The Sun, The Solar System, and Heliophysics

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We study many things on our planet and in our solar system, but there is one branch of science that studies the Sun. These scientists study what effects the Sun has on the Solar System. Some disciplines studied under the umbrella of heliophysics are heliospheric physics, magnetospheric and ionospheric physics. 

Most effects that we study are caused by the emissions of protons during solar activity. Atmospheres and magnetic fields show how much the protons can influence the planets and stars around the Sun during emission blasts. 

A Parker Spiral is the term used to define the rotation of charged particles that move outwards from the Sun and towards possible unsuspecting targets. Learning and understanding the effects of the Sun on other planets and matter in space could help scientists on Earth counteract negative emissions in the future. We could even see this type of science entering into the climate change wars with enough evidence to back up speculation on the Sun’s energy that demands a constant attack on Earth.

Have you recently discovered any disciplines of study that you didn’t know existed? We would love to hear what they are so we may better explore some of these unknown areas sciences for all of our readers.

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Climate Change Is Roasting Your Beans

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Did you know the coffee industry is worth over $10 billion USD? Coffee is the largest traded item around the world other than oil. Over 90 percent of the land that coffee growers use to farm green beans in Latin America will probably suffer from climate change. Rain patterns and higher temperatures are just two factors that could hinder the growth of our favorite beverage on the planet.

High-quality beans are grown in specific regions along the coffee belt. If the growth of high-quality product becomes difficult, the consumers will pay in rising prices. Some coffee growing countries are testing eco-friendly growing solutions to combat the change in temperatures. If these tests become a reality, we could see coffee being produced in countries like Russia or North America.

The Galapagos Are Under Attack by a Silent Killer

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Climate change. Yes, silently attacking all ecosystems globally. The rise of global temperature has lead to the deterioration of the once thriving habitats and even lead to the loss of certain plant and animal species. The growing threat of rising temperatures is predicted to influence the frequency and strength of El Niño events around the Galapagos Islands.


The global impacts of an El Niño year © NCEP

Scientists have predicted many scenarios related to climate change but now that there is more evidence of climate change, we can narrow more vague and open-ended issues. Collectively there are several predictions that the scientific community agrees on regarding the climate change impact on the Galapagos Islands. Higher temperatures in the sea’s surface, rising sea levels will occur, and an increase in rainfall is likely.

Hundreds of exotic plant and animal species inhabit the Galapagos. Climate change will greatly impact some of these species. The land and marine iguanas, the green turtles and giant tortoise are just a few that will see deadly results. Higher temperatures may force some turtle and tortoise species to migrate. The iguanas are cold-blooded and the change in the air and sea would have drastic interference with the ability to regulate body temperature. As humans, we often forget how sensitive life is for other animals around the planet because we are resistant to so many things. The plants and animals on the islands could become extinct if temperatures continue to rise.

El Niño is part of a cycle called ENSO. As only a single phase in this cycle, it still is dangerous to the environments that endure this three to a five-year phenomenon. When experiencing an El Niño event both the oceans and the weather can be influenced. Stronger El Niño events have displayed global weather disruptions (What is El Niño?). During the years of El Niño, certain currents and weather patterns reverse. 


How El Nino works. Photograph: Guardian

The eastern Pacific experiences the development of warmer waters that rise upwards of 8°C. Westerly winds pick up. Indonesia and parts of Australia experience drier conditions causing periods of drought. On the Galapagos for example, these periods of weather changes alter the growth of food. With conditions changing and lasting longer during these events, it should be an obvious concept that ecosystems would be at risk.

Is Astrology a pseudoscience?

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I’ve been reading a lot about the stars and our planets lately. Though our own planet is still vastly undocumented, we are reaching towards the skies for some answers. 

My question to you: Do you consider Astrology a pseudoscience or has this transitioned back to mainstream due to its large following?

Leave a comment letting everyone know your stance on this topic.

Climate Change and Why It Matters

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In an earlier post this week I discussed briefly the difference between climate and weather. Weather patterns are becoming increasingly more violent in threatening ways. Natural disasters are on the climb from flooding to earthquakes. It is foolish to not believe in the smallest of possibilities that the world is experiencing natural or unnatural climate change. Some people think climate change and global warming are all a hoax, and truthfully so because we do not take a strong enough stance to educate people about these topics. Scientists are still arguing over these questions, so it is not unusual for civilians do not seem concerned yet.

As the global average temperature rises, it poses threats to some of the most delicate ecosystems on the planet. Our oceans are suffering, our rainforests are disappearing, and our oxygen is continuously being polluted with toxins. Buzzwords that are heard on mainstream media about global warming and climate change are words like carbon footprint, emissions, greenhouse gasses, fossil fuels, and renewable energy. While we are making great strides into renewable energy sources, we are lacking experience and knowledge to clean up what messes we have already made. For many years people have powered homes and buildings either partially or completely using solar energy. Wind power has risen in popularity, but hydropower is where the history is. People have used water to create currents of energy for decades but never completely explored the possibility of converting to hydropower as a permanent and total source of energy just like wind and solar.  

Emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture are now becoming visible. We are seeing a rise in deadly storms, hotter and longer dry season accompanied by freezing and more rigid cold seasons. Emissions become trapped within the protective bubble formed around the planet known as the atmosphere and due to the energy of the sun, these gasses are heating and have no place to escape. This rise in temperatures way up in the atmosphere is causing the global average temperature to rise above average recorded temperatures. Permafrost is one of the more significant losses we have experienced. As the sea ice continues to melt with rising temperatures, it is not able to reflect as much of the sun’s energy, or heat back into space. This is problematic because our ice caps protect Earth from about eighty to ninety percent of the sun’s heat by being able to properly reflect most of that energy back into space.

The melting of the ice and rise in temperatures only just scrapes the surface though. Let’s investigate the depths of the blue oceans. We hardly know a fraction of what dwells below the surface due to funding for science programs allocated to other prioritized programs (such as Space). This leaves us vulnerable to the unknown effects of the rising temperatures across the globe on our oceans as a system. We know that to raise the temperature of all the water of the seas is unbelievably difficult to comprehend. Coral reefs are great, or not so great depending on your approach, to observe in this time of scientific doubt. The planet has experienced rises and falls of temperatures for millions of years which is why coral reefs are such an arguably solid fact of global warming proof. The reefs are dying. There is no hibernation period or a possibility of returning to life. This time, once the coral reef has bleached there is no turning back.

Did you know a huge portion of our underwater friends survive on the thriving ecosystem of plants, algae, and fish that a coral reef provides? Losing a reef could mean the displacement of thousands of creatures. This upset could determine which species will fight to survive and which will disappear alongside the coral. Already we have seen the extinction of several frog species once found in the Amazon. Let’s help avoid the destruction of more precious animals and plant species by doing out parts to take control of our own carbon footprints.

Global Warming: Climate Change vs Weather

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A few words associated with global warming are weather and climate change. Often, they are defined incorrectly and used interchangeably. Though climate change and weather are associated with each other in certain ways, they are two different systems at work on the planet. Weather is the term we are most familiar with, describing the condition of outdoors at the present time and up to several weeks in advance. Climate change is the system that generates the intensity of the hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes and our ever-changing seasons. 

According to NASA, weather and climate can be easily differentiated by a measure in time. Weather is known as the condition of the atmosphere that can be measured over a short period of time, such as our forecasts that predict the rain and clouds. An example of weather can be the seasons we experience. The changes in the atmosphere after several months from fall to winter is one example of how the weather can go from dry and cool to wet and freezing over a short period; more importantly, a measurable period of time.

Climate can be described as the long-term patters of weather in particular areas around Earth. NASA scientists look at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity and so much more. These averages tell the scientist about the climate and when the averages begin to rise and fall under certain categories, our scientists start to get worried. There was an editorial in Science about the impacts of climate change. The editorial discusses subjects like our breathing oxygen and how it could be among the list of things affected by climate change. Climate change has a larger, more global responsibility while the weather is what we experience on land and sea.

Will raising awareness of the differences between climate and weather help change the world? Hopefully. We have to start somewhere small, and weather is relatable to humans. Maybe if people become aware of the difference between the two, they might start opening their eyes to the larger picture at hand.

Keep reading on as the global warming exploration continues. 

Millennials were raised that way…

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Every day I come in contact with so many different people. Different races, different genders, and certainly different ages. There are a few terms that my ears catch when bits of conversations enter my thought filled mind and millennial is one. Millennials are a generation group born around the early 80’s to the late 90’s. There are over 80 million millennials living in the United States, far surpassing the previous generations at their peaks.

People who use the term “millennial” often follow it up with a negative stereotype or criticism that is unwarranted. While looking a bit further into this juicy topic, it can be openly stated that there are several things that this generation requires to survive. My favorite three are teamwork, praise and cell phones. I took some time to really think about this topic because it was oddly true, but not in a negative way that it is being perceived. Someone somewhere has lied about something.

Millennials need teamwork, partners and peers to accomplish their daily human activities. Yes, we sure do. You want to know why? Our leaders and adults determined that we should need to participate in all possible activities and team building exercises from the sandbox ages to early adulthood. Even when we pay to go to school and further out educational careers we are STILL required to participate and work as teams. Do you think we like teamwork? It makes me sick but I can’t stop being a team player as much as I don’t want to be. My mind has literally been brought to believe that if I didn’t help Suzie and Jim do their own jobs while doing mine too then I am a terrible person and deserve to be shamed.

Aside from the notion of independence being washed out of existence, we are then ridiculed for being given praise…by the exact people that gave us praise. I mean our grandparents and our aunts and uncles who got stuck watching us every spare moment they had as we were growing up because our parents worked (or parent) 70 hours a week to buy diapers. We were spoiled rotten by our family members and now we are being punished for it. Well, damn grams, if I’d known you were gonna hold it over my head for the rest of my life I most certainly would not have said yes to an afterschool snack every day!

Lastly is our cell phones. They are attached to us more so now than ever with the rise of hands-free technology. Though we may not seem like carrying around a five-inch computer with the capabilities of limitless YouTube and Wikipedia binges is a burden, it goes from hero to zero fast. We don’t carry our phones around so that we can sit and play games mindlessly all day long while passive aggressively ignoring your texts while we make facebook status updates and Instagram posts. No, we carry our phones around, fully charged and functioning in our hands all day staring at the screen in search of one word, “Mom.”

You do not want to be the child that does not respond back or answer a call from your mother within a reasonable two-second span of time. It has been conditioned in our brains from, sometimes as early as eight or nine to carry these devices around with us in anticipation of the randomness and vague text. Do you know how much more productive I would be if I could leave my phone at home every day like my dog? I can’t even go from one side of my bedroom to the other without at least being in my pocket. My anxiety starts with the rush of internal fire the moment I realize it has been on vibrate or silent for more than an hour.

Millennials are a very large group of individuals that are hardly observed for their positive characteristics because most of them are still figuring out how to survive in a world that they were actually taught nothing while about growing up.

-RedEye

It’s Not Global Warming, It’s Climate Change!

Earlier this week a couple of posts were published using the term “global warming” in the title. Global warming is a media created term that is used loosely to make climate change more acceptable as a theory across the planet. So the buzzword pandemic continues. Global warming became increasingly popular in the early 2000s. Continuing to grow in popularity as a highly debated topic, global warming is here to stay- literally and figuratively. 

Whether you call this unnaturally fast rate of the global temperature global warming or climate change one thing remains the same: the outcome will most certainly be devastating. Our next small installment of test posts will be an investigation into the rise of natural disasters and what it means for Earth and humanity. 

When Isaac Newton Split the Stars

Mainstream science has transformed Astronomy into a diverse and dense subject. Cosmic forces continue to assist in the rapidly expanding universe, allow planets to grow and thrive, and cascade objects through space until they reach their impending doom by a collision. While astronomy is compiled of physics and mathematical equations, there was a time before the late 1600s when astronomy had a different focus. Astrology is the study of stars and planets and the influence they have on the human body and the natural world. The horoscope is a common column found in newspapers and magazines. A horoscope is a vague representation of one personality or daily outlook based on the alignment of stars and planets on a specific day. 

Astrology and Astronomy were so closely related that they were once only referred to as astrology. Astrology had taken the world by force and allowed people something to believe in that could be backed up mathematically giving it validity over other things like seers and prophets (still highly respected in ancient times). People could give meaning to their births, significant events in their lives, and the birth and death cycle of life.

In the late 1600s, Isaac Newton convinced enough scientists to take another look at the stars and planets and created a theory in which astronomy was born as a branch of science. Newton showed physical properties that affected objects in space in his theories. Newton believed astrology needed a scientific approach to explain cosmic events like shooting stars and astrology was built around interpretation and belief. But, what has become of astrology since the separation from mainstream science to pseudoscience? Thousands of people still follow astrology and seek advice from astrologers about life and sometimes natural events.
Astrology has survived this long against the critical scientific community so some argue astrology is still a mainstream science, but a subdivision. Birth charts and such products of astrology are very accurate and precise. These charts break down every cosmic detail of known constellations, planets, and stars on the day a person is born and goes into a mathematical explanation of how these variables influence said person.

Our investigation continues as we dive deeper into the topics of space science. Stay tuned for more…!

Global Warming: Save the sea ice!

We have all heard about the rise in sea levels while the Arctic ice melts away. The global temperature keeps rising which keeps melting the cold caps that populate our poles. Yes, ice melts naturally in the world but we are experiencing the melting of glaciers at an alarming rate. It seems the biggest concern that mainstream media focuses on is the rising level of the coastal waters. While that is a very big problem, there is an even bigger one. 

The albedo effect is a concept in which light reflects off of white surfaces. Take the light of the moon and how the suns reflections are bouncing off its surface to light up our night sky for example. The same thing happens with the ice. Somewhere around the eighty percent range is how much of the suns energy is reflected back into space. This simple act of reflection helps to keep the planet cool and from overheating. 

Can we stop the melting before our ice is gone, our oceans dry up, and we become as barren as Mars?

The toddler attacks

A few weeks ago, I told my friend I would watch her toddler while she went to class for the evening. She was so grateful and I was happy to help. The day came and I was ready. I left work early that afternoon (barista hours). I went to the market and bought some snacks, mostly for me. On the way home I bought a bottle of wine. When I got home I had to dig deep, but I found the menu to my favorite local pizza shop. All of these things, these preparations were recommendations from the mom.

I made sure that the PS4 controllers were charged, the dog was fed and had toys to play with upstairs in my room, double checked the snack cupboard, and poured my first glass of wine. I had to check one last thing, Netflix. I was consumed with the amount of children movies and shows. My friend texts me and said she was on her way, which broke my Netflix obsession long enough for me to turn it off. This was the opportunity to acquire a casual buzz that was just on the border of social acceptance. I had finished my first glass and moved on to my second glass.

The toddler has arrived. My friend came in, like a natural disaster level hurricane- swinging bags and pajamas with a small boy just running around her in circles like he was orbiting a planet. I was given the rundown on topics such as like, don’t like, and is probably gonna do. She left as quickly as she had come in and I proceeded to order pizza and fries. This is when it began. At the request of the young child, I searched YouTube for videos with the keyword “mystery egg.” If anyone here does not know what that term is, I’ll help fill you in. Mystery egg videos are one of natures tools involved in brainwashing single moms. After fifteen minutes, my eyes began to bleed and I had to stop watching. I found other things to occupy my time, like reading memes and drinking the rest of the wine while stuffing my face with pizza.

My toddle friend continued to watch YouTube videos about mystery eggs and moved on to superheros riding bikes on obstacle course in the sky with no possible safe way to land on the ground. Imagine being at the top of the Eiffel Tower and someone hands you a bike then says, “Wanna see if they fly?” He was obsessed. He stood there, rocking back and forth. Sometimes he climbed onto the sofa and jumped off as the superheros jumped off the edges of the obstacle course. It was odd to see how fixated he actually was.

I cannot say that I have ever been that interested in something, and if I had been then I probably would be living a successful life with a lavish lifestyle, treating myself to Starbucks daily. Anyway, I thought this would be an easy night. The kid was hooked on YouTube and I was now reading TMZ. Then he came over to me and said he was bored.

I could relate to that. I tried to put on Netflix, figuring the next option was a movie. Nope. No more movies. Okay, well I had PS4. We (me) played Ultimate Alliance for over an hour before realizing that my toddle friends controller was not actually on. I thought that I was the smart one here, but he was so angry. I bribed him with chocolate, which was also a tip from his mother. I had about another hour and a half until the toddler would be packed and going home. He decided that he wanted to was various colored vehicles drive around a racetrack while a song about ABC’s blared loudly. This was my karma. I now coming down from my wine buzz,which is the worse possible way to come off a buzz. My head was throbbing and I was ready to throw myself out of my front window.

Shortly after (fifty minutes), my friend texts me and lets me know that she is on her way over for her precious cargo. I packed his pj’s that he didn’t want to change into, put a few snacks in the bag and told him that mommy was on her way. That was also a mistake. How to get a toddler to ask a hundred and thirty questions a minute is to tell them that you are either almost there or someone is on there way over.