ultraviolet light

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A Midnight Walk Through the Neon-Hued Streets of Asian Cities by Marcus Wendt 

While on a recent trip through Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Seoul, London-based photographer Marcus Wendt found himself suffering from a bout of jetlag induced insomnia and ended up wandering the streets of several cities late at night. With a camera in-hand he captured these mesmerising shots that channel the cyberpunk vibe of movies like Bladerunner where narrow urban alleys are bathed in cool ultraviolet light. Over several days Wendt worked his way through the Kowloon area of Hong Kong and then Shenzhen’s Huaqiangbei area known for its sprawling electronics market, before eventually traveling to Seoul.

Crystal Terminology

Originally posted by fullmagicthings

Below is a list of helpful terms to know when working with gems and minerals. It includes terminology on various crystal shapes and forms. Terms specific to mineral shapes have “(form)” next to them for ease of reference.

Abundance (form): An abundance crystal consists of one long quartz crystal with many small crystals clustered around its base. Its function is to attract wealth and abundance.  

Adamantine Luster: A particularly brilliant shine as shown by a specimen such as a diamond.

Amorphous (form): Amorphous crystals, such as obsidian, have no particular shape. Energy flows rapidly through and amorphous crystal as it has no rigid internal organization.

Aura: The subtle bio-magnetic sheath that surrounds the physical body, providing a protective zone that extends for about 18 inches to 3 feet from the body and contains information about a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being. 

Aura Crystal: A crystal specimen, usually of the quartz variety, that has been coated with metal (i.e. gold, titanium) in a vacuum chamber resulting in an iridescent sheen.

Ball (form): Balls are usually shaped from a larger piece of crystal and may have planes or flaws within them. They emit energy in all directions equally. 

Barnacle (form): A barnacle crystal has many small crystals covering a larger crystal. 

Bridge (form): A bridge crystal grows out of another larger crystal. It assists in bridging gaps and bringing things together.

Carat: The standard measure of weight for precious stones and metals. A carat is equal to 0.007 oz (0.2g).

Cathedral Quartz (form): Cathedral quartz may appear to be composed of several convoluted pieces, but these are in fact all part of the main crystal which has multiple terminations with at least one point at the apex.

Channeler (form): A channeling crystal has a 7 sided facet at the front of the termination and a triangular face on the opposite side. It channels healing energy or information from higher sources. 

Cleavage: The way a mineral or rock breaks along a certain plane, or in a certain direction.

Cluster (form): A cluster has many points bedded, but not necessarily fixed, into a base. The crystals may be small or large. 

Companion (form): A companion crystal has two crystals entwined and partly growing in each other, or a small crystal that grows out of the main crystal. 

Cross (form): A cross formation has one crystal at right angles to another, usually larger crystal. 

Crystal: A naturally occurring substance whose atoms are arranged in a regular manner. 

Crystal System: The systems in which crystals are grouped based on their symmetry. There are 6 crystal systems: cubic, monoclinic, triclinic, trigonal/hexagonal, orthorhombic, and tetragonal. 

Diamond Window (form): Flat faces at the top of crystals are called windows. A diamond window is large and connected to the apex and the base.

Double Terminated (form): A crystal with two naturally faceted ends. 

Dull Luster: A shine that reflects very little.

Earthy Luster: A non-reflective mineral luster.

Egg (form): A crystal cut in the shape of an egg. 

Elestial (form): An elestial has many natural terminations and folds over a multilayered crystal. 

Etched (form): An etched crystal that looks as though hieroglyphs or cuneiform writing has been inscribed on its faces. 

Faces: The External flat surface that make up a crystal’s shape.

Fault Line: An inner flaw or break in a crystal that refracts light and appears to divide the crystal into sections. 

Fluorescence: The optical effect whereby a mineral appears a different color in ultraviolet light than in ordinary daylight. 

Fracture: The distinctive way a mineral breaks.

Friable: Minerals that easily crumble are referred to as friable.

Gemstone: A mineral, usually crystal-like, which is valued for its color, rarity, and hardness.

Generator (form): A generator crystal has six facets meeting equally in a sharp point. 

Geode (form): A geode is contained within an outer form. When opened, it is hollow with many crystals pointing inward. 

Geologist: A scientist who studies the Earth and its structure and composition.

Gridding: The placing of crystals around a building, person, or room for protection or enhancement energies.

Habit: The general shape of a mineral.

Inclusion: Any material that is trapped inside a mineral during its formation, often producing a rainbow.

Iridescence: A play of colors that looks like oil on water that occurs when light reflects off internal elements of a rock or mineral. 

Layered (form): Plate-like crystals such as lepidolite are referred to as layered. 

Luster: The way in which light reflects of the surface of a mineral.

Manifestation (form): One or more small crystals are totally enclosed by a larger crystal. 

Matrix: The bedrock on which crystals are formed.

Metallic Luster: A shine like that of polished metal.

Mineral: A naturally occurring solid with specific characteristics, such as a particular chemical composition and crystal shape.

Mineralogist: A scientist who studies minerals.

Mohs Scale: A scale of hardness used in classifying minerals. It runs from 1 to 10 using a series of reference minerals, and a position on the scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals rated lower.

Occlusion: A mineral deposit within a crystal, which usually shows up as cloudy patches, spots, or a ghostlike image depending on the color of the material.

Opaque: A substance or material that does not let light pass through it.

Ore: A rock or mineral from which metal can be extracted

Phantom (form): A phantom crystal appears ghostlike within the body of a larger crystal. 

Pleochroic: In a crystal, appearing to have two or more different colors or shades of color, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. 

Point (form): Points may be natural or artificially shaped. A single crystal point has a faceted pointed end and the other end tends to look ragged where it has been separated from a cluster base. 

Prism: A solid geometric figure with a set of faces parallel to one another.

Pyramid (form): A crystal with four sides on a base, but the base itself may be squared off if the crystal is natural (i.e. apophyllite) rather than artificially shaped.

Record Keeper (form): A record keeper crystal has clearly etched pyramid shapes on its side or sides. 

Resinous Luster: A shine like that of resin.

Scepter Quartz (form): A scepter quartz is a large central rod around one end of which another crystal is formed. 

Seer Stone (form): A seer stone is a natural, water polished stone that is cut to reveal an inner world. 

Specific Gravity: The ratio of a mineral’s weight compared to the weight of an equal volume of water.

Square (form): A square crystal consolidates energy within its form. It’s useful for anchoring intention and grounding. 

Streak: The color of a mineral’s powder. It is less variable than the color of the mineral, so is a more reliable identification tool.

Striation: One of multiple, usually parallel grooves or scratches on a rock surface, produced by abrasion associated with glacial movement, stream flow, a geologic fault, or meteoric impact.

Tabular (form): A tabular crystal has two wide sides resulting in a flat crystal which may be double terminated. 

Transmitter (form): A transmitter crystal has two seven-sided facets with two perfect triangles between them. 

Tumbled (form): Refers to stones that have been polished in a large drum with grit, resulting in a smooth and often shiny stone.

Vitreous Luster: A shine like that of glass.

Vogal Wand (form): A crystal with specially created, indented facets with specific angles down the sides of a quartz wand. 

Wand (form): A crystal in the shape of a wand, either naturally occurring or artificially cut. 

(( source | source | source ))

Revised 30 September 2017

Solar System: 10 Things to Know This Week

Need some space? 

Here are 10 perspective-building images for your computer desktop and mobile device wallpaper. 

These are all real images, sent very recently by our planetary missions throughout the solar system. 

1. Our Sun

Warm up with this view from our Solar Dynamics Observatory showing active regions on the Sun in October 2017. They were observed in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light that reveals plasma heated to over a million degrees. 

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2. Jupiter Up-Close

This series of enhanced-color images shows Jupiter up close and personal, as our Juno spacecraft performed its eighth flyby of the gas giant planet on Sept. 1, 2017. 

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3. Saturn’s and Its Rings

With this mosaic from Oct. 28, 2016, our Cassini spacecraft captured one of its last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance. 

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4. Gale Crater on Mars

This look from our Curiosity Mars rover includes several geological layers in Gale crater to be examined by the mission, as well as the higher reaches of Mount Sharp beyond. The redder rocks of the foreground are part of the Murray formation. Pale gray rocks in the middle distance of the right half of the image are in the Clay Unit. A band between those terrains is “Vera Rubin Ridge,” where the rover is working currently. The view combines six images taken with the rover’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) on Jan. 24, 2017. 

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5. Sliver of Saturn

Cassini peers toward a sliver of Saturn’s sunlit atmosphere while the icy rings stretch across the foreground as a dark band on March 31, 2017. This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ring plane. 

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6. Dwarf Planet Ceres 

This image of the limb of dwarf planet Ceres shows a section of the northern hemisphere, as seen by our Dawn mission. Prominently featured is Occator Crater, home of Ceres’ intriguing “bright spots.” The latest research suggests that the bright material in this crater is comprised of salts left behind after a briny liquid emerged from below. 

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7. Martian Crater

This image from our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows a crater in the region with the most impressive known gully activity in Mars’ northern hemisphere. Gullies are active in the winter due to carbon dioxide frost, but northern winters are shorter and warmer than southern winters, so there is less frost and less gully activity. 

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8. Dynamic Storm on Jupiter

A dynamic storm at the southern edge of Jupiter’s northern polar region dominates this Jovian cloudscape, courtesy of Juno. This storm is a long-lived anticyclonic oval named North North Temperate Little Red Spot 1. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. 

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9. Rings Beyond Saturn’s Sunlit Horizon 

This false-color view from the Cassini spacecraft gazes toward the rings beyond Saturn’s sunlit horizon. Along the limb (the planet’s edge) at left can be seen a thin, detached haze. 

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10. Saturn’s Ocean-Bearing Moon Enceladus

Saturn’s active, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus sinks behind the giant planet in a farewell portrait from Cassini. This view of Enceladus was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back before its mission came to an end on Sept. 15, after nearly 20 years in space. 

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Applying Wallpaper:
1. Click on the screen resolution you would like to use.
2. Right-click on the image (control-click on a Mac) and select the option ‘Set the Background’ or 'Set as Wallpaper’ (or similar).

Places to look for more of our pictures include solarsystem.nasa.gov/galleries, images.nasa.gov and www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages.

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

Humans Are Blind

Ok, I have been reading a tonne of Humans Are Weird/Space Australia stories and I’ve decided to throw myself onto the pile :)


I’ve seen a couple of posts about how aliens might have different senses to us and how human vision is a compleat sci-fi asspull, but it got me thinking.  Even within the senses humans have, there is a huge amount of variation.  Our hearing range only extends down to 20hz and the section of the electromagnetic spectrum we can see doesn’t even match up with other earth species!

Alien-1: Human-Steve welcome to the crew!  We hope you enjoy… Human-Steve are you listening to me?

Human: …

Alien-1: Human-Steve!  Please pay attention when I am talking to you!

Alien-2: Xpprop, I have read about this!  I believe the human cannot hear you because you are not within its audible spectrum, let me try.

Alien-2: (Does best Batman impression)

Human: Oh, gidday!

Alien-1: …I don’t believe this.

Or what about ultraviolet light?

Human: Hey Marpivox! have a look at these flowers!

Alien: Yes!  They are very pretty Human-Alex, especially their concentric patterns!

Human: ???

NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a significant solar flare as seen in the bright flash on the right on Dec. 19, 2014. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares

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