the-big-dipper

DIY Green Witch Portable Altar

If you’re like me, and like to bring your earthy witchcraft with you this is the DIY for you.

cost breakdown and materials:

✨ Wood box - $2.99 from craft store (but most stores have coupons)

✨ Stain - $4.99 (a small bottle will last you forever)

✨ Moss - $5 from a craft store (I’m sure you can fine it somewhere cheaper)

(side note: I don’t recommend getting it from the ground. It can lead to mold/bugs/allergy issues)

✨ Hot glue 

✨ Acrylic Paint and brushes

Prep your box by sanding down any rough edges, removing any stickers, as well as making sure it’s dry and clean.

Stain your box. You can use a rag or brush to apply stain. Read the directions on your stain bottle, and wipe off extra stain. I love wood stain.

The latch has an eagle on it :)

After your stain is dry prep for the sky. You can prep with gesso or just white acrylic paint. This will make your colors pop more. I just dove in with painting, but if you want really crisp border lines use masking tape.

While waiting for the white to dry I hot glued in some moss. It takes the glue really well, but retains its fluffiness.

Add your night sky. To avoid having to paint tons of layers because your paint is transparent, ad a little white in. For the sky I mixed white, black, and blue, and left it a little unblended for a foggy feel.

Ad stars. I chose Cassiopeia, Polaris, and the Big Dipper. Use a tooth pic to get small dots.

Add in your items. I didn’t have a tea candle so I made a temporary candle from a shell. I also added some jars for herbs and a couple of crystals.

Do you see it? This common question frequently precedes the rediscovery of one of the most commonly recognized configurations of stars on the northern sky: the Big Dipper. This grouping of stars is one of the few things that has likely been seen, and will be seen, by every generation. 

The Big Dipper is not by itself a constellation. Although part of the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major), the Big Dipper is an asterism that has been known by different names to different societies. Five of the Big Dipper stars are actually near each other in space and were likely formed at nearly the same time. Connecting two stars in the far part of the Big Dipper will lead one to Polaris, the North Star, which is part of the Little Dipper. Relative stellar motions will cause the Big Dipper to slowly change its configuration over the next 100,000 years. 

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)

Gravity Finale - The Movie

So back when Weirdmageddon 3 had just aired and I was still kinda figuring out what to do with myself after the end of Gravity Falls, I decided to put together a little personal project and edit together the last four episodes of the show into one big Gravity Falls movie. Dipper and Mabel vs. The Future, Weirdmageddon Part 1, Escape From Reality, and Take Back the Falls.

I basically spliced together the episodes by cutting out all of the unnecessary fades to back that would otherwise interrupt the flow, and doing some audio crossfade work to make sure the cuts weren’t jarring. What I created is (hopefully) seamless transitions between episodes that just look like normal angle cuts. To do this I had to sacrifice like one or two jokes (ex. “Oh no there’s Bill!! That’s what you guys were thinking right?”) but the payoff is something that’s actually really neat to watch.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, click here to see a preview of the concept! This preview consists of the very end of Dipper and Mabel vs the Future transitioning into the very beginning of Weirdmageddon Part 1

I even then went so far as to edit the aspect ratio of the episodes to give it a more cinematic, film-like feeling.

^^^ Like that

The end result is 1 hour and 46 minutes of Gravity Falls goodness that I titled “Gravity Finale”.

And I never ever did anything with it, like, I think I told maybe one or two people about it.

But today I watched it and I was like “wow people would probably be interested in this, right????”

So, here I am. Giving you guys your very own link to watch Gravity Finale! Let me know what you guys think if you check it out, I’d love to hear how I did in editing a movie-like Gravity Falls experience ^^

Click here to go to the Google Drive page and see it for yourself!

In the winter of 1995, scientists pointed the Hubble Telescope at an area of the sky near the Big Dipper, a spot that was dark and out of the way of light pollution from surrounding stars. The location was apparently empty, and the whole endeavor was risky. What, if anything, was going to show up? Over ten consecutive days, the telescope took close to 150 hours of exposure of that same area. And what came back was nothing short of spectacular: an image of over 1,500 distinct galaxies glimmering in a tiny sliver of the universe. 

Now, let’s take a step back to understand the scale of this image. If you were to take a ballpoint pen and hold it at arm’s length in front of the night sky, focusing on its very tip, that is what the Hubble Telescope captured in its first Deep Field image. In other words, those 3,000 galaxies were seen in just a tiny speck of the universe, approximately one two-millionth of the night sky.

So the next time you stand gazing up at the night sky, take a moment to think about the enormity of what is beyond your vision, out in the dark spaces between the stars.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How small are we in the scale of the universe? - Alex Hofeldt

Animation by Yukai Du

The Whirlpool Galaxy and Beyond : Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dippers bowl, until you get to the handles last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messiers famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy , NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the human eye, the above long-exposure, deep-field image taken earlier this year shows much of the faint complexity that actually surrounds the smaller galaxy. Thousands of the faint dots in background of the featured image are actually galaxies far across the universe. via NASA

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