Top Five Green Things in the Universe
Everyone is seeing green today. It’s Roy Biv’s middle name. The universe has a reputation of being very dark, because that’s generally what we see when we look up at night, and for the most part it is black. There is however lots of colour in the universe and so in honour of International Green Day, here’s my top five (plus a bonus) favourite green things in the universe.
1. Auroras - Light is made up of all the colours, but there are various sources of light. When charged particles from the sun hit our planet it’s a beautiful dance of light. The green is mostly the excitement of oxygen molecules. Photo credit: Hugo Løhre
2. Nebulas - Before you head down to your local observatory to look at a nebula, remember that most nebula pictures we see are taken with the best telescope we have, the Hubble, long exposures and using filters to highlight different areas. This beautiful ball of gas is the Wreath Nebula. Photo credit: NASA - Hubble
3. The Sun - Say what? Contrary to what we see from Earth, the sun is actually white, comprising all the colours. Through our atmosphere we see yellow (in those few seconds that we’ve looked at it in our life), through a special filter we can isolate the green light from the sun that generally emanates from the actual surface of our star. Looks badass. Photo credit: NASA - SDO
4. Uranus - First photographed upclose by my favourite spacecraft of all-time Voyager 2 in 1986. It’s a gas giant made up of a lot of methane, which is why its atmosphere has a blue-green hue.
5. Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson - The second in the Mars trilogy which started with Red Mars focuses on humans gong to Mars and attempting to transform it into green Earth twin. Essential reading.
6. BONUS - Green Lantern - Super cool comic about a race of extraterrestrials that are powered by green light, like most DC enterprises that should probably stay as comics and not movies.