July 29, 2015

Astronomy Video of the Week: An Amazing Piece of Metal

The tarnished mirror used in Herschel’s 40-foot reflector on display at the London Science Museum.

Image credit: geni/Wikimedia Commons

Your backyard Dobsonian has a mirror that far outperforms the best telescopes of yore.

This week, we thought we’d break the “all-Pluto all the time” mantra for July to bring you a classic from our archives. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 7

On sale now!

And here it is; the final installment of our second book of the Solar Winds series. Be sure to start back on Chapter 1, or better yet, start back with chapter 1 book 1: Scorpius Cell. Or, you can read em all and other original works of scifi in their entirety by yours truly.

Solar Winds: The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 7

“Ah, your beauty can only add to the drab setting here. I told them you were an absolute celestial angel when they questioned me, you know. Why the media doesn’t play that up is beyond…”

“How did you find our base?” Andrea cut in. She resisted every urge to cup her newly injured shoulder in front of him. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Alice Sees Pluto Occult the Sun

Welcome to Pluto!

Image credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI

It was a crazy wild ride last week, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft whizzed through the Pluto system in a historic encounter. We did’t get much work done last Tuesday, that’s for sure. But among the stunning images of Pluto and its moons and amazing close-up flyby sequences, another fascinating observation was made, that we feel is worth mentioning here today. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 6

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And here it is: the penultimate chapter to part two of our solar system-spanning tale. Be sure to start back with story one chapter one, or read ‘em all and more original tales online.

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 6

Once she was safely out of sight, a hooded man at the bar stood up to depart in the opposite direction.  He was heavily augmented, so much so that it was hard to tell where the machine ended and the man began.  Nano-robots coursed through his veins.  Already, data recorded by his ocular implants was being transferred and analyzed by his contractors.  They would be pleased. All that remained now, he decided, was to kill the provider, then hunt for the girl.  He prided himself on carrying out a clean act. It was, after all, why they kept coming back for his services. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Catching Pluto before Pluto

Pluto! (Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI).

You just never know what might be lurking in old data, awaiting discovery.

Or perhaps pre-discovery. As we approach the eve of New Horizon’s historic fly-by of Pluto and its moons tomorrow, we thought we’d turn your attention to a recent amazing find from the Carnegie Observatories’ archive. The collection includes more than 200,000 glass plates of the night sky going all the way back to 1892 from three separate observatories.

[Read more...]

Colonists Launch Pluto One Project as Historic Flyby Nears

Pluto or bust? Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

As Pluto grows ever-sharper in the view of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, so does humankind’s longing to explore the ‘other Red Planet.’

Now, a Florida-based organization calling itself Pluto One is looking to do just that. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 5

on sale now…

Can’t wait ’til next Tuesday for New Horizons’ historic encounter with Pluto? You can explore the future solar system now, with Martian native Andrea Makati and the Zodiac Cartel gang in this week’s installment straight out of the Solar Winds universe. action is heating up, as Andrea heads to Titan and Cronos City. Be sure to start back with chapter 1, or better yet, the first chapter of the first story Scorpius Cell, or better yet read em both and other original tales of scifi in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-the Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 5

The ship proved to be one hell of a mover. Andrea estimated they had covered several million kilometers in just the span of an hour.  She could see Saturn’s phase and orientation change in real time as she watched.  This ship has to have a new anti-matter drive, she thought. Nothing else could power something this compact. I wonder how they contain it? The Professor would love to tear into this rig… [Read more...]

Review: A Murder of Clones by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

On sale now.

Things are definitely heating up in the Retrieval Artist Universe. One thing we arrived back home to after our year-long great American road trip this past year was a stack of books from the sci-fi Anniversary Day saga. We’d read and reviewed Blowback, the second book in the installment, so we eagerly jumped right back in to the eight book series and recently finished A Murder of Clones for review this week. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Plutopalooza-The Wait is Over

Pluto snapping into focus!

Credit: NASA/JHU/APL/SW Research Institute

It has been over nine years.

On January 19th, 2006, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft launched out of Cape Canaveral bound for Pluto. And in just over a week’s time, the key flyby window opens centered on July 14th. Moving over 14 kilometres per second, New Horizons won’t be stopping as it heads on an escape trajectory out of the solar system. Already, we’re getting some amazing views courtesy of New Horizons LORRI imager. Clearly, Pluto and Charon are brave new worlds like no other. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 4

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Things are heating up in the Saturn system this week, as Andrea discovers that the captured Radium Core is a terrible prize that will bring them more than they bargained for. Be sure to check out this week’s installment, or if your new to the series start back with Chapter 1 of the first story Scorpius Cell or Chapter 1 of The Cloaked Promise or hey, you can read em both in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 4

Sleep did not come easy to her that night.

Curled in her suspensor cocoon, Andrea writhed like a caterpillar unable to transform.  Dreams came in fits and starts, disjointed and tangled. Sleep inducers and dream programmers were prevalent among her college friends, but Andrea categorically rejected them.  Some saw random dreaming as dangerous, but lately, Andrea had come to see reality as the real hazard. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Entering Other Space

A hilarious outer (other) space saga!

Image credit: Yahoo TV

This week, we thought we’d highlight an online comedy sci-fi series that you may not be watching, but should be.

Other Space is a new sci-fi series on Yahoo TV that’s just hilarious to watch. Launched in April of this year, Other Space follows the castaway crew of the UMP Cruiser as they bumble through the cosmos, encountering intelligent clouds, put down robot rebellions involving the sentient coffee maker onboard, and of course, fend off the occasion alien attack. [Read more...]

New Horizons Set to Buzz the Pluto System

Pluto and Charon… in color!

(Credit: NASA/JPL)

(Editor’s Note: This week’s event was hatched as part of our “legacy post project” in October 2009, entitled “12 Very Special Events for the 21st Century.” They’re a time capsule of sorts, meant to carry on the Astroguyz legacy!)

One of the last outposts of the solar system is about to become known. 3463 days after launch, the New Horizons spacecraft is set to whiz by the Pluto-Charon system at a blazing 14 kilometers a second. Launched in 2006, flyby will occur on July 14th 2015. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 3

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Here’s our latest and greatest installment straight from our Solar Winds universe.  Andrea and team may have successfully used the Radium core to lure in and capture a small Legion cruiser… but what will they do next? And will her team rally under her leadership? Things are definitely going down in the outer solar system out near Saturn’s orbit, in our solar system spanning adventure. Set in 2222 AD, Solar Winds follows a the adventures of Scorpius Cell and the Zodiac cartel as they navigate perilous worlds on the brink of open rebellion.Think of it as Star Wars meets 2001: A Space Odyssey. Be sure to start back at chapter 1, or read The Cloaked Promise and other tales of science fiction adventure in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 3

Andrea watched out the view port as the newly shielded Radium core was dragged back into the loading bay. This little Kuiper belt asteroid had seen a lot of activity as of late. And things had only gotten stranger and more complicated since the hijack of the Daedalus.  The captured communications officer was still in the medical ward. Andrea had scanned her retinal implant and discovered her name was Lori Stutton from Earth.  [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Watch the CRS-7 Launch Live

Launch of CRS-2. Photo by author.

It’s the busy season in low Earth orbit once again, as missions are set to head to and depart from the International Space Station this summer. And the first mission in the queue is SpaceX’s Dragon resupply capsule, set to head to the ISS this weekend. Launch of CRS-7 is slated for Sunday, June 28th at 14:21 UT/10:21 AM EDT atop a Falcon-9 rocket. Launch occurs from Cape Canaveral and pad SLC-40, and you can watch the whole thing live on NASA TV beginning at 9:00 AM EDT/13:00 UT: [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise Part 2

On Sale Now~!

Alright. My back is out as I write this, so we’ll get right to this week’s installment. Be sure to 1.) Start back on chapter 1 from last week, and 2.) Read The Cloaked Promise and other original tales of sci-fi in their entirety.

 

Solar Winds: The Cloaked Promise

by

David A. Dickinson

Chapter 2

 

Desperately, he searched for a compromise. “Leave us our ship, and we’ll transfer what weapons and supplies we have…”

As if on cue, the hatchway to the bridge buckled inward. Light blinded the crew as two figures moved through. One was fitted with a welder’s harness, and the larger one brandished a maser rifle. The boarding party quickly took up positions on either side of the bridge as a thin figure drifted straight at the Commander. She had the beauty of a Space Siren, but she was all business. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: Reclaiming the Night

Dark skies over Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho.

Photo by author.

Have you ever stood under a truly dark night sky? In 2015, fewer and fewer citizens of our modern technological age even know what that means, as the light polluted suburbs encroach on once pristine tracks of dark sky wilderness.

Recently, we came across an exciting new Indiegogo project to produce a documentary named Reclaiming the Night. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-The Cloaked Promise

On sale now!

And with the advent of another Friday, we’re pleased to announce the start of another story straight out of our Solar Winds universe. This tale is Part 2: be sure to read the first chapter of Part 1 entitled Scorpius Cell here. Can’t wait? You can read ‘em all in their entirety including The Cloaked Promise on our Amazon page.

 

Solar Winds- The Cloaked Promise

by

David Dickinson

 

“Have you glimpsed them? Have you sighted their flitting shadows at the edge of the watering hole?”

-Hanna Julian Sweeten,

The Violet Integer

The Radium Core spun lazily in the diminished sunlight of open space. Its shielding elements alternated from light to dark as the locator beacon on its side blinked with a forlorn glow. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video of the Week: A Look at the First Teaser Trailer for the Martian!

Matt Damon on the set of The Martian.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

It’s here!

Well, the first teaser is out, at least. We recently wrote over on Universe Today about how some of the very first promotional images from the upcoming film adaptation for Andy Weir’s novel The Martian had surfaced. Now, a first video promo has surfaced as well over this past weekend. Directed by Ridley Scott and set for release on November 25th, 2015, The Martian is one of THE most anticipated film releases of 2015… and that’s saying a lot, in a Star Wars/Avengers year. [Read more...]