Tag Archives: Solar System

this day in the yesteryear: Planet Neptune Is Discovered (1846)


Planet Neptune Is Discovered (1846)

Neptune is notable for being the first planet to be discovered by way of mathematical prediction rather than standard observation. Galileo observed Neptune twice in the early 1600s, but he mistook the planet for a fixed star and is therefore not credited with its discovery. Centuries later, small changes in Uranus’s orbit led astronomers to seek out and discover the eighth and outermost planet of our solar system. Who predicted Neptune’s location in the 1840s within 1° of where it was found? More… Discuss

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tghis day in the yesteryear: Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet Collides with Jupiter (1994)


Shoemaker-Levy 9 Comet Collides with Jupiter (1994)

In March 1993, astronomers Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker and David Levy made the first observation of a comet orbiting a planet rather than the Sun. Sixteen months later, fragments of the comet collided with Jupiter’s southern hemisphere, providing the first direct observation of the collision of two solar system objects. The impact left prominent scars that some said were more easily visible than the planet’s Great Red Spot. How did the event highlight Jupiter’s role as “cosmic vacuum cleaner“? More… Discuss

Encumbered not, poetic thought by George-B (The smudge and other poems


Encumbered not, poetic thought by George-B  (The smudge and other poems)

Unnoticed, silence breathed its way in:

can you watch now the growing grass,
the snowflakes parachutes landing and,
dust settling on top of dusty old, furniture tops?

almost instantaneously
night had moved over everything:

can you see now the shadows,
and the listless moon in owe,
eyeing the blue, as if…its dust,
were not to remain undisturbed
eons ahead,
except for a few boot prints…
cold of course, and odorless, and sterile…
encumbered not…

Photo: Earth and moon seen from space shuttle

this day in history: Pioneer 10 – First Craft to Leave Solar System, Perhaps (1983)


Pioneer 10: First Craft to Leave Solar System, Perhaps (1983)

Launched in 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and to make up-close observations of Jupiter, capturing images that were later sent back to Earth. It passed the orbit of Neptune in 1983 and became by some definitions the first artificial object to leave our solar system. By February 1998, the probe was over 7.5 billion miles from Earth but lost its title as the most distant man-made object to what craft? More… Discuss

ARTICLE: THE GREAT RED SPOT: JUPITER’S STORM


The Great Red Spot: Jupiter’s Storm

The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a very large, high-pressure atmospheric feature on the planet Jupiter, characterized by anticyclonic winds circulating at a speed of about 248 mph (400 km/h). The storm has persisted on Jupiter’s surface for more than 300 years since first observed. The cause of its reddish color is unknown, and it tends to vary from brick-red to brownish. The GRS is not to be confused with another storm on Jupiter called “the Baby Red Spot,” which was initially what color? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: SATURN’S LARGEST MOON IS DISCOVERED (1655)


Saturn’s Largest Moon Is Discovered (1655)

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest moon in the solar system. It was discovered by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens in 1655 and remains the only natural satellite in the solar system known to have a significant atmosphere. The thick, opaque atmosphere obscures the surface, but some surface detail has been observed via the Hubble Space Telescope. When the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft arrived on Saturn in 2004, it revealed that Titan’s surface has what in common with EarthMore… Discuss

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QUOTATION: Jack London


I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

Jack London (1876-1916) Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: HALE-BOPP COMET MAKES CLOSEST APPROACH TO EARTH (1997)


Hale-Bopp Comet Makes Closest Approach to Earth (1997)

Likely the most widely observed comet of the 20th century, Hale-Bopp—named for American astronomers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp—was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months, observable even from large cities with light-polluted skies. The comet’s passage excited stargazers but also incited various conspiracy theories. The notion that it was followed by an alien spacecraft inspired a mass suicide among members of the Heaven’s Gate cult. When will Hale-Bopp return to the inner solar systemMore… Discuss

 

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G. Holst – The planets Op. 32 – Mercury, the Winged Messenger – Berliner Philharm. – Karajan (3/7)



The Planets, Op. 32, is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character as defined by Holst. With the exception of Earth (the centre of all yet influentially inert astrologically[1]), all the astrological planets known during the work’s composition[2] are represented.

The suite has seven movements, each named after a planet and its corresponding astrological character (see Planets in astrology):

 

1.Mars, the Bringer of War
2.Venus, the Bringer of Peace
3.Mercury, the Winged Messenger
4.Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
5.Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
6.Uranus, the Magician
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Song to the Moon – Antonín Dvořák



See lyrics translated into English below.

Soprano Renee Fleming sings this aria. Dvorak’s composition relies upon expansive arpeggiated chords to capture the fairy tale ambiance of Rusalka. The amicable old Spirit of the Lake, Jezibab, is enjoying the singing of the Wood Nymphs, when his daughter, Rusalka, sadly approaches him. She admits that she has fallen in love with a handsome prince. Yearning to know the bliss of union with him, she wishes to become human. Deeply saddened, the Spirit of the Lake consents to her request, and leaves. All alone, Rusalka sings this magnificent aria and shares the secrets of her longing to the moon.

Featuring the paintings and artwork of William Bouguereau, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, J.W. Waterhouse, Armand Guillaumin, and Spadecaller.

Lyrics (translation)

Silver moon upon the deep dark sky,
Through the vast night pierce your rays.
This sleeping world you wander by,
Smiling on man’s homes and ways.
Oh moon ere past you glide, tell me,
Tell me, oh where does my loved one bide?
Oh moon ere past you glide, tell me
Tell me, oh where does my loved one bide?
Tell him, oh tell him, my silver moon,
Mine are the arms that shall hold him,
That between waking and sleeping he may
Think of the love that enfolds him,
May between waking and sleeping
Think of the love that enfolds him.
Light his path far away, light his path,
Tell him, oh tell him who does for him stay!
Human soul, should it dream of me, Let my memory wakened be.
Moon, moon, oh do not wane, do not wane,
Moon, oh moon, do not wane….