Declassified: The True Tale of Project Orion.
Artist's conception of an Orion vessel about to depart from Mars orbit. (Credit: NASA). Ever wondered if man will ever head to the stars? Certainly, the magnitude… [more]
Astro-Challenge: Daytime Planet Spotting!
A daytime Venus post-occultation in 2007! (Photo by Author). Here’s a fine neighborhood experiment to try. Next time the Moon is around 1st or Last Quarter, show… [more]
Astro-Event: What’s in a Name? Black & Blue Moons through 2020.
The August 2011 Full Moon rising as seen from Astroguyz HQ. (Photo by Author). (Note: This week’s lunar-related event is a fitting tribute to the life of astronaut… [more]
30.10.2012: A Weekend of Apocalyptic Fun at the NecronomiCon!
How many Baktuns in a Pectun again? (Credit: Stone Hill.org). The “busy ‘Con season” for Astroguyz has arrived. Sure, it may have came and went with only one event,… [more]
Week 4-The Quest for Dark Skies: Into the Appalachians.
A very slender Moon... (All photos by Author). The mountains always beckon. In the end, all astronomers must heed the call of dark, pristine skies and head into… [more]
The Top Astronomy Events for 2013.
It has arrived. Welcome to our official guide to the fascinating, the unique, and the down right bizarre in the realm of astronomy coming to a sky near you in 2013.… [more]
On sale now! Feeling lost in the world of quantum physics? It has been said that only a few human brains on the planet truly understand the bizarre world on the quantum scale. It is true that it involves a fair amount of “mathiness” to even grasp much more than the basic predictions of quantum [...]
On pre-order sale now (release date: May 16th, 2017) Note: the 2017 Nebula Awards ceremony is held this year on May 20th in Pittsburgh, PA. What’s up in sci-fi? Every year, all of science fiction-dom holds their collective breath for that most prestigious of Awards: the Nebulas. Along with the Hugo Awards, the Nebulas (Nebulae?) [...]
Avast: a great daytime comet. Photo by author; from the Greenwich Observatory collection. Turns out, finding fuzzballs isn’t easy. If you’re like us, you’ve been spending many a morning hunting for two faint periodic comets: 45P/Honda-Markov-Padušáková and 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresàk. Yes, they’re both making close passes in 2017 as many a website have exclaimed, but they’re also [...]
Going, going… Credit Stellarium What a difference a few 100 meters can make. On the night of March 5th, 2017, the waxing crescent Moon occulted the bright star Aldebaran. This event was well placed for North American viewers… heck, it even occurred over the weekend on a Saturday night, to boot. We even managed to [...]
Operation Teapot. Credit: LLNL It was the worst of times. If you’re over 40, you remember the good old/bad old days of the Cold War as a kid, and the sort of inevitable feeling that the world would end in a nuclear cataclysm. And though that existential threat still exists, the fear of the Evil [...]
On sale now! Get set for a romp into a trans-humanist future of epic proportions. We’re talking about this week’s review of Spear of Light by Brenda Cooper, out now from Pyr Books. The sequel to Edge of Dark and the second book in her Glittering Edge duology. Spear of Light brings the battle between [...]
Keck revisits the rings of Uranus. Credit: NASA/JPL I still remember the announcement, 40 years ago today. Of course, news flowed lots slower in those days, so my eight year old self caught it days later, on one of those news shorts they would run between Saturday morning cartoons. Uranus, it turned out, has a [...]
Under ceaseless skies… Photo by author. Astronomy forces us to think big. And not just big in terms of gazillions of miles of distance, but also in terms of time. The stars in the Milky Way galaxy, for example, are swirling around the galactic core to the tune of one orbit every quarter of a [...]
An astronomy classic! Did you know that there are oodles of books out on the web for free? And no, we’re not talking about Amazon Prime, but sites such as Project Gutenberg where stuff that’s long since been in the public domain is free to download as a pdf for off-line perusal on ye ole [...]
Enter the Dragon… Credit: NASA Ready to catch a space launch? Don’t happen to live on the Florida Space Coast? We’ve got a shot coming right up tomorrow morning, with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket departing from the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow, February 18th with CRS-10 at 15:01 Universal Time (UT)/10:01 AM EST. That’s not [...]
On sale now! Chances are, you’ve never heard of one of the great minds of the 20th century. Physicist Richard Garwin was behind some of the major turning points of the past half century, though we’ll have to admit, we’d never heard of him, either. 88 years old now, Garwin was not only at the [...]
In our natural habitat. So, how are YOU holding up? Today marks two weeks since the inauguration/coronation of El Presidente, and like many, it’s tough to keep the old nose to the grindstone and focus on writing. This isn’t the usual distraction of kids/TV/yard guys around the house that’s easily shut out with ear defenders [...]
The Castle Bravo nuclear blast from 1954. Credit: The United States Department of Energy. How close are you to an existential crisis? In the case of humanity, we might just reach a tipping point this week. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will make their yearly ‘Doomsday Clock’ announcement this coming Thursday live at 10:00 [...]
On sale now! Ever wondered why this reality is as strange as it is? Certainly, the multi-verse idea is one very possible solution, especially in light of the worldwide political wackiness we’ve experienced in 2016. And former Los Angeles detective Harry Priest (Atticus Pope, or at least, that’s who he thinks he was before the [...]
Our trusty solar scope… I planned to get a flu shot on return to the States, honest. We alluded last week to our recent (and still lingering) ’bout with pneumonia. Yup. We caught the flu that was burning right through the expat community in Spain just before leaving, and despite our valiant efforts, it decided [...]
Catching the first sunrise of 2017. We’re back! The last week of 2016 saw us successfully make the jump back across the big pond that is the Atlantic Ocean back to the United States. It also saw us contract a flu that was sweeping the Spanish expat community of Jimena de la Frontera just days [...]
On the flight… We’re back! 48 hours and one military hop later, and we’re back in the US of A. From the wild hills of Andalusia Spain, we now once again find ourselves in the land of strip malls, and Ihops, all in time for the looming Christmas weekend. Unlike our outward leg earlier this [...]
Launch of a Pegasus XL rocket. Credit: NASA. Wanna see a unique rocket launch? We’ve got one coming right up later today, when NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) takes to the skies. But this isn’t any ordinary rocket launch; CYGNSS will deploy from the belly of a specially designed L-1011 aircraft Stargazer on [...]
An existential crisis of a year… So, how did your year go? If your a member of humanity on planet Earth, 2016 might have been, well, a bit of a downer. Yeah, we’re talking about the major downturn of things for the worse, politically speaking. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Great, yet another pundit, [...]
A closeup screenshot of a double shadow transit in 2017. What’s new under the Sun? There’s certainly no shortage of astronomy apps out there competing for your hard-earned cyber dollar. Increasingly, these pocket planetarium sky programs are also showing up at public star parties, as glowing mobile phones now punctuate the darkness, waving at the [...]
On sale now! Note: This week, we’re hearkening back to ‘Classic Astroguyz’ with a book review. We largely stopped doing reviews since we started traveling long term over this past year, as it’s tough to receive hard cover advance copies… but hey, we can still read pdf versions, and will still conduct reviews of electronic [...]
On sale now! Hey, we wrote another story! This week, we thought we’d offer the first 1,000 words of our latest eclipse-fueled scifi tale Class Field Trip for our very favorite price: free. Like what you see? You can read the entire tale here. And we’ve got lots more science fiction tales at our Amazon [...]
Will this scene ever become reality? Image credit: SpaceX Would you go to Mars? Last week, SpaceX’s Elon Musk made a seemly bold announcement, as he outlined how humanity could colonize Mars. It was exhilarating stuff, for sure. Elon’s the closest thing we have to a real-life Tony Stark, one of the new generation of [...]
A thing of the past? What does the near future of human civilization have in store? If there’s one thing we’re terrible at as a species, it’s predicting change. Looking at predictions of the past is an instructive exercise in the folly of attempting to prognosticate. The biggest hazard appears to be the mere projection [...]
Charming lane, or major thoroughfare? And here, we thought we knew all there was of US vs UK culture. Sure, we knew a truck is a lorry, a boot was a trunk, and the whole fries-are-chips, chips-are-crisps thing. We’d accidentally avoided long stays in the UK in our 20+ plus years in the U.S. Air [...]
Probing the universe… or is it the other way around? It’s a chicken and egg question that comes around every so often in cosmology. Were we created to live in the Universe, or was the cosmos fine-tuned for us? That is, was everything we see arranged just so we had to arise? We’re currently reading [...]
My view for the next few months… There. I said it. One sure way to carry through with an intended goal, is to announce it to the world. Tell no one, and you always have a viable way out. In a way, keeping something under wraps can doom a project to failure. Hey, I finally [...]
The humans were here. (Photo by author) Are we actually living in a new geological era? Last month, the Anthropocene Working Group met in Oslo, Norway and made the tentative recommendation that we are now living in the Anthropocene Era, an age where humans are the predominant drivers of change on the planet.
Waiting on the train… How do you get from point A to B? This past weekend, we turned in our rental car and made the transition from dangerous foreign driver in a strange land, to being a wandering, car-dodging tourist on foot in urban London.
An artist’s conception of the strange surface of Proxima Centauri B. Image credit: ESO By now, you’ve heard the news. Yesterday, astronomers at the European Southern Observatory made the formal announcement that we expected was forthcoming: our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, hosts an exoplanet. And of course, the SEO-hungry media quickly morphed the announcement from [...]
Time to contemplate the cosmos… All right. I know that, by now, much good ink (real and cyber) has been spilled over KIC 8462852. I also know that I’m probably not the very last science writer to turn our attention towards this strange star, drudged up in the Kepler Space Telescope data. And things have [...]
Passing the time in Cardiff, Wales. Seriously, can we just move on to 2017 already? There’s a great scene in the British comedy series Misfits where a time traveler accidentally botches a plan to kill Hitler and drops his mobile phone during the attempt. You’d think the Fuhrer would’ve built a concentration camp just for [...]
Standing amid stones… Well, we took the leap late last week, and jumped north into the (currently) United Kingdom. The post-Brexit jump for the U.S. dollar, and the accompanying fall of the price of rental cars and airline tickets fueled this decision, along with a desire to escape the August summer heat in Morocco.
The Sun sets on another productive (?) day. It’s a daily battle that every writer must struggle with. There’s a great scene in the British TV sitcom Spaced, where Daisey sits down and prepares to engage in the act of writing. As she looks around her, she sees chaos. Dishes needing to be washed. Pots [...]
Goats… in Trees! Headed to the beach in Morocco this summer? Our recent adventures along the country’s Atlantic coast brought us to the “Windy City of Africa” Essaouira. And, as is always the case, our thoughts rapidly turned to the eternal question of ‘where to run?’ without twisting an ankle.
Exploring Azemmour. Greetings from sunny Morocco. We fully planned this week on writing up a full runner’s guide to El Jadida, we really did. We did make a short stop there for five days earlier this week, en route from Casablanca to Essaouira. And we even did a few reconnaissance runs around our suburban neighborhood. [...]
Say what? (Photo by author). Sometimes, we’re traveling so fast and passing through regions with several languages, that we never do learn them properly. Such is our current predicament in Morocco, a glorious mix of French, Arabic and a dash of indigenous Berber mixed in. Now, we’ll admit that we’ve taken classes in both French [...]