By davidc

MonoMonday: Luminous Solar System

Random_angel (+ granddaughter) has chosen "luminous" for today's MM challenge. As I pondered what to blip, my Editor came up trumps as usual: she dug out a set of luminous planets and stars!

So I laid them out on a black background and looked for somewhere dark to photograph them after "charging them up" with light. That meant using the floor of the smallest room in the house as that hasn't any windows (so it's lucky we have two thereof as that put one out of action for a while!). As you can see from the camera data, they weren't very bright - this is a 2 minute exposure at f4 and 1000 ISO.

I carefully checked the order of the planets from the sun outwards as I only knew for certain from Mercury to Mars. So here we have Mercury, Venus, Earth (in the thumbnail), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006, poor thing). The stars were all the same size and I just scattered them about, although I enlarged our star (the sun) in the centre.

In my reading I discovered some fascinating facts I didn't know. Firstly, from 1979 to early 1999, Pluto had actually been the 8th planet from the sun but it crossed Neptune's path on Feb 11th 1999. Secondly, astronomers are apparently still hunting for another possible planet (?Planet X), after mathematical evidence of its existence was revealed in Jan 20th 2016. Its existence is inferred by its gravitational effects on other objects in the Kuiper Belt: it seems to have a mass about 10 times that of earth. An alternative theory is that it's actually a primordial black hole, formed soon after the Big Bang, which our solar system later captured. Well I never!! The things which blipping triggers us to look up!

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