the-actual-universe

heythereuniverse:

Clouds Detected on Alien Planet —New Hubble Discovery | TheDailyGalaxy

Weather forecasters on exoplanet GJ 1214b would have an easy job. Today’s forecast: cloudy. Tomorrow: overcast. Extended outlook: more clouds. A team of scientists led by researchers in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago report they have definitively characterized the atmosphere of a super-Earth class planet orbiting another star for the first time.

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Source photo 1: [Tyrogthekreeper]
From: ‘The Gift’
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky 
All the Hemispheres
Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out
Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.
Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.
Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.
Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.
Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.
All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
Chatting
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.
jtotheizzoe
jtotheizzoe:

All the solid surfaces in the solar system (excluding gas giants) mapped as a map according to surface area. I recommend viewing it large, so you can see how “all human skin” relates to the surface areas of the solid solar system.
I love that Europa is next to Europe. Now I’d like to see someone synthesize a plate tectonics model for how the continent of Solaros (a name I just now invented) was formed. 
(via xkcd, HT to Kottke)

jtotheizzoe:

All the solid surfaces in the solar system (excluding gas giants) mapped as a map according to surface area. I recommend viewing it large, so you can see how “all human skin” relates to the surface areas of the solid solar system.

I love that Europa is next to Europe. Now I’d like to see someone synthesize a plate tectonics model for how the continent of Solaros (a name I just now invented) was formed. 

(via xkcd, HT to Kottke)

wildcat2030
That these tiny creatures could affect such massive change is not as unreasonable as it sounds. Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one species of cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus. This species was not even discovered until the 1980s: it is so tiny that millions can fit into a single drop of water and no one had produced a sieve small enough to catch it. The oxygen made by these tiny marine plants dwarfs that produced by the Amazon rainforest and the rest of the world’s woodlands combined. By taking in CO2 and exhaling oxygen, these tiny creatures serve as the planet’s lungs, whose steady breathing is limited only by nutrition. Just as land plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements to thrive, missing nutrients restrain planktons’ growth. Add enough of those missing elements – via dust blown off a continent or fertiliser run-off from farm fields – and the oceans will produce blooms that can be seen from space.

Meditations on Death

Like the flame blown out by the wind, This life of ours is headed for destruction. Seeing the cycle of birth and death in all things Mindfulness of death is a skill we need to use. Just as people who have achieved great wealth and fame Must surely fall in death. This thing called death will not leave me behind; Death is always beckoning me to follow. Death is the true companion of birth And never far behind, Searching for an opening Like a samurai in battle. It’s course cannot be changed This life we call our own, Is rushing to its end Like the sun moving form east to west. Death takes those from us who are great in strength and wisdom, No need to speak of one like me. Because this life of mine lacks in so many ways I die in every moment with little chance of a good rebirth. Our life is filled with so much uncertainty Its length cannot be known. It is difficult just to stay alive, each day Filled with the fear and anguish of the death about to come. There is no chance that life shall not end in death. Having reached old age what can be next, Death is part of our true nature. As the nature of fruit is to fall when ripe. Just as a potters jar must break and turn to dust So to these bones of ours will one day break and end the same way. The young, the old, the foolish and the wise, The hand of death is always open; The end is known for sure. Impermanent is all conditioned things, All things rise and fall away, Conditions give us birth, Conditions give us death. This body and mind of ours, will soon be lying on the ground Like a useless piece of drift wood, washed upon the shore. Our consciousness will vanish, the mind will not be there, Just like a bubble bursting on the water, turning into air. We came into this world without an invitation, and We don’t need to ask permission when its time for us to leave. We rise to birth that always ends in death; we come just as we go.

Does the candle shed a tear when the flame goes out? Don’t be sad, be mindful.

-I can’t find what the source of this is, but I like it.