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Humanity Will Continue to Live an Inferior Life Than What is Possible Until the Two Halves: All Individuals in Them: That Make It are Absolutely Fundamentally and Jubilantly Equal at Liberty
 

 

Year Gamma: London: Sunday: February 04: 2018
First Published: September 24: 2015

Change: Either Happens or Is Made: When It is Not Made It Happens Regardless in Which We Become Mere Logs and Get Washed Away in and by Utterly Mechanical Forces of Dehumanisation: When Made Change is Created by Our Conscious Choices, Efforts, Initiatives and Works: In the Former We Let Go Off Our Humanity So That Dehumanisation Determines and Dictates the Existence of Our Sheer Physiologies: But in the Later We Claim, Mark and Create Our Humanity as to the Change We Choose to Make and Create It Onto Reality: To Nurture, Foster, Support, Sustain, Maintain, Enhance, Expand, Empower and Enrich the Very Humanity That We Are:  As Individuals, As Families, As Communities and As Societies All of Which Now Exist in the Fabrics of Time-Space of What is Called Civic Society: One That Exists by Natural Justice and Functions by the Rule of Law: Ensuring Liberty and Equality, Along with Purpose and Meaning of Existence, Exist in Each and Every Soul Equally at All Times: The Humanion

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sunnara Arkive Year Beta

Eileen M Collins Shuttle Commander on February 03, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 03: 1995: Astronaut Eileen M Collins at the Pilot's Station on Shuttle Discovery: NASA Image. Readmore

 

 

 

What About 288P Hubble: It's a System of Two Things Orbiting Each Other

Image: ESA:NASA:Hubble

 

|| September 20: 2017 || ά. With the help of the NASA:ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a German-led group of astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including, a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid, also, classified as a comet. The research is presented in a paper published in the journal Nature this week. In September 2016, just before the asteroid 288P made its closest approach to the Sun, it was close enough to Earth to allow astronomers a detailed look at it using the NASA:ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The images of 288P, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, showed that it was, actually, not a single object, but two asteroids of almost the same mass and size, orbiting each other at a distance of about 100 kilometres. That discovery was in itself, an important find; because they orbit each other, the masses of the objects in such systems can be measured. But the observations, also, found ongoing activity in the binary system. “We detected strong indications of the sublimation of water ice due to the increased solar heating, similar to how the tail of a comet is created.” explains Ms Jessica Agarwal, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany, the Team Leader and main Author of the research paper.

This makes 288P the first known binary asteroid, that is, also, classified as a main-belt comet. Understanding the origin and evolution of main-belt comets, asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, that show comet-like activity, is a crucial element in our understanding of the formation and evolution of the whole Solar System. Among the questions main-belt comets can help to answer is how water came to Earth. Since only a few objects of this type are known, 288P presents itself as an extremely important system for future studies.

According to Ms Agarwall the various features of 288P, wide separation of the two components, near-equal component size, high eccentricity and comet-like activity, also, make it unique among the few known wide asteroid binaries in the Solar System. The observed activity of 288P shows information about its past. “Surface ice cannot survive in the asteroid belt for the age of the Solar System but can be protected for billions of years by a refractory dust mantle, only a few metres thick.”

From this, the research team concluded that 288P had existed as a binary system for only about 5,000 years. Ms Agarwal elaborates on the formation scenario, “The most probable formation scenario of 288P is a breakup due to fast rotation. After that, the two fragments, may have been, moved further apart by sublimation torques.”

The fact that 288P is so different from all other known binary asteroids raises some questions about whether it is not just a coincidence that it presents such unique properties. As finding 288P included a lot of luck, it is likely to remain the only example of its kind for a long time. “We need more theoretical and observational work, as well as, more objects similar to 288P, to find an answer to this question.” concludes Ms Agarwal.

The international team of astronomers in this study consists of MsJessica Agarwal: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany, Mr David Jewitt: Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles, USA, Mr Max Mutchler: Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA, Mr Harold Weaver: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland, USA and Mr Stephen Larson: Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.

The results were released in the paper, A binary main belt comet, to be published in Nature.
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Contacts
Jessica Agarwal: Max Planck Institute for Solar-System Research: Göttingen, Germany: Tel: +49 551 384 979 438: email: agarwal at mps.mpg.de
Lauren Fuge: ESA:Hubble, Public Information Officer: Garching bei München, Germany: email: lfuge at partner.eso.org

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Hello Again and Good Bye: Cassini's Terminal Descent Ending Its 13-Year Odyssey of Saturn

Image: ESA:NASA:JPL:University of Arizona

 

|| September 11: 2017 || ά. Until the arrival of the international Cassini–Huygens Mission at Saturn in 2004, much about the gas giant, its intricate ring system and enigmatic moons was a mystery. On January 14, 2005, the mystery as to what lay beneath the thick atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon Titan was to be revealed as ESA’s Huygens probe made the first successful landing on a world in the outer Solar System. During the two anda half hour descent under parachute, features, that looked remarkably like shore lines and river systems on Earth, appeared from the haze. But rather than water, with surface temperatures of around -180ºC, the fluid involved here is methane, a simple organic compound.

One set of images taken by Huygens is pictured here showing the view from two km altitude. It is in Mercator projection, so the N–S:E-W directions cross at right angles but surface areas appear distorted. Huygens touched down on a frozen surface littered with rounded pebbles and continued to transmit to its mothership for 72 minutes before Cassini dropped below the horizon. The stream of data returned from the surface provided a unique treasure trove of in situ measurements, that scientists are still mining today. In its 13-year Odyssey of the Saturn system Cassini made 127 close flybys of Titan, including, radar-mapping its surface, even, before Huygens’ descent and finding numerous hydrocarbon lakes and seas, evidence for a global ocean of water beneath its thick crust and an atmosphere teeming with pre-biotic chemicals.

Titan’s atmosphere is thought to be similar to early Earth’s before life developed and thus can be seen as a planet-scale laboratory to understand the chemical reactions, that, may have, led to life on Earth.

Cassini, also, watched Titan’s seasons change over time, including, the development of a swirling vortex and clouds of methane rain, that precipitate onto the surface. Titan has, also, acted as a gravitational slingshot for Cassini throughout its mission, setting it on course for exploration of the Saturn system.

Tonight, at 19:04 GMT, Cassini will make its last, distant, flyby of Titan, dubbed the ‘goodbye kiss’ by mission planners, taking it 119049 km from its surface.

The flyby seals Cassini’s fate, causing the spacecraft to slow down slightly in its orbit around Saturn and lowering its altitude over the planet. Thus, it will plunge into the atmosphere, disposing of the spacecraft in the safest way possible to avoid an unplanned impact into a pristine icy satellite, such as, ocean-bearing Enceladus.

The Cassini–Huygens mission is a co-operative project between NASA, ESA and Italy’s ASI Space Agency. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Tiny Little Moon Blocks the Giant Giant Sun: This is What Must Be Called the Cosmic Proportional Precision Positioning of Variables: This is Seen in Wyoming in the US

 

|| August 23: 2017 || ά. The total solar eclipse seen from Casper, Wyoming, US, by a team of ESA astronomers on August 21. The image shows the moment of totality, when the Moon passed directly in front of the Sun, blocking its light and revealing the details of the Sun’s atmosphere, its corona. Image: ESA:M.P. Ayucar, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Surface of Mars Poses Danger to Earthly-Life-Forms

 

|| July 11: 2017: University of Edinburgh News || ά. The environment on Mars, may be, more harmful to Earth-based life forms than previously thought, experiments by Edinburgh scientists have shown. Researchers investigated the behaviour of chemical compounds, called, perchlorates, which are found on the surface of the red planet. They found that, when exposed to UV light whilst in environmental conditions mimicking those on Mars, the chemicals can kill bacteria, commonly carried by spacecraft.

Their findings could have implications for potential contamination from robotic and human exploration of Mars. The study suggested that the effect of perchlorates, can be, compounded by two other types of chemicals found on Mars’ surface, iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide. In experiments, in which all three were present, the combination led to a more than 10-fold increase in death of bacterial cells compared with perchlorates alone. Scientists have speculated on the influence that perchlorates, may have, on the habitability of the planet, since their discovery there several years ago.

Researchers in the UK Centre for Astrobiology and School of Physics and Astronomy investigated the potential reactivity of perchlorates and their effect on Bacillus subtilis, a bacterium found on spacecraft and common in soils and rocks. Their experiments showed that, when magnesium perchlorate was exposed to UV radiation similar to that on Mars, it became capable of killing bacteria much more effectively than UV light alone.

At concentrations of perchlorate similar to those found on the Martian surface, cells of B. subtilis quickly died. Although, the Martian surface has been suspected for some time to have toxic effects, the latest study suggests that it, may be, highly damaging to living cells.

This is owing to a toxic mix of oxidants, iron oxides, perchlorates and UV energy. Their study, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, was published in Scientific Reports.

''Our findings have important implications for the possible contamination of Mars with bacteria and other materials from space missions. This should be taken into account in designing missions to Mars.'' says Ms Jennifer Wadsworth, UK Centre for Astrobiology and School of Physics and Astronomy.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Thomas Pesquet Arrives Back Home From ISS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

|| June 06: 2017 || ά. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet landed on the steppe of Kazakhstan with Russian commander Oleg Novitsky in their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft on June 02 after six months in space. Touchdown was at 14:10 GMT after a four-hour flight from the International Space Station.

Thomas spent six months on the International Space Station as part of his Proxima mission. During Proxima, Thomas took part in 60 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s space agency CNES and the international Station partners.

The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Isn't It About Time We Pay a Visit to the Solarian King Professor Parker

NASA’s first mission to go to the sun, the Parker Solar Probe, is named after Eugene Parker
who first theorised that the sun constantly sends out a flow of particles and energy called
the solar wind. Image: NASA:APL
 

|| June 01: 2017: Geoff Brown Writing || ά. NASA has renamed the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft, humanity’s first mission to a star, which will launch in 2018, as the Parker Solar Probe in honour of astrophysicist Professor Eugene Parker. The announcement was made at a ceremony at the University of Chicago, where Parker serves as the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

In 1958, Professor Parker, then a young professor at the university’s Enrico Fermi Institute, published an article in the Astrophysical Journal, titled, 'Dynamics of the interplanetary gas and magnetic fields'. Professor Parker believed that there was high speed matter and magnetism constantly escaping the sun and that it affected the planets and space throughout our solar system. This phenomenon, now known as the solar wind, has been proven to exist repeatedly through direct observation. Professor Parker’s work forms the basis for much of our understanding about how stars interact with the worlds that orbit them.

“This is the first time NASA has named a spacecraft for a living individual.” said Mr Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “It’s a testament to the importance of his body of work, founding a new field of science that also inspired my own research and many important science questions NASA continues to study and further understand every day. I’m very excited to be personally involved honouring a great man and his unprecedented legacy.

''The solar probe is going to a region of space that has never been explored before.” said Professor Parker. “It’s very exciting that we’ll finally get a look. One would like to have some more detailed measurements of what’s going on in the solar wind. I’m sure that there will be some surprises. There always are.”

In the 1950s, Professor Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars, including our sun, give off energy. He called this cascade of energy, the solar wind, and he described an entire complex system of plasmas, magnetic fields and energetic particles, that make up this phenomenon. He, also, theorised an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is, contrary to what was expected by physics laws, hotter than the surface of the sun itself. Many NASA missions have continued to focus on this complex space environment defined by our star, a field of research known as heliophysics.

“Parker Solar Probe is going to answer questions about solar physics, that we’ve puzzled over for more than six decades.” said Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Ms Nicola Fox, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “It’s a spacecraft loaded with technological breakthroughs, that will solve many of the largest mysteries about our star, including finding out why the sun’s corona is so much hotter than its surface. And we’re very proud to be able to carry Gene’s name with us on this amazing voyage of discovery.”

NASA missions are most often renamed after launch and certification; in this case, given Professor Parker’s accomplishments within the field and how closely aligned this mission is with his research, the decision was made to honour him prior to launch, in order to draw attention to his important contributions to heliophysics and space science.

Born on June 10, 1927, in Michigan, Professor Eugene Newman Parker received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Michigan State University and a doctorate from Caltech. He then taught at the University of Utah and since 1955, Professor Parker has held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and at its Fermi Institute. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the George Ellery Hale Prize, the National Medal of Science, the Bruce Medal, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Kyoto Prize, and the James Clerk Maxwell Prize.

Parker Solar Probe is on track for launch during a 20-day window, that opens on July 31, 2018. The mission is part of NASA’s Living With a Star programme to explore aspects of the sun-Earth system, that directly affect life and society. LWS is managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. Johns Hopkins APL manages the mission for NASA and is designing and building and will operate the spacecraft.

Learn More nasa.gov/solarprobe.

Geoff Brown: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

: Editor: Rob Garner: NASA:
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Mars: The Four Hundred Millions Years of Maarthitude

SSERVI_Mars Bombardment: Mars bears the scars of five giant impacts, including the ancient giant Borealis basin, top of globe, Hellas,
bottom right and Argyre, bottom left. A NASA-funded team at SwRI discovered that Mars experienced a 400-million-year
lull in impacts between the formation of Borealis and the younger basins. Image: University of Arizona:LPL:Southwest Research Institute
 


|| April 30: 2017 || ά.  Since the earliest days of our solar system’s history, asteroid impacts have shaped the planets and contributed to their evolution. New research, funded by NASA, shows that Mars experienced ten times fewer giant impacts than some previous estimates. The ancient surfaces of Mars, like those on the moon and Mercury, are covered with the scars of asteroid impacts. The largest and most ancient giant impact basin on Mars, called Borealis, is nearly 6,000 miles wide and encompasses most of the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet. A smaller giant basin, called, Hellas is 1,200 miles wide and five miles deep.

Scientists Bill Bottke, from the Southwest Research Institute:SwRI, and Jeff Andrews-Hanna, from the University of Arizona, have been investigating the early bombardment history of Mars and the timing of giant impacts. While past theories have suggested other reasons, the new findings indicate that the Borealis basin carved out the northern lowlands 04.5 billion years ago, followed by a lull of 400 million years, during which, no giant impacts occurred, culminating in a shower of impacts between 04.1 and 03.8 billion years ago, during which, four giant basins and countless smaller craters formed.

For a recently published paper in Nature Geoscience about the topic, Bottke and Andrews-Hanna collected data and ran models to support their findings, that the rim of Borealis was excavated by only one later giant basin, called, Isidis.

“This sets strong statistical limits on the number of giant basins that could have formed on Mars after Borealis.” said Bottke, Principal Investigator of the Institute for the Science of Exploring Targets:ISET, team with NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute:SSERVI. “The number and timing of such giant impacts on early Mars has been debated, with estimates, ranging from four to 30 giant basins formed in the time since Borealis. Our work shows that the lower values are more likely.”

To fully understand the implications of this bombardment, the study, further, needed to constrain the timing of the impacts responsible for other giant basins, and compare their preservation state. The preservation state of the four youngest giant basins on Mars, Hellas, Isidis, Argyre and the now-buried, Utopia basins, are strikingly similar to the larger and older Borealis basin. The similar preservation of both Borealis and these younger basins indicates that any basins formed during this time interval should be similarly preserved.

Previous studies used superposed smaller craters, resulting from the occurrence of impacts close enough together over time for newer craters to form atop older ones, to estimate that the ages of Hellas, Isidis, and Argyre were 03.8-04.1 billion years old. The ages of minerals found within Mars rocks, that were blasted off the surface by impacts and came to Earth in the form of meteorites reveal the age of Borealis to be about 04.5 billion years old, nearly as old as Mars itself.

“The timing of these impacts requires two separate populations of objects striking Mars, one population, that was part of the formation of the inner planets, that died off early and a second population striking the surface at a later time.” said Bottke. “We refer to the lull as the doldrums, which was then followed by a period of more intense bombardment, commonly known as the Late Heavy Bombardment.” said Andrews-Hanna.

Bottke and Andrews-Hanna speculate that without giant impacts, release of gas from volcanoes, may have, built up a thicker atmosphere at this time and the more stable surface conditions may have even been more hospitable to life. Although much remains unknown about the earliest history of Mars, the results of the new study open a window into Mars’ tumultuous past.

The ISET is a research team managed by SSERVI. Located at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California’s Silicon Valley, SSERVI is funded by the agency’s Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and manages national and international collaborative partnerships, designed to push the boundaries of science and exploration.

: Editor: Kimberly Williams: NASA:
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Ring My Heart: Young Writers: Write a Story Like This One Except Yours Have to Be Lot Shorter Than This: In Only 500 Words: Deadline May 05

University of South Africa

|| April 28: 2017 || ά. I asked for you to ring my heart more often that that: But you know, ringing the heart is like having a dream; one cannot and does not control it: Then who does: It's our souls: Are you okay: Yes, I am. Are you: Yes. So go on: I rang you now because I wanted to touch your hand before I leave: Leave. Leave for where: Touch the wall: Touch the wall: Yes just do it: See, I can feel your hand. But how: See, we suddenly took a trip down the tectonic-plane's high-season waving and sloped down the valley of void between spaces of different Universine Domains as if we are rolling down a hill, except it's a void between the blank of spaces and now we are waiting at the Gate-Magnetismic to open so that we can energise-through it into the intended Universine Domain. And from here we stand closest to yours because when we are in this Tectonic Plane Slope, that exists between parallel Universine Domains, the Domains literally become one dimensional for our purposes because we have become part of the void: Part of the void but I can feel your hand and touch: That is because matter or energy or time or space or void we are souls, that exist in all and beyond and in resonance to all so that even in the void our souls exist. Therefore, what you and I are feeling is our souls in reach: I see but what if when you pass through the Gate: Then we enter the other Universine Domain and soon we become part of that, which we won't find in one dimension so that the distance between the domains, that you and I are in now becomes Imparsian Light-Megalith-Millennium and yet the time it will have taken for us to reach between these two domains is a trillionth of a second: But how is it possible: Because once you manage to get out of a domain onto one of the network of Tectonic Planes, crisscrossing the Universe, you are beyond time and space in a void that, neither has space nor time, which means you are closest to the entire Universe at one instance for the entire Matter Universe is covered in the membrane of time-space like a baby in the womb of the void, the void, that reaches the entire physiology of the Universe, made of time and space, holding matters and energies inside them. Then you choose where to go and you get to a Gate and Energise onto the Next Domain in no time: I see, but how far is an Imparsian Light-Megalith-Millennium: That is how far light travels in 1000 Millennia. Therefore, if I cross the Gate I won't be able to touch your hand because one can only reach either Domain from a Tectonic Plane Slope but cannot reach from one Domain to another Domain by passing through an in-between Slope: But you will be able to, still ring my heart, yes: Yes, so long we are souls we will always be able to ring our hearts and that's the only way for us to know that we are humans and we are still alive in this Universe: Thank Goodness for That! I am glad you rang my heart and it now sings you a happy journey. But come back home quick. Don't take Imparsian Light-Megalith-Millennia, will you: See, to get back to you, all I have to do is step over into that mono-dimensional Unversine Domain, which will open onto yours and exactly there, where you are: How is this possible: It's simply a soul thing: A soul thing: Yes, it's the soul, that needs to go home and knows where home is: Come back home soon.

Children from all over the UK have just one week enter the National Young Writers’ Awards. The competition, organised by tuition provider Explore Learning, is being judged by author, TV presenter and adventurer, Mr Steve Backshall. Young writers will be competing for a family trip to Disneyland Paris, £500 worth of books for their school and the chance to meet the man himself! Running for nine years, it has inspired hundreds of thousands of children across the UK to put pen to paper and give writing a try. However, the final day for entry is Friday, May 05 at midnight. This year’s theme is ‘The Future’ where children are encouraged to write a 500 word story set in 3017! Whether that means there are families living in space, robots ruling the world or new species of animal roaming the wild, Explore Learning want to hear from you!

As well as being a TV presenter and adventurer, Mr Backshall is the Author of the Falcon Chronicles, the best-selling adventure fiction series for children, which follows eco-warriors Saker and Sinter around the globe as they fight to save endangered animals. The series is made up of Tiger Wars, Ghosts of the Forest, Wilds of the Wolf and Shark Seas, released in October 2016.

Mr Backshall says: “I’m really excited to be the judge for this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards. Writing was my first love and I think it’s so important for children to let their imaginations run wild and have a go at entering writing competitions like this! You’re often told to write about what you know… so broaden your experience, learn as much as you can about the wild world in order to better protect it. I can’t wait to read the stories, that the children come up with. The theme of ‘the future’ gives us so much scope for the weird and wonderful.”

Children from all over the UK are encouraged to enter, from eager young authors to those a little more reluctant. The winner will be surprised in a school assembly by Mr Bakshall, who will announce the National Young Writer of the Year and present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 worth of books for their school! Every child, that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from Explore Learning to help children develop their writing skills. The top ten runners up will win an engraved pen from National Stationery Week sponsors, Sheaffer! Whilst all regional winners will receive prize bundles with goodies from National Stationary Week partners, Nu notebooks, Mustard, edding, Maped Helix, Write Size, Manuscript and Stabilo.

Ms Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum Strategy at Explore Learning, says, “We are thrilled to organise the longest running writing competition for children and over the past nine years the National Young Writers’ Awards has been encouraging children to unleash their imaginations and create some utterly brilliant, bonkers and captivating short stories and this year will be no different!

We are absolutely thrilled that Steve Backshall is our judge for 2017 and we know that he will inspire even more children to enter to win the chance to meet their idol – as well as that fantastic trip to Disneyland Paris and the wonderful accolade of being named National Young Writer of the Year!”

It’s very easy to enter. Children are invited to write a story set in 3017 in under 500 words and post it to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW or online at explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters. Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!

Previous judges of the National Young Writers’ Awards have included some of the UK’s most prolific authors like Ms Cressida Cowell, Ms Lauren Child, Ms Liz Pichon, Mr Jonathan Meres, Mr Andy Cope and Mr Alan Durant. Last year’s winner was 11 year old Ms Gracie Harding from Winchester, who wowed Charlie and Lola author, Ms Lauren Child, with her story Happy never after, which you can read online.

Throughout the competition, Explore Learning has been providing some top writing tips from their creative writing team, previous winners, judges and best-selling authors via their website, social media and face to face. They are running free workshops with local libraries, schools and community groups to inspire children’s love of writing.

Explore Learning are an award-winning English and maths tuition company with 126 centres located all over the country. Over 35,000 children aged four to 14 attend their centres each week. Explore Learning’s aim is to help every child reach their full potential and get the best results they can, but more importantly, develop a generation of fearless learners.
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Tethys Beautiful: Ithaca Chasma Canyon

Image: NASA:JPL-Caltech:Space Science Institute
 

|| April 24: 2017 || ά. The low angle of the sun over Tethys' massive canyon, Ithaca Chasma, near the terminator, at right, highlights the contours of this enormous rift. Ithaca Chasma is up to 60 miles, 100 kilometres wide and runs nearly three-fourths of the way around icy Tethys, 660 miles or 1,062 kilometres across. The canyon has a maximum depth of nearly 02.4 miles, four kilometers deep.

The giant crater Odysseus, usually one of Tethys’ most recognisable features, is barely seen in profile along the limb, at upper left. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Tethys. North on Tethys is up and rotated five degrees to the left. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on January 30, 2017.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 221,000 miles, 356,000 kilometres from Tethys. Image scale is one mile or two kilometres per pixel.

: Editor: Tony Greicius: NASA:
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Living with a Star: Surveying the Space Weather Science

Composite image of a coronal mass ejection as seen by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Image: ESA:NASA:SOHO

 

|| April 22: 2017: Sarah Frazier Writing || ά. NASA has long been a leader in understanding the science of space weather, including research into the potential for induced electrical currents to disrupt our power systems. Last year, NASA scientists worked with scientists and engineers from research institutions and industry during a pair of intensive week-long workshops in order to assess the state of science, surrounding this type of space weather. This summary was published on January 30 in the journal Space Weather.

Storms from the sun can affect our power grids, railway systems and underground pipelines through a phenomenon, called, geomagnetically induced currents or GICs. The sun regularly releases a constant stream of magnetic solar material, called, the solar wind, along with occasional huge clouds of solar material, called, coronal mass ejections. This material interacts with Earth’s magnetic field, causing temporary changes. That temporary change to the magnetic field can create electric currents just under Earth’s surface. These are GICs.

Long, thin, metal structures near Earth’s surface, such as underground pipelines, railroads and power lines, can act as giant wires for these currents, causing electricity to flow long distances underground. This electric current can cause problems for all three structures and it’s especially, difficult to manage in power systems, where controlling the amount of electric current is key for keeping the lights on. Under extreme conditions, GICs can cause temporary blackouts, which means that studying space weather is a crucial component for emergency management.

“We already had a pretty good grasp of the key moving pieces, that can affect power systems.” said Mr Antti Pulkkinen, a Space Weather Researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. “But this was the first we had solar experts, heliospheric scientists, magnetospheric physicists, power engineers and emergency management officials all in a room together.”

Though, GICs can primarily cause problems for power systems; railroads and pipelines aren’t immune. “Researchers have found a positive correlation between geomagnetic storms and miss-operation of railway signalling systems.” said Mr Pulkkinen, who is, also, a member of the space weather research-focused Community Co-ordinated Modelling Centre, based at Goddard.

This is because railway signals, which typically control traffic at junctures between tracks or at intersections with roads, operate on an automated closed:open circuit system. If a train’s metal wheels are on the track near the signal, they close the electrical circuit, allowing electrical current to flow to the signal and turn it on.

“Geomagnetically induced currents could close that loop and make the system signal that there’s a train when there isn’t.” said Mr Pulkkinen. Similarly, current flowing in oil pipelines could create false alarms, prompting operators to inspect pipelines, that aren’t damaged or malfunctioning.

In power systems, the GICs from a strong space weather event can cause something, called, voltage collapse. Voltage collapse is a temporary state, in which the voltage of a segment of a power system goes to zero. Because voltage is required for current to flow, voltage collapse can cause blackouts in affected areas.

Though, blackouts caused by voltage collapse can have huge effects on transportation, healthcare and commerce, GICs are unlikely to cause permanent damage to large sections of power systems.

“For permanent transformer damage to occur, there needs to be sustained levels of GICs going through the transformer.” said Mr Pulkkinen. “We know that’s not how GICs work. GICs tend to be much more noisy and short-lived, so widespread physical damage of transformers is unlikely even during major storms.”

The scientists, who worked on the survey, part of the NASA Living With a Star Institute, also, created a list of the key unanswered questions in GIC science, mostly related to computer modelling and prediction. The group members’ previous work on GIC science and preparedness has already been used to shape new standards for power companies to guard against blackouts.

In September 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission:FERC, released new standards, that require power companies to assess and prepare for potential GIC disruptions.

“We’re really proud that our team members made major contributions to the updated FERC standards.” said Mr Pulkkinen. “It, also, shows that the U.S is actively working to address GIC risk.”

: Editor: Rob Garner: NASA:
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Saturn's Moon Atlas: Cassini's Take

Image: NASA:JPL-Caltech:Space Science Institute

 

|| April 16: 2017 || ά. These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn's moon, Atlas, were taken on April 12, 2017, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The flyby had a close-approach distance of about 7,000 miles or 11,000 kilometres.

These images are the closest ever taken of Atlas and will help to characterise its shape and geology. Atlas is 19 miles or 30 kilometres across, orbits Saturn just outside the A ring, the outermost of the planet's bright, main rings.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, European Space Agency:ESA and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Caltech in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Preston Dyches: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California: 818-394-7013: preston.dyches at jpl.nasa.gov

: Editor: Tony Greicius: NASA: ω.

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A Martian Mesa in Noctis Labyrinthus in Valles Marineris

Image: NASA:JPL-Caltech:University of Arizona
 


|| April 13: 2017 || ά. This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a small, 0.4 kilometre mesa, one of several, surrounded by sand dunes in Noctis Labyrinthyus, an extensively fractured region on the western end of Valles Marineris.

Heavily eroded, with clusters of boulders and sand dunes on its surface, this layered mesa is probably comprised of sedimentary deposits, that are being exhumed as it erodes. The layers themselves are visible as faint bands along the lower left edge of the mesa.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimetres, 19.7 inches, per pixel. North is up.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

: Editor: Tony Greicius: NASA:
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Waves on the Sun Give New Insight Into Space Weather Forecasting

Image: NASA Video Capture



|| April 06: 2017: Mara Johnson-Groh Writing || ά. Our sun is a chaotic place, simmering with magnetic energy and constantly spewing out particles. Sometimes the sun releases solar flares and coronal mass ejections, huge eruptions of charged particles, which contribute to space weather and can interfere with satellites and telecommunications on Earth. While it has long been hard to predict such events, new research has uncovered a mechanism, that may, help forecasting these explosions. The research finds a phenomenon similar to a common weather system, seen on our own planet. Weather on Earth reacts to the influence of jet streams, which blow air in narrow currents around the globe.

These atmospheric currents are a type of Rossby wave, movements driven by the planet’s rotation. Using comprehensive imaging of the entire sun with data from the NASA heliophysics Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory:STEREO and Solar Dynamics Observatory:SDO, scientists have now found proof of Rossby waves on the sun. The results, published in a new article in Nature Astronomy, may, allow for long-term space weather forecasting, thus, helping better protect satellites and manned missions vulnerable to high-energy particles released from solar activity.

“It’s not a huge surprise that these things exist on the sun. The cool part is what they do.” said Lead Author Scott McIntosh, Director of the High Altitude Observatory at the National Centre  for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “Just like the jet stream and the gulf stream on Earth, these guys on the sun drive weather, space weather.” Currently, we can forecast short-term effects after a solar flare erupts, but not the appearance of the flare itself.

Understanding the solar Rossby waves and the interior process that drive them, may allow for predictions of when the solar flares might occur, an invaluable tool for future interplanetary manned missions which will fly through regions unprotected from the damaging energetic particles flares can release. The scientists tracked coronal brightpoints, small, luminous features that can be observed on the sun, directly tied to magnetic activity beneath the surface, using data from 2010 to 2013 with NASA’s heliophysics fleet of space observatories.

“The main thing is we were able to observe Rossby waves because of STEREO A and STEREO B, in conjunction with SDO, which allowed us to get a full picture of the entire sun.” said co-author William Cramer, a graduate student at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The STEREO mission used two near-identical observatories in orbit ahead and behind Earth, STEREO A and STEREO B, to get a complete 360-degree view of the sun.

“These missions allowed the researchers to see the entire sun for over three years, something that would not be possible without the STEREO mission.” said Terry Kucera, STEREO project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. In October 2014, after eight years in orbit, STEREO B lost contact with ground operations, but the multi-point view STEREO offers remains invaluable.

 “Having more than one vantage point to look at the sun has a lot of uses, and even with just STEREO A and SDO we can understand how events, like coronal mass ejections, move through the solar system better than we can with just one eye on the sun.” The results clearly show trains of brightpoints slowly circling the sun travelling westwards, revealing the magnetized Rossby waves flowing beneath the surface.

The researchers found the brightpoints shed light on the solar cycle, the sun’s 22-year activity cycle, driven by the constant movement of magnetic material inside the sun. The brightpoints, may, serve as a clue, linking how the solar cycle leads to increased numbers of solar flares every 11 years. “These waves couple activity happening on instantaneous timescales with things that are happening on decadal and longer timescales.” McIntosh said.

“What this points to, is that something that might at first glance appear random, like flares and coronal mass ejections, are probably governed at some level by the process that are driving the wave.” When terrestrial satellites were first used to observe the jet stream on Earth, it allowed huge advances in predictive weather forecasting. These results show such forecasting advances may also be possible with observations of the entire sun simultaneously.

: Editor: Rob Garner: NASA :
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Material Mars: Not Quite Martian But Should Do for Now

Three-D printed Mars simulant. Image: Copyright Fotec

|| March 24: 2017 || ά. These small-scale structures have been three-D printed out of simulated Mars dust, to investigate the feasibility of one day using local materials for building on the Red Planet and other planets. A miniature igloo and a corner wall were manufactured as examples of designs that might be required by colonists, produced from ‘JSC-Mars-1A', volcanic soil that has undergone careful processing to match the known composition and characteristics of martian soil.

“The material was mixed with phosphoric acid serving as a binding ‘ink’, then extruded through a nozzle and deposited in successive layers.” explains Christoph Buchner of Fotec, the research arm of the University of Applied Sciences in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, which performed the test project for ESA. “The hardened results demonstrate the technique has potential for hardware and structural manufacturing on a variety of planetary bodies, it does not depend on the destination.

So this is a promising step towards ‘in-situ resource utilisation’, the concept of using as much local materials as possible during a planetary mission, to cut down on the launch mass and cost. These samples were produced as part of a larger ESA project into ‘Limited resources manufacturing technologies’, supported through our Technology Research Programme involving promising new technologies for space.” comments ESA materials engineer Advenit Makaya, overseeing the project.

“This is an encouraging result.” adds Tommaso Ghidini, Head of ESA’s Materials and Processes Section. This complements a number of activities ESA is undertaking to provide the technologies for long-distance robotic and manned exploration.

“For such missions, in-situ manufacturing will be key, so we are developing a wide variety of capabilities.”
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ExoMars Orbiter Update

 

|| March 13: 2017 || ά. This week, the ExoMars orbiter is devoting two days to making important calibration measurements at the Red Planet, which are needed for the science phase of the mission, that will begin next year. The Trace Gas Orbiter:TGO, a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos, arrived on Mars on October 19. During two dedicated orbits in late November, the science instruments made their first calibration measurements since arriving at Mars. These included images of Mars and one of its moons, Phobos, and basic spectral analyses of the martian atmosphere. At that time, the orbiter was in a highly elliptical path, that took it from between 230 and 310 km above the surface to around 98,000 km every 04.2 days.

The main science mission will only begin once it reaches a near-circular orbit about 400 km above the planet’s surface after a year of ‘aerobraking’, using the atmosphere to gradually brake and change its orbit. Earlier this year, in preparation for the aerobraking phase, TGO conducted a series of manoeuvres to shift its angle of travel with respect to the planet’s equator to almost 74º. This raised it from a near-equatorial arrival orbit to one that flies over more of the northern and southern hemispheres. This inclination will provide optimum coverage of the surface for the science instruments, while still offering good visibility for relaying data from current and future landers, including the ExoMars rover scheduled for launch in 2020. 

Now, before the year-long aerobraking phase begins on March 15, the science teams once again have the opportunity to make important calibration measurements, focusing mainly on tests to check the pointing and tracking of the instruments, but this time from the new orbit. The spacecraft’s new one-day orbit takes it from 37 150 km at its farthest and to within about 200 km of the planet’s surface at its closest approach, which will also allow some of the closest images of the mission to be obtained.

During the main campaign, the spectrometers will be able to test another operational mode, such as scanning towards the horizon at sunlight scattered by the atmosphere. By looking at how the sunlight is influenced by the atmosphere, scientists will be able to analyse the atmospheric constituents of Mars, TGO’s main science goal.

Indeed, TGO is tasked with making a detailed inventory of the atmosphere, particularly those gases that are present only in trace amounts. Of high interest is methane, which on Earth is produced primarily by biological activity or geological processes such as some hydrothermal reactions.  The spacecraft will also seek out water or ice just below the surface, and will provide colour and stereo context images of surface features, including those that may be related to possible trace gas sources.

During the upcoming observations, and in addition to pointing directly at the planet’s surface, the camera will also take important dark sky and star field calibration measurements. Meanwhile TGO’s neutron detector will be on throughout the two orbits in order to calibrate the background flux.

“It’s great we have the opportunity to squeeze in these important observations during this very busy time preparing for the year-long aerobraking phase.” says Håkan Svedhem, ESA’s TGO project scientist. “While the aerobraking is taking place, the science teams will be able to use these essential calibration measurements to best prepare for the start of the main mission when we arrive in our science orbit next year.”
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The Epic Challenge: How Do You Transform Mars in a Maarth

Image: Niina Javanainen: Karelia University of Applied Sciences


|| March 12: 2017: Karelia University of Applied Sciences News || ά. Karelia University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, North Karelia Municipal Education and Training Consortium, including some high schools from Joensuu are collaborating with experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:NASA with the Epic Challenge Education Programe. Students of these research and education organisations can apply to become part of the Epic Challenge Education Programme

During Autumn semester 2017 and spring semester 2018 students will try to tackle the epic challenge of sustaining humans on Mars. This is when, The Humanion, calls Mars, Maarth or Mearth, when humans are there and seeking to transform the red planet into a second Earth. To accomplish the goal of coming up with new inventive solutions, students will study the innovation processes and methods, the Innovative Concept and Engineering Design:ICED, used by NASA. These studies will be worth five or 15 ECTS credits and the work will take place in a local settings in Joensuu. During the studies students get to interact several times with experts from NASA and other organisations via different kinds of digital tools.

Collaboration with NASA begun after Arcusys Ltd, a Joensuu area software company, started working with NASA on the development of an online learning environment Valamis. First ever Epic Challenge participation in Joensuu happened during the 2015–2016 semesters.

On this course, the student will learn to work in an international team together with students from different fields and schools. Student will learn a set of team-based product development methods and techniques used at NASA. The team will apply these techniques and develop new innovative solutions to a challenge of their choice such as food production, remote health monitoring, recycling systems, space suit design and other issues related to the development of sustainable human habitation of Mars.

During the course, students will get to interact with local experts and experts from NASA, few times during the course and other organisations including local businesses. Topics of the course include Team Learning and Knowledge Capture, Creative Concept Generation and Rapid Concept Development via experimentation.

Participation to this course does not require any prior experience or skills in technology or sciences. The course begins with an opening week and all students must attend this week.

Who Can Join: Every registered student at University of Eastern Finland, including PhD students, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, North Karelia Municipal Education and Training Consortium:PKKY, Joensuun normaalikoulu high-school, Joensuun lyseon lukio and Joensuun yhteiskoulun lukio can join for the programme.

Important Dates: September 2017

Registration deadline 03.09.2017.
Beginning Week: 04.09-08.09.2017, 16:15–19:00 at Joensuu Science Park, building 1, 2nd floor, room B248
Weekly workshops every Wednesday starting from 06.09.2017, 16:15 – 19:30
Course Duration: Fall semester 2017

How to Join: Registration will open later this spring. To register.
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And One Day Human Footfalls Be Echoing Through the Solitude of Mars: A Jane Douglas Today May Only Pretend at the ESA Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany But Only Through Imagination Humanity Edges Towards New Realities

Jane Douglas at ESA Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. Image: ESA

|| March 04: 2017 || ά. Vloggers recently spent two days at ESA’s Astronaut Centre to prepare for space, well, at least for the virtual world of the new Mass Effect: Andromeda computer game.  ESA’s centre in Cologne, Germany, welcomed six European celebrities of the gaming world to put their gaming skills to the test on real astronaut training. The budding astronauts go by such names as Squeezie, from France, Sep from the PietSmiet German collective, SciFun, from Poland, Jane of the Outside Xbox collective and Steffan Powell from the BBC, UK.

The six reporters filmed and documented themselves piloting a simulated Soyuz spacecraft, making a ‘spacewalk’ in ESA’s pool and submitting to tilt tables, rotating chairs and vertical treadmills at the German aerospace centre’s ‘envihab’ facility. Not all the challenges were strenuous: the YouTubers and reporters were treated to space food developed for European astronauts. 

This project was hosted by ESA’s astronaut centre in collaboration with the game company Electronic Arts and Rain Productions to support young and creative people, who are thinking about the future of space exploration.

The new game will be released March 23 and centres around space exploration and teamwork.

The six recruits are releasing their videos on their channels. In March a series of videos with ESA experts will discuss the real-life science behind the themes in the game: astronaut psychology, living in isolation and exploring new worlds.
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Mars-Fiction: New Research Project Could Power Life on Mars

Image: University of Northumbria

|| February 25: 2017: University of Northumbria News || ά. A prototype engine based on a solid-to-vapour transformation, which could be used for harvesting energy on the surface of Mars and other extreme environments, is being developed by scientists at Northumbria University. Researchers from Northumbria University and the University of Edinburgh have secured a total of £857k in grant funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to research a working prototype based on their pioneering technique, which they first proposed in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

Over the next three years, the leading research team, consisting of Northumbria’s Professor Glen McHale, Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar and Dr Gary Wells, will work with Professor Khellil Sefiane, Professor Anthony Walton and Dr Adam Stokes at the University of Edinburgh to develop the principles of a working engine. Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar said, “This exciting project will see us combine theory and experiment to bridge concepts across Physics, Materials Science and Engineering to produce a new type of engine. With our collaborators at Edinburgh, we are aiming at producing a disruptive approach to energy production and harvesting in extreme environments.”

Unlike traditional engines, the prototype will produce energy based on the 'Leidenfrost Effect', a phenomenon which happens when a liquid comes into near contact with a surface much hotter than its boiling point. This effect is commonly seen in the way water appears to skitter across the surface of a hot pan but it also applies to solid substances, such as carbon dioxide which is commonly known as dry ice. Blocks of dry ice are able to levitate above hot surfaces protected by a cushion of their own vapour. Northumbria and Edinburgh’s research proposes using the vapour created by this effect to power an engine.

If the project is a success, the exciting implications include fuelling work in extreme and alien environments, such as outer space. It could be used to make long-term exploration and colonisation of planets such as Mars sustainable by using naturally occurring solid carbon dioxide as a resource. If this could be realised, then future missions to Mars wouldn’t have to be a ‘one-way’ trip after all.

While dry ice is not abundant on Earth, increasing evidence from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:MRO suggests it may be readily available in large quantities on the surface of Mars as suggested by the seasonal appearance of gullies on craters of the red planet. If utilised in a Leidenfrost-based engine dry ice deposits could provide the means to create future power stations on the surface of Mars.

Writing for The Conversation, Dr Ledesma-Aguilar discussed this idea in detail. He said, “NASA scientists have recently shown the likely existence of boulders of solid dry ice on Mars. Future power stations on Mars could exploit this solid CO2 to harvest the energy from the sublimation phase change as dry-ice blocks evaporate.”

The team at Northumbria believe one of humanity’s biggest challenges this century will be finding new ways to harvest energy, especially in inhospitable locations. Future Engineering and Extreme Environments are two of Northumbria’s key Multi-Disciplinary Research Themes:MDRTs aimed at supporting disruptive technologies and research such as the Leidenfrost-engine concept driven by the research team.

Dr Gary Wells explains the unique properties of an engine based on this phenomenon, “The working principle of a Leidenfrost-based engine is quite distinct from steam-based heat engines; the high-pressure vapour layer creates freely rotating rotors whose energy is converted into power without the need of a bearing, thus conferring the new engine with low-friction properties."

Professor McHale said, “This project has the potential to achieve real-life impact in a number of fields, ranging from deep-drilling technologies to space exploration. Our inter-institutional team across Northumbria and Edinburgh brings together the necessary expertise across disciplines, and will place the UK at the forefront of this new and exciting field of research.”

Professor Khellil Sefiane, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, added, "The fundamental contribution of generating power from dry-ice is a transformational one. This addresses the long standing challenge of generating sustainable power for space exploration by using our concept of a Leidenfrost engine." ω.

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Researchers Pinpoint Watery Past on Mars

Striations exposed on the surface between dunes indicate fluctuating levels of salty groundwater. a: Exposure of putative
crossbeds on windward slope of dunes on Mars. b: Interdune strata exposed in planform showing contrasting albedo
and crosscutting relationships similar to that exposed in the dune. Image: HiRISE
 

|| February 18: 2017: Trinity College University of Dublin News || ά. Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley on Mars that appears to have held water in the not-too-distant past. In doing so, they have pinpointed a prime target to begin searching for past life forms on the Red Planet. The findings have just been published in Geophysical Research Letters, by Dr Mary Bourke from Trinity and her colleague, Professor Heather Viles, from the University of Oxford.

Dr Bourke said, “On Earth, desert dunefields are periodically flooded by water in areas of fluctuating groundwater and where lakes, rivers and coasts are found in proximity. These periodic floods leave tell-tale patterns behind them. You can imagine our excitement when we scanned satellite images of an area on Mars and saw this same patterned calling card, suggesting that water had been present in the relatively recent past.” In a remote sensing study of the Namib Desert, the researchers had previously noted these patterns, ‘arcuate striations’, on the surface between migrating sand dunes.

Fieldwork subsequently showed that these arcuate striations resulted from dune sediments that had been geochemically cemented by salts left behind by evaporating groundwater. These dune sediments later become relatively immobile, which means they are left behind as the dunes continue to migrate downwind. Example of geochemically cemented crossbed strata in the interdune near Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Dr Bourke added, ''Following our work in Namibia, we hypothesise that on Mars, similar arcuate striations exposed on the surface between dunes are also indications of fluctuating levels of salty groundwater, during a time when dunes were actively migrating down the valley. These findings are hugely significant. Firstly, the Martian sand dunes show evidence that water may have been active near Mars’ equator, potentially in the not-too-distant past.

And secondly, this location is now a potential geological target for detecting past life forms on the Red Planet, which is important to those involved in selecting sites for future missions.” ω.

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The Solar Weather: The Solar Grand Minimum is Getting Ready

Unless You Had a Santa in You to Begin with That You Realise Has Gone Missing You Would Not Go
Looking for Him and If You Did You Won't Find Him: But If You are Seeking the Missing Santa Than
The Rovaniemi Elves Will Guide You to Seek and Find Him in the Aurora Borealis

|| February 03: 2017: University of Reading News || ά. Britain may lose the magic of the Northern Lights by the middle of the century due to major shifts in solar activity, scientists have discovered. Space scientists at the University of Reading conclude that plummeting solar activity will shrink the overall size of the sun’s ‘atmosphere’ by a third and weaken its protective influence on the Earth. This could make the Earth more vulnerable to technology-destroying solar blasts and cancer-causing cosmic radiation, as well as making the aurora less common away from the north and south polar regions for 50 years or more.

Dr Mathew Owens, from the University of Reading’s Meteorology department, led the research. He said, “The magnetic activity of the sun ebbs and flows in predictable cycles, but there is also evidence that it is due to plummet, possibly by the largest amount for 300 years. If so, the Northern Lights phenomenon would become a natural show exclusive to the polar regions, due to a lack of solar wind forces that often make it visible at lower latitudes. As the sun becomes less active, sunspots and coronal ejections will become less frequent. However, if a mass ejection did hit the Earth, it could be even more damaging to the electronic devices on which society is now so dependent.”

The study, ‘Global solar wind variations over the last four centuries’, published in Scientific Reports, shows how sunspot records can be used to reconstruct what happened the last time the Earth experienced such a dramatic dip in solar activity more than three centuries ago. Combined with updated models and contemporary reports, the researchers were able to predict what could happen during a similar event, likely to occur in the next few decades.

The scientists believe the coming ‘grand minimum’ could be similar to the Maunder Minimum of the 17th century, when sun spot activity almost stopped, another symptom of a less active sun. Solar wind, made up of electrically charged particles from the sun, travels at around a million miles per hour. A reduction in solar wind would see the heliosphere, the ‘bubble’ around the solar system maintained by particles emitted by the sun, shrink significantly.

This protective bubble helps shield the Earth from harmful radiation from outer space, but has weakened since the 1950s. The scientists predict a rapid reduction in the bubble’s size by around the middle of the 21st century. The Earth’s own magnetic field deflects some of this radiation, but areas close to the north and south poles are more vulnerable where the Earth’s magnetic field is weakest.

Co-author Professor Mike Lockwood FRS, University of Reading, said: “If the decline in sunspots continues at this rate, and data from the past suggests that it will, we could see these changes occurring as early as the next few decades. The Maunder Minimum in solar activity of the 17th century is sometimes mistakenly thought to be the cause of the so-called Little Ice Age, when winter temperatures in Europe and elsewhere in the world, were lower than average.

But the Little Ice Age began before the Maunder Minimum and ended after it, and our previous work with the Met Office has shown that the coming solar minimum will do little to offset the far more significant global heating effects of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Full reference: M.J. Owens, M. Lockwood, P. Riley, 2017. ‘Global solar wind variations over the last four centuries’. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep41548: ω.

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Emilia Kilpua Orientated Towards the Sun: To Seek Out the Sun's Coronal Mechanics

Image: ESA:NASA

|| January 12: 2017: University of Helsinki News: Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu Writing || ά. Thanks to funding from the European Research Council, Emilia Kilpua can study how coronal mass ejections erupt, evolve and interact. Coronal mass ejections are known to cause the most severe space weather disturbances. The Sun’s outermost layer is the corona, a region of low-density gas which constantly emits a flow of charged particles known as the solar wind and where coronal mass ejections originate.

Coronal mass ejections are gigantic clouds of plasma, which shoot from the Sun and into interplanetary space at speeds of up to thousands of kilometres per second. Coronal mass ejections form as twisted magnetic flux ropes when the Sun’s complex magnetic field changes. Although coronal mass ejections have been studied for decades, their exact cause, structure and development continue to be largely unknown.

“Most strong disturbances in planetary space environments are caused by coronal mass ejections and on Earth they can impact the performance of technical systems and hinder their reliability in space and on ground.” explains Emilia Kilpua from the University of Helsinki’s Department of Physics.

“One of our biggest challenges is that, with the current methods, we cannot measure or model the magnetic field of the Sun’s corona with sufficient precision.” says Kilpua. Her research combines numeric models of the Sun’s corona with observations in a completely new way. The aim is to determine realistically the magnetic structure of coronal mass ejections for the first time.

“We are also modelling and analysing the turbulent sheath region.” Kilpua tells. Sheath regions form ahead of the ejection as it ploughs through the interplanetary space. Sheaths themselves can drive powerful space weather storms, they couple to the evolution of the flux rope and they have a particularly rich internal structure. Such regions are a unique opportunity to study the core processes of plasma physics outside of a laboratory.

“However, sheath are very little studied so far.” she says. Once the magnetic field of the coronal mass ejections has been resolved and the sheath regions carefully analysed, it will be possible to predict when a magnetic storm will hit near-Earth space. Information on the structure of the magnetic fields is also needed in order to study which mechanisms and plasma instabilities cause coronal mass ejections and how they interact with each other when they move through interplanetary space.

The recipients of the European Research Council’s:ERC Consolidator Grants were announced in December 2016. A total of 2,274 research projects applied for the competitive five-year funding, and 304 were successful. The total amount of funding is €605 million. The ERC Consolidator Grant is intended for successful researchers with 07–12 years of postdoctoral experience.

University of Helsinki researchers who were successful in this funding round were Mikko Niemi, Anna-Liisa Laine and Jaan-Olle Andersoo. In addition, physicists Emilia Kilpua and Aleksi Vuorinen from the Kumpula Science Campus received ERC funding.

Further information: Associate Professor Emilia Kilpua, University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Science, +358 50 415 5358: emilia.kilpua at helsinki.fi
Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu, sci comms, +358 50415 0316, minna.merilainen at helsinki.fi: ω.

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Now Here is Dionaart

Global colour mosaic of Dione: Image: NASA:JPL-Caltech:Space Science Institute:Lunar and Planetary Institute


|| January 09: 2017 || ά. Meet Dione, a 1122 km-diameter icy satellite of Saturn and the 15th largest moon in the Solar System. This global colour mosaic of the moon’s intriguing surface was produced from images taken by the international Cassini spacecraft during its first 10 years of exploring the Saturn system.

Perhaps the most striking observation is the difference in colour and brightness between the left and right halves of the image. They correspond to the ‘trailing’ and ‘leading’ hemispheres respectively, in terms of the direction that the moon is travelling along its orbit around Saturn every 02.7 days.

The dark coating on the trailing hemisphere is thought to be due to radiation from Saturn’s magnetosphere, which causes organic elements in the moon’s surface to become darker and redder in appearance. The wispy white streaks that wind through the coloured surface are bright ice cliffs – some several hundred metres high, resulting from tectonic fractures.

Meanwhile the leading hemisphere has been painted with icy dust from Saturn’s E-ring, which itself is fed by tiny particles ejected from nearby moon Enceladus. While Enceladus continuously spews gas and icy particles into space from fractures near its south pole. Dione appears to be quiet at present, but its fractured surface certainly points to a more geologically active past.

Indeed, a recent theoretical modelling study by independent researchers suggest that there could be an underground ocean surrounding the moon’s rocky core, buried some 100 km beneath its battered shell. This global mosaic was first released in 2014. The image resolution is 250 m per pixel.

The Cassini–Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and ASI, the Italian space agency. The mission launched in 1997, and arrived in the Saturn system in 2004, with the Huygens probe landing on Titan in January 2005. In September of this year, the Cassini spacecraft will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere to conclude its incredible mission. ω.

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Where Would You Be, Adamas Labyrinthus: I am in Utopia Planitia: And Where is That: Well, You Should Know

Image: ESA:DLR:FU Berlin:CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

 

|| November 28: 2016 || ά. This labyrinth-like system of troughs and plateaus was imaged by ESA’s Mars Express on June 21, 2016. It shows part of a region known as Adamas Labyrinthus, which is found in Utopia Planitia in the northern lowlands of Mars. Here, the randomly shaped blocks vary in size from 05–20 km across and are separated by cross-cutting troughs with widths of up to two km.

The pattern is similar to that observed in some offshore locations on Earth, supporting an idea that the scene here results from the deposition of fine-grained sediments in an ocean. The formation of such polygons with surrounding troughs has been attributed to a number of varied processes, including collapse under gravity, the expulsion of fluid from the porous sediments as they are being compacted, low friction between the sediments resulting in mass wasting, and local tectonic activity extending the blocks apart. The underlying topography of the surface below may also play a role.

One idea for the scene shown here on Mars is that sediment slurries were deposited during catastrophic flooding on an ice-rich surface, and contracted into the polygons as the sediments were compacted and expelled their fluids.

Later, tectonic activity and the gradual sublimation of buried ices could have caused gradual widening and deepening of the troughs between the giant polygons. Icy material certainly played a role in this region’s appearance at some point: the larger impact craters show characteristic “pancake” debris blankets, which indicate heating and melting of a subsurface ice layer at the time of the impact.

In addition, some of the troughs show dark deposits, which may be ash layers being revealed from below a cover of dust-covered ice as Sun-facing slopes are gently heated.

The ground resolution of this image is about 15 m per pixel and the images are centred at 39ºN/101ºE. For more images and details of this region, see the associated image release by the DLR German Aerospace Agency and by Freie Universität Berlin on September 08. ω.

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Maarth: In Meridiani Planum: The Victoria Crater

Victoria Crater in the Meridiani Planum: Image: NASA

|| October 14: 2016 || ά. This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Victoria Crater," an impact crater in Meridiani Planum, near the equator of Mars. The crater is approximately 800 meters, half a mile, in diameter. It has a distinctive scalloped shape to its rim, caused by erosion and downhill movement of crater wall material. Layered sedimentary rocks are exposed along the inner wall of the crater, and boulders that have fallen from the crater wall are visible on the crater floor. The floor of the crater is occupied by a striking field of sand dunes.

Since January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been operating at Meridiani Planum. Five days before this image was taken, Opportunity arrived at the rim of Victoria Crater, after a drive of more than nine kilometres, over five miles. The rover can be seen in this image, at roughly the "ten o'clock" position along the rim of the Crater.

Image: NASA:JPL:UA

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter view of Victoria Crater This view is a portion of an image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment:HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on October 03, 2006. The complete image is centred at minus 07.8 degrees latitude, 279.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 297 kilometers, 185.6 miles. At this distance the image scale is 29.7 centimeters, 12 inches, per pixel, with 1 x 1 binning, so objects about 89 centimetres, 35 inches, across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 centimetres, 10 inches, per pixel and north is up. The image was taken at a local Mars time of 15:30 and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 59.7 degrees, thus the sun was about 30.3 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 113.6 degrees, the season on Mars is northern summer.

The Victoria Crater' in the Meridiani Planum, Mars on 10.06.06: Image: NASA:JPL-Caltech:University of Arizon:Cornell:Ohio State University

This is an enhanced-colour view generated from images acquired by the HiRISE camera using its red filter and blue-green filter.  JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. ω.

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Mawrth Vallis Martian Mosaic

Image Released on 26.09.2016 12:30: Image: ESA:DLR:FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

|| September 26: 2016 || ά. Sculpted by ancient water flowing on the surface, Mawrth Vallis is one of the most remarkable outflow channels on Mars. The valley, once a potentially habitable place, is one of the main features of a region at the boundary between the southern highlands and the northern lowlands.

Mawrth Vallis takes centre stage in this image, a bird’s eye view of a 330 000 sq km area surrounding the valley. With a length of 600 km and a depth of up to two km, it is one of the biggest valleys on Mars. Huge amounts of water once passed through it, from a higher elevation region, part of which is shown in the lower right of the image, into the northern plains, in the top left.

Among the remarkable features are the large exposures of light-toned phyllosilicates, weathered clay minerals, that lie along its course. Phyllosilicates on Mars are evidence of the past presence of liquid water and point to the possibility that habitable environments could have existed on the planet up until 03.6 billion years ago.

A dark cap rock, remains of ancient volcanic ash, covers many of the clays and could have protected traces of ancient microbes in the rocks from radiation and erosion. This makes Mawrth Vallis one of the most interesting regions for geologists and astrobiologists alike. It is one of the candidate landing sites for ExoMars 2020, a joint mission between ESA and Russia, with the primary goal of finding out if life once existed on Mars.

The name comes from the Welsh word for Mars, “Mawrth” and the Latin for valley, “Vallis”. This mosaic was created using nine individual images taken by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting Mars since late 2003. It is one of a set of images of this region previously published on July 07, 2016 on the DLR website and the homepage of the Freie Universität Berlin. ω.

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The Cloud Impossible on Titan: Again

Image: NASA



|| September 24: 2016: Elizabeth Zubritsky Writing || ά. The puzzling appearance of an ice cloud seemingly out of thin air has prompted NASA scientists to suggest that a different process than previously thought, possibly similar to one seen over Earth's poles, could be forming clouds on Saturn's moon Titan. Located in Titan's stratosphere, the cloud is made of a compound of carbon and nitrogen known as dicyanoacetylene:C4N2, an ingredient in the chemical cocktail that colours the giant moon's hazy, brownish-orange atmosphere.

Decades ago, the infrared instrument on NASA's Voyager One spacecraft spotted an ice cloud just like this one on Titan. What has puzzled scientists ever since is this: they detected less than one percent of the dicyanoacetylene gas needed for the cloud to condense. Recent observations from NASA's Cassini mission yielded a similar result. Using Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer,  or CIRS, which can identify the spectral fingerprints of individual chemicals in the atmospheric brew, researchers found a large high-altitude cloud made of the same frozen chemical. Yet, just as Voyager found, when it comes to the vapour form of this chemical, CIRS reported that Titan's stratosphere is as dry as a desert.

"The appearance of this ice cloud goes against everything we know about the way clouds form on Titan," said Carrie Anderson, a CIRS co-investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study. The typical process for forming clouds involves condensation. On Earth, we're familiar with the cycle of evaporation and condensation of water. The same kind of cycle takes place in Titan's troposphere -- the weather-forming layer of Titan's atmosphere, but with methane instead of water.

A different condensation process takes place in the stratosphere,  the region above the troposphere, at Titan's north and south winter poles. In this case, layers of clouds condense as the global circulation pattern forces warm gases downward at the pole. The gases then condense as they sink through cooler and cooler layers of the polar stratosphere. Either way, a cloud forms when the air temperature and pressure are favorable for the vapor to condense into ice. The vapor and the ice reach a balance point, an equilibrium, that is determined by the air temperature and pressure. Because of this equilibrium, scientists can calculate the amount of vapor where ice is present.

"For clouds that condense, this equilibrium is mandatory, like the law of gravity," said Robert Samuelson, an emeritus scientist at Goddard and a co-author of the paper. But the numbers don't compute for the cloud made from dicyanoacetylene. The scientists determined that they would need at least 100 times more vapor to form an ice cloud where the cloud top was observed by Cassini's CIRS.

One explanation suggested early on was that the vapor might be present, but Voyager's instrument wasn't sensitive enough in the critical wavelength range needed to detect it. But when CIRS also didn't find the vapor, Anderson and her Goddard and Caltech colleagues proposed an altogether different explanation. Instead of the cloud forming by condensation, they think the C4N2 ice forms because of reactions taking place on other kinds of ice particles. The researchers call this "solid-state chemistry," because the reactions involve the ice, or solid, form of the chemical.

The first step in the proposed process is the formation of ice particles made from the related chemical cyanoacetylene:HC3N. As these tiny bits of ice move downward through Titan's stratosphere, they get coated by hydrogen cyanide:HCN. At this stage, the ice particle has a core and a shell comprised of two different chemicals. Occasionally, a photon of ultraviolet light tunnels into the frozen shell and triggers a series of chemical reactions in the ice. These reactions could begin either in the core or within the shell. Both pathways can yield dicyanoacteylene ice and hydrogen as products.

The researchers got the idea of solid-state chemistry from the formation of clouds involved in ozone depletion high above Earth's poles. Although Earth's stratosphere has scant moisture, wispy nacreous clouds, also called polar stratospheric clouds, can form under the right conditions. In these clouds, chlorine-bearing chemicals that have entered the atmosphere as pollution stick to crystals of water ice, resulting in chemical reactions that release ozone-destroying chlorine molecules.

"It's very exciting to think that we may have found examples of similar solid-state chemical processes on both Titan and Earth," said Anderson. The researchers suggest that, on Titan, the reactions occur inside the ice particles, sequestered from the atmosphere. In that case, dicyanoacetylene ice wouldn't make direct contact with the atmosphere, which would explain why the ice and the vapor forms are not in the expected equilibrium.

"The compositions of the polar stratospheres of Titan and Earth could not differ more," said Michael Flasar, CIRS principal investigator at Goddard. "It is amazing to see how well the underlying physics of both atmospheres has led to analogous cloud chemistry." The findings are published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, European Space Agency:ESA and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The CIRS instrument was built by Goddard.

For more information about Cassini

Media Contact: Preston Dyches: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. 818-354-7013: preston.dyches at jpl.nasa.gov

:Editor: Karl Hille:NASA:ω.

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The 
Earth

 

  The 
Moon

 

The Lake Eden Eye

 

 

 

 

The Window of the Heavens Always Open and Calling: All We Have to Do Is: To Choose to Be Open, Listen and Respond

 

 

 

Imagine a Rose-Boat

Imagine a rose floating like a tiny little boat on this ocean of infinity
And raise your soul-sail on this wee-little boat and go seeking out
All along feed on nothing but the light that you gather only light
Fear shall never fathom you nor greed can tempt nor illusion divert
For Love you are by name by deeds you are love's working-map

 

 

Only in the transparent pool of knowledge, chiselled out by the sharp incision of wisdom, is seen the true face of what truth is: That what  beauty paints, that what music sings, that what love makes into a magic. And it is life: a momentary magnificence, a-bloom like a bubble's miniscule exposition, against the spread of this awe-inspiring composition of the the Universe. Only through the path of seeking, learning, asking and developing, only through the vehicles and vesicles of knowledge, only through listening to the endless springs flowing beneath, outside, around and beyond our reach, of wisdom, we find the infinite ocean of love which is boundless, eternal, and being infinite, it makes us, shapes us and frees us onto the miracle of infinite liberty: without border, limitation or end. There is nothing better, larger or deeper that humanity can ever be than to simply be and do love. The Humanion

 

Poets' Letter Magazine Archive Poetry Pearl

About The Humanion The Humanion Team Home Contact Submission Guidelines
The Humanion Online Daily from the United Kingdom for the World: To Inspire Souls to Seek

At Home in the Universe : One Without Frontier. Editor: Munayem Mayenin

All copyrights @ The Humanion: London: England: United Kingdom: Contact Address: editor at thehumanion dot com

First Published: September 24: 2015