Solar System Exploration – Uranus

uranus1

We’re really getting far away from the sun now as our exploration takes us to Uranus. Uranus is the first planet to have been discovered in relatively modern times with a telescope. It was discovered by William Hershel in 1781 who at first thought he had discovered a comet.

Uranus is the ancient deity God of the sky Ouranos, in Greek mythology. Father of Cronos (Saturn) and grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter).

Uranus is composed of an icy / metallic core and a helium / hydrogen atmosphere. The exact composition is not exactly known, but between 9 x and 13 x Earth’s mass makes up it’s core, the little remaining mass is it’s atmosphere.

 

Facts about Uranus

 

 


 

Moons

Uranus has 27 known moons, the 5 main moons are:

Miranda

uranus- miranda.jpg

Named after Shakespeare’s character in the tempest, it was discovered in 1948 by Gerard Kuiper. At 470km it’s the smallest known object to be spherical under it’s own gravity. It’s tidally locked to Uranus so only one side ever faces it.

It’s surface is one of the most diverse in the solar system, this was discovered in the 1986 Voyager 2 flyby. It’s been suggested that  this is due to internal heating from Miranda’s interaction with the other nearby moons.

Ariel 

uranus ariel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discovered in 1851 by William Lassell, Ariel is named after two characters in literature. Composed mainly of rock and ice Ariel is 1,150km  across. Several different terrain types have been identified on Ariel, Ridged, cratered and plains, each of these giving clues to the age of the different terrains and how the moon was formed.

 Umbriel

uranus umbriel

Umbriel was also discovered in 1851 by William Lassell, named after a character in the poem The Rape of the Lock by Alexander pope. Umbriel is the darkest Uranus’s moons, again it’s made of rock and ice, it’s the most heavily impacted of the moons and this has a lot to do with how the surface was made. At 1,160km wide it’s Uranus’s third largest moon and the third furthest from Uranus.

Titania 

uranus titania.jpg

Titania was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel, is named after the queen of the fairies in A Midsummer Nights Dream. Titania is the largest of Uranus’s moons at 1,578km and the 8th largest in the solar system. Titania’s surface seems relatively less damaged by craters, this could be due to a surface melting that occurred, obliterating the old surface.

Oberon

uranus oberon

Titania was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel, is named after the king of the fairies in A Midsummer Nights Dream. Oberon is 1,522km in diameter, the second largest of Uranus’s moons, it’s heavily cratered with an apparent slight red tint. Like all the other moons, it’s made mainly of rock and ice and is the furthers from Uranus.

 


 

Rings

Uranus has rings, like all the outer planets. They were discovered from Earth in an unusual way though. An airborne telescope flying over the pacific was using Uranus occultation of a star to make observations of it’s atmosphere. When the signal started dipping they thought that instrument faults had ruined their data.

uranus4

It was only after comparing the data before and after the occultation that they realised the ring dips were symmetrical – that had found the rings of Uranus.

 


 

Inspiration

 

The piece that Holst composed for Uranus is unusual to me, I’m not sure what the images were in his mind when it was written. But nonetheless, like a magician it didn’t give up it’s secrets easily and still doesn’t.


 

Recent Events

UranusVoy2

Voyager 2 is to date the only human space craft to have visited Uranus. It flew past the planet in 1986, using the planet’s gravity to  guide it towards it’s final destination of Neptune.

On it’s approach to Uranus the scientist were expecting to be able to see more detail in the atmosphere as the probe approached. Even at a close distance Uranus’s atmosphere is virtually featureless. Only a few storms at very close range yielded any detail.

uranus

This was the view of the planet on it’s approach, the rings were not visible as they are faint.

uranus2

Voyager passed by Uranus and used it’s gravity to fling it towards Neptune, it’s final destination in this solar system. To date Uranus has not been visited again by a human spacecraft, many of it’s secrets are yet to be discovered or solved.

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

What is a Wormhole?

 

Science fiction loves a wormhole – it takes us between places and realities very quickly. But what are they?

This explains…

 

https://astronomyblog.tumblr.com/post/173961750241/what-is-a-wormhole

 

Credit: Astronomyblog on Tumblr

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

Manic Monday Number 19 – Struggling to keep up.

Happy Monday to all you great bloggies, I have to ap;ogise to you all now for not keeping up with you all as much as I would like. I’m not sure what’s happened over the last few weeks but getting some time just to reply to comments has been hard let alone read you posts. I will do my best to catch up as much as I can.

Needless to say I’m struggling to get the next and probably the last part of  the Great Galactic Service Station but I’m still undecided on what to do next really. Don’t worry I’ll think of something… I hope. I am amking this up as I go, make no mistake.


The Geeky guide to WordPress continues, after much pleading from some of you I wrote a post on Pingbacks and how to use them.

Blogging on WordPress

It seems that this pesky little feature has eluded some of you and caused much confusion so hopefully this will make things clearer.

 


 

Solar System Exploration

The Solar System Exploration exploration series zoomed past Saturn last week. This is by far my most favourite planet in the solar system just because of those amazing rings.

SSE-SATURN.png

But if you’re interested have a look at this post.

 


 

20180507_233406_0001.png

My next E-Art post didn’t get completed last week so I’m going to see if I can get some colour into this Minion.

 

Minion_006

 


 

Make sure you have a look at and follow my other blogs Escribble and  Universe of Possibilities as both these blogs are active and needling love and views and follows and all that good bloggie stuff…

 


 

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest Stumbledupon Wattpad

Solar System Exploration – Saturn

saturn voy 3

Moving away from Jupiter, our next visitor is Saturn. Saturn is twice the distance from the sun than Jupiter is, so there is a long, cold gap between the two worlds. This isn’t surprising as the gravitational pull of these two planets would either capture or knock away any other object of any substantial mass. As much as Jupiter is the king of the solar system, Saturn is the queen. It’s iconic rings sitting like a crown around it in a way not seen on any planet in the solar system.

Facts about Saturn

 

 


 

Moons

Many of Saturn’s 62 moons are less than 20 km in diameter, there is evidence to suggest that there are many large moons in Saturn’s rings that are yet to be discovered. Looking in close detail at four of Saturn’s moons we find they are different world on a very cold theme.

Titan

saturn - titan

Titan was the largest of Saturn’s moons, it was discovered by Christiaan Hyguens in 1655 and was the first to be discovered. It wasn’t named until 1847 however when John Herschel (Son of William Herschel – who discovered Uranus) published an extract on Saturn’s moons.

With a diameter 5,150km  Titan is larger than Mercury, however not as massive. Titan is the only known moon in the solar system to have a thick atmosphere. Visual examinations of Titan have not yielded any information on Titan’s surface, only with radar scanning from the Cassini – Huygens probe in 2004 that any surface details were known. It’s atmosphere is a thick soup of 98% Hydrogen and 1.6% Methane. Information from the Cassini probe suggests that there are Methane lakes on Titan and  that the thick atmosphere could be a primordial soup that could harbour or create life if the conditions permit.

 

Rhea

saturn - Rhea

Rhea was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini, however was not named until  1847 again by John Herschel . Rhea is an Icy world, made up from around 75% ice and 25% rock.

It is suggested that Rhea may have a ring system that isn’t easy observed. The data is unclear, but if it was so  Rhea would be the only known moon in the solar system to have a ring system.

Enceladus

saturn - Enclaedus

Enceladus was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel, little was know about this moon until the space age as it’s only 500km in diameter and observations were limited due to glare from Saturn. It was only until the space age that this small moon became far more interesting.

Enceladus is a world of frozen water, with a mix of new and old surfaces. The old oles marked with craters and the new surfaces smooth with huge cracks separating them.

Water volcanoes have been seen shooting water into space at immense speed, Cassini as been studying them and it’s now known that Saturn’s E ring had been created almost completely from the ejected matter from Enceladus.

 

 

Mimas

Mimas

Mimas had to be included in this little summary of Saturn’s moons. Yes, it is a moon and not a space station. That is all that needs to be said. A massive impact on Mimas in it’s history has created a feature that makes it look very much like the Death Star from Star Wars. It is however made from water and and rock and will not destroy planets.

Inspiration

Holst – Saturn

 Holst’s Saturn inspired musical piece for me definitely reflects a world that’s distant, cold and mighty. It has tunes that chill and inspire, it captures the sense of magnificence and beauty of Saturn

 


 

Recent Events

A number of probes have visited Saturn, Pioneer 10 was the first in 1979. In 1980 Voyager taking the first high definition pictures of the Saturn and some of its moons. Saturn’ s gravity flung the Voyager probe out of the plane of the solar system and out towards the stars.

Voyager 2 flew past in 1981 and made more measurements and took more pictures on its flyby, this time Saturn’s gravity was used to send Voyager 2 on towards Uranus.

Artist's Concept of Voyager

Artist’s concept of Voyager in flight.

 

In 2004 the Cassini-Huygens probe entered orbit around Saturn and began collecting data on Saturn and it’s moons. Titan was of particular interest and in December 2004 Cassini released the Huygens probe into Titans atmosphere.

img_20150427_191943.jpg

It collected data on the atmosphere for several hours before it landed. It contained to send data for 90 minutes after it landed. Huygens is so far the most distant human object to have landed on another world.

 

Cassini_Saturn_Orbit_Insertion

Since 2004 Cassini has been passing by Saturn and its moons, finding out more and more about this mysterious world and it’s system of moons, how the rings were formed and what the moons are made of. One of the stark discoveries is that water seems to have been in good supply, the solar system seems in fact to have been soaked in water in it’s past. This is evident when examining Rhea and Enceladus in particular.

 

The Cassini mission came to an end in September 2017, after a series of dives within Saturn’s inner rings called the Grand Tour. The spacecraft was deorbited in order to prevent it contaminating  any of Saturn’s moons. This ended a 20 year era of space exploration, but the data from Cassini will be studied for many years to come.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Pingbacks and how they work

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.


 

Pinbacks – this is where one blogger creates a link to another bloggers page or post. The useful thing about this is that the host (i.e. the page or post being linked to) blogger is informed about this, hence the term pingback.

It seems there’s confusion and distress about how to make pingbacks work, so being the helpful chap I am this post is going to help you guys create pingbacks that work and show you some of the uses for them.

 

Creating a Pingback

This is dead easy when you understand a couple of points, you’re essentially making a hyperlink to another bloggers page or post, not their main site. For example if you created a pingback to my mainpage https://sfarnell.wordpress.com/ I would not know anything about this, it wouldn’t show up on my notifications, it might show up something if I looked carefully at my stats page but really nothing that shouts at me.

Let’s create a pingback to my Manic Monday post, hit the insert / edit link button

 

Hyperlink

If I now put this:

https://sfarnell.wordpress.com/2018/05/21/manic-monday-number-19-what-do-i-do-now/

in both the URL and Link Text fields (because why not and don’t forget to tick the Open link in a new window / tab)  Add Link and the hyperlink is there.

When the post with this link on it is published I will get a beautiful, lovely pingback.

That’s it.


 

Using Pingbacks

Pingbacks are used to highlight or assign credit when using another bloggers work. It’s polite and nice to do this becasue if referring to someone else’s work it’s generally good manners to do this and the blogger is openly told when this is done.

Pingbacks are also a great way of notifying another blogger of something. It’s like you’re tagging them so for those who take part in awards and tags this is great also if you’re working in some kind of collaboration with one or more other bloggers.

Now you know – the mystery of pingbacks solved. Try it and let me know how you get on.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

 

Manic Monday Number 19 – What do I do now?

Happy Monday to all you great bloggies who seem to be mad enough to grace these pages with your eyes and bless me with likes and views. I’m struggling to get the next and probably the last part of  the Great Galactic Service Station out but as this story line closes I’m left wondering… what do I do now?

I think one thing I should do is concentrate on finishing some of my other stories I should be working on. But the thing is that I like to keep pushing this kind of thing out to you, I’m not saying I’m that good at it but you practice and all that. So much thinking going on here. One thing is for certain, the crowd from TGGSS will be back for more frolics sometime becasue I like the characters and some of them need some more development… plus I can have fun with them! 🙂

But be assured I’ll be keeping you all entertained whatever I do with all my other stuff.


The Geeky guide to WordPress continues, last week was about Creating Hyperlinks

Blogging on WordPress

It was good to know that others have the same reliability issues that I do with hyperlinks in pictures. But what also came out of this was pingbacks… it seems that these cause issues for a few of you so have a guess on what this week’s will be about?

 


 

Solar System Exploration

The Solar System Exploration exploration series zoomed into the asteroid belt and onto Ceres last week. This tiny little planetoid had a lot of interest around it when it was first viewed with it’s bright spots. But there’s a lot more around that part of the solar system too.

 

 


 

20180507_233406_0001.png

The second post in my Digital Art series published last week, keeping it basic I went through creating a first drawing. In this first drawing I used… A minion. This week hopefully I should be going through some coloring options with you.

 

Minion_006

 


 

Make sure you have a look at and follow my other blogs Escribble and  Universe of Possibilities as both these blogs are active and needling love and views and follows and all that good bloggie stuff..

 

 


 

What have you guys been up to?

Keep smiling and blogging!

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest Stumbledupon Wattpad

Apollo Mission Photos now on Flickr

NASA has given us all a treat and put all of the photo’s from the Apollo missions onto t Tumblr for the whole world to see…

 

Credit: NASA

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

Solar System Exploration – Jupiter

img_20150217_214330.jpg

Moving away from the rocky planets of the inner solar system the first planet in this region is the king of the planets – Jupiter. This is especially fitting as Juno has just entered orbit of Jupiter at the start of it’s mission to find out more about this giant. Veiled in colourful clouds of hydrogen and Helium it is the largest and the most vivid of all the gas giants. With 67 known moons in stable orbits, Jupiter has the largest amount of moons of any planet in the solar system and with rings only discovered in the 1970’s too there is so much to Jupiter that it will be impossible to cover it all in this piece.

Facts about Jupiter

 

 


 

Moons

Because there are so many moons hurtling around Jupiter, covering them all is better served by looking at this link on Wikipedia on Jupiter’s moons:

Moons of Jupiter

There are the four major Galilean moons, discovered by Galileo (hence the names). These are the four largest moons that are visible with an ordinary pair of binoculars or a small telescope. Despite their similar locations, these worlds could not be more different.

IO

True-color image taken by the Galileo orbiter

IO is the most volcanic worlds in the solar system. IO’s surface is a barren sulfur rich surface, spewed from more than 400 volcanoes all over the moon. The  are generated from the kneading effect Jupiter’s gravity has on the small world.

 

Europa

Europa-moon.jpg

Europa, which is about the size of our moon has the smoothest surface of any known object in the solar system. It’s makeup is thought to be made of Nickel and Iron, but it’s the frozen water surface that has intrigued scientists for years. The frozen surface it expected to hide a sub surface ocean which could harbour life.

It’s surface is almost crater less, implying that it’s surface is frequently changing and re-freezing in order to keep it’s smooth nature. The surface is criss-crossed with giant ice cracks .

 

Ganymede

True-color image taken by the Galileo orbiter

Ganymede is the largest of Jupiter’s moons and is the only moon to have a magnetosphere. It has a roughly equal silicate rock / water ice makeup. It’s larger than Mercury, but with less mass. The origins of the lighter regions seen on Ganymede are unknown, but are suspected to be the result of tectonic activity.

 

Callisto

Callisto

Calliso is a moon made mostly of rock and ice, with little evidence of geologic activity on it’s thought it’s surface has been made completely from impacts of other objects. Callisto is the third largest moon in the solar system and Jupiter’s second largest moon.

 


Inspiration:

Holst’s musical inspiration for Jupiter, is big, loud, bold and Jovial. Exactly fitting for the king of our planets.

Holst – Jupiter

 

 

Recent Events

An artist’s impression of the Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter.

 

Yesterday on the 4th of July 2016 Juno arrived at Jupiter and entered obit around the planet. It’s going to be taking measurements to find out more about what the planet is made of, this is going to give us clue to how the planet was formed. Currently several theories present about the planets format, data from Juno should help us pick one, or come up with another theory.

Juno – What do we hope to learn?

jupiter

Jupiter has been visited a number of times with unmanned probes, the pioneer missions being the first, with Voyagers 1 and 2 following after and giving us far more data about the planet and it’s moos, also discovering the Jupiter is a planet with rings.

jupiter rings

Since then, Cassini has flown past on the way to Saturn New Horizons also paid Jupiter a fleeting visit on it’s way to Pluto. The only mission to orbit Jupiter is the Galileo, which orbited Jupiter for seven years and gathers data on it’s atmosphere and moons before being deliberately aimed into the Jovian atmosphere, gathering a wealth of data before being crushed and vaporised by the intense pressure and heat.

jupiter-lights

Hubble has also bee able to gather data on Jupiter, these images showing the amazing detail Hubble can bring us of the planets by itself.

Keep an eye out for Jupiter on Juno – also they’re opening much of Juno’s camera to the public, enabling them to take and colour correct the pictures that they capture. This means space exploration is getting interactive and Jupiter is going to be more interesting.

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad

Digital Art with Inkscape – Creating the First Drawing

Over the last few months I’ve been experimenting with approaches to create illustrations in digital and I’ve been sharing these. I’ve also been keen to work out how to take and improve on hand drawn sketches and ideas and bring them into digital too. Key to this has been learning how to use Inkscape or at least to get by with it and find out what it can do. This is the first in a series of posts which I’m hoping will help others to pick up the same techniques I have and bring their own creations to life.


In this second post I’m going to go through creating a drawing step by step, showing the different functions I’m using to create it. My subject matter for this drawing is…

minion

Because hey – why not?

Body

Unlike some other programs I can’t see a ‘create rounded rectangle’ feature. This is bad in one way but good in another, we have to create the shape and learn Inkscape a bit more.

The way I did this was to create a shape like this using the Draw Bezier Curves / Straight Lines tool.

Minion_001

Once this was created I used the Edit Paths by Nodes tool to round off the body of my Minion.

Minion_002

Next I crudely drew in a leg on one side and a shoe, again using a combination of the draw and edit path tools. I then copied the leg and used Object >> Flip Horizontal (H) to flip the leg and foot over to the other side.

I placed a circle for the glasses, on the right a tools for playing with the colour and thickness of the line.

Minion_003

With that done I enlarged and copied the glasses and drew the eye in and copied that. The reason why copying is great is that it’s easier to create an identical object that way rather than drawing it again and eyeballing the size.

I also added the band for the glasses.

Minion_004

Next I added an arm and as with the feet I copied and flipped the arm to give our minion two of them. The key trick with using the draw bezier curves / straight lines tool is how to draw the curves. It sometimes needs a kick to get started with curves, I found that holding down the left mouse button is useful for drawing curves.

Minion_005

Next I embellished him with some detail, a smile (becasue Minions smile right?!?) hair and of course his outfit. This was all done with the draw bezier curves / straight lines tool. To me this is the really powerful feature of Inkscape – straight lines and curves in one tool

There we have it – a minion. Ok so I have done him some more fancy feet but this is to kind of show you the kind of drawing detail that can be achieved with Inkscape. Next he needs colouring but that’s for the next part!

How did you guys find this – if you tried it how did you get on? What are the things that you struggle with?


Twitter       Instagram       Pinterest      Mix     Wattpad

Contact Me

The Geeky Guide to WordPress – Creating Hyperlinks

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.


 

Adding a Hyperlink

In the blogging world we might want to create a link to another post in our blog or to some other material elsewhere, this is done by creating hyperlinks. In case anyone reading this needs to know, a hyperlink is a link to some other part of the internet, a shortcut if you like, in a blog post they usually appear as blue text.

Needless to say as with everything else in the blogging world there are some guides to hyperlinks.

Wordpress8

Firstly how to create a hyperlink, there’s two ways here, either highlight some text or just click on the hyperlink button. This is on the toolbar between the quotes button and the numbered list button.

Hyperlink

This window pops up, the only thing that changes is if text was selected this will appear in the Link Text box. If we keep this simple it’s best, copy the web address from the website that the hyperlink will go to and paste (CTRL + C to copy CTRL + P to paste) it into the URL box.

Alternatively as it can be seen in the image WordPress help to link to posts and pages in your blog and it’s searchable. Select the desired post or page.

Now we click ok right? Hang on – this is the bit I’m bad at and it’s where there’s a little trick. Near the top there’s a tick box. Open Link in new window / tab looks a bit boring but it has a purpose. Click on this before pressing Add Link. The reason for this is that it opens the link in a new tab in the reader’s browser, keeping your blog page open.

Now you think I’ve gone mad – but no. We want to try and keep a reader on our page and reading our stuff right, so this lets them read the link but keeps  the original post open. This keeps them on your site longer and maybe looking at more stuff. It’s the little things you see.


 

Adding a Hyperlink to an Image

I’ve had mixed success at this, that’s just a little disclaimer here. I don’t know why but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But to do it add an image from the media library. When the image is added select it and then click on the hyperlink button and this should turn up.

Hyperlink image

Notice that the link text is gone, but add the URL to the site or select the post from the list as before, make sure the Open link in new window / tab box is checked and then Add Link.

This should do it… but like I say it hasn’t always worked for me.

So there’s hyperlinks, were there any surprises in there for you? What experiences have you had with hyperlinks that were maybe not what you expected?


 

Another Geeky Guide to WordPress will be out next week, let me know if there’s something you would like covered or something mystifies you about WordPress. It takes a while to learn this and I nearly gave up, so don’t panic if you don’t get it.

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Stumbledupon     Wattpad