Monday, March 22, 2010

Silvery Moon;

Please click the picture.

The Moon
The moon has a face like the clock on the wall
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite and the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. The average centre-to-centre distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,403 kilometres (238,857 mi), about thirty times the diameter of the Earth. The common centre of mass of the system (the barycentre) is located at about 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi)—a quarter the Earth's radius—beneath the surface of the Earth. The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days(the orbital period), and the periodic variations in the geometry of the Earth–Moon–Sun system are responsible for the phases of the Moon, which repeat every 29.5 days (the synodic period).
The Moon's diameter is 3,474 kilometres (2,159 mi), a little more than a quarter of Earth's. Thus, the Moon's surface area is less than a tenth of the Earth (about a quarter of Earth's land area), and its volume is about 2 percent that of Earth. The pull of gravity at its surface is about 17 percent of that at the Earth's surface.
The Moon is the only celestial body on which human beings have made a manned landing. While the Soviet Union's Luna programmewas the first to reach the Moon with unmanned spacecraft, the United States' NASA Apollo program achieved the only manned missions to date, beginning with the first manned lunar mission by Apollo 8 in 1968, and six manned lunar landings between 1969 and 1972–the first being Apollo 11 in 1969. Human exploration of the Moon temporarily ceased with the conclusion of the Apollo program, although a few robotic landers and orbiters have been sent to the Moon since that time.

The proper English name for Earth's natural satellite is, simply, the Moon. Moon is a Germanic word, related to the Latin mensis and Ancient Greek (menas) both meaning month, and (Mene) (alternate name for Selene in Ancient Greek) It is ultimately a derivative of the Proto-Indo-European root me-, also represented in measure(time), with reminders of its importance in measuring time in words derived from it like Monday, month and menstrual. The related adjective is lunar, as well as an adjectival prefix seleno- and suffix -selene the Ancient Greek word for the Moon). In English, the word moon exclusively meant "the Moon" until 1665, when it was extended to refer to the recently discovered natural satellites of other planets. Subsequently, these objects were given distinct names to avoid confusion. The Moon is occasionally referred to by its Latin name Luna.

Interested in facts about the moon? Please click here
some excerpts from Wikipedia

Photo original TS

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Devochka....Diamonds are a girls best friend;

Devotchka, (Little girl) the oldest diamond mine in Siberia.

1897 the Tsar ordered exploration of Siberia for precious metals. An estimated 40'000 people died looking for jewels in the ground that could be polished to fit into rings, tiaras, bracelets, jewellery boxes and glittering eggs for the "Nobility"!

In mineralogy, diamond is the allotrope of carbon where the carbon atoms are arranged in an isometric-hexoctahedral crystal lattice.
After graphite, diamond is the second most stable form of carbon. Its hardness and high dispersion of light make it useful for industrial applications and jewelry.
It is the hardest known naturally occurring mineral. It is possible to treat regular diamonds under a combination of high pressure and high temperature to produce diamonds that are harder than the diamonds used in hardness gauges.

Diamonds are specifically renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities; they make excellent abrasives because few substances can scratch them. As a result they hold a polish extremely well and retain their lustre. Approximately 130 million carats (26,000 kg (57,000 lb)) are mined annually, with a total value of nearly USD $9 billion, and about 100,000 kg (220,000 lb) are synthesized annually.

Diamonds have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons in ancient India. Their usage in engraving tools also dates to early human history.
Popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century because of increased supply, improved cutting and polishing techniques, growth in the world economy, and innovative and successful advertising campaigns.

Diamonds are thought to have been first recognized and mined in India, where significant alluvial deposits of the stone could then be found many centuries ago along the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. Diamonds have been known in India for at least 3000 years but most likely 6000 years
The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek ἀδάμας (adámas), "unbreakable, untamed", from ἀ- (a-), "un-" + δαμάω (damáō), "I overpower, I tame" and is the real-world origin of myths about a superhard metal called adamant.

In 1813, Humphry Davy used a lens to concentrate the rays of the sun on a diamond in an atmosphere of oxygen, and showed that the only product of the combustion was carbon dioxide, proving that diamond is composed of carbon. Later, he showed that in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen, diamond is converted to graphite.

The most familiar usage of diamonds today is as gemstones used for adornment, a usage which dates back into antiquity.
The dispersion of white light into spectral colors, is the primary gemological characteristic of gem diamonds.
In the twentieth century, experts in the field of gemology have developed methods of grading diamonds and other gemstones based on the characteristics most important to their value as a gem.
Four characteristics, known informally as the four Cs, are now commonly used as the basic descriptors of diamonds: these are carat, cut, color, and clarity.

Some excerpts courtesy Wikipedia