seen in the bright flash near the sun’s upper right edge. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is typically colorized in blue. Credit NASA/SDO

LOWER IMAGE….NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare peaking at 4:02 a.m. EDT on April 2, 2017, as seen in the bright flash near the sun’s upper right edge. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is typically colorized in blue. Credit NASA/SDO

This composite image shows a coronal mass ejection, a type of space weather linked to solar energetic particles, as seen from two space-based solar observatories and one ground-based instrument. The image in gold is from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, the image in blue is from the Manua Loa Solar Observatory’s K-Cor coronagraph, and the image in red is from ESA and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.

Our constantly-changing sun sometimes erupts with bursts of light, solar material, or ultra-fast energized particles — collectively, these events contribute to space weather. A new study shows that the warning signs of one type of space weather event can be detected tens of minutes earlier than with current forecasting techniques – critical extra time that could help protect astronauts in space. 

Credits: NASA/ESA/SOHO/SDO/Joy Ng and MLSO/K-Cor

These images of the sun were captured at the same time on January 29, 2017 by the six channels on the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite. They show a large coronal hole in the sun’s southern hemisphere. Data from SUVI will provide an estimation of coronal plasma temperatures and emission measurements which are important to space weather forecasting.

SUVI is essential to understanding active areas on the sun, solar flares and eruptions that may lead to coronal mass ejections which may impact Earth. Depending on the magnitude of a particular eruption, a geomagnetic storm can result that is powerful enough to disturb Earth’s magnetic field. Such an event may impact power grids by tripping circuit breakers, disrupt communication and satellite data collection by causing short-wave radio interference and damage orbiting satellites and their electronics. SUVI will allow the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center to provide early space weather warnings to electric power companies, telecommunication providers and satellite operators.

NASA successfully launched GOES-R at 6:42 p.m. EST on November 19, 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It was renamed GOES-16 when it achieved orbit. GOES-16 is now observing the planet from an equatorial view approximately 22,300 miles above the surface of the Earth.

Image Credit: NOAA

GOES-R

Time And Space