Solar Flare, April 12th 2013, 22:00 UTC.
Vostok 1 (Russian: Восток-1, East 1 or Orient 1) was the first spaceflight in the Vostok program and the first human spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961. The flight took Yuri Gagarin, a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union, into space. The flight marked the first time that a human entered outer space, as well as the first orbital flight of a manned vehicle. Vostok 1 was launched by the Soviet space program, and was designed by Soviet engineers guided by Sergei Korolev under the supervision of Kerim Kerimov and others.
A 15-times magnified image of a dinosaur bone from the Jurassic period.
Image by Norm Barker, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine.
Control room. Text on the left side monitor: NASA Lewis Research Center 9X15 LOW SPEED WIND TUNNEL. 11:19:28 3/6/1989
Photo credit: NASA/Glenn Research Center via archive.org
To ancient astronomers, the stars seemed fixed, moving across the sky during the night but always in fixed constellations—except for five bright points that appeared to wander among the stars. In the geocentric model of the solar system, where everything orbits the Earth, the paths of these five seemed strange, with several even backtracking and looping around in a retrograde motion. Today, we know that our solar system is heliocentric and all planets orbit the sun, so the retrograde motions are only perspective issues, but the ancient names for the planets remain. The Greeks called them ‘planets’, meaning wanderers, and the five were originally named after Roman deities: Mercury, messenger of the gods, Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, Mars, the god of war, Jupiter, king of the gods, and Saturn, father of Jupiter and god of agriculture.
(Image Credit: NASA)
The orbits of the moons and planets form a 4-dimensional fractal helix in spacetime.
The Cosmic Tadpole
Above we see what can happen when massive objects like galaxies interact, and how that interaction can produce truly incredible sights. This is the Tadpole Galaxy, and at one point, it was a normal barred spiral galaxy, minding its own business, floating through the universe about 400 million light years away in the constellation Draco.
Somewhere along the way, it crossed paths with another galaxy, and after that we’ve only got speculation. The best idea is that their mutual gravity caused the companion galaxy to swing around the Tadpole, dragging millions of stars in its wake. The end result is the 280 thousand light-year-long tail, made entirely of stars, including several pockets of bright blue stars.
And yes, astronomers do prefer the name Tadpole, because the Sperm Galaxy would be an awkward thing to put in the history books. I would have done it, though. We have the Sperm Whale, so in my mind a whole galaxy would be much better. Dare to dream
“A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times, may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes of nature.” Happy 156th, Nikola Tesla!