Solar System Exploration – Earth

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Our exploration of the Solar system moves away from the fiery inner solar system to find a blue planet in the more temperate climes of space – we find our own planet Earth.

Earth was not named after Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses like other planets and moons in the solar system. Instead the name Earth is of English / German origin and simply means ground. Other names used is the Greek word Gaia and the Latin Terra.

Earth is the densest planet in the solar system and has the largest moon compared to it’s size. The moon’s gravity pull affect the Earth as it passes around us. The most notable effect are the rising and falling sea levels with the tide. But it’s not hard to imagine that’s it’s pull kneads the Earth’s surface a little.


Facts about Earth

 


Inspiration

Holst wasn’t kind enough to have composed me a piece on Earth. This is a bad thing in a way – but it also means that a piece for Earth is yet to be composed. But for now, Thomas Bergersons’s Creation of Earth is an amazing place to start:

 

With this to inspire us… only our imagination is the limit:

 

Missions to Earth

It’s often been said that we know more about other planets than we do about Earth, particularly it’s deep and mysterious oceans. What human kind has been doing over the last decades is finding out about this planet of ours, how it works and how we work when we’re away from it.

The space shuttle took us those first steps towards frequent, long periods of time in space in Earth’s orbit. Sadly the poor shuttle is no longer used instead opting for cheaper craft that have a single use that take us to the International Space Station (ISS) a station the size of a football field, orbiting the Earth constantly helping us find out how we’re going to expand beyond our mother planet.

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Earth landscape

Earth’s landscapes have been formed by water, wind, ice and every other force that can be imagined.  These pictures show some of the results of this work in action.


The Moon

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Earth has it’s own single moon, the largest compared with it’s mother planet at about a quarter of the size and a sixth of Earth gravity. It’s a world where the is no atmosphere and liquid water cannot exist on it’s surface. However water ice does exist under the surface and in deep craters.

The moon’s day is the same amount of time as it takes to orbit the Earth. This means that the Moon is tidally locked to the Earth – we can only see one side of the Moon from the Earth. It has only been since space exploration that we have seen the far side of the Moon.

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The Moon has been the focus of mankind for thousands of years, our desire to find out what the Moon is and how we can get there has obsessed us. During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s several manned missions were launched and were successful in gathering Moon rock and carrying out experiments.

The Moon remains a serious focus for our exploration of the stars. Launching object from the Moon will require much less energy than from the Earth. The first Moon base was recently  proposed, rather than being based on the surface, it’s thought it could be an orbital station, controlling rovers and other equipment remotely.

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It’s concept is similar to ISS but likely to be smaller and cheaper to make the huge running cost more viable. Whatever happens in the end – the Moon is going to play a big part of our journey towards the stars.

No ownership claimed on materials or pictures – Credit to NASA and other owners.

Planet Simon

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More on Earth…

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The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Your Blogging Strategy

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


 What is a Blogging Strategy?

The idea of blogging is that content is created for the world to see, in the ideal world the blogger wants everyone to see what they’re created, get them noticed, get followers on their blog and social media and be able to call themselves a social media guru. Right?

I mean… how hard can it be? The answer is very hard, but this is not always what blogging is about and there are different motivations. The most obvious form of blogger is the type I’ve just described, wanting their content out there and able to make a living from their blog.

Others want a voice to speak out on their difficulties, some just want to share their ideas or work, for others it’s social. Whatever the motivation for blogging there are a few things to consider to help get there. This is the blogging strategy.

  • What will you blog about?
  • How often are you going to post?
  • What will you post, how long will posts be?
  • How will you stand out?
  • Who will you follow?
  • How will you Interact with other bloggers?

 


 

 

What will you blog about?

Easy this one, there’s the blog, the theme there’s an idea in your head and you’re going to blog about beauty, or art or science fiction. Or maybe you don’t…

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was going to blog about, I just did random stuff and it was random. It was only after time that I started finding more of a theme in what I wanted to say but the message was still mixed.

It’s ok to be random, it’s ok to have a theme but whatever you’re going to do have a think about how readers might be able to access your content when you have 500 or 1000 posts because then it’s not so easy and I ended up splitting up my blog sites to make it easier. Also think about how you look as a blog brand. Your blog doesn’t have to be business but it’s important to have an identity.

How often are you going to post?

In order to get attentions, likes, views and follows you need something for other bloggers and people generally on the internet to read. So you have to write posts, it doesn’t matter how often you write them. Daily, weekly, monthly? It might be random, but before setting out get some posts up and published.

Just remember one thing, keep blogging enjoyable and don’t burn yourself out. One thing to bear in mind if you go on a break it’s nice to let people know. The painful thing about blogging is that sometimes people to go, delete their blogs or sometimes someone dies. It’s tragic, so keep those that care about you informed.

 

What will you post and how long are posts going to be?

Under the topic of your blog there’s all kinds of posts that can be written. Having an idea of the posts that you will write and  their direction can be useful.

As for how long, of course as long as you like. But try and keep it readable, much more than 1000 words in a post is getting long and don’t forget to include pictures. We all like pretty pictures.

 

How will you stand out?

As I  said in the last bit, we all like pretty pictures. Don’t forget to include a catchy featured image. In the post too make sure you’re giving something to attract the reader and keep them reading your post. If they like they’ll read more.

Also, when you’re writing make your personality shine, if you’re trying to be funny, be funny. Sad, angry etc… make yourself sing from the words.

 

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Who will you follow?

Why do we need to think about who we follow? I hear you cry! When you start blogging like a child in a sweetie shop you have all these gems to follow. But take it easy, or in no time your time line will be swamped with followers and it’s going to be hard to keep up. So do choose wisely.

 

Interacting with other bloggers

Blogging and getting traffic and follows is about building relationships. To do that interact with bloggers. Like, share, comment, be nice. People will often come and look at your blog if you give them a little love so interact and interact in a nice way.

 


I hope this post has been useful. Let me know about any experiences you’ve had which I could add to this.

Planet Simon

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Manic Monday Number 15 – Wow that was hot!

Monday is back again… Happy Monday bloggies. Over here in the UK we we’re enjoying some hot weather for a change, it was more like June than April, it was very welcome. What’s been happening on Planet Simon this week?

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There was no Great Galactic Service Station last week (again (groan)), I hope to continue that this week. I’m struggling with time a bit these days, mainly becasue apart from time I have nothing to write on at home.

 


 

There’s been another part to the Geeky guide to WordPress

Blogging on WordPress

Another part of the Geeky Guide to WordPress series went out last week as normal. With  some (hopefully) useful notes on Sharing Posts on Social Media. I keep finding that as I write these that I’m thinking and learning about points I hadn’t thought of before and bloggies are coming back at me with things they didn’t know.

What are your thoughts? Anything that you’ve seen in these posts that you’ve learned?

 

 


 

Solar System Exploration

The Solar System Exploration exploration series visited Venus again. I think the newangle with the planet profile graphics are adding that extra visual impact. Let me know what you think, there’s loads more to come and any thoughts always welcome.

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As I mentioned last week I had been out exploring over the weekend. I had the pleasure of going to the Lake District for the weekend. I wrote a bit about this on escribble and how the Lakes seem to be a Look back in time.

 


 

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universe of possibility saw some action too with 12 Science Fiction Rules for Life

 


 

As a little extra yesterday, for Earth Day I posted this great image from NASA with Carl Sagan’s quote about Earth being the beach to the cosmos.

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Work is continuing with keeping Planet Simon fresh and easy to use, more content is on the way all I need is time (haha) so keep watching and if this is your first time to Planet Simon why not follow and keep up to date with all the fun?

If you’re on Twitter make sure you follow @BlogBashChat and join us all for a blogging chat on the first Sunday of every month 7pm British time. It’s a great little thing that’s growing and you get to find out more about blogging and Bloggers! The last chat was yesterday and there will be another one next month!

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Simon 🙂

 

Planet Simon

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Earth Day 2018 The Shore of the Cosmic Ocean

Today is Earth day! Happy Earth Day 2018! Now more than ever we as the inhabitants of spaceship Earth need to think about how in our every day we need to look after ever aspect of this planet and everything that lives on it.

Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean – Carl Sagan

 

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Planet Simon

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Event Horizon – 20 Years of waiting

Despite the fact I’m a massive sci-fi fan I rarely get to see the films actually when they come out. This was definitely the case with Even Horizon, which I’ve recently seen after its release over 20 years ago.

First of all this film disagreed with me greatly becasue despite being a supposedly science fiction movie this was definitely a horror movie set in space. I’m not a great fan of horror, in fact I don’t like it at all. However films like Alien and all that I can kind of take. This is didn’t. It was gore for the sake of gore and that really sums this film up.

The premise and film concept is sciency enough, a spacecraft developed with a revolutionary time / space drive disappeared years before around the orbit of Neptune on its way to travel to the nearest star system. Nothing is heard from it until it’s re-appears around Neptune. The only communication from it is a garbled message of evil shrieks.

A rescue team is sent including Sam Neils creator of the spacecraft. The result is harrowing and bloody with problems faced from the start. As it turns out the Event Horizon had travelled to another hellish dimension in it’s mission and had become ‘alive’ and evil. Making it’s crew kill themselves and pull their eyeballs out.

 


 

What I didn’t like

What I didn’t like about this film was almost everything. The film creators get nearly everything wrong. The scale of the spacecraft on the outside is huge, yet inside is much smaller. I found this really annoying.

The other annoying thing I found was the message received. In this it was discovered was a message (isn’t there always) and this message was in Latin. This was mis understood to mean something else but only realised once everything had gone tits up. Let me make this point clear – If you are going to deliver a clear message why send it in an obscure way? Why?!? What you say is this:

“For fucks sake don’t come here, blow up this spaceship. Seriously!”

That’s how you send a warning.

Then there was the stupid scene where the rescue team are approaching the ship in the middle of one of Neptune’s storms. Only able to see it from metres away, it was about as tense as… well it wasn’t. It was shit. If the Event Horizon was that close to Neptune it’s not in orbit, it would be dragged down and destroyed. They wouldn’t have found it. BUt this visibility wasn’t a problem for one of the team to find when they blown out into space when their own spacecraft was destroyed.

Then we get onto this ‘dimension of chaos’ that the original mission allegedly visited and this made them all pull their eyeballs out and kill each other and all that kind of thing. What utter crap! Existence has to have balance to exist or it annihilates itself.

The special effects weren’t great either, I know this was the 90’s but even for the time it was cheap.

Lastly, who designs a ship so depressing and evil looking inside and out, maybe this is really why the crew killed themselves really, nothing to do with other dimensions.

 



 

What I liked

What I liked about this film. The concept of the time space drive, things going wrong and then the mystery around it. The film makes could have done far, far better. The design of the drive was pretty cool too.

LIke I said not much, I was hoping for better with some of the big names in this film.

 


 

Summary

I really wanted to like this film, I had toyed with the idea of watching it for years, with Laurence and Sam and Joely in it I was hoping this would have been a lot better. But just as in the film the crew should never have entered onto Event Horizon – neither should I have.

 

Planet Simon

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NASA – Earth from Afar

If anyone needs to see why we should live in peace, put down our weapons and work towards common goals that befit all mankind regardless of race, colour, gender or religion, then this perspective should really help:

Credit to NASA, taken from their Tumblr page

Planet Simon

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Solar System Exploration – Venus

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Moving in the right direction this time, away from the Sun our next major object in the solar system is Venus.

Venus is one of the four rocky planets in the solar system, it is the second planet away from the Sun and is the closest planet in size to the Earth. Venus has orbits the Sun once every 224 days and it rotates on it’s axis one every 243 days. The rotation period is the longest of any planet in the solar system and it rotates in the opposite direction of any other planet. Venus was named after the Roman God of love and beauty, this is perhaps becasue it is the second brightest natural object in the night sky (the brightest being the moon).


Facts about Venus

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Venus, Earth size comparison (Image from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Venus,_Earth_size_comparison.jpg)

Just like Mercury, Venus orbits the sun within the orbit of the Earth is tis only visible at either dawn or dusk. It’s also possible to see crescent phases on these planets (if viewing it through a powerful telescope) as you might see them on the moon.


Inspiration:

Gustav Holst wrote a suite of classical music pieces on the planets. This was the piece that he wrote for Venus – the bringer of peace. As with all the pieces from Holst the music has a meaning back to the roots of the mythical God they’re named after. In this case as Venus is the God of love, love brings peace.

 


 

Recent Events

There hasn’t been a great deal going on with Venus of late. Various probes have been sent to Venus over the years. The Russians sent the Venera probes between 1964 and 1981 in order to gather data from Venus. Because of the thick atmosphere it had been speculated many years ago that Venus could harbour a rich, warm and paradise like ecosystem. The Venera probes quickly dispelled this, showing Venus to be a rocky world, the probes didn’t last long under the intense atmospheric pressure before being crushed.

More recently ESA had sent the Venus Express probe to find out more about the Planet. During it’s time the probe sent back data telling us that Venus is volcanically active and in it’s final plunge recorded average temperatures at the polles of -157°C, colder than anywhere on Earth!

This goes to show, that distance from the Sun isn’t necessarily a guide to planetary temperatures.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150618122106.htm

http://sci.esa.int/venus-express/57735-venus-express-swansong-experiment-sheds-light-on-venus-polar-atmosphere/

I hope you’re enjoying this series, as always I look forwar to any feedback.

Planet Simon

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The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Sharing Posts on Social Media

As I’ve been doing this blogging thing a little while now and it seemed a good idea to pass on a few of the things that I’ve learned over the five years that I’ve been doing this. In easy and often geeky steps you’ll be taken through the steps and point out the pitfalls of taking your blog seed and growing it into something really amazing.


 

Social Media Sharing

Sharing your posts on Social Media is a really easy way to give your posts greater visibility and get other looking at your blog. The old fashioned way would be to get the link from your blog site and paste it into a post, but there’s a way where every post can go to any or all of your social media sites.

 

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Going back to the my sites page of your blog select sharing. Something like this should now be in front of you:

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The free WordPress domain offers these social media sharing options, to activate a sharing option select the connect button and then sign into the social media account. With Facebook things can happen a little differently. Where there’s a group or groups set up in that account when the sign in has been completed the option of posting to the main site or any of the groups is given.

Every post can be customised so not all social media accounts have to be used every time but it’s there if needed.

 


 

Where sharing to other social media sites is required or some kind of posting schedule is wanted there are some options. If post scheduling or recycling is needed then there’s a number of other sites than can do this. If a free option is being sought then there will be some kind of limitations. Each of the sites will vary – here’s a list of the popular options:

Hootsuite

Buffer

Hubspot

Statusbrew

These will give access to schedule and re-cycle posts that can help promote your blog and it’s content. They’re normally time consuming to setup but save work in the long run. What is often helpful is finding how to get the shortlink to a post. The way to do this is to select admin on the ‘My Sites’ page (at the bottom).

Select posts, then navigate the desired post and select the ‘Get Shortlink’ button:

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This can be copied and pasted into any site or .CSV file (useful to know about this for post recycling).

 


 

Apart from this, for Pinterest, StumbleUpon and and others it’s the old fashioned sharing button. This is unless a self hosted and paid site is being used, where there are more options and if the business option is being used then there are plugins available.

This can be simplified when using a web browser by having the extensions for the social media sites installed, posting then only takes a moment – just make sure the boss isn’t looking if you’re doing this at work!

 

Planet Simon

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