All the solid surfaces in the solar system (excluding gas giants) mapped as a map according to surface area. I recommend viewing it large, so you can see how “all human skin” relates to the surface areas of the solid solar system.
I love that Europa is next to Europe. Now I’d like to see someone synthesize a plate tectonics model for how the continent of Solaros (a name I just now invented) was formed.
Stuff happens, occasionally.
Well done, xkcd. View the full “Frequency” comic here, it’s truly mesmerizing. I had no idea there were so many Sagittarii named Amelia who were fans of carbonated beverages.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to continue waiting for my turn signal to synchronize with that of a stranger’s, longing for that unspoken, unknown connection, that most universal element of the human experience.
Down but not Oort?
Comet ISON, presumed dead after its sun-grazing trip yesterday, may have survived … maybe. Something survived, anyway. This NASA image from the SOHO satellite shows a smaller, diffuse tail reforming on Nov. 29th:
Frankly, comet-watchers are pretty stumped by ISON. That’s ok. Science is messy. Considering that this particular chunk of frozen space stuff has been hanging out in the Oort cloud for a few billion years, we’d be forgiven for not knowing everything about it.
Phil Plait has all your updates and background on the ISON undead-comet saga, and future, at Bad Astronomy.
Who’s up for renaming this thing “Comet Icarus”?
(Most excellent comic at top via xkcd)
As usual, the science of this orchid story is a little more complicated than made out (check out this post and the great comments to learn why). It’s just as likely that self-pollinating orchids spontaneously mutated and were able to migrate away from their bee lovers. Coevolution is a wondrous thing, but it’s also a bit of messy, and always rather mysterious.