A Gravity well, or gravitational well, is defined as “a conceptual model of the gravitational field surrounding a body in space”. The more massive the body, the deeper and more extensive the gravity well associated with it. The Sun is very massive relative to other bodies in the Solar System, so its gravity well appears “deep” and far-reaching. Picture a very heavy object sinking deep into a bed mattress; the more mass the object has the deeper it sinks in and creates a deeper sinkhole; a deeper sink hole will pull in any nearby objects towards the center object with greater influence. Objects of  mass bend the fabric of space time this way also, as the theory of general relativity explains.

Someone buy me an orrery already. My birthday is very soon. Please and thank you. 

Jack-O-Lantern on the Sun.

Jack-O-Lantern on the Sun.

Orion rising, winter is coming.

Orion rising, winter is coming.

Up from 3-5 am…alone and unreasonably scared of coyotes up on the hill behind our house…I managed to snap some pictures of the total lunar eclipse this morning.

This southeastward-looking vista from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the ‘Pahrump Hills’ outcrop and surrounding terrain seen from a position about 70 feet (20 meters) northwest of the outcrop.

This southeastward-looking vista from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the ‘Pahrump Hills’ outcrop and surrounding terrain seen from a position about 70 feet (20 meters) northwest of the outcrop.

Relative sizes of Kepler habitable zone planets discovered as of 2013 April 18. Except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions.

Relative sizes of Kepler habitable zone planets discovered as of 2013 April 18. Except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions.

I decided to get this tattoo last week. It, in case you didn’t know, is the pulsar map that was on Pioneer 10/11 as well as on the Voyager golden record. The lines and dashes represent binary code which spell out the frequency and period of the radio wave emissions (which is unique to each pulsar), and the longer line represents the distance from our star to the center of the Milky Way. Supposedly, if an alien civilization were to find the record they could find our solar system based on the 14 pulsars that have been mapped out. A tribute to Carl…and I suppose it will come in handy someday when finding my way back home.

Don’t forget.

Don’t forget.