Posts Tagged ‘solar system’

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What am I gazing at on tattoo Tuesday?

August 11, 2015

Brilliant-Interactive-map-of-the-Solar-System-1-640x386This brilliant, interactive orrery (model of the solar system) created by Jeroen Gommers, a Dutch designer who specializes in infographics.

Go to his website and click on this link for the full effect.

Just try to catch Mercury – he’s a speedy little devil.

Ref – wordlessTech

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What is tattoo Tuesday about?

February 18, 2014

On February 18, 1930, Clyde W. Tombaugh, an assistant at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, discovered Pluto. For over seven decades, Pluto was considered the ninth planet of our solar system.

Now we know that is not the case.

This video was made by C G P Grey.

Pluto may not be a planet (one less object to memorize in elementary science class!), but it is the basis for some interesting tattoos:

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pluto3That’s Pluto up there at the top.

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Still mourning the fact that Pluto is not a planet?  As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “Get over it!”

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Where am I traveling?

January 9, 2014

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I must have stars in my eyes because this is another astronomical post. I saw this story (click on the graphic for the animation) in the New York Times article on 2013: The Year in Interactive Storytelling.  The story talks about the planets outside of our solar system that have been discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.  I do love a good info-graphic and find the animated planets just fascinating.  There is more to the story here.

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What am I worrying about now?

May 17, 2012

When I was in elementary school, we learned the mnemonic, “Many very early men ate juicy steaks using no plates.”  This was a way to remember the solar system:  Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.  Note that Pluto was still a planet and was in its “proper” place.  This was presented as an orderly system with everything staying in its designated orbit.

The problem, it turns out, is that the solar system is far from orderly.  Pluto moves in an orbit that takes it occasionally inside the orbit of Neptune.  Comets are also part of the system and they turn up and swing around the sun willy-nilly.

The biggest worry is the, as I learned it, “asteroid belt.”  Well, it’s not a belt.  It’s not even a sash.  It is just a loose mess of rocks, and some of them come very close to the Earth – close enough to be considered dangerous, as reported in this story from NASA which posted yesterday:

Observations from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to the best assessment yet of our solar system’s population of potentially hazardous asteroids. Also known as “PHAs,” these asteroids have orbits that come within five million miles (about eight million kilometers) of Earth, and they are big enough to survive passing through Earth’s atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale.

The NASA astronomers are predicting that there are 4,700 potentially hazardous asteroids that are near Earth’s orbit – give or take 1,500.  Yikes.