The myth that the Earth was flat persisted far longer than it should have. Philosophers and scientists suggested the Earth was round as far back as Pythagoras, or perhaps even further, and Eratosthenes even calculated its circumference with decent accuracy in the second century BC. It went on for centuries more, ultimately culminating in that most basic satisfying piece of evidence: the photos of the Earth as seen from space. Not even the most scientifically illiterate person could now doubt the facts. Earth is a sphere.
But why is the Earth, like all other planets, a sphere? Not to be evasive, but the simplest answer is: because they’re planets. When trying to come up with a mass threshold to differentiate planets from smaller bodies like asteroids, one of the primary rubrics is whether the body is massive enough to hold a spherical shape. So, there’s a giveaway: the answer is related to mass - and the most obvious force related to mass is, of course, gravity.
The reason planets are spherical is because the mass of the whole body creates a gravity well that is theoretically centered on the mass-center of the body itself. An irregularly shaped protoplanet, say with a lobe of heavy material sticking out in one direction, might have its gravitational center pulled away from the physical center of the shape. Over millions and billions of years, though, the strong pull down in all directions evens out those bumps.
The constituents of Earth might seem solid, but they are malleable under so much strain, and can flow like putty. In essence, gravity slowly deforms a planet to turn the gravitational center into the physical center. On a long enough timeline, the slow, even pull down the gravity well compresses a planet down to the most compact distribution around the center - in other words, a sphere.
Asteroids are often very oddly shaped with multiple lobes or jutting arms. This is because they are too small to create enough gravity to compress themselves down into a ball. Compared with the internal forces that hold matter together, gravity is very weak. A body must grow very large to exert enough gravity to overcome those forces. Many comets are much closer to spherical, however, because it takes so much less force to change the shape of ice than of rock.
WHY DO PEOPLE CALL IT FUCK, MARRY, KILL WHEN THEY COULD CALL IT BED, WED, BEHEAD
Or, as King Henry VIII likes to call it, a productive evening.
Snowbowl, Flagstaff, Arizona - 3-2-14
Apparently this is "The clearest photo of Mercury ever taken."
I spent way more than I care to talk about on this set of dice at Pax East. They’re carved from amethyst so they’re heavy and absolutely stunning from every angle. I don’t even know if I can bring myself to actually play with them.
I have a MIGHTY NEED. Of course I’d want them carved from Ruby, or Garnet…Or Onyx.
I was talking to my boyfriend about this and was like ‘well…i love these…but what other gems/crystals’ and I decided if it wasn’t too fragile I’d love to see these done in Opal
“Can I touch your butt” in Elvish.
This is so useful
No, this is not “Can I touch your butt” in Elvish. This is “Can I touch your butt?” in English, transcribed using the letters of the Elvish alphabet. There is a difference.
In Elvish, the letters of the alphabet correspond to sounds, not to words. The above text spells it out using one symbol to represent one letter of the original English, which is incorrect:
- c-a-n i t-o-u-c-h y-o-u-r b-u-t-t
If you really want to spell out an English phrase using the Elvish alphabet, you would do so phonetically, which would basically equate to one symbol per phoneme (sound):
- c-a-n a-i t-u-ch y-o-r b-u-t
If you actually wanted to write “Can I touch your butt?” in Elvish, one (very rough) translation would be:
Annog nin daf pladan tele ci?
Which, in Sindarin Elvish, roughly translates to, “Would you give me permission to touch your rear?”
Written in tengwar (the Elvish alphabet), it would look like this:
Sorry for the blurry quality.
damn, the lotr fandom doesnt fuck around
not to mention LOOK HOW POLITE THIS WAS
LIKE GOOD LORD
OLDEST FANDOMS REALLY ARE POLITEST
how much do islands cost i want one
Less than a college education
what the fuck
The paranoid hermit in me loves this just as much as the elegant lady in me does.
The Wrath of the Darkwraith: (x)
My daughter has chosen the Dark Side
Every time I encounter this video, I hit replay so many times it’s ridiculous.