What’s in a cage?

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What’s in a cage,

and what is a cage?

Are we trapped in a net,

or free?

Are we birds in cages

or enclosed by space?

How big is your cage?

Can you walk across a room?

Are their bars on your window?

Is there no way out.

No bus,

no car?

Are you stuck in your mind?

Many cages exist,

some are visible,

some are in your mind…

 

Jupiter Blue

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Would you buy a painting of one of the poles of Jupiter? I’ve done a few paintings os astronomical objects. This is from a photo from the Juno probe a few years ago. I’m thinking if doing a ainting of Pluto’s heart. But although I love it I wonder if anyone out there is actually interested. Maybe I’m too interested in tech. I can’t help it though.

It’s not easy to hand paint these images, it takes ages to blend the colours and build them up. Then you have to make sure it’s accurate, although I don’t measure everything exactly. I can’t compete with photography but I do try my best. Anyway this is a large acrylic on canvas and it is for sale.

How to tell the earth is a sphere…

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So how can you tell the Earth is a sphere? The ancient Greeks worked it out ( I don’t remember the name of the person who did).

The experiment was to put a stick in the sand at or near the equator, so it would have a tiny shadow directly underneath the it at mid day as the Sun was directly overhead.

If you place a stick upright, at 90° to the Eaths surface either North or South of the equator, the stick casts a shadow at mid day. (Look at the hands of a clock the hands move round in the same way). Say the equator is 3pm and the Sun is overhead, you would get no shadow, then as you go further away from the stick at the equator you get increasing angles (see diagram). Eventually at the poles the shadows would be at their longest.

So how can you tell its a sphere? The angles add up. You can calculate the curvature of the planet from these simple experiments. The ancient Greeks got very close to calculating the circumference of the Earth. Their calculations were only a small percentage out on their measurement.

 

Twisted sunrise

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Betelguse the star is shrinking.

Fainting they say.

On the shoulder of Orion,

it’s getting fainter.

Red Giant,

stellar wonder,

obese and middle aged?

Perhaps your sides are about to split.

Red Giants can’t stay inflated.

They use up all their fuel.

Puffed up and massive.

Suddenly they can pop like a balloon.

Not enough energy to push out,

the star will fall inwards,

then boom!

Bounce out…

In a million years or so?

You might be a Supernova!

Make a Betelguse nebula.

Then Orions shoulder will flower.

And we may see an exploding star.

The first in the Milky-way since 1604.

Time travel

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A Dalek at Froghall a few years ago… That’s another story…

I was reading the New Scientists back page last week and there was a question about time travel. Where would you go to in the past or future? Something along those lines. The answer one person gave is that as the planet moves through space, if you travelled six months forwards or backwards for example, when you rematerialised Earth would be at the other side of its orbit. Difficult unless you are in a vessel with an airlock. They went on to explain that as the sun is also moving through the milky way galaxy, its planets spiral around it in its wake, so where Earth was a year ago is far behind where it is now.

I realised from reading that, that your time machine would have to move in space as well as time. In something like the T. A. R. D. I. S. This is a time machine in the Sci fi series Dr Who. It means “Time and relative dimensions in space”. In other words it can travel in space as well as time.

Considering the show was first broadcast in the 1960’s that’s pretty clever. Working out you need to be able to find the Earth’s coordinates in time and space. Mind you they were closer in time to Einstein so they might have had more of an idea about it than we do…..

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My moon

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Yes it’s a blurry shot of the moon. But it’s the best I’ve taken with my phone. I don’t have a good zoom on it so it only magnifies x5. You know when you look at the moon you can see a small amount of detail, you can see the shape of the moon depending on what phase it is in. This was a bit more than a three  quarter moon. When I looked through a small pair of binoculars I could see craters and mare (areas of flat land that were thought to be seas in the past). But through my phone camera on automatic exposure it was just one brilliant blob. I didn’t know what to do. I tried the manual exposure option that reduced the brightness, but the exposure was still not revealing the shape. So I decided to play with the settings, I don’t know what I did, but I adjusted things and I managed to get the image above. I cropped the picture to enlarge it. This is the result. Boring? Yes possibly, but I was pleased.

Green skies

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Something bloomed into the sky after the meteorite fell. A green mist rose from the sea and started spreading across the land. For a while it lay in the hollows and valleys, but steadily crept higher.

People noticed it and shied away from it. They travelled inland and up hills and mountains. Soon they were isolated, no one would cross the green air.

The small islands of high land topping the green murk gradually were overcome. People breathed their last air as it rose, scrabbling for height, but succumbing to the green gas. They were suffocating and dying.

Asian mountains stayed above the haze for a while longer. But like everywhere else the human population passed away. Eventually the only survivors were left alone, high above Earth, in the space station. There was nothing left for them to do but wait for the end.

But then a miracle (if after all the death that could be said) happened. The gas started to clear. After three weeks it had gone completely. It was then that the astronauts realised that all Earth’s animals had survived. They realised that it was the humans haemoglobin in their blood that had been affected. Other animals had different DNA.

But the problem was how would they descend from the space station? What would become of them?