Air Elementals

Air Elementals

 

At their most powerful, these are manifest as the sudden tossing of a pile of leaves, as high winds, storms, sand storms, dust clouds, whirlwinds, hurricanes, tornadoes, rainbows, comets and shooting stars. You can experience air elemental if you are standing on the deck of a ship in a high wind; see their patterns in the clouds outside the cabin of an aircraft during turbulence; and witness them on swinging bridges and in all high, open places, especially in unsettled weather.

They are also expressed through the power and flight of the eagle, hawk and birds of prey in swooping flocks of birds, as butterflies and as the mythical Native North American Thunderbird.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for Sept. 26 – Dry Ice On Mars

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2011 September 26

Dry Ice Pits on Mars
Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA 

 

Explanation: Part of Mars is defrosting. Around the South Pole of Mars, toward the end of every Martian summer, the warm weather causes a section of the vast carbon-dioxide ice cap to evaporate. Pits begin to appear and expand where the carbon dioxide dry ice sublimates directly into gas. These ice sheet pits may appear to be lined with gold, but the precise composition of the dust that highlights the pit walls actually remains unknown. The circular depressions toward the image center measure about 60 meters across. The HiRISE camera aboard the Mars-orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the above image in late July. In the next few months, as Mars continues its journey around the Sun, colder seasons will prevail, and the thin air will turn chilly enough not only to stop the defrosting but once again freeze out more layers of solid carbon dioxide.

Astronomy Picture of the Day for August 8th

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2011 August 8

Seasonal Dark Streaks on Mars

Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

Explanation: What is causing these dark streaks on Mars? A leading hypothesis is flowing — but quickly evaporating — water. The streaks, visible in dark brown near the image center, appear in the Martian spring and summer but fade in the winter months, only to reappear again the next summer. These are not the first markings on Mars that have been interpreted as showing the effects of running water, but they are the first to add the clue of a seasonal dependence. The above picture, taken in May, digitally combines several images from the the HiRISE instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The image is color-enhanced and depicts a slope inside Newton crater in a mid-southern region of Mars. The streaks bolster evidence that water exists just below the Martian surface in several locations, and therefore fuels speculation that Mars might harbor some sort of water-dependent life. Future observations with robotic spacecraft orbiting Mars, such as MRO, Mars Express, and Mars Odyssey will continue to monitor the situation and possibly confirm — or refute — the exciting flowing water hypothesis.