Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Astronomy’

What was the fly-by flight plan through “The Planets” by Gustav Holst?

One of my favorite pieces of classical music is “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. Here’s my story on that: I was a fan of the Japanese musician Isao Tomita, and I bought his “The Planets” record way back in 1976 when I was just an impressionable teenager. I was listening to a lot of synthesizer music back at the time. Otherwise, I was not educated enough to know the first thing about Holst.

Much later in life, I bought a CD of Planets by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Recently I started a playlist of several different symphonic versions. Indeed, There are a lot of good ones to choose from all over YouTube … but I will share this recent one with you today. This is from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, recorded live at the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore, on November 8th 2019.

I love it of course! The Planets is kind of like a “concept album” that a rock group might make. Each part, or “movement” is a musical description of each planet. Let me also share with you, this gallery of “The Planets” album covers. Do you own any of these?

Before I proceed much farther, I also want to share this video from YT user Classics Explained. His video  is a whimsical history about how Holst came to write “The Planets”. CE vividly and accurately describes how each movement relates to each planet musically.

This music history got me thinking about the ORDER of the planets in the symphony. The order of Host’s planets are Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. This order does not seem to make sense at first — and where is Earth, anyway? If one were to navigate in a space craft, and view and explore Mars (the fourth planet in our solar system) first, then how or why would one go back to Venus (the second planet) next?  The order should be: Mercury, Venus, (Earth), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Part of the wrong order of the planets may have to do with the order that Holst wrote the movements. He wrote “Mars: The Bringer of War” first, and “Mercury: The Winged Messenger” was written last.

So … what ever was the flight plan through “The Planets” by Gustav Holst? The only way I can excuse the order when I listen now, is to envision this travel plan scenario:

Our craft zips from Earth out to Mars first. Modern planetary explorers are in a hurry to explore and colonize Mars, so it does not surprise me that the planet is explored first. Our craft circles Mars, but not before dropping two surface probe-droids — which land, then drive around Mars to measure, dig and modify the Martian surface. The two land probes may even be in competition with each other, and may even have “wargames” at the surface. Our spaceship uses the gravity of Mars to fling our craft back to the other side … the inner side … of the solar system. We will use a GRAVITY ASSIST – similar to how the Cassini spacecraft used the gravity slingshot technique to zip around  Earth twice to get to Saturn.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah … man those cats can really swing!

Our ship will need more speed to travel the outer solar system, so our spaceship next flies AROUND Venus. (The surface is too hot to land anyway.) The path around Venus gives it a gravity boost – and propels it rapidly to Mercury, where our craft picks up even more speed through the fastest planet’s gravity.

After that gravity boost, our ship begins the long journey to the outer solar system, eventually graduating to the pull of Jupiter. At this point, our journey is in the correct order. We get flung around Jupiter and voyage out to Saturn where after a dance there, we are flung out to Uranus, then finally Neptune.

Oh —  I forgot to tell you – our craft does not go back to Earth. I probably should have said something. We keep going as the music to “Neptune” fades. Oh Ok … OK … if you really, really need to go back, listen to “Space Trucking” by Deep Purple for a straight path back. DP song linked here. Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah … the freaks said: man those cats can really swing! And yes, Bob, I digress once again.

Do you know what would have been a hoot?  if Host had wrote music for Earth, or perhaps even Earth’s moon – Luna. Why not a special movement for the Asteroid Belt? There was no planet Pluto at the time Host wrote, so we cannot blame him for not including it.

Remembder to use the “gravity assist”!!!

Starlight: Forty-four light years it has been! Do you have a favorite “Planets” album? Please share with me in the Comments!

Suggested Links:

https://www.classicalmpr.org/story/2018/09/27/for-holsts-the-planets-one-fans-online-quest-to-rank-every-recording-is-out-of-this-world

https://petersplanets.wordpress.com/

 

Pokémon Nicknames: Swablu and Altaria

lisia_and_ali__the_altaria__pokemon_oras_cosplay_by_firecloak-d976ruh

Swablu (in Japanese: チルット  “Tyltto”) is a dual Normal-Flying type Pokémon. It is termed the “Cotton-Bird” Pokémon.

Swablu evolves into Altaria (in Japanese: チルタリス  “Tyltalis”) at level 35, where it becomes a Dragon-Flying dual type, and is dubbed the “Humming Pokémon”. (Humming? … What?)

swablu_n_altaria

Altaria can Mega Evolve into Mega Altaria using the Altarianite.

mega_altaria_by_kamashei-d7un2gh

Although Swablu is a “cotton” Pokémon, its wings resemble clouds. Fair weather cumulus clouds are often described as having a cotton-ball appearance. This flying-type would appear to be able to mingle amongst the puffy convective clouds. I often give Swablu and/or Altaria  a cloud type name … but more on that later. Enjoy this Swablu cosplay for now …

The “blu” in Sawblu coordinates with its “sky-blue” color. This sky-blu color is sometimes called “Tar Heel blue” as this shade of light blue is the official color of The University of North Carolina. Thus I have named them “Tar Heel” and “Go Blu”.

tarheel swablu

I sometimes have my head in the clouds.

Female Swablu could be aptly named “Carolina”. Perhaps even “NC” after the famous UNC logo.

tar heel blu

Perhaps “Kitty Hawk” would be a good name for a flying type, as it was the North Carolina beach (seen above) where the Wright Brothers first flew!

In general I like to name Swablu and Altaria after cloud types, such as “Cumulus”, “Cirrus”, “Stratus”, “Nimbus”, “Nimbostratus”, etc.

The mega-evolved Altaria looks like an imposing Cumulonimbus (which just makes it in at twelve letters.) Perhaps you could think of other sky/storm related names – “Hailbringer” for example.

altaria images

Wouldn’t it be cool if Altaria could change its nickname when it mega-evolves? It would be cool if its name could change from cumulus to cumulonimbus as it grew into an intimidating thunderstorm! … what? … oh … you’re not a “weather-geek” you say? Perhaps you will enjoy this Altaria cosplay:

The Japanese-game name Tyltalis is appropriate for a dragon-type. It comes from the old name “Tyl”. This was the traditional name for Epsilon Draconis, a star in the constellation of Draco the Dragon. Thus, you could use the nickname “Epsilon” if you are an “astronomy-geek”!

If you are more of a “computer-geek”, then you might prefer the name “Altair 8800”, which was  released in 1975 as (ahem … cough) … the “first personal computer”.

the_Altair_8800

Yes, it was a personal computer. Even though it did not have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, operating system, or software.  … what good was it for then? Humming?

Maybe try the name “I-Cloud” if you like Apple products.

Names I liked from users on the Name Rater site are Azure, Cloud 9, Cloud Nine, Nubes Arem for Altaria and Q-Tip for Swablu. I also noticed that several cloud names were also submitted … to be insulted …  you know how the name rater is!

tar heels rear

What is the name of your Tar-Heel blue-color Pokémon? Please comment!

References:

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.serebii.net/

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: More Sakura-tan, her HKT48 friends (…and a “shout out” to all sentient beings who dwell in the Oort Cloud!)

sakura light kimono

BOTH ears visible !!! … (faints)

… continuing from last week’s post.  Is it even possible to get enough of Sakura Miyawaki?

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Excuse me — would you like a free sample of Sakura-tan today?

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Samples? Now I need an entire Hawks Town meal. Please enjoy Sakura-tan and her HKT friends here in colorful yukata!

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Starlight: If you read last weeks post, where in the universe will the images I shared be seen? … how far have they traveled?

Well, light travels at 299,792,458 meters per second (or about 670,616,629 mph American). Since last week’s post, Sakura in Orange Yukata, the images from my blog traveled about 112.66 billion miles. Or to express it another way 1,212 AU (the average distance from the Earth to the Sun is defined as one AU – or astronomical units). 

Thus, my images of Sakura are now reaching the Oort Cloud which surrounds the outer part of our solar system. (By way of comparison, Pluto is only 40 AU from the Sun.)  I hope my readers in this theoretical boundary of our solar system are enjoying the post!

 

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