Your favorite blogger from Tiny Planets here to share some awesome pictures from this week. Many of you may know that the Transit of Venus took place earlier. What does this mean? Well, even I had to look that one up and ask my dear friends Bing and Bong. They showed me this awesome video by our friends at NASA:
The Transit of Venus occurs when the planet of Venus passes right between the Sun and planet Earth. When all you dears living on Earth looked up at the Sun, you would have seen a black ball passing directly across the face of the Sun. Actually, you would have needed some special glasses to do that because we all know how dangerous it is to look directly at the Sun — don’t do it!
Anyway, the reason this whole thing is so exciting is because occurs in pairs 8 years apart every 243 years. So basically we will never see something like this until 2255! I hope you didn’t miss it, but incase you did, here is a picture to show you what it looked like:
Look at how Venus passed by the sun in 2004 and then a few days ago in 2012.
Enjoy the world around you — especially these moments of a lifetime!
Over 100 years ago, a song was written that contained the lyrics ”by the light of the silvery Moon.” Little did Gus Edwards (he wrote the music) or Edward Maddecomposer (he wrote the lyrics) suspect that they were singing about an actual scientific fact! It wasn’t until one of NASA’s spacecraft crash landed onto the Moon’s surface that we discovered … nah, you’ll never guess what they found. Okay, maybe you did already guess — they discovered a deposit of SILVER!
In October 2009 the LCROSS mission, discovered not only the evidence of the water they sought, but lines of silver when strong ultraviolet rays were applied to the area. Scientists suspect that the silver might be in a layer of rock buried below the surface. Continue reading →
The moon looks so placid from your planet Earth. Many cadets would be surprised to learn that the moon has some secret moves that you just can’t see with the naked eye.
According to scientists, the moon may still be shrinking. This shrinkage triggers moon-quakes that can shake our moon boots off! The Apollo crew noticed these little wrinkles (called lobate scarps) over 40 years ago near the moon’s equator but with the help of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), they’ve recently discovered 14 more scattered locations!
What causes the moon to shrink? According to scientists the moon is still has periods of cooling off which makes the inner structure of the moon to contract. These contractions can trigger a moonquake which in turns create the lobate scarps.
Back during the Apollo missions in the 1970s, astronauts left earthquake detectors called “seismometers” on the moon to help scientists learn more about it. With the help of the data from these seismometers and the images provided by the LRO, scientists are going to test their theory that these scarps are the result of the lunar earthquakes which would indicate that the moon isn’t finished shrinking.
But don’t worry about the moon suddenly disappearing from your night sky — it’s take the moon one billion years just to shrink 200 meters! Just how far is 200 meters? Well, if you were Usain Bolt, you could run that distance in just 19.19 seconds! Not a very big distance at all.
So while you’re exploring the moon, see if you can find those scarps that the astronomers have been watching. Maybe you can find one that they missed!
As we receive more applications for the MyTinyPlanets training camp, we’ve been checking other planets to see how they train their young astronauts. It’s interesting that on some planets they still are using bulky environmental suits while travelling. Oh well, I guess they’re just not at the level of technological advancement to make Invisithin suits yet.
This is an intercepted transmission from your planet which shows how aspiring young astronauts begin to learn the ropes of space travel. Enjoy!
Throughout our space adventures, one of the most spectacular events that Bong and I have witnessed during our days as cadets was rainstorms on the sun. No, really. It rains on the sun! And when it rains there, it POURS! And if you hate getting wet during a rainstorm on your planet, imagine getting drenched in sizzling hot plasma!
On April 19, 2010 NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was able to catch quite a show on your sun. According to their records it was the largest storm in many years. You see there was this massive eruption on the surface of the sun. The eruption threw up billions of tons of plasma into the sun’s atmosphere.
And as we all know, what goes up must come down — so when the plasma gets pulled back towards the sun, it slows up and starts to fall like rain does on planet Earth. Scientists have been trying to figure out for years why the sun’s massive gravity doesn’t just pull that plasma down just as fast as it throws it up into the atmosphere. But on April 19th, the NASA scientists got their answer!
As you can imagine, the sun is extremely hot. And when the plasma gets shot into the atmosphere a burst of superheated gases follows it. So when the plasma streams starts falling back towards the sun, the first thing that it encounters is that superheated cushion of gases which … slows the plasma down so that it looks like it’s raining!
Would you like to get a peek at this solar rainstorm? I thought you would. You can watch a portion of this four hour event by clicking here. Pretty cool hot, huh?