Star-Shaped Tile, 13th-14th Century Iran

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Late Gothic patterns, found in a French book of hours, c. 1450-1499


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The Magnetosphere, as a results of the electromagnetic force, one of the four fundamental forces of the universe, is produced by convection currents in the outer liquid of Earth’s core. Basically, the Earth is like a giant magnet, with its two poles (the magnetic dipole) which differ slightly from the geographic poles.

This magnetic field is preventing the Earth from being blasted by solar winds, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun. Mars, as Venus, doesn’t have a magnetosphere. Therefore the planet isn’t protected against the harmful cosmic radiation and suffer a strong atmosphere erosion. The radiation on Mars ranges around 200 mSv/year, which is is 100 time more than Earth’s average!

You can see others illustrations i made for in this project here (in french sorry!)

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Grinling Gibbons (1648 - 1721), Modena Panel, Memento mori in memory of King Charles II of England

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Endymion on Mount Latmus by John Atkinson Grimshaw 1879

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FRIEDRICH, Caspar David
Fog in the Elbe Valley
Oil on canvas, 33 x 43 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin


In February 2013 a meteor streaked across the Russian sky and burst in midair near Chelyabinsk. A recent Physics Today article summarizes what scientists have pieced together about the meteor, from its origins to its demise. The whole article is well worth reading. Here’s a peek:

The Chelyabinsk asteroid first felt the presence of Earth’s atmosphere when it was thousands of kilometers above the Pacific Ocean. For the next dozen minutes, the 10 000-ton rock fell swiftly, silently, and unseen, passing at a shallow angle through the rarefied exosphere where the molecular mean free path is much greater than the 20-m diameter of the rock. Collisions with molecules did nothing to slow the gravitational acceleration as it descended over China and Kazakhstan. When it crossed over the border into Russia at 3:20:20 UT and was 100 km above the ground, 99.99997% of the atmosphere was still beneath it.

Because the asteroid was moving much faster than air molecules could get out of its way, the molecules began to pile up into a compressed layer of high-temperature plasma pushing a shock wave forward. Atmospheric density increases exponentially with depth, so as the asteroid plunged, the plasma layer thickened and its optical opacity rapidly increased. About one second later, at 95 km above the surface, it became bright enough to be seen from the ground. That was the first warning that something big was about to happen. #

How often are scientific articles that gripping?! Kring and Boslough provide some excellent descriptions of the aerodynamics of the meteor and its airburst. Be sure to check it out. (Photo credit: M. Ahmetvaleev; paper credit: D. Kring and M. Boslough; via io9)

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Yves Tanguy

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Book of the Dead of Nakht Thebes, Egypt 1350-1300 BCE. Nakht was a royal scribe and overseer of the army in late 18th Dynasty. Sacred Blue Bennus - herons decorate the top symbolizing Osiris and Ra. Spell 110 addresses deities in the Field of Offering and the Field of Rushes of the afterworld. The deceased was expected to work in the Field of Rushes. British Museum. [Spell 88 is to transform the dead into the great Benu-bird is a symbol of renewal has been equated with the phoenix by some.]

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Karaköy, 1959 - İstanbul,Turkey

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