Barnard’s Star has a Hoth. No Tauntauns, though.

In their presentation, the researchers jokingly compared the planet to Hoth – the icy planet made famous in one of the “Star Wars” movies, when Luke Skywalker’s steed (a fictional lizard species called a Tauntaun) dies and he must stay warm by burrowing into its intestines.

Yay, science. And only six light years away!

Which, since Alpha Centauri at four light years away only takes 137,000 years to get to, would only take…er…just a few ten thousand more years…Hmm…

So when do we invent warp drives?

www.seeker.com/space/newly-found-planet-could-host-primitive-life-study-suggest

Planet Nine may not be a planet? Um. Right.

A new paper suggests that the so-called “Planet Nine” – thought responsible for the screwy orbits of Trans-Neptune objects – might actually be a really big disc.

Um. Yeah. Okay.

How about we actually focus on technology that will allow us to construct spaceships so we can go out that far in person to find out? Theoretical astrophysics is all fine and dandy, but how does this help our species expand out into space?

link.medium.com/dzXxC7X8YT

The Stainless Steel Musk Strikes Again!

He described the concept as a “stainless-steel sandwich” that can “bleed water…fuel” through tiny holes on its surface to keep it cool as it enters the Martian atmosphere at breakneck speeds.

screen shot 2019-01-23 at 2.17.40 pm

Not sure, but I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to travel to Mars inside a sandwich…

www.inverse.com/article/52605-starship-spacex-elon-musk-stainless-steel

From dust to dust — asteroid, that is

517_bennubeautyshot_main

What came before the planets? What are the origins of life? And how much of a threat do asteroids pose to life on Earth today?

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that asteroids have (or used to have) hydrocarbons. If they have amino acids and nucleic acids…

Hmm. Sounds like a science fiction story based on science…

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/asteroid-sample-missions-hayabusa2-ryugu-osiris-rex-bennu?tgt=nr

New Year 2019: Year in Review / Preview

Yes, it’s been yet one more year of writing, rejection, and reflection.

But let’s focus on the writing! Fortunately, more is on the way in 2019.

  • My science fiction novella Adam’s Stepsons continued to receive awards. Which is why I’m giving it away for free starting tomorrow!

That’s right: If you forgot to give a gift to a friend, relative, or neighbor, you’ll have your chance to gift a free ebook for five straight 24-hour Earthdays in January. I’d post the actual dates, but due to the laws of physics the dates change depending on where in the universe you are.

Titled Destiny in the Future, this 240+ page book also features a preface and introduction by yours truly that also analyzes and places it in proper time/place/societal context. All proceeds from this book will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Check back here for a preview in February 2019.

  • The long-awaited novel Children of Pella will be available by Summer 2019. The first draft has been beta-tested and as a result, three additional chapters are being added. The first in a series of (probably) three books about a new mankind settling Mars, the story revolves around a group of misfit asteroid hunters facing discrimination and political intrigue as the old nation-state order on Earth and the Moon collapses.

Check back here for free downloadable previews in March 2019. Advance review copy readers will get a free ebook and paperback copy. More info on the way!

 

The Ultima Thule Awakens! (Well, OK, New Horizons Awakens, Fine…)

It’s been a long 13 years.

Remember New Horizons? The Little Probe That Could?

No?

You know, the photos of Pluto, Formerly Known As the Ninth Planet?

Doesn’t ring a bell?

Hmpf. Go read about about it.

Anyway, by sheer chance, New Horizons happens to be close enough to grab some pictures of an object in the Kuiper Belt (which looks like KEW-per or KWEE-per but is actually pronounced KAI-per and is completely unrelated to former SF Giants player and current announcer Duane).

Ever wanted to see a peanut-shaped tiny rock (or rocks)

Only half a day left!

Read all about it, uh, pretty much anywhere online, really:

The Verge

Space.com

BBC

Globe and Mail

WIRED

Earthrise: Fifty years and counting (Don’t count on it)

“To really think about ourselves as citizens of Earth is something that I think we’re still working toward,” Jacob Haqq-Misra, a research scientist at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, told Space.com. “[Seeing this image] may be enjoyable and fun and awe-inspiring, and you might think about it later that day, but I don’t think most people have a perception of ‘I’m a citizen of Earth’ when they’re driving to work.”

He’s curious how potential future space developments — establishing a human presence on Mars, or discovering extraterrestrial intelligence, for example — might make that Earthling perspective easier to grasp by creating a group to contrast it against.

That’s us: the forever simian, defining ourselves in contrast to what we aren’t as opposed to what we could be.

So what would happen if some of us became Martians, Venusians, or Jovians? Hmmm…

www.space.com/42842-earthrise-apollo-8-photograph-50-years-later.html