34 years ago, on this day NASA Astronauts performed the first untethered spacewalk. And yesterday Spacex just put a Tesla Roadster in an orbit to Mars. This is truly an exciting time to be alive.

** Just to be really clear, this is not the first time we are launching “automobiles” to space.


                                        Lunar Roving Vehicle


Earth holds an elite status in the solar system

It can be casual to forget the magnificence of our planet and get lost in our tight-knit everyday lives. In the advent of a lunar eclipse (January 31, 2018)  it is worth knowing that when it comes to eclipses, Earth holds a pristine status in our solar system. 

To understand why, we need to shift our perspective a little bit and ask -”How would it be like if you were on Io (one of the moons of Jupiter)?”


                                   Image source :Deviant art

The most startling thing about this experience would be that the Jupiter would appear 36 times larger than the full moon (from earth).  That’s HUGE!


Also since the moons of Jupiter lies in the same plane, you would be witnessing an eclipse every 42 hours …


               Moons – Io, Ganymede, and Callisto in solar eclipse

In addition, since Jupiter has many moons (A large family of them), you might be able to catch some your fellow moons in eclipse with the sun. Their shadows though, appearing like tiny dots on the gas giant.

Saturn and its eclipse

If we make a slight detour and end up in Saturn, this is what it looks like when Saturn occults the Sun. Although not technically an eclipse, this image was captured by Cassini with Sun behind the planet, setting the rings and its atmosphere aglow.


                     Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

When people are not overwhelmed by the beauty of its rings, they notice the shadows cast by its many moons. Here is the solar eclipse of Saturn’s moon Titan:


Eclipse on our friendly neighbor – Mars


Larger of Mars’s two moons, Phobos passing in front of the sun – Solar eclipse.

Let’s forget about all those planets that are far away, if one were make a visit to Mars which is  ~12 light minutes away, one would witness only partial eclipses because the moons of Mars are too small to block the entire sun.


Eclipses on Earth


                        One Earth, One moon, A spectacular eclipse

Eclipses on earth, on the other hand, are too surreal to be true. Our planet not only supports life but also is placed in a prime location that would cause a total solar eclipse.

And as though the entire universe wanted to amuse us even more, the moon’s orbital plane is slightly misaligned from the Earth’s orbital plane around the sun which makes an occurrence of an eclipse predictable but yet not long enough; leaving us in a state of desperation wanting for more.


Get out alive with Physics! – Space edition

You are struck on the potato shaped natural satellite of moon – Deimos and are desperately looking out for a way to escape the moon.

Some miscalculations and Baam! instead of landing on our moon, you have ended up on Deimos.


Your spacecraft – the only mode to get yourself out from this foreign land has been torn down by the crash landing and to get it rev again would be an impossibility.

The residents of the moon are exasperated and want you out of their land ASAP.

Else they threaten to exterminate you and they mean it!


And being not able to comprehend their language, you are unable to land in any sort of compromise with the already crabby and grumpy lot.

Desperate, your mind starts juggling with possibilities.


Looking skyward with ideas starting to clog your head, you have this epiphany-

Deimos has a escape velocity of only 20 km/hr (13 mph).

This means that for you get out from the clutches of Deimos you need to traverse at merely at 20 km/hr.

Well that’s easy – That’s equivalent to sprinting on earth.


Relieved, you also realize that the surface gravity is really low ( 0.003 m/s2 ), that should aid you in your escape plan

You summon all your spirits, start sprinting and take a leap of faith in the abyss of space.


Seconds into the leap, you are engulfed by success.

For you have managed to get out alive!

As you start to get further away from the moon, concerns on how to get back to earth floods you. 


There is fluttering, confusion, your heart is thumping and this loud ringing sound shatters all your visuals. Chaos….. And then..

As the sound intensity decays, you open your eyes to the glimpses of day on Earth.

Fresh Morning, that familiar cool breeze on the face, en-capsuled by the morning glory, you embark on yet another radiant journey – The journey of oneself.


Have a good day!

PC: BBC fjcdn  mdpcdn Tumblr

Mars: Red Planet, Blue sunset?

Mars has always been an interesting planet to us earthlings. The possibility of life, rovers leaving no stone unturned(literally), it’s demanding reddish appearance and now those breathtaking sunsets.Mesmerizing isn’t it ? But,

Why are martian sunsets blue?


Here on earth, sunsets are bright with Yellow, Orange and Red colors dazzling in the sky. During sunsets, the light from the sun has to travel a longer distance in our atmosphere to reach the earth.

Consequently, all the blue and violet light is scattered( thrown in various directions) by the particles in our atmosphere leaving behind only shades of yellow, orange and red, which is what you see. This phenomenon is known as Rayleigh scattering.


On mars, the reverse effect occurs. The martian dust is smaller and more abundant than on earth and it incidentally happens to be just the right size that it absorbs the blue light whilst scattering the red ones across the sky. This makes martian sunsets blue :).

Stay tuned, there is more space stuff coming your way.

( Source: http://io9.com/5906367/why-are-martian-sunsets-blue