Tag Archives: Europa

Creation: Our Solar System

The Solar System consists of the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, their moons, and other non-stellar objects. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud.

The vast majority of the system’s mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal.

The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of substances with relatively high melting points (compared with hydrogen and helium), called ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately as “ice giants”.

Below are some stunning images of our Solar System, taken by photographer Michael Benson for his new book, Planetfall and his exhibition of the same title now at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

By “planetfall,” Benson means “the act or an instance of sighting a planet after a space voyage.”

To make his photographs, Benson peruses through thousands of raw image data, rarely seen by the public, which were collected on missions led by NASA—Cassini, Galileo, MESSENGER, Viking and Voyager, among others—and the European Space Agency. Benson then pieces together the image data into one seamless photograph. It can take anywhere from tens to hundreds of raw frames to arrange, like a mosaic, one legible composite image. Then rendering the photograph in realistic colors adds another layer of complexity.

Click image to enlarge

Benson1 Io

Jupiter’s innermost volcanic moon, Io.

Io passes across face of Jupiter

Io passes across face of Jupiter

Benson5 Jupiter's moon Europa

Surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa

Uranus and its rings

Uranus and its rings

Eclipse of Sun by Earth

Eclipse of Sun by Earth

Neptune (crescent) and its satellite, Triton

Neptune (crescent) and its satellite, Triton

Sun on the Pacific Ocean, as seen from the International Space Station

Sun on the Pacific Ocean, as seen from the International Space Station

Source: Smithsonian.com

H/t FOTM’s igor

~Eowyn

New image of woman who rode the beast for 2013 Euro notes

“One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute who is enthroned beside abundant waters, with whom all the kings of the earth have prostituted themselves, and who has made all the population of the world drunk with the wine of her adultery.’ He took me in spirit to a desert, and there I saw a woman riding a scarlet beast which had seven heads and ten horns and had blasphemous titles written all over it.” -Revelation 17:1-3

Europa riding Zeus in the guise of a bull

In ancient Greek mythology, Zeus — the god of sky and thunder and “Father of Gods and men” who rules the gods on Mount Olympus — was enamored with the Phoenician princess Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father’s herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. [Wikipedia]

Nikolaj Nielsen reports from Brussels for the EUobserver, Sept. 11, 2012, that in place of the present pictures of windows and doors, Euro banknotes will sport a new image next year, of the mythological Phoenician princess Europa.

Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), said, “Portraits have long been used in banknotes around the world and research has shown that people tend to remember faces. Is there any better figure than Europa to serve as the new face of the euro?”

Europa’s face will be shown as a watermark and as a hologram. Until now, euro notes carried pictures of windows and doors in various architectural styles in a symbol of openness designed not to offend national sensibilities.

Europa will first appear on the €5 note in May, with other notes introduced in ascending order in the next few years. The new notes will also carry an emerald-colored number.

I found these images of Europa for the new 2013 Euro banknotes, from the European Central Bank website:

Portrait hologram

When you tilt the banknote, the silvery stripe reveals a portrait of Europa, the same as in the watermark. The stripe also shows a window and the value of the banknote.

Emerald number

When you tilt the banknote, the shiny number displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. The number also changes color from emerald green to deep blue.

H/t Sage_brush

~Eowyn