I reached the Department of Doing Things Especially Quickly just before 9.00 p.m. The elevator was now reciting the history of the Department the way it was supposed to, which made me glum until I realised it was making up all of the dates.
‘Way to go,’ I whispered to it as I got out. ‘Fight ‘em from within.’
‘Right on’ it whispered back.
Michael Marshall Smith, Only Forward
Update: Legolas’ pupils are about 3.5 cm wide each. Now drawing kawaii Legolas on physics assignment.
And they told you science was no fun.
I’m going to do it. I’m going to hand it in.
Legolas’s pupil size isn’t the problem here, though. 5 leagues is 17.262 miles. The curvature of the Earth means that for a person of average height, the visual horizon is less than three miles away. Even if your vision is telescopic and the atmosphere is perfectly clear, you can’t see around the planet. If they were standing on a hill, it would have to be at LEAST 198 feet above sea level in order to see the horizon at 17.2 miles away, with nothing tall in between. Which, knowing Rohan, isn’t impossible.
But consider: Elven satellite eyeballs.
you mean like
@sidereanuncia it’s back, the post that I can only imagine haunts your nightmares
I shall never find peace.
Also, for what it’s worth, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that the curvature of Middle Earth is the same as that of Earth.
There’s no evidence that Middle Earth curves.
Yeah there is. The Silmarillion states that the world was curved after the fall of Numenor (I believe), preventing access to Valinor. But Elves (among others) can travel the straight path across it.
So middle earth is round, but not for Elves because magic.
So wait, the reason he can see that far is because Elves just have the ability to ignore the curve of the earth? That’s awesome. It also means that no matter how good your optics got, you would always want elf eyes manning the spyglass because they can see arbitrarily far while everybody else is limited by this ‘horizon’ bullshit.
Oh thank God, my poor elf prince has seen too much in this post
Elves are flat-earthers
I’m so chaotic evil on this chart and I have many pairs of fab shades that fit nicely over the glasses
Neutral all the way for me
Beautiful auroras are the result of ions in the solar wind exciting atoms in our atmosphere. This example of magnetohydrodynamics is typically only visible in the far northern and southern reaches of the globe. But in recent years, citizen scientists noticed a new aurora outside the polar regions. It looked like a narrow purple streak with occasional fingers of green. It got nicknamed Steve. Recent satellite measurements show that the aurora seems to be a visible emission from a known phenomenon, subauroral ion drift, which features a rapid flow of charged ions. In Steve’s case, this flow moves nearly 6 km/s and is around 6000 degrees Celsius. Scientists have dubbed the aurora S.T.E.V.E., Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, to honor the original nickname. Learn more from NASA and Science magazine. (Image credit: K. Trinder; NASA GSFC/CIL/K. Kim, source)
“It got nicknamed Steve”
TIL that Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldren couldn’t afford the NASA life insurance policy. Also, before launch, the three signed hundreds of autographs to be given to their families should they not return so they would have valuable memorabilia to sell.
I don’t think most people realize how terrifying the Moon Landings were. They look back at it, and see this great achievement in human spaceflight but don’t grasp the gravity of the situation. (No pun intended)
OP mentions Michael Collins, who is often forgotten. He was the third member of the Apollo 11 mission, who manned the Command Module whilst the other two landed with the Lander Module. People might hear that and thing he got the short end of the stick, but honestly… I’d argue the opposite. At 20:17:40 UTC on Sunday July 20 1969 the Landing Module touched down on the Moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the surface of the Moon before beginning ascent to rendezvous with Michael Collins in the Command Module.
This is where things get unnerving. The thruster used on the Lunar Ascent Propulsion System used a hypergolic fuel, which is a fuel that spontaneously ignites when the fuel and oxidizer meet. Hypergolic fuels are useful for when spacecrafts need reliable ignition or repeated ignitions, however they’re nasty things. The specific fuel used for this thruster was a mixture of Aerozine 50 and Dinitrogen tetroxide. These are incredibly toxic, and more importantly incredibly corrosive. In fact, they are so corrosive that once you fire an engine you essentially have to completely rebuild it in order to reuse it. This means that the engine on the Lunar Ascent Propulsion System had never been fired before.
That engine was their bridge home. If it failed, they would be stranded on the surface of the Moon. As mentioned the Moon Landing lasted roughly 22 hours. For twenty two hours the two astronauts were on the moon, completely unsure if the never-before fired thruster would even fire up. Completely unsure if they’d be able to go home.
This picture shows the entirety of the human race on January 21st, 1969. All of it except the man who took it, that is. Micheal Collins stayed back on the Command Module during the mission to await Aldrin and Armstrong’s return… or potential lack thereof. This earned him the title “The Loneliest Man in the Universe”. For about 50 minutes for each orbit around the Moon Collins would be out of contact with the earth. That means for about 50 minutes during each orbit he’d have no way to contact any other human, completely alone over 230,000 miles from earth. For roughly 50 minutes during each orbit Collins had no clue whether his fellow astronauts were still alive, and them not returning was a very real possibility. Orders were in place that if the other two could not return to the command module that Collins would return alone.
This wasn’t just some disaster protocol either. This was a very real possibility. Both the astronauts, and NASA were very much prepared for it to happen. So much so that Richard Nixon, the president at the time, had a speech prepared if it were to happen. It doesn’t sugar coat it. It starts off
“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to
explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know
that there is no hope for their recovery.“
If that isn’t bone chilling, then I’m not really sure what is.
People often romanticize space exploration, but back then, and even today, well… this is the reality of it. All of that is what astronauts go through.