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Savvas Alektoridis
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Savvas Alektoridis

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Airglow, Gegenschein, and Milky Way
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution)
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130420.html

As far as the eye could see, it was a dark night at Las Campanas Observatory in the southern Atacama desert of Chile. But near local midnight on April 11, this mosaic of 3 minute long exposures revealed a green, unusually intense, atmospheric airglow stretching over thin clouds. Unlike aurorae powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, the airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction, and found around the globe. The chemical energy is provided by the Sun's extreme ultraviolet radiation. Like aurorae, the greenish hue of this airglow does originate at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so dominated by emission from excited oxygen atoms. The gegenschein, sunlight reflected by dust along the solar system's ecliptic plane was still visible on that night, a faint bluish cloud just right of picture center. At the far right, the Milky Way seems to rise from the mountain top perch of the Magellan telescopes. Left are the OGLE project and du Pont telescope domes.
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When Gemini Sends Stars to Paranal
Image Credit & Copyright: Stéphane Guisard (Los Cielos de America), TWAN
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap121215.html

From a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rained down on planet Earth this week. Recorded near the shower's peak in the early hours of December 14, this skyscape captures Gemini's lovely shooting stars in a careful composite of 30 exposures, each 20 seconds long, from the dark of the Chilean Atacama Desert over ESO's Paranal Observatory. In the foreground Paranal's four Very Large Telescopes, four Auxillary Telescopes, and the VLT Survey telescope are all open and observing. The skies above are shared with bright Jupiter (left), Orion, (top left), and the faint light of the Milky Way. Dust swept up from the orbit of active asteroid 3200 Phaethon, Gemini's meteors enter the atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second.
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Savvas Alektoridis

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Stuff you didn't know you didn't know!

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. 
When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase Goodnight, sleep tight

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-l aw with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts.So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase mind your P's and Q's

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. Wet your whistle is the phrase inspired by this practice. 

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, 
the person died because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321 

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: 
Spades - King David 
Hearts - Charlemagne 
Clubs -Alexander, the Great 
Diamonds - Julius Caesar 
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