Surprises in the Universe


Puffed up planet’ orbiting small star discovered by Australian astronomers

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Australian astronomers have discovered a strange exoplanet orbiting a small cool star — HATS-6 — 500 light years away.

(CNN)A huge “puffed up” planet “too big for its star” some 500 light years from Earth has been discovered by Australian researchers — with the help of a backyard astronomer.

The planet’s size in relation to the star it orbits challenges theories about how planets are formed, researchers from the Australian National University said.

“We have found a small star with a giant planet the size of Jupiter orbiting very closely,” said George Zhou from the Research School of Astrophysics and Astronomy.

“It must have formed further out and migrated in, but our theories can’t explain how this happened.”

Astronomers believe that planets are created from a “disc” of dust and gas around stars, Zhou told CNN.

“We think that planets are the leftovers of star formations,” he said.

But he said the star — HATS-6 –was almost too small for it to have any leftovers and the discovery of a planet — named HATS-6b — raised questions about how large a disk could form around a star relative to its size.

“HATS-6 is one of the lowest mass stars known to host a close-in gas giant planet,” the team of researchers said in a study published in “The Astronomical Journal.”

HATS-6b orbits its star every 3.3 days, researchers said.

Astronomers first got an indication of the planet’s existence when they noticed that light from HATS-6 dimmed, — suggesting that a planet was passing between the star and Earth.

To confirm the transit signal, they went to of the world’s biggest telescopes — Chile’s Magellan Telescope — and a backyard astronomer in the northern city of Perth, T.G Tan.

Zhou said that the amateur astronomer had been really helpful. “He was able to catch the transit of the planet from Perth, after it had set over our horizon,” Zhou said.

He told CNN that the university — part of the HATSouth Exoplanet Survey — used telescopes to monitor hundreds of thousands of stars. With about a thousand planetary candidates they needed to enlist amateurs to monitor their transits.

“Amateurs have been getting ever more sophisticated,” Zhou said, with Tan a “near professional.”

‘He was able to help us actually confirm that this transit signal was not a blip. That was a massive contribution from him.”

Continuous observation

The HatSouth project is an international collaboration between the Australian National University, Princeton University, the Max Planck Institut fur Astronomie and the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.

“We have a series of small telescopes spread around the world — in Namibia, New South Wales and Chile — we’re able to gather continuous observations of objects in the night sky. That’s how we’re discovering these planets.”

Zhou said the planet’s atmosphere would make an interesting study.

“The planet has a similar mass to Saturn, but its radius is similar to Jupiter, so it’s quite a puffed up planet. Because its host star is so cool it’s not heating the planet up so much, it’s very different from the planets we have observed so far,” he said.

“By having an atmosphere that’s puffed up it actually allows us to look through the atmosphere,” Zhou told CNN.

When starlight passed through the top atmosphere, astronomers would be able to look for absorption signals that revealed details of its composition, he said.

“Every element has its barcode — or spectrum. We want to break the light of HATS-6b into its rainbow of color, within that, there’s a barcode for absorption.”

No More War


 

 

 

 

War is burning our planet.

War is burning our planet.

Dove of Peace

Dove of Peace

 

 

I had a blog planned for today. But the world has changed what I have to say right now. The negativity and darkness which has been lingering over the world is exploding much like the missiles exploding in the skies. So here we are once again and innocent people are being injured and killed.  Children are losing their lives or their parents. We must learn to live without war and violence. When will human beings learn that violence produces nothing but more violence? Where are the clear thinking leaders of our world who should be talking to each other and doing what is best for all peoples of all countries? We are all the same. Our hearts beat to the same rhythm. Our legs move in the same way. We all have those we love and those we don’t know. Does that make the “other people”  wrong or is it all right to kill them? The answer is a gigantic NO!

 

Whether you believe in God or not, whether you are a Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, Sufi, Agnostic or Atheist, whether you believe in a Goddess or in Divine Energy or nothing at all, we are made from the same matter. We are star dust. We are killing each other once again. God is not supporting anyone in these wars. God does not belong to any one nationality. God doesn’t favor anyone more than another. God loves all of us, no matter who is participating in war, God loves everyone the same. There is only one God. Despite the fact that we have many religions and spiritual paths, there is only one God and all are loved. It is not my God against your God, there is only one God. Call it whatever you want, there is only one God.

 

A Malaysian airplane has been shut down over the Ukraine. Three hundred human beings, innocent human beings from a variety of countries have  been taken down by surface to air missiles. Why? Which country took the airliner down? What did these people do wrong? Nothing. They bought a ticket and boarded an airliner that was shot out of the sky over the Ukraine. How can decent and reasonable people do this to the human beings on the plane? Were they involved in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? Some of them, maybe, and but most were probably not. These were human beings who got up this morning and packed their suitcases to take with them on their flight and now they are dead. Maybe they were running late and forgot to say goodbye. Perhaps they were on their way to see someone they loved. Is there an excuse for these unnecessary deaths? There is not. No matter who shot it down, they killed innocent people for no reason. They committed murder. They must be punished, by law, but even this horrible act is not an excuse for war.

 

 

 

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That war is not a solution is not a new concept.  Edwin Starr put it very well:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hate isn't the answer

Hate isn’t the answer

The problems between Palestine and Israel is not new.  Iuntries believe that hate is the problem between these two peoples. I believe that both countries are in some ways right and in some ways wrong. So with hate in their hearts, they continue to war over a strip of land. It isn’t even a great piece of land. But the Palestinian people need a place to call home and to develop their lives. Israel needs to be safe from attacks and worry they will lose their country. There are non-Israelis living in Israel. Israeli hospitals have even treated Palestinians in their hospitals. So I am convinced if the leaders of both countries would stop their accusations, their selfishness and insensitivity to the pain of the other people, peaceful coexistence is possible.

 

The Israeli people need to allow the Palestinians to live unmolested in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians need to have free access to the provisions they need and to get to jobs in Israel (which many Palestinians hold).  Israelis need to be secure in their homes without fear of suicide bombers coming into their country from Gaza. They both need to forgive each other and show each other compassion and gentleness. God, whether called Allah nor Adonai or by any other name, does not want this horrific suffering.

 

Today, despite the prayers from people around the world, Israel has launched a ground attack. The only result will be the loss of more innocent people. I want to declare that innocent people are not collateral damage. They are human beings who have parents, siblings, loved ones, children and friends, just as we do. We all lose when war is unleashed upon our planet. There are no real winners. One side may be declared a winner and think it is done. But what is produced is more hatred and suffering and pain. 

 

WAR MUST END! WE ARE GOING TO DESTROY OURSELVES AND OUR PLANET.

 

There are good, compassionate people living in both countries. There are nasty, thoughtless, mean people in both countries. We have had two World Wars. Innocent people are killed, tortured, imprisoned and suffer. Egos and greed are not reasons to take human lives. There is no reason to take human lives,  If leaders could only remember that, we would have no more genocide, no more suicide bombings, and ultimately no more war.

 

So I hope many people are praying for peace today. I know I am. There is nothing that makes war worthwhile. Nothing that gives human beings back their lives and their futures. How many mathematicians, authors, artists, future Mozarts have we destroyed? What wonders could we have accomplished if war hadn’t ended their lives? Let us stop war now. Let us discuss peace, find a way to co-exist, and work together for the benefit of our planet and all human beings.

 

 

The power of kindness

The power of kindness

Planet Earth


Good choices for our million

Good choices for our planet, effect all of us.

” I love the beautiful world I live in.”  The earth is our very wise  and amazingly loving mother. She provides everything we need and things we just want. For instance, a diamond engagement ring.

There is water, food, air, companionship. We have millions of species of plants and animals. Mother Earth responds well to our love for her.

If we would be willing to do this we would save the life of our planet

If we would be willing to do this we would save the life of our planet

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We have treated this planet terribly in the past decades. We are using up our valuable resources without plans to replenish what we have stolen from our Mother.

If we continue to trash the planet, there will be a dead planet and a population of dead plants, animals and fish. Oh by the way, we human beings will be dead too.

We need to focus our thinking on taking care of, respecting and loving our Mother. I spend time imagining our planet as she used to be. Lush, fertile and ripe with all kinds of animals, plants and food. I imagine a clear clean environment where people don’t  have to check the weather reports to see what the condition of the air is. I have breathing issues. More days every year are bad for sensitive people to go out. This is scary for us and for our planet.

Penguins in Antartica

Penguins in Antartica

We have the power to heal Mother Earth and the power to stop raping her of her resources. The problem is … do we want to stop?  Or will we only stop when we have killed this amazing planet. That is my fear. Taking the planets gifts brings much money to the people to live for money. Every day, many millions of people give back the resources and love this planet. It isn’t enough, but if we keep working on it, we may just loose enough selfishness to see how important our choices are for us and for our great grandchildren. We can love Mother Earth enough to stop killing her. We are capable of helping her to heal herself. We just have to want to. Do You?

The beauty of breaking waves

The beauty of breaking waves

It is up to all of the children of Mother Earth to face reality and love her and begin to protect her.

It is up to all of the children of Mother Earth to face reality and love her and begin to protect her.

One World Filled With One People


I am thinking today about the women who have been my friends and support in life. I am grateful for all that they have added to my life. As I think back it was they that helped me accomplish all that I have  done.  There is an connection between women forged by survived violence against women, injustice, oppression and we are an important part of American Life. We have stood up to discrimination and put-downs and we have gotten back up each time we were knocked down. In truth, we started a revolution that affects men and women everywhere.

I loved this video because as we move around the world living our lives, we meet so many men and women from other cultures and relighons. We all live here on this one planet. We don’t look alike, we don’t all think alike or love alike, but we are all children of the Universe. Love for the One and each other is what binds us together. Caring about all the women and men in the world who are suffering under oppression, who have not medicine for something as simple as TB or Malaria, who have to watch their children starve to death.

The language of the people of this planet is love, music, dance and creativity. This language is what gives us the courage to fight for the best in ourselves and each other.

For Our Mother Earth


amazing dolfins

“I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete,
The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.
I swear there is no greatness or power that does not emulate those of the earth,
There can be no theory of any account unless it corroborate the theory of the earth,
No politics, song, religion, behavior or what not,
Is of account, unless it compare with the amplitude of the earth,
Unless it face the exactness, vitality, impartiality, the rectitude of the earth.”
—–Walt Whitman

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And Now Looking to the Future


To the Ancients, as well as to many contemporary seekers, the world is alive with spirit. The surrounding landscape is infused with creativity and meaning and each place speaks to us of the divine.

‘Every day is a god, each day is a god
And holiness holds forth in time…’

—Anne Dillard

The notion of a sacralized world may seem strange to the mainstream Western world. We live in a secular landscape. We have been taught to identify the sacred primarily with cathedrals, churches and temples. The rest of the earth is real estate. It is there for us to buy and sell and make money, .We have commercialized the earth and many don’t see the earth as sacred at all. We are wrong, of course. We have used this philosophy to plunder the earth of its rich bounty. We have dispelled our planets sacred aura.

The Holy Book of Nature

“It is written on the arched sky,
It looks out from every star….
It is spread out like a legible language upon the broad face of an unsleeping ocean.
It is the poetry of Nature,
It is that which uplifts the spirit within us.”
—John Ruskin

“The beauty of the trees,
The softness of the air, The fragrance of the grass, speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the sea, speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning, the dewdrop on the flower, speaks to me.

The strength of fire, the taste of salmon, the trail of the sun, and the life that never goes away, they speak to me.

And my heart soars.
—Chief Dan George

Today, we need more jobs and more energy. We need more affordable energy. We have more resources here in America and actually all over our planet. What is the problem? It is that we cannot kill our Mother Earth retrieving these resources. We can’t plunder our planet and strip her of all of her treasures. Treasures which have taken billions of years to form. We have to find a way to take care of the living planet under our feet and have the energy we need. It will take many wise people to work together to figure out how to accomplish this. But it must be done. We need to listen to what scientists tell us and not to the politicians who have their own agendas. If our planet dies, this planet we walk on, drive on, build on, we will die. So let us not commit environmental suicide. There is global warming. The North Pole is an island. I am 62 and this is not right. This means that the oceans and seas are higher and they will flood land areas more easily.

We saw this with Hurricane Sandy and now with Winter Storm Athena. Manhattan experienced flooding just as the scientists have predicted. Venice is in danger of flooding and many other places we love on Mother Earth. The time for scoffing at the experts is over. We are already in danger. It is time to remember the sacredness of our planet and to all begin to work together to save our world, its animals and its people. If we want to have a future, we must do this.

Our planet is sacred. It is time to once again revere her.

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