More wind and rain and satellites…..?

Please stop raining? It’s wet and windy, again. Gone are days of snow, I know we still have them, but instead whirling clouds come across the Atlantic and dump rain on mostly the north west of Britain. In fact in the last twenty four days it’s apparently rained on twenty two of them.

And amidst all of this stormy weather something unusual and historical is happening in the South West. At the moment (22.45pm on 9.1.23) a Boeing 747 owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin company is flying into the bad weather off the coast of Cornwall. It has a rocket tucked underneath one wing which is due to be launched from it. The rocket contains some satellites and these will hopefully reach space in the next few hours.

It’s amazing that Britain will have launch capability for the investigation and use of space. And in such a different way, not a huge rocket from the land but a more interesting method. I hope it works.

Digital earth and moon

This was an old drawing I did online a few years ago. It was at the website called Sketchfu (closed about five years ago). I’ve always loved astronomy and this was a good challenge to try and get a reasonably accurate drawing using very simple tools. The hardest thing was getting the image blurred enough to feel realistic. Colours were chosen from a couple of hundred choices. There were only five sized circular pens and a slider to alter the opacity. Plus an eraser to clear away mistakes. You could add layers so you could show your progress, or do a collaboration with other artists, the only real problem was the images took ages to load.

Night sky

My owl painting has a grey background like moving air. But today someone suggested adding a starry night sky. I decided to digitally change the background and I have to agree. The paints are coming out and I will change it. Its good to have someone else looking at your work. It can change your opinion. I think you have to be open to other ideas. But also you have to stick to your guns if you don’t feel it will better. I hope that makes sense.

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

Mosaic

Digital mosaic of a coastline. I was watching a programme about Nasa’s Perseverence Rover on Mars tonight and saw that it is due to try and climb the delta into a crater on Mars called Jezero crater. It struck me how the martian landscape is very similar to ours. There was water on the planet a few billion years ago which filled the crater. This could be one of the places where they find evidence of life on Mars.

Earth and Moon

Another drawing, Earth and Moon, drawn at Sketchfu. My interests in science and astronomy are shown here. Also trying to render the appearance of cloudscape from space. The website was simple, four or five sized circular brushes, opacity and transparency, a basic pallette and a colour picker and eraser. Not much more. But lots of people, artists, writers, enjoyed the site. It just got too big, wasn’t monetised, and the owners decided to move on to something else. I miss it. X

Sunspots

Want to find out more about Sunspots? Also the Solar Wind, Near Earth Objects, Meteor showers, Cosmic rays?

Try viewing https://spaceweather.com – today it has information and photos about the largest sunspot seen in years. The Sun has a solar cycle, it has a minimum and maximum activity over a period of 11 years. It is caused by the Sun’s magnetic activity. I can’t explain the science properly so have a look at the site.

It also shows information about Auroras and comets among other things, and it is understandable and not too technical.

https://spaceweather.com