Guess what? Your what’s for dinner tonight!

We have a gazillion varieties of dinner recipes on our planet. Ranging from american cuisines such as chicken sandwiches, penne in pesto sauce, steak, etc to Chinese to Indian dessert. But ever wondered about you yourself being someone’s supper? Oh, Am not talking about the mythical and ludicrous werewolves and vampires.

 Am talking about something that’s existent, non-fictional and wildly treacherous.
But something that’s far, far away such that it will take you millions of light years to even reach it(Not that anyone would, but you know hypothetically).
Enough guessing. Open your friendly Google and type ‘What is a hole that is black?’. Or wait, let me google that for you- http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+a+hole+that+is+black.
Guess you found the monster.
images
So what is a Black Hole? Is it simply a big gigantic hole in space? It’s a lot more complex than that!

To formally define it, A Black Hole, a term coined by Physicist John Wheeler in 1967, is a place in the enormous space where gravity pulls so much, that even light, supposedly the fastest mover on earth, cannot escape it. But why is the gravity so tremendously strong? Well, Imagine the tallest building that you can see when you step out of your house, Now imagine it being compressed further and further until its no more than a tiny cubic block. That’s what happens-put in a nutshell- when a Black Hole is formed.
They can be as tiny as an atom, but as massive as a mountain.

But how is something so massive and colossal created? The answer is all around you. It’s pasted on the sky blanket like tiny polka-dots. Stars. If your idea of photography has nothing to do with Hollywood stars, you’ll understand what am talking about.
Stars have the amusing choice of ending their lives in various ways. Angry and not-so-massive stars(like our sun) end their lives as red giants wherein their core boils up, hence the outer skin of the star starts to expand, more and more, until the radius of the red giant sun will be just beyond Earth’s orbit. The outer layers steaming with heat and luminous intensity is just enough for the helium to collide together to form carbon. Finally after all the fuel gets exhausted, the giant goes to sleep, lulled by its coolness. It will also release its bowel, ejecting the upper layer materials, to form the White Dwarf, and then eventually in its old age, the Black Dwarf.

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So we saw Red Giants, White dwarfs, and Black dwarfs. But this is ordinary. There are some stupendous Stars that just love ending their lives in style, as Black Holes(Supernovae).
The phenomenon is similar, except in these stars, even after Helium gets exhausted, they have enough mass to fuse the carbon together. It doesn’t stop there. These greedy stars stretch their lives till iron is formed. But then, they can shine no more. During the course of life of a star, two opposing forces equally challenge each other. Gravity Vs Pressure exerted by burning fuel. But after the star has given up, Gravity trumps by collapsing the star on itself, shrinking it to a fraction of its original size, thus forming the monstrous hole.
This all happens so fast that star doesn’t even have time to say goodbye or realise its dead. Shortly before it forms the hole, it ‘coughs’ up some gamma radiation to empty its belly, while it gobbles up the stellar material around it.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU SCUBA DIVE INTO ITS BELLY?

black_hole_nature-300x247

You love Spaghetti right? How would you like to transform into the thing you love?
Let’s say you would like to take one for the team, so you venture into space, valiantly to witness your own demise. Oh, but remember to wear a watch(Rolex preferably) as you approach a black hole. As you nullify the distance between you both, the gravity of the hole starts to fancy you, hence it pulls you towards itself stronger and stronger. You approach what is called a event horizon. This is the point of no return for you(And pretty much anything in our cosmo).

Now is the time to take a look at your fancy watch. Let’s say you enter the horizon at 11:59 AM. Here on, you’ll notice that your watch starts to slow down. Don’t worry, your watch is working perfectly well. Its the tremendous gravity that helps the time to warp and slow down(thanks to Einsten for General Relativity).

As you inch closer to the black hole, you might start to feel a pinch(Don’t be alarmed, its normal). You would start to experience a pulling sensation, especially at your toes. Your toes, i.e your lower half, is being pulled by the gravity more tremendously than your upper half. You will eventually be stretched and torn apart, just like how you squeeze your toothpaste to get that last pinch of cream out.
This whole process of being stretched and torn apart is called spaghettification.

Spaghettification

One out of the many interesting events during this process is, the objects that enter after you will experience less time dilation, and objects that have already been devoured would have experienced more dilation. What iam saying is, if you look forward you’ll be able to witness all the objects that have fallen in, and if you turn your head back you’ll be able to see all the objects that are going to gulped down.  Essentially, you get to see the entire history of a point in the cosmo. Science is truly Spectacular!

HOW DO WE SEE A BLACK HOLE?
Don’t use too much of your brain cells.You can’t see a black hole, ’cause the gravity sucks in all of the light. But scientists can see and deduce how strong the black hole affects the stars and the gas around it. But when these stars get close enough to it for a rendezvous, a high-energy radiation is radiated from them, which is detected by our ‘scopes.

IS OUR MOTHER EARTH AT RISK?

A common question that an amateur can ask. The answer is NO, black holes don’t go around chewing down stars, planets and moons. They are genuine monsters. Only if you go searching for trouble, they’ll show their true form. Even if our sun was replaced by a black hole(Also our sun can never become a black hole, So hurray!), the planets would peacefully go about their daily routine of rotation and revolution.

To conclude with a famous quote from one of my favorite astro-wiz,
“Sure, black holes can kill us, and in a variety of interesting and gruesome ways. But, all in all, we may owe our very existence to them.”
                 – Philip Plait(Author of Death from the skies!)
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Results Unknown.

Waking is better than sleeping. And Knowing is better than wondering. 

-Benjamin Franklin

 

Trust me on this. The most frustrating thing you’ll enounter in your life isn’t at a mall with a excruciatingly long queue, or at a sinfully boring lecture in your college, or even at a hospital waiting for the results.

 

The most frustrating moment is when your examination results are out..

And you don’t get to see it!

 

Just like any other day, at 4 o’clock i took my badminton racket and shoes, my two prized possessions and went out. Got on my 7 year old cycle, which has long lost its definition, and pedaled with all my might and strength i could muster up. Thankfully, with my earphones on, i didn’t feel the exhaustion and the rest of the world was shunned out and i was lost in the thoughts of mentally singing along with the song ‘Titanium’ by Madilyn Bailey (Truly amazing song).

 

That’s when i had to get the message. While i was peacefully listening to my favorite songs, trying my best to maneuver through the crowded streets, trying so hard not to get hit by cars and the rash driving of bikers, i got a ‘ping’ in my mobile. And there it was. Even though the font was in a normal size, it looked like giant imposing letters to me.

 

‘Results are out’

 

I don’t know where they came from, but little wretched butterflies started circling in my stomach, and i felt that strange sensation that people feel before attending a career-changing examination or career-determining interview. Alarmingly scared yet strangely exhilarating. But you know, it weighs more the alarming side.

Suddenly, even the song i was hearing was eschewed. I didn’t even begin to play, but already i could feel sweat parched on my palms. Only one notion kept playing in my mind in a monotonous prayer like chant, to know how much i had gotten. But by the time i became stable from the deliria, i reached the coaching centre.

 

I had to go through another 2 hours without knowing that number. Why, Oh Why did that guy have to tell me? Why did i check the message? Why did i bring my mobile?

A chaotic protest evolved in my brain. The grey cells, responsible for the logical reasoning, suddenly seemed to halt. It stopped churning the information that i need to think cognitively. I needed to focus and concentrate to play. But its like asking a dog to fetch a ball whilst keeping a juicy plate of meat in front of it, but demarcating it. Its impossible.

 

And as expected, when you throw the ball, the dog will half-heartedly run away from its treasure(though not treasure in my case) to fetch it. The same i did. Half heartedly i played and was annoyed at myself for that. After the class, i was cursing myself mentally as i took out my mobile. Yes of course. There were a dozen messages questioning me on my result. I felt irritated and dumb to answer them that I DONT know. But what else could i do? Actually i could have given my roll number to someone and asked them to check on my behalf.

But No. Whatever may happen, let the world come down, It should be me who first sees that page with that glaring result. I wanted to rush home, but thankfully i had the urge to resist, because with the accident percentage skyrocketing everyday, i didn’t want to be included in one of them, that too just to know a result, strike that off.. that too just before knowing a result.

 

Finally the gates of my home came into view. Actually, my house is in the first floor of the 2 storeyed building. There is a calling-bell outside my house door and at the front gate too.  Generally on any other day, i wouldn’t ring the one at the gate. But today wasn’t any other day. I simply, can not waste any more time staring at a bare door and waiting for it to be opened.

 

As i reached above, as expected, the door was ajar. I sprinted to my bedroom, plugged in my dongle and moved the curser to type in the website. And my, aren’t i lucky chap in the world?

I could literally hear the sneer and snicker from the message on my laptop screen.

“Server down. Try again later”.

It was like fate didn’t want me to see my result. But i wouldn’t let fate get the better of me. I kept refreshing every few seconds even though i knew the result(of refreshing). For a few moments, i just kept staring at the screen. Let me tell you something. Knowing a bad result is better than not knowing a good one. Not knowing will kill you, eat you from the inside. And every second that passed, i languished more and more. I kept fussing, like a pin kept pricking me.

 

Finally, frustrated and quite bored, i took out my mobile to look at the messages of people proudly or sadly confessing their results. I was just glancing through them. But then one guy had TWO numbers in his msg. That was odd. Why would he have two? So i went back to the message, and checked again.

And there it was. My CGPA. Two hours i tried to ensure i would be the first one to know my result, and that was the result of it. In a way, i was glad. I realized the ‘being more prepared if i saw it myself’ theory was crap, and results always need an element of surprise.

 

And i got mine. 

A fading not-so-distant past

So, finally all the hoopla and unwanted yet unmissable excitement for New Year has died down. Seriously, Its just another year dragging you closer to your next birthday, snatching away a whole year from your life and presenting you with one less year in your life span. Not to sound too dramatic and portent though.

 

Let’s look at all the joyous, saddening, surprising, victorious, distressing and breath-taking moments of our old neighbor. Obviously, all the events can’t be included, below are only the major events that occurred in the 12 months belonging to the above categories.

 

2013:-

 

(1) January:-

Heartrendingly, the first renowned and infamous event of 2013 was a stampede that occured in Ivory Coast, New York on January 1st during the New Year’s celebration. (Yet another reason to not jump up and down when you hear ‘New Year’).

Thousands of people had come together to witness the spectacular fireworks. An expectation and a smile was pasted on everybody’s face as they welcomed the New Year. It wasn’t long before the smile was replaced with confusion and agony. The stampede let to the death of a whopping 60(all of whom were mostly teenagers) and 200 rescue operators were injured. Atleast in the year ’15, stay at your homes with your families, watch the big ball droppin’ popping in some popcorn sitting on your comfortable couch.

 

(2)February:-

It just keeps coming, doesn’t it? A gigantic and malicious asteroid travelling and screaming with enormous velocity exploded in Chelyabinsk, Russia on 15th of february. This disastrous explosion generated a bright flash, followed by the meteor fragmenting itself into innumerable meteorites and a powerful shock wave. It was as heavy as it was huge. It weight a tremendous 12,000-13,000 metric tonnes(heavier than Eiffel tower!).

And as expected, sadly, around 7200 buildings were brought down to pure debris due to this impact. This is the largest known natural outer space object to have entered, and more importantly survived till the end since the 1908 impact. But no need to panic, these kinds of meteorites are not impossible, but very, very rare.

 

(3)March:-

Good news! The 266th pope was crowned on 13th of March. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio(with a pseudonym Francis) from Argentina breaks a trio records by becoming the first Jesuit pope, first American pope, and the first pope from Southern Hemisphere! I’ve always wondered how a Pope is elected. It seems as soon as the demise of the existing pope, around 15-20 days later, after all the mass celebration is over, a conclave meeting of cardinals is called upon (Strangely the pope elects the cardinals, and inturn the cardinals elect the succeeding pope- A fair quid pro quo i’d say!). There is a rule that if, even after 30 ballots there is no conclusive result, the majority sufices.

During each ballot, the cardinal is made to write the name of his choice on a rectangular card and drop it in the chalice. After each voting session is over, the cards are burned. A special chemical is used to make the smokes white or black.

Black signifies inconclusive vote, white the vice versa.

How simple!

 

(4)April:-

Spoke too soon i guess. Here is another agonizing event. Marathons have become greatly popular these days. Hundreds of spectators gather around to watch the pumped-up participants run along the backbreaking 42.1kms. You can actually expect a lotta things to go wrong during a marathon. A runner might fall down due to exhaustion causing a collapse, a stampede might occur, or worse come worse, even an earthquake can be expected(hopefully that didnt happen). But nobody expects a bomb blast. That too from a pressure cooker!

This cruel bombing killed 3 skilled athletes, and injured more than 250 innocent spectators. But all didn’t end in vain. The animals responsible for this massacre were captured and thrown behind bars.

 

(5)May:-

Hear, o’hear. The scientists are here.

And they’re back with a bang! A huge mind-blowing bang!

Cloning of human stem cells, which, 15 years ago, a far-fetched dream emerged into a tangible reality on 15th March. A biomedical revolution. The fascinating technology of cloning can cure ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

Its been nearly 17 years since Dolly, a sheep, was cloned. And now this method was aped to make the first embryonic stem cells from just skin cells.

For all these years, a method renowned as nuclear transfer was used for cloning a variety of animals. But imitating out character, our cells-human cells- continued to stubborn and remained immune to this method.

Until now.

A true medical miracle. Tip o’ the hat to Shoukhrat Mitalipov.

 

(6)June:-

This month politics joins the game!

Iam sure everyone of you(especially from africa) would have heard about the 2013 june Egyptian army outburst. Literally the President of egypt was forced to resign by the public and army comrades. On june 30th, the millions of protesters took to the streets, and demanded immediae resignation of the incumbent President because of his authoritarian ruling and oppressive law-making.

Ofcourse, where there is a yin, there is a yang! Where there are opposers, there are supporters. There were ugly and violent clashes between the duo. On the eve of july 3rd, President of egypt was taken (more like napped) by the army to an undisclosed location. His supporters staged a protest, and subsequently, they were met with the wrath of the army. More than 1000 died in the crackdown. Finally, Morsi gave in and resigned.

 

(7)July:-

Its a bit ironic. Banks are places that lend us cash when we’re penniless. They are literally the supplier of money. But yet, everyday the business section of newspaper is splashed with the ugly word ‘Bankruptcy’. And the biggest and most infamous one in US happened last year in july.

At its height of industrial power, Detroit(Michigan), it was an irrepressible engine of the American economy. But on 19th, the once mighty symbol of nation’s manufacturing power, tumbled and fell from its pinnacle to a financial ruin. Its by far, the largest municipal bankruptcy that had taken place, estimated at a whopping 18 billion!

This decline didn’t happen overnight, it was slow and menacing. And the aftermath was disastrous. Many were laid off, assets sold, fees raised, etc.

But right now they are tirelessly and wirelessly building it up to bring back its past glory.

ALSO

On july 7th, i.e, 7/7/2013, Andy Murray ended the 77 years of british hunger by claiming the Wimbledon championship game!

 

(8)August:-

When we hear ‘Chemical weapons’, we think of war. Nuclear wars. And ofcourse that brings the heartrending image of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to our minds. But Syria has proved that wrong. Last year, the Syrian government was accused of concealing many chemical weapons and worse.. using them.

But of course, the US cannot permit this! Obama drew a red line on the usage. But what do we like more than disobeying rules? This red line was tested when Syria deployed poison gas to attack civilians near Damascus.

 

(9)September:-

You can never feel like you’ve had enough(except for when its food). People crave for more. And when they get it, they crave for even more. Its a human tendency. 2013 was not one of the best years for the giant technical wizard Microsoft cause we humans tend to own compact things. And PC’s and laptops just weren’t compact anymore, not as much as tablets and smartphones. Neither was it for the flourished mobile network company Nokia. So both of them after discussion, mingled together. Cause u know, two wrongs make a right.

And surprisingly, its true. After they got together, Nokia, went literally from no phones to 7.4 million smart Window phones last year. True, Nokia Lumia Windows 8 didn’t have as great a hit as Samsung last year, but its thriving to prove itself. And with the back support of Microsoft, it just might do it.

 

(10)October:-

Ironically, US economy is one of the worst economies in the world. They have ample amounts of debt yet to paid(especially to China). This has been proven time and again. Recently, touching the extreme, in october, there was even a possibility of government shut down.

 

(11)November:-

My favourite month of the year!

World Chess Championship month.

Against the two unrelenting legend: Norway challenger Magnus Carlsen Vs Reigning Indian Viswanath Anand. The great match took place in Tamil Nadu, India. Being an Indian and a chess enthusiast myself, my support was for Anand. But sadly, Carlsen, won in the end. It started out well with both of their tied till the 4th game. But then the nail biter started with Carlsen winning a successive number of matches and finally ended at 3.5-6.5. And he deserved it. This Norway legend is the upcoming future of chess. But at the same time,  we should not forget Anand who owned the title for a spectacular 7 year period.

ALSO

India launched its first Space rover Mangalyaan to Mars on Nov 5th. It carried the dreams of 1.23 billion along with it. Let’s pray it reaches and lands safely.

 

(12)December:-

2013 may have started in a crappy manner. But it sure as hell ended with a happy and victorious note.

China launched its first moon rover mission. A Long March rocket carrying the Chang’e 3 lunar lander blasted of at 1:30 am on december 2nd.

But, contrasting to this tone of news, the demise of Nelson Mandela shook everyone for a minute around the world. This politician cum lawyer cum activist cum philanthropist who served as President of South Africa will always be cherished and remembered.

 

Every year is unique on its own. And am sure every one you have long lasting rooted memories that happened in 2013. But we can’t hold on to it forever. Its like a kite. Lose the string. And hope for a new better one.

 

Calender for Astro-geeks!

I think of space not as the final frontier but as the next frontier. Not as something to be conquered but to be explored.

— Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

One thing that everyone around the world buys as soon as a new year hits is a Calender. A calender with huge blocks carrying bare numbers. Numbers that bear no meaning. Senseless and Incomprehensible.

But such mundane calenders are for laymens, Not astronomers! Universe today has addressed and has provided an excellent solution. Let me introduce you to the most coolest calender, comprising of the 101 awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping Astronomical events that are gonna take place throughout the year! 

January

01- The extremely thin crescent 12-15 hour old Moon will present a challenge for North American viewers low to the west at dusk.

03- Quadrantid meteors peak with a ZHR=120 at ~05:00 UT, best seen from the Atlantic region. Favorable in 2014, with the Moon a 2 day old waxing crescent.

04- Earth reaches perihelion at 12:00 UT, 147.1 million kilometres from the Sun.

04- Mars passes 1.3’ from the +11.5th magnitude galaxy NGC 4684.

05- Jupiter reaches opposition for 2014 and shines at magnitude -2.7.

10- A Possible meteor shower due to dust from the Comet (formerly known as) ISON over the next few days?

11- Venus reaches inferior conjunction between the Sun and the Earth, shining at -4th magnitude. It may be just possible to spot it five degrees north of the solar limb from high northern latitudes.

13- Moon reaches its farthest northern declination for 2014 a 19.4 degrees.

16- The most distant Full Moon, and visually smallest Full Moon of 2014 occurs, with the Moon reaching Full within two hours of apogee. MiniMoon!

25- The Moon occults Saturn for the South Pacific at ~13:58 UT.

27- The Moon reaches its farthest southern declination for 2014, at -19.3 degrees.

30- A Black Moon occurs, as reckoned as the second New Moon in a month with two.

31- Mercury reaches a favorable elongation, shining at magnitude -0.9, 18.4 degrees east of the Sun.

Venus occultation footprint for
Venus occultation footprint for February 26th. (Created using Occult v4.1.0).
February

06- Two shadows transit the cloud tops of Jupiter from 10:20 UT-12:44 UT, favoring western North America.

21- The Moon occults Saturn for the Indian Ocean at ~22:18 UT.

26- The 14% waning crescent Moon occults Venus for central Africa at ~5:23 UT.

 

March

07- Asteroid 9 Metis occults a +7.9 magnitude star for Europe ~3:14 UT.

10- The 70% illuminated waxing gibbous Moon occults the +3.6 magnitude star Lambda Geminorum for North America in the evening sky.

14- Mercury reaches greatest morning elongation at 27.5 degrees west of the Sun shining at magnitude +0.1. Mercury’s best morning apparition in 2014 for southern hemisphere observers.

16- A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons occurs from 21:20 to 21:30 UT, visible from Atlantic Canada after sunset.

20- The Northward Equinox occurs at 16:57 UT.

20- GEO satellite eclipse season occurs, as geostationary satellites enter Earth’s shadow near the equinox.

20- Regulus is occulted by asteroid 163 Erigone for the NE United States and Canada at ~6:07 UT, The brightest star occulted by an asteroid in 2014.

21- The Moon occults Saturn for the South Atlantic at ~3:18 UT.

24- A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons occurs from 1:08 to 1:28 UT, favoring eastern North America.

24- Asteroid 172 Baucis occults a +6.7 magnitude star for South America at ~9:27 UT.

22- Venus reaches greatest morning elongation, at 47 degrees west of the Sun.

28- Asteroid 51 Nemausa occults a +7.7 magnitude star for Africa at 20:02 UT.

30- A Black Moon occurs, as reckoned as the second New Moon in one month.

The viewing prospects for the April 15th Total Lunar Eclipse. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/
The viewing prospects for the April 15th Total Lunar Eclipse. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Espenak/Meeus).
April

08- Mars reaches opposition for 2014, shining at magnitude -1.5.

12- A close conjunction of Venus and Neptune occurs, with the planets just 0.7 degrees apart at 2:00 UT.

15- A Total Lunar Eclipse occurs, visible from the Americas and centered on 7:47 UT.

17- The Moon occults Saturn for South America at ~7:19 UT.

29- An Annular Solar Eclipse visible from Australia and the southern Indian Ocean occurs, centered on 6:05 UT. This is a unique, non-central antumbral eclipse!

May

03- Asteroid 105 Artemis occults a +7.7 magnitude star for NW Brazil and Peru at ~9:17 UT.

04- Asteroid 34 Circe occults a +7.4 magnitude star for Peru and Ecuador at ~10:12 UT.

06- The closest lunar apogee of 2014 occurs at 404,318 km distant at 10:23 UT.

07- Eta Aquariid meteors peak, with a ZHR=55 at 4:00 UT. Best observed from the Atlantic Region. Favorable in 2014, with the 7-day old Moon at waxing gibbous.

07- Asteroid 206 Hersilia occults a +7.5 magnitude star for Australia and Indonesia at ~17:49 UT.

10- Saturn reaches opposition for 2014, shining at magnitude +0.1. Saturn’s rings are tipped open a maximum of 23 degrees to our line of sight on February 11th, and widening overall in 2014.

13- A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons occurs from 9:20-9:32 UT favoring NW North America.

14- The Moon occults Saturn for Australia and New Zealand at ~12:18 UT.

24- A meteor shower outburst may be in the offing, courtesy of Comet 209P LINEAR. Will the “Camelopardalids” perform?

24- Asteroid 33 Polyhymnia occults a +5.5 magnitude star for South America at ~8:30 UT.

25- Mercury reaches maximum dusk elongation, 22.7 degrees east of the Sun. Mercury’s best evening apparition for 2014 for northern hemisphere viewers.

The triple shadow transit of June 3rd, as seen at 18:00 UT. (Created by the author using Starry Night).
The triple shadow transit of June 3rd, as seen at 19:00 UT. (Created by the author using Starry Night).
June

3- A triple Jovian shadow transit occurs from 18:05-19:44 UT, favoring eastern Europe and Africa. This is the only triple shadow transit for 2014.

10- The Moon occults Saturn for the southern Indian Ocean at ~18:48 UT.

21- The Northward Solstice occurs at ~10:51 UT.

22- The International Space Station enters a period of full illumination near the June solstice, favoring multiple views for northern hemisphere viewers.

24- The waning crescent Moon passes within a degree of Venus, a great time for spotting the planet in the daytime.

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26- The Moon occults Mercury just 20 hours prior to New… a tough catch, but may visible from the SE US and Venezuela just before sunrise.

27- The June Boötid meteors peak, with a ZHR variable from 0-100 at ~15:00 UT, favoring the Central Pacific. Optimal in 2014, as the Moon is at New phase.

July

04- Earth reaches aphelion at 2:00 UT, at 152,098,232 kilometres from the Sun.

04- Pluto reaches opposition at 3:00 UT.

05- 1 Ceres passes just 10’ from 4 Vesta in the constellation Virgo.

06- The Moon occults Mars for South America at ~01:21 UT

08- The Moon occults Saturn for Argentina & Chile at ~2:25 UT.

12- Mercury reaches its maximum elongation of 20.9 degrees west of the Sun, shining at magnitude +0.4 in the dawn.

12- The first Full Proxigean “Super” Moon (1 of 3) for 2014 occurs at 11:27 UT. The Moon reaches Full 21 hours prior to perigee.

30- The Southern Delta Aquarids peak, with a ZHR=20. Time variable, favorable in 2014 with the waxing crescent Moon 4 days past New.

20- Asteroid 451 Patientia occults a +7.1 magnitude star for South Africa at ~17:15 UT.

28- The farthest lunar apogee of 2014 occurs, with the Moon 406,568 kilometres distant at 3:28 UT.

30- Asteroid 103 Hera occults a +6.1 magnitude star for west Africa and central South America at ~1:11 UT.

A tri-conjunction of the Moon, Venus & Jupiter- A “Skewed Smiley face” conjunction!” Credit: Stellarium
A tri-conjunction of the Moon, Venus & Jupiter on the morning of August 23rd- A “Skewed Smiley face” conjunction!” Credit: Stellarium).
August

02- A close conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter occurs, with the planets just 0.9 degrees apart at 19:00 UT. Visible in SOHO’s LASCO C3 camera.

04- The Moon occults Saturn for Australia at ~10:31 UT.

10- The closest lunar perigee of 2014 occurs, with the Moon 356,896 kilometres distant at 17:44 UT.

10- The Closest Full Moon of the year & “Super” Moon (2 of 3) for 2014 occurs, with Full Moon occurring just 27 minutes after perigee.

13- The Perseid meteors peak, with a ZHR=100 at ~04:00 UT favoring The Atlantic region. Unfavorable in 2014, with the 17 day old Moon at waning gibbous.

18- A conjunction of Venus and Jupiter occurs 5:00 UT, the closest conjunction of two naked eye planets in 2014, with the two just 15’ apart.

29- Neptune reaches opposition at 14:00 UT, shining at +7.8 magnitude.

31- The Moon occults Saturn for Africa and the eastern US (in the daytime) at ~18:59.

September

05- Venus passes 0.7 degrees from the bright star Regulus.

09- The final Full “Super” Moon (3 of 3) for 2014 occurs at 1:39 UT, just 22 hours after perigee.

15- Comet C/2013 V5 Oukaimeden may reach +5.5th magnitude for southern hemisphere observers.

20- Mercury passes 0.5 degrees south of the bright star Spica at 21:00 UT.

21- Mercury reaches its greatest elongation of 26.4 degrees east of the Sun shining at magnitude +0.0 in the dawn sky. Mercury’s best sunset apparition for 2014 for southern hemisphere observers.

23- The Southward Equinox occurs at 2:29 UT.

23- GEO satellite eclipse season occurs, as geostationary satellites enter Earth’s shadow near the equinox.

28- The Moon occults Saturn for the northern Pacific at ~4:25 UT. The Moon also occults 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta on the same day!

The path of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Springs versus the planet Mars through October, 2014. (Created by the author using Stellarium).
The path of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Springs versus the planet Mars through October, 2014. (Created by the author using Starry Night).
October

04- 1 Ceres passes just 30’ north of Saturn.

06- Possible Draconid meteor shower, highly variable in terms of rates and timing, but unfavorable in 2014, with the Moon just two days from Full.

08- A Total Lunar Eclipse visible from the Pacific Rim region occurs, centered on 10:56 UT. The planet Uranus will also lie less than a degree away from the eclipsed Moon!

14- Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS may reach +5th magnitude for southern hemisphere viewers.

13- The Moon reaches it shallowest northern declination for 2014 at +18.5 degrees.

19- Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passes just 7’ from the planet Mars. Globular cluster NGC 6401 also lies nearby.

22- The Orionid meteor shower peaks at ~05:00 UT, with a predicted ZHR=25 favoring the Americas. Optimal in 2014, with the Moon at waning crescent.

22- The Moon occults Mercury for Australia just 24 hours prior to New as seen from Australia.

23- A Partial Solar Eclipse visible from western North America occurs centered on 21:46 UT.

25- The Moon occults Saturn for the northern Atlantic at ~15:43 UT.

25- The Moon reaches its shallowest southern point for 2014, at a declination of -18.6 degrees.

The partial solar eclipse of October 23rd, 2014. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak).
The partial solar eclipse of October 23rd, 2014. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak).
November

01- Mercury reaches its greatest elongation 18.7 degrees west of the Sun, shining at magnitude -0.5. The best morning apparition of Mercury for 2014 as seen from the northern hemisphere.

18- Leonid meteors peak at 05:00 UT with a ZHR=20 favoring the Atlantic region. Optimal in 2014, with the 25 day old Moon at waning crescent phase.

20- Asteroid 3 Juno occults a +7.4 magnitude star for the US NE and eastern Canada.

27- The farthest lunar perigee of 2014 occurs with the Moon 369,824 km distant at 23:12 UT.

December

09- A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons occurs from 4:18 to 4:27 UT favoring eastern North America.

12- A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons occurs from 16:19 to 16:44 UT favoring NW North America.

13- The Geminid meteors peak with a ZHR=120 at ~01:00 UT, favoring the Middle East & Eastern Europe. Unfavorable in 2014, with the 20 day old Moon at waning gibbous.

18- Asteroid 702 Alauda occults a +6.2 magnitude star at 14:12 UT for eastern Australia.

21- The Southward Solstice occurs at 23:03 UT.

21- The International Space Station enters period of full illumination around the solstice, with multiple nightly views favoring the southern hemisphere.

21- A double shadow transit of Jupiter’s moons occurs from 14:17 to 15:55 UT, favoring the Far East and Australia.

 

 Now that’s what i’d call a kickass ’14 Calender. 

Anger- Your worst enemy.

“Anger is never without reason, but seldom with a good one.

-Benjamin Franklin

Often we face anger in our day-to-day life. It might be due to a vast number of reasons. Maybe your friend betrayed you, Maybe you din’t get something that you felt you deserved, and someone else got it, Or maybe your angry at yourself for making a choice. And there are many ways of expressing this frustration. First and the most obvious one is you shout at the person responsible for it, Or at yourself, if your the sole reason for it (But nobody likes to accept that they’re wrong, right?). Second, if your have a reticent quality, you might keep it all inside, And beat yourself over it. Neither of these ways are healthy. Especially the second one. Even though shouting at the person responsible sounds right, You’ll know later its not worth it. I do believe that when people commit a mistake, They need to know it so that they can realize it and feel for it, But there is one thing you should never do when your in a rage – Do Not Open Your Mouth. ‘Cause at that time, There is no worse foe for you than your own mouth. We say things which we would never imagine saying, And we’ll end up hurting people more than we thought we’re capable of.

There is only one way to deal with it – Just let go of it. This third way probably will sound the dumbest and hardest. But you’ll understand why am saying what am saying in the long run, say, after 5 years or so. 🙂

Image

Flap of a butterfly wings can cause Hurricanes.

Live. Love. Laugh.

These three things should be the motto of everyone’s life.

 

Always have a passion. And ensure that passion is yours and only yours. Your passion is your baby. It is your seed of wisdom. If you give it proper nourishment at an early stage, and keep pumping it up with hardwork and perseverance then one day life will present you a perfectly harvested and a healthy juicy fruit.

 

And remember, before you reach your hand out to touch that final line of ambition, you will face failures. Glaring failures. Ugly ones. Enormously disappointing failures. But you should not get disheartened. I know i sound crazy. Its like pushing someone cunningly inside a 50 feet rock bottom well, and then saying ‘You can come up’. But its true, you can. But not without the help your family, friends and well-wishers you cant. Get help when you need it. And offer help.. not when you CAN, offer it even when you can’t. Especially for the people who gave you a tight squeeze when you were drowned in that sea of disapproval.

 

So, before i derail out of my topic, Yes, success isn’t a glorious one time victory. Its an ugly bunch of gritty failures. And if you feel like you achieved something without a good old effort, then you definitely don’t deserve it. Just like how in india, people enjoy certain privileges because of their caste when it comes to education. My blood rushes and anger seeps through my eyes as i see such people. They didn’t earn it. My message for such people is, even though they didn’t do enough hardwork to get to that place, they must atleast reward that place by doing enough work to stick to it and making themselves worthy of that stature.

 

Again, forgive me for my tangential arguments. As i said at the beginning, Fix your passion, and steer towards it. Put in your effort and wait for the outcome. If it is what you expected, then consider yourself blessed, and embrace the success. Imbibe the victory in your veins. If it isn’t what you expected, well its okay. You learned something from it, didn’t you? And that’s whats gonna matter in the end. In the big picture. And if you want that picture to be enchanting, then dream big. And if you feel its crazy, dream even bigger.

 

‘Cause when you reach for the stars, you might, just might touch the sky.

 

Happiness has an expiry time. So does sadness.

Live. Love. Laugh.

These three things should be the motto of everyone’s life.

 

Always have a passion. And ensure that passion is yours and only yours. Your passion is your baby. It is your seed of wisdom. If you give it proper nourishment at an early stage, and keep pumping it up with hardwork and perseverance then one day life will present you a perfectly harvested and a healthy juicy fruit.

 

And remember, before you reach your hand out to touch that final line of ambition, you will face failures. Glaring failures. Ugly ones. Enormously disappointing failures. But you should not get disheartened. I know i sound crazy. Its like pushing someone cunningly inside a 50 feet rock bottom well, and then saying ‘You can come up’. But its true, you can. But not without the help your family, friends and well-wishers you cant. Get help when you need it. And offer help.. not when you CAN, offer it even when you can’t. Especially for the people who gave you a tight squeeze when you were drowned in that sea of disapproval.

 

So, before i derail out of my topic, Yes, success isn’t a glorious one time victory. Its an ugly bunch of gritty failures. And if you feel like you achieved something without a good old effort, then you definitely don’t deserve it. Just like how in india, people enjoy certain privileges because of their caste when it comes to education. My blood rushes and anger seeps through my eyes as i see such people. They didn’t earn it. My message for such people is, even though they didn’t do enough hardwork to get to that place, they must atleast reward that place by doing enough work to stick to it and making themselves worthy of that stature.

 

Again, forgive me for my tangential arguments. As i said at the beginning, Fix your passion, and steer towards it. Put in your effort and wait for the outcome. If it is what you expected, then consider yourself blessed, and embrace the success. Imbibe the victory in your veins. If it isn’t what you expected, well its okay. You learned something from it, didn’t you? And that’s whats gonna matter in the end. In the big picture. And if you want that picture to be enchanting, then dream big. And if you feel its crazy, dream even bigger.

 

‘Cause when you reach for the stars, you might, just might touch the sky.