Motivation Monday: Situation Variation

Why is it hard to keep a long term goal? Logically, if you complete 1/365th of a task every single day of a year, you will complete your goal.  When I started my year of blogging, I thought it would be easy to commit 30 minutes every day, in the morning, to writing a post, and then after a year I would have 365 posts.  How it actually happened was a few weeks of consistency, a few days of nothing, a few days of double, triple, or even quadruple posting to catch up or get ahead, and no regularity or discernible...

Which Way is Earth Moving in Space?

Our planet orbits the Sun.  365.25 days to go full circle (ellipse actually) and bring the seasons to Earth.  But the Sun is not really stationary, it’s actually moving through space.  It’s orbiting the center of the Milky Way, along with the rest of the galaxy.  It actually has a periodic motion as it moves around the Galaxy, slowly moving up above the galactic plane then being pulled back down below by the disk stars. Currently, the Sun is moving toward the constellation Hercules at a speed of around 72,000 Km/h.  It is also moving up to the top of the...

Massive Ice Cloud on Titan

Titan is the most interesting body in the solar system from a weather standpoint.  It has a thick and robust atmosphere, a liquid cycle of methane and other hydrocarbons, and it has seasonal variations in these patterns.  It’s essentially a cold and oxygen-deficient version of Earth.  Because the seasons on Titan take 7.5 years to pass, we have few opportunities to study them up close with the Cassini spacecraft.  So as long as Cassini is operating, we are using our time wisely to see how Titan is changing.  The first major change is a giant ice cloud that has formed...

NASA Discovery! Flowing Water on Mars!

After an epic weekend of eclipse talk, NASA came out with a press conference that overshadowed much more than just the Moon.  The announcement, as many had speculated, revealed that conclusive evidence shows there is flowing water on Mars.  Like seasons on Earth, warmer conditions cause water to flow down steep hills and into valleys. The speculation came due to the invitation of Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology to the NASA panel.  Ojha noticed strange features on Mars as an undergraduate student in 2010, while looking at images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)’s High Resolution Imaging Science...

Happy Winter Solstice

Time to celebrate! It’s the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the longest in the southern.  The first day of Winter here, and the first of Summer down south.  Although as a Canadian, Winter usually starts a lot earlier. Why do we have seasons? A common misconception is that the Earth is closer to the Sun in Summer, and further in Winter.  Well I can tell you the Earth reaches perihelion (its closest point to the Sun) on January 3rd, and it certainly isn’t a warm day in Canada, historically speaking. So the reason for the...