Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Heatwaves, Lava Waves and Flying Eyeballs

Today is the longest day of the year, and we have a heatwave here in the uk .
In light of which, I decided to write about other hot spots in our neighbourhood.
Just to put things in perspective

The 2018 NASA probe to the sun is to be named in honour of  Eugene Parker, who first theorised that there was a solar wind.
It should give us information on many aspects of our sun, before it succumbs to the inevitable meltdown...

Parker Solar Probe approaching the sun     John Hopkins University

A newly discovered exo-planet is as hot as a star.
So close to its own star that it is tidally locked - but even the side in permanent darkness is a blistering 900 degrees.
Could there be life in such extreme conditions ?
Don't forget there is evidence of a microbe that thrives at 100 degrees c

Saturns north pole  NASA Image processed by Jason Major

The first true colour images from Saturns north pole are pretty nice, having been processed by dedicated citizen scientists, they reveal an almost balmy, tropical look - but don't be fooled, with winds of up to 2000 kmh , this is no tropical paradise - and the air is a mixture of hydrogen and helium.
Looks great though.

thermal anomaly on Europa gives us evidence of sub aquatic conditions which might easily give rise to extremophiles.

Meanwhile, waves of lava have been observed coursing across loki patera, the huge lake on the Jovian moon Io.
Sounds almost idyllic,doesn't it ?
Apart from the blistering heat.
Io is the most geologically active moon in our solar system,
its proximity to Jupiter affecting its orbit and tidal forces.
Tides of molten lava.
Average temperatures 700 - 1.200 c
Not for surfing, then.
I don't think there's even a sunscreen factor for that.

Io - horseshoe-shaped Loki Patera visible    pic NASA

Its a very hot , and lively solar system out there - a far different place than the desolate rocky outpost of my childhood.
It makes me glad that our technoogy has advanced so rapidly, that I can view almost immediate and constant images from Mars, for instance - it feels odd that there was such a gap from the moon landings of the Seventies...

Infra red Jupiter gif

In other news, time travel is again possible , after previously being denounced as impossible due to our linear chronology or something.
Personally I find it all a bit bewildering after all, didn't we invent the concept of time?
Which means that it's our idea, and we can do pretty much anything with it.

Finally, back on Earth...

A sign of the times with a bbc report of a solstice gathering at Stonehenge where drones were banned.
I wonder what our pagan ancestors would have thought of drones - and does it mean that these sixties images were prescient ?

A tribute to the old school flying eye ( Kim LaRoc)
On that note, with even my trusty fan blowing hot air, I say goodbye for now

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