Saturnian Rhombic Dodecahedron

Rhombic Dodeca

The image of Saturn was taken by NASA, and I put it on the faces of a rhombic dodecahedron, and created this image, with a program called Stella 4d. You can try this program for free at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.

Seven Moving Lights in the Sky, the Seven Days of the Week, and Other Significant Sets of Seven

days of week and lights in the sky

Have you ever wondered why the number seven appears in all the places it does? We have seven days in the week. Churches teach about the seven deadly sins, and “seven heavens” is a common phrase. There are seven wonders of the ancient world, and seven of the modern world. The number seven has appeared in many other socially significant ways, in societies all over the world, for millennia.

It is no coincidence, I think, that the ancients were able to see seven lights in the sky which are either visible in daylight, or move against the background of “fixed” stars at night. They ascribed great significance to what went on in the sky, since they viewed “the heavens” as the realm of the gods in which they believed. The evidence for this lives on today, in the names of the seven days of the week, and numerous other sets of seven, all over the world.

It is possible to see the planet Uranus without a telescope, but it is very dim, and you have to know exactly where to look. No one noticed it until after the invention of the telescope. If Uranus were brighter, and had been seen in numerous ancient societies, I have no doubt that we would have eight days in the week, etc., rather than seven.

Oceans, Further from the Sun

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Oceans, Further from the Sun

Since earth’s oceans will be boiled away by the sun’s increasing luminosity, as I mentioned in my last post, we’ll eventually need to find other oceans elsewhere — or learn to do without water, which seems even less likely.

The news today is running a story about a subsurface ocean under Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. Here, in an obviously-photoshopped picture from one of those news stories, it’s shown in an impossible location, next to the U.K., for the purposes of size comparison. In addition to this moon, subsurface water is expected to exist on Titan, another moon of Saturn, as well as three of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede.

The Jovian system doesn’t get closer than 4.2 AUs from earth, and Saturn’s moons are further out still — but at least our descendants do have other places to go, once our oceans become too hot to stay liquid. They’re expected to be boiled away, by the sun’s increasing luminosity, in ~1.5 billion years.

Rhombic TriacontaSaturn

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Rhombic TriacontaSaturn

One of many photographs of Saturn provided by the Cassini spacecraft, and then projected onto the faces of a rhombic triacontahedron with the software available at http://www.software3d.com/stella.php.

Two Saturnian Moons Adorning a Rhombic Dodecahedron

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Two Saturnian Moons Adorning a Rhombic Dodecahedron

The larger moon shown, Saturn’s largest, is Titan, recognizable by its hazy atmosphere. The smaller one, which looks more like our own moon, is Rhea.

This image was captured by the Cassini spacecraft, which has been investigating the Saturnian system now for years.

Projecting the images onto the faces of a rhombic dodecahedron was done with Stella 4d, software you may try for free at http://www.software3d.com/stella.php.