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.

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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!

Holst’s Planet Suite

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I’m watching a programme, late at night, with Holst’s planet suite. But it’s also got Professor Brian Cox, a famous astronomer, who is explaining details about the planets. During each section there are beautiful images of each of the planets, now they are showing multi cratered Mercury. If you have never heard the Planet Suite I would recommend it. The music is sublime, lyrical, atmospheric, full of complexity and confident, in turns loud and soft, discord and soaring melodies wrap into and around each other. There are sections covering rising octaves, then dropping down to gentle breezes of notes.

Jupiter is the next planet, and he is explaining the atmosphere and the poles of the planet. Its exactly the sort of programme I love, art, creativity and science mingled together.

If you can find it on the BBC iplayer I would recommend watching it.

Starry

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I’ve been making patterns again, this time using a close up of sequins on my jumper… Very random I know.

The stiches  on the jumper also add texture to the photo. I think the stars look like little dancing people holding hands.

I love stars and astronomy. I’m interested in things like the magnitude of stars, seeing comets, planets and asteroids. I read web pages like spaceweather.com which gives you information about CMEs (coronal mass ejections) from the Sun, which is caused by the sun’s magnetic lines of force getting tangled up and hurling out plasma from the sun’s surface.

If the weather is clear I will look out for meteor showers like the orionids or geminids (Based on the constellations they appear to emanate from).

I wish I lived in the southern hemisphere. I have heard of the magellanic clouds (small neighbouring satellite galaxies) which are below the plain of the ecliptic, which is the flat plain of our galaxy. Anything below that can only be seen from the south.

We (our planet) is topped at an angle of 22?degrees. So although we see constellations they vary with the seasons. They rise above the equator or sink below it depending on where we are in the year. If you sailed on a boat or flew on a plane at night you would see the constellations change as you flew north to South, or vice versa. Some constellations like the southern cross are only visible in the southern hemisphere and some like the plough or Great bear are only visible in the North.

I had a couple of little telescopes and once saw a tiny image of saturn and its rings and the galilean satellites of Jupiter – four moons that orbit Jupiter. There are more but are too small to see in a backyard telescope.

I’m no expert but I do like to learn. I’m sure there are lots of websites where you can find more information. Funny how I can ramble on after describing my jumper!

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Stars?

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No, this is a blurry picture of Venus, the Moon and Jupiter. Somewhere nearby was also Mars.

This was the view looking East from our house about 6am this morning.

You can’t see it but the sky was crystal clear and the planets and moon were twinkling behind the tree branches. My camera phone is good in low light levels but it has over exposed this. Add my hand shaking and it is not very clear. However it might make for an interesting painting.

There are various astronomy sites where you can find information about conjunctions of planets. I like the sky at night on the BBC. Also I have spaceweather.com on my mobile so I can see things like comets, auroras and near earth asteroids.

Our little solar system is tiny compared with the Galaxy and then the universe, but its quite an interesting place even so.