Above

What is Above? Is it only sky? I have a prompt to draw for and I’m trying to think what to do. I can start with tree branches or tall buildings towering over me. They reach up above me. Basically as I’m short anything above 5ft 6 inches is above me, so that includes kitchen cupboards! Upstairs? That too….

Then the blue sky and clouds are above us. The clouds could be white and fluffy or dark and threatening rain…but mountains can also tower above us. Even hills. The Blackpool tower?

Follow that with planes, satellites, space stations….

Asteroids, meteors, comets, planets, the moon, the sun, stars, the Oort cloud, cosmic rays, the milky way, galaxies, the universe.

I’m starting to feel rather small….

Green world

Imagine a green world, floating through space. Surrounded by a spherical forcefield that holds air and water in and keeps damaging radiation out. It can only survive where there is bright enough sunlight to allow the vegetation to survive unless it is equipped with power to keep it warm enough and keep artificial lights working for photosynthesis to happen. But plants have a limited lifespan, then they die and with the right biology break down and turn into compost. So the sphere needs to have enough space to keep growing, and enough resources to maintain a steady environment. Maybe there are large bodies of water to supply the plants.

I could be describing little spacecraft that could travel across space and seed new worlds? Or maybe it’s our planet. In either case, the environment needs protecting so that it can survive and thrive. If we imagine earth to be just a small spacecraft, where an imbalance could end its life, then perhaps we might take more care of it. X

A mobile…

How our vision changes. This was a mobile of the solar system I bought several years ago. Before the further exploration of the planets and based on images from the Voyager probes that happened in the 70’s and 80’s. I added the Space Shuttle model later. Now the James Webb telescope has been launched to take photos in the infra-red of the earliest ages of the universe. It will replace the Hubble Space telescope which took amazing photos of our solar system as well as galaxies and nebulae. It’s greatest image was the hubble deep feild that was a photo of a small, empty looking piece of sky, which turned out to be full of images of some of the earliest ever galaxies. I love astronomy. I might not know facts and figures, but I love space.

Universe

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was Universe. So I did this doodle. Crystal shapes that represent ancient ideas of the crystal spheres, moons in different phases. A solar system, a sun, a tardis, a wormhole a saturn type planet… Also galaxies colliding and other space stuff.

Black fine liner pen and black felt pens. I had fun doing this.

Sunset

Only 93 million miles away. The sun sets… But it really set 8 minutes earlier! It’s just that light takes that long to get from the sun to us.

OK, now look up at the stars. Some of them are actual stars and others are nebulae and galaxies.

Light takes time to travel. They talk about light years, some stars are only a few light years away. Some are thousands, or millions, or billions of light years away.

Now think about radio waves. They travel at the speed of light too… So TV and radio signals from Earth started travelling from when we first broadcast radio back in the 1920’s or 30’s? Thats a sphere around the Earth with a radius of about 90 or 100 years. So a planet 90 light years away might just about be hearing our signals. Imagine what they would do. They can’t travel here at the speed of light, but they might reply, but that will take 90 years to reply. Closer stars could have planets that reply sooner. But it’s still going to be a boring conversation!

I do love the sky

I’m a member of the cloud appreciation society and I love the sky. When it is misty and the sky turns salmon pink, when there are dark storm clouds in the background and bright sunlight shines on the landscape in front of them. We see amazing lightening storms, cumulo nimbus, stratus, cirrus, mammatus, so many sorts of clouds.

I love looking up at the sky, looking at the stars and meteor showers or seeing a satellite tracking overhead. I’ve seen Jupiter and Saturn and Mars and Venus in the telescope.

The sky can keep you occupied for hours x

Setting moon….

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From my (short) perspective, he moon was already set, but my hubby, who is a lot taller could still see it. So I held my phone up high, took it off auto onto manual, so it wasn’t overexposed, and took a few snaps. This was the best of the bunch.

Moon set. You can tell the sun is north west of it because of the sunlight light reflected on the moons surface.

Some bright stars in the sky tonight. Mercury and Venus have already set. One bright star overhead but can’t identify it. I had a quick look at what’s visible in tonight’s sky, but I think most of the other planets are rising in the morning.

X

Observe

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Photo of Jodrell Bank Observatory I took in 2011.

See that star up there?

That’s a planet Galileo saw.

See the dots across its face?

Moons that circle it apace.

Moving further into space,

Stars and gas, nebulae like lace.

Gazing further, higher, far

Supernovae, neutron star.

Galaxies fly apart so fast

Hubbles constant, Doppler’s haste.

Black holes tug at other worlds,

Gravity wells where stars are hurled.

Big bang  was expanding

Dark matter we’re  not understanding..

Cosmic microwave background energy.

Look out from our earth observatory.

 

Planet with water vapour.

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On the news tonight. A planet about twice the size of Earth has been found with water vapour in its atmosphere. Its around 100 light years away. Apparently its within the ‘goldilocks’ area around its star so its temperature is between 0°C and 40°C. It would be amazing if there was life there. The latest science is now looking for chemical traces in planetary atmospheres to look for the possibility of life on other planets.

I think the first extra solar planet was found in 1984? Since then about four thousand have been found. There are Hot Jupiter’s that orbit their stars closer than the orbit of Mercury in our solar system. There are cold Jupiter’s, there are also planets like Earth with surfaces that are covered in lava because they are close to their stars. And then there are terrestrial (rocky) planets that are more like the ones in our system.

One thing is certain, there are more planets out there than we know!