Motivation Monday: Seasonal Downside

I am still here.  It’s been more than a week since I’ve written a word on the digital page, meaning there is a lot to catch up on for a guy who is trying to write a blog post every day.  But it happens, sometimes there are vacations, busy weeks at work, and crises to manage.  Life happens, yet still I continue.   Today’s motivation post will talk about part of the reason for my shift, and how I may be the only person who sees a changing season as a frustration, even if it is the long-awaited Spring. If you...

‘Tis the Season..For the Orion Nebula

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when Halloween passes, and Christmas commercials dictate the airwaves.  I’m still in the tolerant stages of hearing bells ringing in commercials, where they remind me that the northern hemisphere is once again treated to a familiar sight.  The return of the Orion nebula! In reality, it didn’t go anywhere.  Earth’s predictable motion around the Sun means that Northern Hemisphere observers see the sky gradually appear to move a bit further West each night.  This is the time of year when Orion rises around 9pm, making it easily visible by midnight.  I consider midnight...

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...

Polar Seasons

A few days ago we passed the Autumnal Equinox, and said goodbye to Summer in the northern hemisphere, as the southern hemisphere welcomed Spring.  This is all due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis at 23.5 degrees.  As it orbits the Earth, the tilt alternately points the hemispheres toward direct sunlight, bringing summer during that time and winter 6 months later. But what about the North and South pole? What happens there? In summertime, because the North pole is actually tilted toward the Sun, the region receives direct sunlight for 6 months! The Sun just never sets!  Check out...

Think the Seasons are Crazy here? Check out Kepler-432b!

It’s been cold lately.  The temperature has fallen somewhere between Hoth and Pluto, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.  It seems we complain about the weather no matter the season.  It’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too bright, too dark.  We do have a lot of variation in the seasons, but compared to some other planets, Earth is pretty mild in its climate. One such case is the recently discovered Kepler 432b.  A massive planet six times heavier than Jupiter with a comparable size, it orbits closer to its parent star than Mercury...

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...