Venus “Glory”


Continuing my “baby steps” campaign into the cosmos – a  tireless mission, based on irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder. A cause asking readers to “look at the damn sky”. Discussion of God, religion, and creation myth are strictly forbidden – as are theories and scientific speculation. Gazing skyward – allowing yourself to replace ideological lines in the sand with unabashed “wonder” feels terrific – my pondering knees would collapse into giddy wobbles if so much as one person said “holy crap – thanks for the cosmic nudge”.

ESA (European Space Authority) space orbiter Venus Express captured images of rainbows on Venus. Dubbed “Glory” – “glories “appear as circles of coloured light when sunlight reflects off atmospheric droplets – on Earth, same sized water drops – clouds of Venus contain sulphuric acid. Venus has rainbows people!

After our Sun and Moon, Venus is the brightest object in the sky. On dark nights when the Moon doesn’t steal the show – Venus can actually cast shadows. Only 650 Km circumference smaller than Earth and 80% the mass – Venus is considered our “sister” planet. First visited in 1962 by Mariner, Venus may equal Earth in physical mass – atmosphere on the other hand would squash us like bugs –  93% greater than earth and equivalent to diving a kilometer below the ocean surface. It rotates backwards, with one sluggish day 243 “earth days” from dawn till dusk. It has no moons and writhes with volcanic activity.

Look at the sky and ponder rainbows of Venus.

Because the ecliptic - pathway of the planets - hits the horizon at a shallow angle on March mornings in the Northern Hemisphere, Mercury sits buried in the glare of morning twilight.

Because the ecliptic – pathway of the planets – hits the horizon at a shallow angle on March mornings in the Northern Hemisphere, Mercury sits buried in the glare of morning twilight.

The ecliptic intersects the horizon at a steep angle in the Southern Hemisphere, so Mercury will be easier to see from that part of the world.

The ecliptic intersects the horizon at a steep angle in the Southern Hemisphere, so Mercury will be easier to see from that part of the world.

http://earthsky.org/todays-image/space-rainbow-or-glory-seen-in-venus-atmosphere?utm_source=EarthSky%20News&utm_campaign=912c718343-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-912c718343-393970565

If You Need a Chuckle


I thought the woman who believed moving a “deer crossing” sign from the highway, directing animals to cross the road in a safer location was incredible – this little nugget gives deer crossing lady a run for her money.

Anyone who missed “deer crossing”, click on the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDLc9rkcXdY

Look – It’s a Moondog


Rainbows at night are not rainbows at all, they’re Moondogs. Watch for them as the moon gets full, and shines more brightly. As the nights get colder, water vapour in the air freezes as it rises forming ice crystals. When the moonlight passes through the crystals, we have a “moondog” appearing in the night sky.

Photo courtesy spaceweather.com