this is what a scientist looks like

I had a thought of Junkrat being self conscious of his body at times, remembering that people, both Junkers and outsiders alike, have historically referred to him as “Hunchback” and “Frankenstein” due to his bad back, noticeable limp, burns, scars, and his missing ligaments and confiding to Roadhog about that insecurity.

Junkrat:
[ Looking away in shame after bathing and inspecting his body. ]
“… Mako… Do you… Think I look like Frankenstein’s monster?”

Roadhog:
[ Softly. ]
“?… Nah, you remind me of Frankenstein. The actual scientist. You’re a bit crazy; ok - really fucking crazy, but you’re also really fucking smart and conniving.”

[ Walks up to Junkrat and kneels on one knee giving him eye contact. ]
“And so what if people say you look like his monster or a hunchback.”

[ Smirks. ]
“Looking at you always get me hard. Proof enough you’re still handsome, at least for me. Scars, missing limbs, and all.”

[ Pecks Junkrat on the lips. ]

writing an autistic character when you are not autistic - a masterpost

completely double spaced version on google docs here – this post is more blocky for the sake of people’s dashboards, but still long so people will be less likely to glaze over it. my apologies if that makes it hard to read

things to look for and avoid in an autistic character

• symptoms only manifesting as “nonverbal and rocking”
• super smart / living calculator
• super dumb / doesn’t understand anything
• all the symptoms you can come up with for them are “awkward” and “has special interest(s)” (please do more research)
• trains, technology, and/or math as special interests
• acting like a child
• getting treated like a baby
• unreasonably cruel and uncaring about others’ reactions to them being cruel
• if they’re comparable to sheldon from the big bang theory, start over
• animal comparisons
• a lack of feelings
• please no stories about what it’s like to be autistic told by allistics

the right way to write an autistic person

• lots of symptoms, including secondary ones not included on a general diagnosis requirement list (here’s a list i rather like that was made by an autistic person – their blog is also a good resource)
• having a good amount of general knowledge and actually talking about it (i cannot believe that i have to say this)
• talking about things outside of special interests (again…. come on……….) (special interests are usually the default things our brains go to when theres no stimulation or we want to entertain ourselves – it isn’t literally all we think or talk about ever. if a conversation has no connections to a special interest, reconsider having your autistic character bring it up in a context that is not an introduction.)
• explicitly expressed to be capable of attraction and romantic feelings – if your character is an adult, add sexual feelings to this point
• capable of general functioning, just with a disability that makes it more difficult – not a walking disability (….sigh)
• a wide amount of feelings and emotional turmoil (but perhaps only being able to express it in limited ways)
• we’re people
• just people whose brains are wired differently

things to avoid in research for an autistic character

• autism moms / autism blogs and websites not run by autistic people
• any affiliation with autism $peaks means you should walk away and never look back
• a scientist trying to create explanations for what autistic people do without actually asking / not mentioning asking autistic people
• anything about a cure for autism
• a person that “worked with autistic kids” phrased in the same way as “worked with animals”
• talking about autistic people as if they are mysteries, are like animals, or are otherwise othered weirdos instead of people

things to look for in research for an autistic character

• actual autistic people talking about their experiences and symptoms
• just stick to that and you’re good but it’s hard to find sometimes ngl. just look for the above red flags

things i would personally like to see in an autistic character

• less easy to swallow sadness and more destructive anger. i would love to see a canonically autistic character who was frustrated easily by small things and had trouble communicating why
• not a story about being autistic, a story that happens to have a character or characters who are autistic – it isn’t pointed out or questioned, they’re right at home with the rest of the cast and not othered (a la symmetra from overwatch)
• intensive sensory issues / small sounds making large reactions
• clear communications about not liking x sensory thing (for example being touched)
• poor motor skills / clumsiness and not being laughed at for it
• walking funny (body bent downwards, walking very fast, walking slowly, big strides, shuffling, stiffness, etc)  – no one treats it as if it’s funny or something totally strange
• a big personality that has a presence so they can’t be cast aside (but feel free to have quiet characters too) – if this was along with being nonverbal they would probably leap to being one of my favorite characters ever
• a fear of asking for clarification on sarcasm or jokes because of past experiences and an arc about the character becoming more comfortable asking questions

>> if any fellow autistic people want to add something, feel free <<

allistics are encouraged to rb this

People say don’t look directly at the sun during the eclipse, by the way love the sun its amazing, tremendous, I love it. You know what? It is my favourite star, and thats the truth it isn’t like the lies and fake news CNN are spreading. Anyway the eclipse truly spectacular, best thing thats happened due to my presidency, we are making America great again. Did Obama have a total eclipse? Exactly. So these scientists say don’t look directly at the eclipse but these are also the scientists that were paid by the Chinese to say that Global Warming exists. Though I probably shouldn’t say that I am sure the scientists are very nice people but they are spreading lies. You know, I don’t know, well the great American public knows. Apparently it can burn your retinas looking at this eclipse, but CNN said, “don’t look at the sun directly,” so I am going to be the best at looking directly at the sun believe me.  

Okay, so like how when sheep/kids baaa at you and you baaa back and they all baaa again?? How would aliens react is if a human on their mission started making the creatures noise back at them until they all doing it.

Well…

The mission was fairly simple in Grutona’s mind: follow the tracks of certain creatures and use environmental clues to discern aspects of the creature’s lifestyle and needs. The group had been following the large, octagonal shaped prints of a swutonaton for the past several standard hours, and up to this point, they still hadn’t actually encountered the beast.

Good. Grutona was not keen on being eaten alive today, which would surely be the result of disturbing the beast. Protocol on the mission was to leave should contact be breached with any species that was not fully documented.

However, there was one member of the team that made Grutona worry. Maria seemed to take things like Protocol as more of a… guideline. Already today Maria had disregarded rules about eating wild tree fruit claiming “they have these on my planet, don’t worry!” Grutona did worry. Especially when Maria added: “Besides, they’re delicious.” Grutona knew what type of treefruit Maria was eating, and xhe was skeptical of the claim. These deadly fruits humans called “lemons” were HIGHLY acidic and sour. On xer home world, a fruit like that would be used by deadly criminals as a poison.

Needless to say, having a human on the crew had been an eye-opening, mind-boggling experience. Grutona was learning more about universal cultures on this mission than ever before, that was for certain.

It was a few more minutes of walking along the path, Grutona taking note of the way the plant life was smashed down to the side of the path of the tracks as if the swutonaton had stopped for a time and rested.

“Ah, so it appears swutonaton are a restful breed, and likely a predator species as evident by their choice location being one leaving them so vulnerable.” Kerip, another member of the team, said this clinically, xis eyes dilating further as his species was wont to do in order to get a magnified look at things. As he was examining he spoke to his partner, Bepin who recorded xis observations on a datapad.

There was a noise further down the trail, strangely like a yawn. Grutona looked over cautiously. Maria was gone. Grutona frowned and made toward the sound hoping it was just Maria doing some sort of human thing xhe was unfamiliar with and not the beast hiding in the plant life beyond planning an attack on the mission crew.

But when had luck ever been on Grutona’s side?

As xhe rounded the bend in the trail xhe was met with the horrifying sight. Xhe would have screamed if it were a characteristic of xer race. Instead, xhe stood there in shock.

Maria stood in front of the creature they were tracking all right. The only thing was, the team was entirely wrong about what they thought they were following here. They had assumed the animal was very large, at least nine or ten times the actual size of the creatures in front of them now. And creatures they were. There were at least fifteen of these creatures and they were all piled atop one another, drooling heavily, spiked tails and trunks laying anywhere. 

“I’d definitely call this a dog-pile.” Maria chuckled, completely unconcerned at the reality that basically everything they had assumed about these creatures was wrong. Maria turned to look at Grutona, eyes gleaming in mischief. “Guess we were wrong about the elephant-sized animal with forty pig-sized feet, huh?” Grutona said nothing, still reeling. They needed to leave, Protocol demanded it, and they needed to go soon before more of the creatures woke up as one was doing now.

“Hey, look! They’re starting to wake up! They’re so cute!” Maria took another step closer to them, making cooing noises as Grutona watched in horror as more of the swutonatons started to rouse. Footsteps behind xer alerted xer to the rest of the team arriving to the scene finally. 

There was a moment of stunned silence before an exasperated sound came from Bepin and Kerip started mumbling in astonishments about all the things they had wrongly ascertained. 

“We should leave,” a voice of reason finally called from the back of the group: Teriwald, the ranked officer from the ship who had been tasked with “protecting the scientists” on the expedition.

Grutona found xer voice again, finally. “You’re–”

There was a sudden, loud sound from the pile of creatures “Meeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrm.”

“Okay, that was the greatest thing I’ve ever heard,” Maria was watching the herd of swutonaton with complete adoration in her gaze. Grutona had been warned to be wary of humans when they assumed a look like this one. There was no telling what kind of things they might do next. 

Whatever Grutona had expected, it was not what Maria did next. Maybe xhe thought she would have started running in circles around the group or walk over and touch one, but xhe certainly did not predict that  Maria would raise her arms in imitation of a swutonaton trunk and repeat the noise back at them in perfect imitation. “Meeeeeeeerrrrrm!”

“What are you doing, we need to go!” Teriwald reminded in an increasingly demanding tone. 

“Calm down, Waldo, we’re fi–” Maria was cut off by several cries of the swutonaton calling back at her.

“Meeeeeerrrm!” 

“Oh, this is too good!” More of the swutonaton had stirred now, and they were climbing off of each other and standing in a herd before Maria who laughed and made the noise again. 

“Meeeerrrm!”

“MEEEEEEEEERRRRRM!!!” The entire herd of seventeen (Grutona had counted in xer moments of horror earlier) swutonaton were now calling back at Maria’s prompting. 

Nobody on the team said anything as they all watched in rapt attention Maria and the herd of swutonaton yell at each other for the next ten standard minutes. 

Humans, Grutona concluded, still half horrified, are weird.

So about those space orcs...

I’ve seen a lot of posts about humans pack-bonding with frankly everything, no matter how big, scary, threatening, lethal or oozy.

But you know what I haven’t seen?

Humans entrusting their young to their pack-bonded friends. Because that’s a thing we do. We entrust our children to our friends. We entrust our children to our dogs. We befriend the biggest, meanest, scariest shit, and then we dump our defenseless, hasn’t-even-got-a-fully-fused-skull-yet offspring on them. Half for shits-and-giggles, half because it’s cute, mostly because children are exhausting and we need a nanny.

Keep reading

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Our Juno mission has been exploring Jupiter since July 2016 with a special passenger on board: JunoCam, an instrument designed to take spectacular close-up color images of the largest planet in our solar system. From the raw images, citizen scientists have processed a range of beautiful photographs that highlight Jupiter’s features, even turning them into works of art. Below, 10 stunning images JunoCam has given us over the past year.

1. Jovian tempest. 

This color-enhanced image of a massive, raging storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere was captured by our Juno spacecraft during its ninth close flyby on Oct. 24, 2017. The storm is rotating counter-clockwise with a wide range of cloud altitudes, and the darker clouds are expected to be deeper in the atmosphere than the brightest clouds.

2. A southern stunner. 

Jupiter’s southern hemisphere shows off in beautiful detail in this image taken on Oct. 24, 2017. The color-enhanced view captures one of the white ovals in the “String of Pearls,” one of eight massive rotating storms at 40 degrees south latitude on the gas giant planet.

3. Dreaming in color. 

Artist Mik Petter created this unique digital piece using data from the JunoCam. The art form, known as fractals, uses mathematical formulas to create an infinite variety of form, detail, color and light. The original JunoCam image was taken on July 10, 2017.

4. Jovian moon shadow. 

Jupiter’s moon Amalthea casts a shadow on the gas giant planet in this image taken on Sept. 1, 2017. The elongated shape of the shadow is a result of both the location of the moon with relation to Jupiter in this image as well as the irregular shape of the moon itself.

5. 95 minutes over Jupiter. 

Once every 53 days, Juno swings close to Jupiter, speeding over its clouds. In about two hours, the spacecraft travels from a perch over Jupiter’s north pole through its closest approach (perijove), then passes over the south pole on its way back out. This sequence shows 11 color-enhanced images from Perijove 8 (Sept. 1, 2017) with the south pole on the left (11th image in the sequence) and the north pole on the right (first image in the sequence).

6. Soaring high. 

This striking image of Jupiter was taken on Sept. 1, 2017 as Juno performed its eighth flyby. The spacecraft was 4,707 miles (7,576 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of about -17.4 degrees. Noteworthy: “Whale’s Tail” and “Dan’s Spot.”

7. In true color. 

This true-color image offers a natural color rendition of what the Great Red Spot and surrounding areas would look like to human eyes from Juno’s position. The image was taken on July 10, 2017 as the Juno spacecraft performed its seventh close flyby of Jupiter.

8. The ‘face’ of Jupiter. 

JunoCam images aren’t just for art and science—sometimes they’re created for a good chuckle. This image, processed by citizen scientist Jason Major, is titled “Jovey McJupiterface.” By rotating the image 180 degrees and orienting it from south up, two white oval storms turn into eyeballs, and the “face” of Jupiter is revealed. The original image was taken by the Juno spacecraft on May 19, 2017.

9. Bands of clouds. 

This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s bands of light and dark clouds was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran. Three of the white oval storms known as the “String of Pearls” are visible near the top of the image. Each of the alternating light and dark atmospheric bands in this image is wider than Earth, and each rages around Jupiter at hundreds of miles (kilometers) per hour. The lighter areas are regions where gas is rising, and the darker bands are regions where gas is sinking. Juno captured the image on May 19, 2017.

10. The edge. 

This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian “galaxy” of swirling storms. Juno captured this image on Feb. 2, 2017 and citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko enhanced the color to bring out the rich detail in the storm and surrounding clouds. Just south of the dark storm is a bright, oval-shaped storm with high, bright, white clouds, reminiscent of a swirling galaxy. As a final touch, he rotated the image 90 degrees, turning the picture into a work of art.

To learn more about the Juno mission at Jupiter, visit: www.nasa.gov/juno

Follow the Juno mission on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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

so i was going about my day, googling facts about dinosaurs, as you do, when i spotted this name

[Image: a screenshot of Wikipedia reading ‘Dracorex’]

oh neat, i thought, is this like a dragon-dinosaur? so i looked further, and look what i found

[Image: Wikipedia text reading ‘Dracorex is a dinosaur genus of the family Pachycephalosauridae, from the Late Cretaceous of North America. The type (and only known) species is Dracorex hogwartsia, meaning “dragon king of Hogwarts”.’]

dracorex hogwartsia. this just in, scientists are nerds

Stranger Things Season 2 trailer shot by shot run down

I do not claim or own any of these screenshots all rights to Netflix


aw look at my children doing normal children things can’t wait to see how long that’s going to last 

so, the way that Dungeons and Dragons was sort of the running analogy last season, my guess is that this game is going to be the overlying symbolism for this season.

my boys all back together and happy again can’t wait to see how long that’ll last :’)

so if this is the analogy I’m guessing the “sword” is going to be the key to slaying the monster

again, the dragon probably = the monster

and if so, the fact that Dustin seemingly LOST this game sort of worries me…

case in point

this trailer took approximately 15 seconds to get me to say “oh no”

AS I WAS SAYING (okay so obviously from what we left off on last season and the trailers/ teaser we’ve gotten. we now know this season is going to deal with the aftermath of the Upside Down for Will as well as the entire community as rifts have been opened to other worlds)

so i’m assuming Will’s main arc this season is going to be his struggle with being split between two worlds, and though I understand why they did it I wish we could see more of Will apart from that but oh well)

me too buddy, me too.

and thus, we have our big bad for the season *rubs hands together*

mike he is obviously not okay but thanks for being concerned

correct me if i’m wrong but is that Jonathan’s car? why is he leaving?

sooooo why isn’t Will at school?

stancy break up/ tension possibly? nothing good ever really comes from their meeting in this ally

aw…is this why he wasn’t in school? Joyce obviously knows something is up. (side note: is that Hopper behind them?)

oh come on-

these SOBs again?

so i guess maybe the Upside Down;s bleeding over to our world effect crops too???????

Hopper and Joyce as parents yes please (also Will is not okay)

“I felt it everywhere” wtf is that supposed to mean that’s terrifying

please just let the Byers family live someone give them a break

why do they look so suspect? who are they looking at?

honestly I’m loving the Halloween time theme I can’t wait for the aesthetics they’re going to be implementing

my connection/ insider I have previously hinted to me about a Steve/ kids dynamic that was going to be happening this season, but I’m actually very interested to see where this goes and the relationships that’ll come out of it

again with the aesthetics !!! yes !!! please!!! and !!! thank !!! you !!!

when the scientists are worried, it’s really time to get worried

uuuhhhhh yikes? blood is never a good sign?

ESPECIALLY AROUND DUSTIN NO DO NOT WANT THIS TRAILER IS MAKING ME REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT HIS SAFETY AS A CHARACTER

ah yes all is probably not well at the Wheeler household 

of course my dork sons all go trick or treating in matching Ghost Busters costumes I love them

it looks like he’s tracking something. buuuuut what?

HOP!! I MISSED YOU AND YOUR PERPETUALLY CONFUSED EYEBROWS

oooohhhhhh these boys look like they’re crushing on the new giiirrrllll 👀 (mainly Lucas and Dustin? maybe Will I can’t tell) (except for Mike because they really are doing everything they can to bury me in Mileven feels)

I can literally feel her angst radiating off the screen and I have a feeling I’m going to stan her unless the writers use her as a devise to cause tension or rivalry among the boys in which case someone is going to die

“Sometimes I feel like I can still see her” WHY DO THE WRITERS FEEL THE NEED TO HURT ME LIKE THIS GAH I MISS MILEVEN HE EVEN KEPT HER BLANKET FORT UP  (because also it’s important to note that this is the same shirt from the screenshot of them watching the girl walk in. so if Mike goes home and realizes he still misses I’m going to choke)

can’t wait for this to most likely just be a cat jump scare

they’re building something don’t ask me what

if I had to guess I would say some sort of device that picks up on signals from the Upside Down maybe? like some sort of crystal radio?

but why does Mike kind of look like hes going to smash it with the speaker?

new girl seems to be working with them/ part of the group now. but the box opened? idk this part is confusing

-EDIT/ UPDATE THANKS TO @disneyprincesskatherine apparently this is a reference to Ghostbusters! the box is similar to a device they use in the movies to catch ghost (i’m uncultured I’m so sorry). she also speculates this is the capture of the sort of “pet” Dustin gets that Gaten talked about (could also be why there is blood on Dustin’s chair)

okay but where is #4? they’re still in their Halloween costumes so we can assume it’s either the day of or the morning after, though on what looked to be Halloween night in one of the previous screencaps, all 4 were present soooo

more evidence of the world meshing

YOU BEST BELIEVE I SCREAMED OUT LOUD I MISSED THEM (they both looks so good I‘m loving the haircuts) (and is this them breaking into the lab?)

even though this is a gross slimy portal to another dimension, i’m still digging the aesthetics

Will is not okay part 87450507

this is either a drawing of a map of the Upside Down or all connecting tree roots. either way wtf Will?

This time on: OTPs With Unreal Height Differences 

it kind of looks like the same “tree roots” on the ground as there were at the gas station shot so yeah, I think Will was drawing a giant root system

🎶 you’re my daaad, you’re my dad, boogie woogie woogie 🎶

DREAM TEAM (Mike, Nancy, Jonathan, Joyce) (also can we laugh at the fact that Mike is armed with a candle holder while he stands next to his sister literally holding a shot gun)

Hop digging my grave for when I finish the season

*cues classic 80′s teen movie party montage*

my girl wildin out (and Steve’s there too I guess)

TELL ME WHO HURT YOU (this is a different outfit from the party though, so it’s not the same scene)

a new weapon? perhaps the “sword”?

!!!!!!

OH GOD TELL ME HOP IS OKAY

everyone in this trailer looks as shook as I feel watching it

Will Is Not Okay: The Saga Continues

same shirt so most likely what he’s experiencing on the other side. I’m almost certain he’s going to play a big role in Eleven being able to come back to the other side

Journey To The Center of the Earth (2008)

well well well, Samwise Gamgee, what’s poppin’

why does Steve have Jonathan’s bat?

as far as I can tell this treck into the Upside Down consists of Mike, Dustin, Joyce, and I can’t tell who the others are 

“ABORT ABORT!!!” (this is a different scene from the one above so I wonder what this is in reference to)

another shot of Will being scared out of his mind, this kid doesn’t ever get a break (though the background looks almost like the lab as opposed to the upside down. I could be wrong)

…well that’s concerning (kind of looks like that giant monster is chasing him)

“If you’re out there, please just give me a sign”

so this looks to be back in the Upside Down equivalent to the classroom where Eleven defeated the Demegorgan. and based on the look on her face and the previous shot above, it seems she JUST woke up

YES MY BADASS CHILD I NEVER DOUBTED YOU FOR A SECOND

yES HER RETURN IS ABOUT TO BE ICONIC

YALL MIND IF I WILD OUT OVER THESE AESTHETICS AGAIN

I’m so freaking happy for her return to Mike us

Lord almighty this season looks amazing.

Faction Logic in Fallout 4

Faction: Finally, we’ve infiltrated the Institute! Time to blow this shit up!

SS: But … this place is incredible. It might truly be mankind’s last hope.

Faction: This place has terrorized the Commonwealth for years! We’re blowin’ it up!

SS: But Father’s dead. The people have already surrendered. Some of them have even evacuated.

Faction: Time’s a wastin’! Gotta blow it up!

SS: But there are some pretty good people here. Not everyone is like Father. Very few of them, in fact. Maybe we can learn to put aside our differences and work together for the betterment of mankind.

Faction: I’m hookin’ up the bomb!

SS: There are animals in here, too. Plants and food substitutes. Purified water. Farms and heat lamps. There’s also a lab where scientists were studying the FEV virus. Maybe we can find a way to reverse it. Forever.

Faction: Tick-tock, tick-tock.

SS: Hmm, what this? Says on this terminal that they were working on a cure for cancer, and the results were promising. It looks like they’ve almost cracked the code on–

Faction: BLOW IT UP!!!!

Observing the Ozone Hole from Space: A Science Success Story

Using our unique ability to view Earth from space, we are working together with NOAA to monitor an emerging success story – the shrinking ozone hole over Antarctica.

Thirty years ago, the nations of the world agreed to the landmark ‘Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.’ The Protocol limited the release of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere.

Since the 1960s our scientists have worked with NOAA researchers to study the ozone layer. 

We use a combination of satellite, aircraft and balloon measurements of the atmosphere.

The ozone layer acts like a sunscreen for Earth, blocking harmful ultraviolet, or UV, rays emitted by the Sun.

In 1985, scientists first reported a hole forming in the ozone layer over Antarctica. It formed over Antarctica because the Earth’s atmospheric circulation traps air over Antarctica.  This air contains chlorine released from the CFCs and thus it rapidly depletes the ozone.

Because colder temperatures speed up the process of CFCs breaking up and releasing chlorine more quickly, the ozone hole fluctuates with temperature. The hole shrinks during the warmer summer months and grows larger during the southern winter. In September 2006, the ozone hole reached a record large extent.

But things have been improving in the 30 years since the Montreal Protocol. Thanks to the agreement, the concentration of CFCs in the atmosphere has been decreasing, and the ozone hole maximum has been smaller since 2006’s record.

That being said, the ozone hole still exists and fluctuates depending on temperature because CFCs have very long lifetimes. So, they still exist in our atmosphere and continue to deplete the ozone layer.

To get a view of what the ozone hole would have looked like if the world had not come to the agreement to limit CFCs, our scientists developed computer models. These show that by 2065, much of Earth would have had almost no ozone layer at all.

Luckily, the Montreal Protocol exists, and we’ve managed to save our protective ozone layer. Looking into the future, our scientists project that by 2065, the ozone hole will have returned to the same size it was thirty years ago.

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

Negotiations

I walked into the room, avoiding direct eye contact with the alien waiting for me. Its huge eyes just looked like a jet black sclera set in a sack of vaguely damp, wrinkled gray leather. If eyes are a window into the soul, this creepy little guy would give satan a run for his money. They just put me on edge, somehow. I’d have to make eye contact anyway, but it could wait.

I strode up to the meeting table, pulled out the chair, and sat down. I shuffled around in my bag for a moment before pulling out a small piece of tech, which I set on the table in front of me.

“Before we begin, I want to be sure of a few things. This device you’ve provided us with, it is 100% effective at understanding and translating languages, correct?”

The alien across from me nodded. It’s a nice little allowance they’ve made for comfort, learning our body language, but its bulbous head threw the whole gesture off. It made me think of one of those old inflatable toys with a weight on the bottom, that would lean too far to the side before bouncing straight back up. Woobles or something. It didn’t really matter.

“Nearly. We occasionally find a race with one or two concepts that it has trouble with, but that’s easily smoothed over.”

I took a deep breath, and waited a moment to compose myself. This whole thing was going to be more trying than not interrupting old man Higgins up the street while he went on about whatever racist sentiment was in his head at the moment.

“One or two…okay. That’s odd.”

The alien blinked. Eyelids came in from not just the top and bottom, but also the sides. That’s just plain creepy. Reminds me of one of those really old movies they threw on the media blacklist pretty much as soon as first contact started. Something in black. Whatever it was, I remember seeing it as a kid, and that guy at the beginning had nothing on this alien’s eyes.

“Have you already found something it can’t translate?”

I nodded, then pulled out my communicator and scrolled through a few documents. I really needed to clean this thing out. Can’t believe I didn’t get around to it before coming to such an important meeting. Imagine the debacle that would result if I opened exactly the wrong thing. Never can know what that might be, honestly.

“Of a sort, yes. Mind humoring me for a few minutes?”

The alien steepled its hands together, and leaned forward. That’s just plain creepy. I wonder how they learned such context specific body language? Not that it really matters, I guess. Not my problem.

“Certainly. After all, it can take years to accept a race into the Federation.”

Nodding again, I pulled up a document on my communicator, then leaned back in my chair as I began. This was going to be more interesting than that time your classmate Jimmy found some old matches somewhere and almost burned the school down by mistake.

“Excellent. This shouldn’t take much time. I mentioned that we found some issues with your device. Allow me to demonstrate: Espionage.”

The little device on the table beeped, and a red light flashed.

“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FOUND”

I sighed. That one had been an accident. We just had the thing sitting in a conference room while we discussed the implications of the visit when it came up. But, when something that simple for us to understand came up, we had to try for more.

“Reverse Engineering.”

Again, a beep and a flash of red.

“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FOUND”

“Spycraft.”

And again with the beep. This was going to get irritating if I didn’t speed things up a bit. Too bad we hadn’t managed to find a mute option for that feature.

“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FO-”

“Overwhelming Force”

“ERROR: NO-”

“Scorched Earth”

“ER-”

“Kamikaze”

“E-”

Blitzkrieg, Stealth, Mutually Assured Destruction, Acceptable Losses, Pyrrhic Victory, Guerilla Warfare, Encirclement, Entrenchment, Siege.”

The device gave off a series of distressed beeps, punctuated by rapid blinking of the little red light. I almost felt sorry for it. Almost.

“TOO MANY ERRORS DETECTED. REBOOTING. RUNNING SELF DIAGNOSTIC. NO DISCREPANCIES FOUND,”

I paused, and glanced across the table at the alien before looking back down at the translator. This was going to hit it harder than a washed up holovid actor with no auditions and less money hits rock bottom.

“Xenocide”

The chair across from me clattered to the ground as the alien practically fell out of its seat. I don’t blame the poor thing. Of all the aggressive, militaristic words we tried, that was one of the ones we least expected to translate. I mean, really. Who has a word for the intentional extermination of an entire sapient species when they don’t even understand fundamental hostile international mechanics like spying?

“Why do you have a word for…what was all that just now?”

I chuckled a bit while motioning for the alien to sit back down. His reaction had been pretty good, perfectly suitable for one of those hammed-up old dramas where the hero realizes they’ve been working with the villain all along.

“We were confused about that too. So we took a look at the information you sent as part of first contact with us. We noticed something interesting. Every single race in your Federation is carnivorous. Why is that?”

The alien seemed smaller somehow as it settled back into a seat. It looked kind of like a balloon slowly losing air, if that balloon was made of moldering gray leather with eyes that made your spinal column decide it wanted a holiday in Fiji.

“First contact has always been made after sapient races make it to multiple worlds. We’ve never found a sapient herbivorous race which failed to destroy themselves in resource wars and aggressive action. We’ve never found herbivores capable of surviving long enough to leave their own world.”

I leaned forward in the chair and smiled while finally making direct eye contact with the alien. I think the poor thing shivered when I did that. Not that I blame it. Imagine your reaction when you start to put the pieces together and realize that your friendly, upstanding next door neighbor might be the world’s most wanted criminal.

“And the races you have found, while commonly using threat displays, do not waste resources on wars they cannot easily win, correct?”

The alien nodded as it slouched a bit in its chair. It looked kind of like it was trying to hide. Who wouldn’t want to hide from the monsters in their closet?

“Wasted resources means decreased likelihood of survival.”

I shrugged. That was true enough, though rather coldly logical. Dispassionate logic like that has never been our strong suit. Then again, that’s why I’m in this situation in the first place, so it evens out.

“And yet herbivores constantly waste resources on aggression, on movement, on having more young than will possibly survive.”

The alien was staring at me. I’m not sure when the last time it blinked was. I wonder if those eyes need some kind of lubrication to keep from drying out. Probably, they looked a bit less creepy than they should’ve. Looked like they were losing their shine.

“And they die for it. That’s exactly why we’ve never encountered spacefaring herbivores. Their inherent aggression is their own demise.”

I held eye contact. I’d almost swear the alien was a weird statue right now. Don’t know who would commission a statue made of old greasy leather, but I’m sure there’s someone with too much money and too little sense who would give it a shot.

“Indeed. Now, back to the subject at hand. I’ll ask you before we continue: what can you offer humans for joining your Federation?”

The alien sputtered as it started moving again. I’d swear it looked offended. Maybe it doesn’t see where this is going. Not that it really matters, I guess. I mean, it probably matters about as much as posting a formal complaint to a new corporate policy, which is to say not at all.

“We’ve already sent the offer. You’ve seen that, I’m sure.”

I nodded, and began to tap out a staccato rhythm on the table with my fingers. I never could remember where I learned this stupid tune. I’ve known it as long as I can remember, and it just moves into my head on occasion and sticks around like that one couchsurfing friend who doesn’t understand the idea of wearing out their welcome.

“And I’m asking, what else do you have to offer?”

The alien just shook its head again, staring at the device. I wonder if it thought we might’ve tampered with it. As if we knew how. That little thing is way beyond our current abilities. We had some scientists pry it open and look inside, just to be sure.

“Nothing. I’m not sure why you’re-”

I raised my hand, cutting him off. Huh. Not sure why that worked. Did they learn that much of our body language? That’s still really creepy, if it’s the case. Or, maybe I just have it on edge. I dunno. I guess it doesn’t matter.

“May I have permission to connect my datapad with my ship’s computers?”

The alien glanced away from me for a moment. I assume it was checking in with superiors somehow. Maybe it was psychic, to an extent. Or maybe they just had an implant of some sort. We’ll find out eventually, I’m sure.

“Yes, if you like.”

I sighed. I guess that makes things easier for us. I don’t think anyone was going to like what I was about to do. This whole thing felt kind of like one of those holovids of an accident, where you know what’s coming and don’t want to keep going, but for some reason you just can’t seem to stop and pull yourself away.

“Computer, show video: Hiroshima”

A screen appeared in the air above my datapad. It started playing back an old, grainy video. Shaky, taken by hand in an aircraft in a firefight. Below, you can barely see a city being blotted out by a massive explosion. A cloud of smoke, fire and debris was rapidly climbing into the sky, billowing, growing, blooming into an eerie and easily recognized mushroom cloud.

“That’s…you’re using weapons of that scale on a population center? How recent was this?”

I shrugged, and closed the video. The screen on my datapad went back to the document I had up earlier. Gotta love how well they managed to predict this whole thing. I made a mental note to recommend a raise for whoever set up that document for me.

“Three centuries ago. Prior to our invention of spaceflight. Part of a much larger conflict. This is a relatively minor example of “overwhelming force”“

“ERROR: NO A-”

“Shut it. Computer, show infosheet: Battle of Stalingrad.”

A series of graphs and diagrams appeared above my datapad. They showed resources, time, maps, battle plans, and death tolls. Images were interspersed throughout, as were annotations on the tactical value of this, the emotional value of that. Prominent among them was a single apartment building, including notes on sniping from the roof and support via tunnels.

“That…what purpose would that…why w-”

Again, I raised my hand to cut him off, before closing the infosheet. Maybe it was both. Nah, couldn’t be. Only way it was both having this guy on edge and our body language is if it somehow had our body language built in. Unsettling thought, but not exactly likely.

“Because Stalingrad was an advantageous location and the people who died there were considered ‘Acceptable losses’“

“ERRO-”

“Computer, show gallery: General Sherman’s March to the Sea.”

A multitude of images appeared over the datapad. Rail lines and roads intentionally broken and destroyed. Farms and fields scoured clean and left to fallow. Buildings and towns razed to the ground. A broken people left to mourn and starve.

“So much waste…that can’t be intentional, can it?”

I glanced at the images, the wanton destruction that campaign caused, and the very orders that caused it. That kind of thing may be considered morally reprehensible now, even a war crime, but it wasn’t always. At the time, the strategy was extolled as one of the reasons the war ended the way it did.

“It was intentional.”

The alien stared at me, its reflective black eyes bigger than I’d ever seen them before. Creepy as all hell, that’s for sure. I’d rather not deal with these kinds of meetings in the future. Maybe after this I could negotiate for some kind of retirement.

“But…why?”

I tapped my datapad and closed the gallery, then leaned back and tossed my feet on the table. May as well relax, I already knew how this was going to end.

“Because it rendered the enemy unable to use resources Sherman couldn’t keep. Computer, assemble and show video grouping: RTS Games”

A large grid of videos came up, showing a huge range of scenes. Largely battle, the settings varied from open space to deep ocean, from early history to the far “future.” Even battles across space and time could be seen.

“The translator can’t have gotten that right. Those are military tactical simulations. Higher level than anything I’ve ever seen or heard of.”

I laughed as I closed out all of the videos and turned back to the alien. Creepy and unsettling as it might be, I’m pretty sure I was terrifying the poor thing. Not that I really felt sorry for it. Not at all.

“No. They aren’t. Those are games. Toys. For. Fun. And they’re a couple hundred years out of date. From what I’ve seen, nearly every human capable of coherent speech is capable of tactically overwhelming your Federation. And since we’re already here, in space, it’s too late for you to say no. So, I’ll ask again:

What do you have to offer us?”

From what I've listened so far:
  • Wolf 359: Aliens? They like classical music, and we're going to exploit them because ~capitalism~.
  • The Penumbra Podcast: Aliens? Their stuff is pretty cool, but they're extinct and we live here now.
  • Kakos Industries: Aliens? Great gardeners. We're taking credit for their existence. If they try to conquer Earth, we're taking credit for that too.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: Aliens? Whaaaaaaat? Who said anything about aliens??? They TOTALLY don't run the government and use humanity as a testing ground for reality-altering technology. LOOK AT THIS CUTE CAT AND ALSO MY HOT SCIENTIST HUSBAND STOP THINKING ABOUT ALIENS WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO THINK ABOUT THE ALIENS!!!!!
  • Alice Isn't Dead: Aliens? *deep sigh* This country is obsessed with the idea of "otherness". We label those who are different from us, those we deem unworthy of sharing this land, as "other". As "illegal aliens". Why? Is it such a crime to be different? Is otherness inherently bad?
  • The Bridge: Aliens? ALIENS???? ARE ALIENS REAL TOO?? WE HAVE ENOUGH TO WORRY ABOUT IN OUR OWN GODFORSAKEN OCEAN WE CAN'T WORRY ABOUT ALIENS TOO!!! Also hey I have a cool story about aliens.
instagram

A starving, emaciated polar bear rummages through trash in search of food, picking up a piece of foam from a snow mobile seat and attempting to eat it. Filmed by Paul Nicklen, nature photographer and National Geographic contributor for nearly two decades, on Baffin Island off the coast of Northern Canada.

“This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death. When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner. There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear. The simple truth is this—if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment. But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth—our home—first.”

A Total Solar Eclipse Revealed Solar Storms 100 Years Before Satellites

Just days from now, on Aug. 21, 2017, the Moon will pass between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow down on Earth and giving all of North America the chance to see a solar eclipse. Remember that it is never safe to look at the partially eclipsed or uneclipsed Sun, so make sure you use a solar filter or indirect viewing method if you plan to watch the eclipse.

Eclipses set the stage for historic science. Past eclipses enabled scientists to study the Sun’s structure, find the first proof of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and discover the element helium — 30 years before it was found on Earth..

We’re taking advantage of the Aug. 21 eclipse by funding 11 ground-based scientific studies. As our scientists prepare their experiments for next week, we’re looking back to an historic 1860 total solar eclipse, which many think gave humanity our first glimpse of solar storms — called coronal mass ejections — 100 years before scientists first understood what they were.  

Coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, are massive eruptions made up of hot gas, plasma and magnetic fields. Bursting from the Sun’s surface, these giant clouds of solar material speed into space up to a million miles per hour and carry enough energy to power the world for 10,000 years if we could harness it. Sometimes, when they’re directed towards Earth, CMEs can affect Earth’s space environment, creating space weather: including triggering auroras, affecting satellites, and – in extreme cases – even straining power grids.

Scientists observed these eruptions in the 1970s during the beginning of the modern satellite era, when satellites in space were able to capture thousands of images of solar activity that had never been seen before.

But in hindsight, scientists realized their satellite images might not be the first record of these solar storms. Hand-drawn records of an 1860 total solar eclipse bore surprising resemblance to these groundbreaking satellite images.

On July 18, 1860, the Moon’s shadow swept across North America, Spain and North Africa. Because it passed over so much populated land, this eclipse was particularly well-observed, resulting in a wealth of scientific observations.  

Drawings from across the path of the 1860 eclipse show large, white finger-like projections in the Sun’s atmosphere—called the corona—as well as a distinctive, bubble-shaped structure. But the observations weren’t uniform – only about two-thirds of the 1860 eclipse sketches showed this bubble, setting off heated debate about what this feature could have been.

Sketches from the total solar eclipse of July 1860.

One hundred years later, with the onset of space-based satellite imagery, scientists got another piece of the puzzle. Those illustrations from the 1860 eclipse looked very similar to satellite imagery showing CMEs – meaning 1860 may have been humanity’s first glimpse at these solar storms, even though we didn’t understand what we were seeing.

While satellites provide most of the data for CME research, total solar eclipses seen from the ground still play an important role in understanding our star. During an eclipse, observers on the ground are treated to unique views of the innermost corona, the region of the solar atmosphere that triggers CMEs.

This region of the Sun’s atmosphere can’t be measured at any other time, since 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. Yet scientists think this important region is responsible for accelerating CMEs, as well as heating the entire corona to extraordinarily high temperatures.

When the path of an eclipse falls on land, scientists take advantage of these rare chances to collect unique data. With each new total solar eclipse, there’s the possibility of new information and research—and maybe, the chance to reveal something as astronomical as the first solar storm.

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

  • scientist 1: so we found these cool new creatures at the bottom of the ocean what should we call them
  • scientist 2: idk man they look like techinicolor sausages with guy fiery hair
  • scientist 2: ...sea....cucumber
  • scientist 1: nah we gotta make it sound Scientific™
  • scientist 1: ...nudibranch
  • scientist 2: why tho
  • scientist 1: ᵗʰᵉʸ ⁿᵃᵏᵉʸ

I’m a huge fan of podcasts so, here’s a few for those boring bus rides to school.

Docudramas - these are podcasts that are meant to seem like real life with a twist. while not for the faint of hear, gullible, or paranoid utterly enjoyable.

- the black tapes: a podcast by Pacific Northwest Stories which follows Alex Reagan exploring interesting people, most notably Dr. Richard Strand in the world of paranormal investigation.

- tanis: another podcast by Pacific Northwest Stories. this one follows Nic Silver as he looks for perhaps the last genuine mystery in the Information Age.

- rabbits: Pacific Northwest Stories strikes again, but this time in a little bit of a shorter (for now) story line. When Carly Parker’s friend Yupik goes missing, she delves into the world of an ancient game called rabbits which has worldly and otherworldly implications.

- limetown: a podcast by Two-Up which follows the mysterious disappearance of the residence of limetown, a city of scientists, after an emergency that not one seems to understand.

- the message/lifeafter: (it’s called life/after right now but the episodes of the message are near the beginning) podcasts by Panoply. the message is about a team of linguists figuring out an extraterrestrial message that has been sent to earth. life/after looks at what if an app could connect you to a dead loved one, and what would you do to keep that connection.

The Radio Show - these are styles like a talk show but are often bizarre and have twists and quirks

- welcome to night vale: a podcast by night vale presents. this podcast is fairly well known now, and for good reason. This mysterious town of night vale and its wonderful host Cecil Gershwin Palmer announces the news of the day and have done so for ~5 years now. with drama and a really nice voice as well as some wonderful cooing over carlos’s perfect hair, it’s what got me into podcasts.

- king falls am: a podcast by king falls am. a weird town, aliens, creepy towns folk, some real shade towards the US presidency, king falls am shows an early morning am talk show often overshadowed by their more popular and successful counter parts. Funny and intriguing.

- kakos industries: a very, very explicit podcast by kakos industries. (if you’re not good with a lot of frank talk about sex, then this is not for you) corin deeth the third is the CEO of kakos industries whose main aim is to do evil better. a company about the evil in the world, its comedic and comes in the form of an update for those with shares in the company.

Science Fiction - My favourite genre and often with comedy, these podcasts are hopeful and yet to “down to earth (haha)”

- eos 10, a scifi radio play: a podcast by Justin McLachlan. doctors on a space station called eos 10 deal with so much hilarity and difficulty. Dr. Ryan Dalius is transferred as head surgeon to help Dr. Arviddien deal with alcoholism which has stunted his practise.

- ars paradoxica: a podcast by ars PARADOXICA. Time travel and the effects of it is the story line of this podcast, amazingly made and shows Dr. Sally Grissom after being transported back to the 40’s in war time USA.

- marscorp: a podcast by Definitely Human. When EL Hob is woken she expects the mars colony to be started, but among many other mistakes and hilarity, there is laziness at work.

- the strange case of the starship iris: a podcast by Procyon Podcasts. When Violet Liu narrowly escapes the destruction of her starship, she is rescues by some travellers, but they are not what they seem, and soon the misfit crew will uncover a huge conspiracy.

- wolf 359: a crew aboard a ship has so much misfortune, I’m so sorry Douglas:(, but this crew manages to keep a ship falling apart in the middle of space, with some difficulty.

Other/Miscellaneous

- the penumbra podcast: a podcast by Sophie Kaner and Kevin Vibert. the penumbra pod follows a few stories, but most notably the story of Juno Steel, a detective in Hyperion City on mars. He solves crimes, all while being a bitter lady, with the help of his assistant Rita.

- alice isn’t dead: a podcast by night vale presents. When a truckers wife, called Alice goes missing and is presumed dead, Alice’s wife (the trucker) goes on an adventure to look for her, but someone or something doesn’t want her to.

- the bright sessions: dr. Bright is a therapist for people with super powers, need I say more?

- return home: when a demonic voice summons Jonathon Parker to his hometown, curious things begin to happen and he is left the task of sorting them out.

- within the wire: meditation tapes with a twist

Chemists: We have a standardized and systematic naming convention overseen by an international body. Sure the names can get long and cumbersome but if you have the full IUPAC name you know exactly what the molecule looks like, including it’s spatial and 3D configuration, so ultimately our system is both helpful and informative

All other scientists: lol wouldn’t it be funny if i worked a pun into the name of this thing?

10 Questions About the 2017 Astronaut Class

We will select between eight and 14 new astronaut candidates from among a record-breaking applicant class of more than 18,300, almost three times the number of applications the agency received in 2012 for the recent astronaut class, and far surpassing the previous record of 8,000 in 1978.

The candidates will be announced at an event at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas at 2 p.m. EDT on June 7. You can find more information on how to watch the announcement HERE.

1. What are the qualifications for becoming an astronaut?

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements before submitting an application.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. 
  • Degree must be followed by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft
  • Ability to pass the NASA Astronaut physical.

For more information, visit: https://astronauts.nasa.gov/content/faq.htm

2. What have selections looked like in the past?

There have been 22 classes of astronauts selected from the original “Mercury Seven” in 1959 to the most recent 2017 class. Other notable classes include:

  • The fourth class in 1965 known as “The Scientists: because academic experience was favored over pilot skills. 
  • The eighth class in 1978 was a huge step forward for diversity, featuring the first female, African American and Asian American selections.
  • The 16th class in 1996 was the largest class yet with 44 members – 35 U.S. astronauts and 9 international astronauts. They were selected for the frequent Space Shuttle flights and the anticipated need for International Space Station crewmembers.
  • The 21st class in 2013 was the first class to have 50/50 gender split with 4 female members and 4 male members.

3. What vehicles will they fly in?

They could be assigned on any of four different spacecraft: the International Space Station, our Orion spacecraft for deep space exploration or one of two American-made commercial crew spacecraft currently in development – Boeing’s CST-199 Starliner or the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

4. Where will they go?

These astronauts will be part of expanded crews aboard the space station that will significantly increase the crew time available to conduct the important research and technology demonstrations that are advancing our knowledge for missions farther into space than humans have gone before, while also returning benefits to Earth. They will also be candidates for missions beyond the moon and into deep space aboard our Orion spacecraft on flights that help pave the way for missions to Mars.

5. What will their roles be?

After completing two years of general training, these astronaut candidates will be considered full astronauts, eligible to be assigned spaceflight missions. While they wait for their turn, they will be given duties within the Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center. Technical duties can range from supporting current missions in roles such as CAPCOM in Mission Control, to advising on the development of future spacecraft.

6. What will their training look like?

The first two years of astronaut candidate training will focus on the basic skills astronauts need. They’ll practice for spacewalks in Johnson’s 60-foot deep swimming pool, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, which requires SCUBA certification. They’ll also simulate bringing visiting spacecraft in for a berthing to the space station using its robotic arm, Canadarm2, master the ins and outs of space station system and learn Russian. 

And, whether they have previous experience piloting an aircraft of not, they’ll learn to fly our fleet of T-38s. In addition, they’ll perfect their expeditionary skills, such as leadership and fellowship, through activities like survival training and geology treks.

7.  What kinds of partners will they work with?

They will join a team that supports missions going on at many different NASA centers across the country, but they’ll also interact with commercial partners developing spaceflight hardware. In addition, they will work with our international partners around the globe: ESA (the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

8. How does the selection process work?

All 18,353 of the applications submitted were reviewed by human resources experts to determine if they met the basic qualifications. Those that did were then each reviewed by a panel of about 50 people, made up primarily of current astronauts. Called the Astronaut Rating Panel, that group narrowed to applicants down to a few hundred of what they considered the most highly qualified individuals, whose references were then checked.

From that point, a smaller group called the Astronaut Selection Board brought in the top 120 applicants for an intense round of interviews and some initial medical screening tests. That group is further culled to the top 50 applicants afterward, who are brought back for a second round of interviews and additional screening. The final candidates are selected from that group.

9. How do they get notified?

Each applicant selected to become an astronaut receives a phone call from the head of the Flight Operations Directorate at our Johnson Space Center and the chief of the astronaut office. They’re asked to share the good news with only their immediate family until their selection has been officially announced.

10. How does the on boarding process work?

Astronaut candidates will report for duty at Johnson Space Center in August 2017, newly fitted flight suits in tow, and be sworn into civil service. Between their selection and their report for duty, they will make arrangements to leave their current positions and relocate with their family to Houston, Texas.

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

anonymous asked:

Can you tell us something about j1407b?

J1407b is an exoplanet (but it can also be a brown dwarf) very interesting, orbiting its star J1407. It is larger than Saturn or Jupiter, and is surrounded by a ring system that is about 200 times larger than the rings of Saturn, very different from what we are accustomed to see.

Thirty-seven rings extending 90 million kilometers from the planet — over half the distance from the Earth to the sun — encircle the world. These planetary rings are the first found outside the solar system.

This exoplanet is 434 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus.

J1407b could house moons that could be formed by the material of the rings. One of their moons could be as large as Mars or Earth, and could orbit between the gaps of the rings, shaping them.

Astronomers expect the rings to become thinner in the next million years and eventually disappear as they form satellites from the material of the rings.

The discovery of the J1407 system and its unusual eclipses were reported by the team led by astronomer Eric Mamajek of the University of Rochester in 2012. The orbital period of J1407b is estimated at about a decade.

Simulation of the eclipse of the star J1407 by the ring system around its putative exoplanet J1407b. Each time a ring passed in front of the star, it dimmed. When entering a gap, the star brightened up again. Graphing the highs and lows, scientists created a profile of the ring system.

What the rings of J1407b would look like in our sky (above the Old Observatory in Leiden, Netherlands) if it was located where Saturn is now.

image 1°, image 2°, image 3°, image 4, image 5° & image 7°

Here are some links if you want to read more about it: here, here and here.

2

im not sure why, but danny looks particularly very cute in this screencap. i just cant put my finger on it.

is it because of the big head and small mouth??? the scrunched up pose? maybe it’s cause hes has this confused-cute expression here instead of the angry ready-to-fight expression that he usually has in ghost form??? what is it. scientists need to know