Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for the 'Astronomy' Category

Did you know…

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 by Dawn Summers

…countries are just out there crashing stuff into the moon?

#WhyWeCantGetNowhereAsAPlanet

My God, It’s Full Of Planets!

Monday, February 13th, 2012 by Smarty Pants

I was planning my next Taylor Tuesday and I noticed in the authoring tool that there is an astronomy category on this blog for some reason. So I say to myself, “WTF?” and do a search for astronomy related posts, wondering what Dawn Summers could have possibly said about astronomy. Zip. Nada. Ziltch.

Well, let’s just go ahead and correct that. In March of 2009, the Kepler Space Telescope went up. Its job is to try to find planets around other stars. It’s pretty much kicking a bunch of ass doing so.

Unlike other telescopes that look around here and there at the whims of whatever scientist happens to be controlling them at the time, Kepler looks at a small and very specific part of the sky continuously. And it doesn’t just look at one star at a time in that part of the sky, but it looks at all of them simultaneously. For about 2.5 years now.

Here is a picture of the area of the sky that Kepler is staring at. (Click to make it bigger).

Now if you hold your hand up at arms length and make a fist, that fist is about the size of the area of the sky that Kepler is looking at. Go ahead, hold it up there, no one is watching you. Now while it’s up there, think about the rest of the sky, all around the earth, even under us on the other side of the planet. I think you’ll get the idea that what Kepler is looking at is a pretty small piece of sky.

Now as Kepler stares at this portion of the sky, it is looking at all the stars in there. If you live in a city, you can probably only see 1 or 2 stars with the naked eye in that spot, but there are really thousands of stars there. And they are all in our own galaxy. So Kepler is looking at these stars and waiting to see if any of them get a little dimmer for a period. And if they do, and that dimming is repetitive, they have spotted a planet!!! As the planet circles its star and passes in front of it, the starlight getting to us will dim in teeny tiny amounts. Kepler is sensitive enough to detect this. Based on the amount and period of the dimming, we can infer lots of information about the planets. Their size, mass, and distance from the star can all be figured out to pretty decent degrees of certainty.

So what have we found? So far, Kepler has found over 1200 planets in that tiny patch of sky!!! 54 of them may be in the “habitable zone” of the parent star. That means they are at a distance where temperature and climate could be similar to earth (liquid water, etc).

With these numbers, we can begin to statistically extrapolate total expected numbers for our “local neighborhood” as well as the rest of the galaxy. This study suggests that there are over 160 billion planets in our galaxy. Yeah. 160 BILLION!!!

There are about two billion earth analogs in our galaxy alone, and within about 1000 light years of earth there are over 30,000 habitable planets. Holy Crap!!!

So, as you may know, we aren’t the only galaxy out there. Here is another picture for you. It’s called the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field.

Almost EVERY little smudge of light in this image is a galaxy. Remember the fist to the sky thing? Ok, cut a 1mm by 1mm piece of paper and hold it to the sky at arms length. That is the size of this image. In that tiny amount of space, there are over 10,000 galaxies. And that is true for EVERY tiny patch of sky all around us.

That adds up to over one sextillion earth like planets in the universe!!! That’s this many 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

So, by now you may be asking yourself – Well where *is* everybody???

Beats me.

Edit: OMFG! I found the post tagged as Astronomy and it’s about astrology. A sad face cannot do justice to the betrayal I feel. Oh, the humanity!

On the money

Monday, August 8th, 2011 by Dawn Summers

My horoscope for today:

It’s challenging to compare your idealistic dreams with what you currently have in your life. The gulf between your fantasies and reality may be so great now that you don’t even know where to begin. Instead of setting yourself up for failure by aiming too high, try a more modest start. Acknowledging what you’ve already accomplished is better than tearing yourself down with self-criticism. Beginning with a few simple affirmations can give you the positive boost you need.

Born under a bad sign, baby

Saturday, October 17th, 2009 by Dawn Summers

The other day on twitter, I made a joke about Cancers being self-centered, but the truth is I didn’t know that much about my sign. So, with 9 hours of my company server being down on today, but not being able to leave the office, I dug up some stuff about the crabbed wonder that is the Cancer.

The symbol for Cancer is the crab, which retires into its shell if threatened. ‘I FEEL’ is the motto for Cancer. Children, plants and artistic projects all thrive under your protection. Home and family are very important to you and you can remember things from your childhood as clearly as if they happened yesterday. There is a part of you that doesn’t want to grow up and you make a ready playmate. You are imaginative and empathetic and will mirror other people’s feelings back to them. They trust you and will confide in you, although you yourself are a very private person and keep your own feelings to yourself. Your sensitivity can make you touchy and you can also be very moody. Your reluctance to let go of the past can make you clingy. You are the nurturers of the zodiac.

Okay, well that’s total bullshit! Not me at all, so I went to another site. Gotta be something better out there, something more me, you know?:

Home and family give the Cancerian strength and stability, and the home is the safe “shell” that the Cancer individual knows he can retreat to after a long, stressful day. Cancer is strongly rooted and often thinks of the past, holding onto mementos and thinking about his childhood. Emotions run deep in the Cancer individual, and even small slights resonate down to his very core. When hurt or disappointed, Cancer will retreat completely into his shell and become unreachable for a period of time. Cancer is generous and kind to others, but will cautiously wait when he confronts a problem to make sure that he doesn’t waste valuable resources. In the end, he will come through and help generously if no other option presents itself. Though possessing a good sense of humor and loving a good joke, the Cancer personality will often become sulky, moody, and irritable for no reason apparent to anyone else. This is just a manifestation of those waters that run so deep in the Cancer individual. Cancer weighs every move carefully, almost never doing things spontaneously, and as a result, he is usually successful in his endeavors. When he fails, he will brood about it for a long time, and will almost never just shrug it off and try again.

For those with a cancer child, you have a loving kid with a long memory, who never forgets an emotional event. Cancer children are well-attuned to their surroundings, almost from birth, and can detect any unsettled atmosphere in the home, making it important to keep home life as stable and serene as possible. Anything associated with well-being, such as food and comfortable surroundings are extremely important to the Cancer child, and if they don’t like something such as carrots or a certain set of sheets, remove them and don’t attempt to present them to the child again any time soon. This child’s reasoning for their dislike, however absurd it seems to you, is coming from a deep, emotional place and you are unlikely to change their minds or make matters better by forcing things on them. Cancer kids are deeply attached to their parents, whether the parent is good or bad, and will be affected emotionally for life by the actions of their parents. Once the Cancer child becomes older, he will likely hoard toys, candy, or whatever else appeals to him, often carefully preserving his trophies in their original packaging.

Cancers do best in jobs where they can nurture others. They have the imagination and intuition to feel what others are feeling and therefore make good human resource employees, trainers, or medical personnel. They are usually not ecstatic about change, so a stable job environment is a positive for Cancer. Many find Cancer individuals difficult to understand, as their emotions sometimes overrule their more sensible side. In order to have a successful relationship with a Cancer, one must choose to accept mood swings and the occasional need that their Cancer partner has to withdraw completely at times. Your Cancer partner equates money with security, and along with providing a comfortable home, will also likely see to it that there is a comfortable nest egg in reserve too.

Cancer in any relationship is nurturing and caring, but with deep mood swings and a sharp tongue when provoked. Cancer seeks out others who are stable and loyal, and who want to focus on home and family. The Cancer individual will be cautious with money and will likely have some cash stashed away for a rainy day.

Dude! BUNK. Next site:

They are rather close minded and opinionated. They have a retentive memory, and rarely forgive slights and hurts. With a tendency toward chronic complaining, a Cancerian will never let you forget an error. They are driven by their emotional nature, and, in this respect, can be the best and the worst of friends.
The overall nature of Cancerians is deeply emotional. Although private and reserved, they possess sensitivity and sympathy. Rarely will a Cancer stand on pretense. What appears to be a front is nothing more than a protective shell.

How can thousands of years of astrology be so wrong wrong wrong? Moving on.

Each astrological sign tends to have at least one key characteristic that really identifies it. Cancers, whether fairly or unfairly, are known for their moodiness. Imbedded within Cancer personality traits is their emotional nature. For better or for worse, Cancer feels very deeply. Similar to the dark, murky depths of the ocean, people of this sign allow their emotions to swirl, and sometimes stew, within.
A happy Cancer is one that is allowed to express his or her feelings without fear of rebuke. Shy Cancers are deathly afraid of being rejected, so if they feel that there’s even the slightest chance that will happen, they’ll immediately pull back, or recoil, into their shell. Cancers also feel best when they’re sharing their love for something, like writing or poetry, with those around them. Often, they’ll have a strong creative force, one that involves them at least in some capacity, with the arts. This usually makes them feel wonderful about their role in the world.

Another one of Cancer’s personality traits is that they can become resentful and petulant rather quickly. If they feel that they’ve been slighted in some way (whether real or imagined), they’re likely to let the resentment they feel build up inside until it finally explodes. The trouble with Cancer is that anything can make them feel resentful. They have incredibly fertile imaginations, and when they are not using this creativity in a productive manner, they can sometimes use these talents destructively. Simply put, it’s very difficult to please a Cancer at all times. The best you can do is to simply wait until they snap out of it and return to their usual charming selves!

Well, I never. That site can’t even freaking spell “embedded” right. It’s like looking in some crazy, mixed up mirror that shows you yourself in the reverse of how you actually are. Good day to you, astrology. I say GOOD DAY, Sir. You have painted a picture of a person I do not recognize…um…well, that’s not true. This totally sounds like G-train. Yes, definitely. He’s so a wussified wussy with a curmudgeon exterior.

Where was this damn advice yesterday?

Monday, April 14th, 2008 by Dawn Summers


Take a moment to think about what you’re going to say before all of the words come out in one jumbled, unintelligible mess. Do not put too much importance into what you are being told. Hold off on making any major decisions until tomorrow.

Fun with horoscopes

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

You were able to remain positive up to this point, but by now you may have noticed that things just aren’t going your way. Someone you care deeply about may not be feeling too well. Take some time to provide comfort and compassion to this person. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Fun with horoscopes

Friday, March 7th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

Although your feelings may be going through radical changes now, it’s a good day to determine what you want in the weeks ahead. In the flash of a bright idea, you can visualize your future. Don’t let this chance pass you by without taking direct action. Your goals are more reachable if you maintain clarity of thought and integrity in all you do.

Fun with horoscopes

Monday, February 11th, 2008 by Dawn Summers

You may have a love/hate relationship with your own thoughts now. On one hand, you know how perceptive you are and can normally trust your intuition. But on the other hand, you may be worried that you are reading too much into the current situation. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you receive conflicting hunches today, go with the one that’s based on love and acceptance, rather than fear and rejection.

Fun with horoscopes

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 by Dawn Summers

While your focus has been on other people in your life lately, thinking completely about your current relationships is not going to be possible today. But that is a good thing — it’s time to get yourself refocused on who you are alone, as an individual. You may be running the risk of losing yourself in the noise of socializing. Ask yourself honestly if you are working so hard on friendships and relationships with other people to avoid working hard on yourself.

Fun with horoscopes

Sunday, December 30th, 2007 by Dawn Summers

You may wish that you were a little less sensitive these days, for others have even more impact on your feelings than usual. Don’t give too much credence to what is said now. On the other hand, avoidance of difficult issues won’t work for you either. Listen carefully, but don’t believe everything you hear.