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Henrietta Swan Leavitt

The parallax method used to measure the distances to nearby stars, pioneered by Bessel and others could only be used on stars closer than 100 light years away.  But most stars and other galaxies are far beyond that distance. The key for finding the distance to stars much further away was discovered by Henrietta Swan Leavitt who worked at Harvard College Observatory as a “computer,” one of several women paid 25 to 30 cents per hour to extract data from thousands of photographic plates.

Unfortunately stars are not the same intrinsic brightness (or luminosity), so it is impossible to tell if a star appears dim because it’s far away, or because it doesn’t put out much light. The key for finding the distance to stars was discovered by Henrietta Swan Leavitt who worked at Harvard College Observatory as a “computer,” one of several women paid 25 to 30 cents per hour to take data from thousands of photographic plates.

Leavitt’s assignment was to identify variable stars, which are stars that change in brightness over a few hours, days, or weeks. To do this she would compare two photos of a star field taken a few days or weeks apart. She used an instrument called a blink comparator that flips back and forth quickly between the two images so that a variable star shows up as a flashing spot. With this method she found more than 2,400 variable stars.

Leavitt became curious about whether there might be a relationship between the brightness of a variable star and the length of its period (how long it takes for the star to get brighter, dimmer, then brighter again). That was difficult because she did not know the intrinsic brightness of any given variable. She solved the problem by restricting her search to a particular kind of variable star known as Cepheid variables that reside in the Small Magellanic Cloud—a distant star cluster. She reasoned that all stars in the cluster must be approximately the same distance from Earth.

Her hunch paid off. Leavitt discovered 25 Cepheid variables in the cluster and created a graph showing the maximum brightness of each star and the length of its period. As she suspected, there was a clear relationship. Brighter stars had longer periods. All that was needed to find actual distances was to find the distance to just one nearby Cepheid variable. A few years later a team of astronomers did just that, making it possible to measure the distance to any Cepheid.

Image Credit: Dana Berry/NASA

This is an orchestral arrangement of the main theme for my personal project, Elancia Chronicles. and I worked pretty hard on this for a few months on and off between our other projects.
Both of us did several minutes of the arrangement, and added parts to the other one’s bits of the arrangement. It resulted in a pretty dynamic tune.

Since this is the tune that is supposed to introduce readers to the first batch of characters, and the world as it is right at the start of the story (the story spans 3 years, so the world will change and evolve as it goes) we decided to make it long, and let it cover all sorts of moods. The beginning is more adventerous and orchestral, while later on, it becomes more choir oriented and moody. At the end, everything comes together.
Guitar is a constant through the song, as the main character of the first story is a guitarist.

We wanted the song to feel both familiar to people who grew up on JRPGs in the 90s, and fresh at the same time, to show that the soundtrack is going to be very diverse. Of course, you all on Soundcloud have heard just how outlandish the soundtrack gets later on (techno, R&B, rock, country, and more are all wrapped up in it, along with pretty much everything else I’ve ever wanted to try) but for people just starting off the story, this seems like a good way to sum up everything.


  • Track Name

    Everyone From Final Fantasy Victory!

  • Artist

    Nobuo Uematsu (Arr. Kamiyana)

This game’s winner is!: Everyone From Final Fantasy!

(|’a`)/ Ebeyone, litewrally eeevewryone fwrom all Final Famtasy gaemes. You literally play Sm4sh asa mob obf people, a rippling, fighty cloud obf behlts an’ zippers, wif katamari-esque corntro-

"Destiny is destiny."

(-‘a`)- make it happem, Ninstenqaredonix!!


A Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” refuels from a Ilyushin Il-78 “Midas”.

The Tu-160 was introduced in 1987 in response to the American B-1 bomber.  the B-1, however, was considered by some in the U.S military to already be obsolete, due to the ineffectiveness of hi speed, low level tactics against Soviet air defense.  It’s swing-wing design and overall airframe layout has a striking resemblance to the B-1, although it is much larger.   

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