March 1, 2015

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt For Beagle Part 9

It’s Friday, and here without further fanfare is the conclusion to our Mars-spanning adventure The Hunt For Beagle. You can start back at chapter 1 and read the entire tale here a chapter at a time on Astroguyz, or read the tale in its entirety over on Amazon.com.

Enjoy!

The Hunt For Beagle

by

David A. Dickinson

What happened next was a force unlike any Andrea had ever experienced. A blast of air slapped her in the back of the head, knocking them both off of their feet. They were both tossed like rag dolls down the passageway, towards the bay and the open Martian desert beyond. Andrea caught a glimpse of the clear, airless pink sky that lay beyond. It was like a bad dream. Everyone on Mars had a lingering subconscious dread of getting caught out in its near void unprotected. The guards, surprised at something that was never supposed to occur, barely had time to slide their breather masks in place before they could be sucked off their heads.  She closed her eyes and dug her head hard into Zeke’s side, fearing the final end was near… [Read more...]

A Close Pre-Historic Brush with Scholz’s Star

An artist’s conception of Scholz’s Star and its brown dwarf companion passing through the outer solar system.

(Credit: Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester).

A fascinating announcement out of the Astrophysical Journal caught our eye last week, as researchers announced that a newly discovered star made a close pass through our very own solar system some 70,000 years ago. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video Of the Week: Seeking Ceres

Ceres on February 12th, 2015 from 52,000 miles distant

(Credit: NASA/Dawn).

Getting closer…

Fresh off of its exploration of the asteroid 4 Vesta in 2011-2012, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been delivering some pretty mind-blowing images of the largest asteroid of them all: 1 Ceres. Dawn just passed the quarter million mile distant mark from Ceres last month, and is now closer to the worldlet than the Moon is to the Earth. And next week, Dawn will reach another milestone on March 6th, when it becomes the first spacecraft to enter orbit around a second world in the course of its mission. Dawn has achieved this via its revolutionary ion drive propulsion, which gives it a slow but steady push offering an optimal thrust to fuel weight ratio. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt for Beagle Part 8

And here it ’tis… chapter eight of our young adult, Mars-spanning adventure! For Chapter One, head here. You can read The Hunt for Beagle in its entirety over at Amazon.com.

The Hunt for Beagle

Part 8

by

David A. Dickinson

Andrea’s mom, Alexi, got off the call. She breathed hard and sighed. “They say all of the Gliders are grounded,” She began to Andrea’s older sister Kara, who had just arrived. “They won’t be able to mount a search until the storm wave passes”

“That could be weeks!” Kara shot back, nearly spilling her tea. The Terran Legion doesn’t give a damn…” [Read more...]

Happy 85th to Pluto!

An artist’s conception of New Horizons

passing Pluto and Charon.

Credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben

Where were you in 1930?

If you were American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, you were announcing the discovery of a curious object caught moving through the constellation Gemini just the month prior. [Read more...]

AVOW: Watch the Launch and Docking of Progress 58 Live

Progress-58P rolls to the launch pad.

Credit: Roscosmos.

It’s back!

By popular demand and the never ending quest for content, we’re proud to be reinstituting one of our most popular features from over the years here on Astroguyz, the Astronomy Video Of the Week (AVOW).

Hardly a day goes by in our online adventures that we don’t come across an amazing lecture, live broadcast or animated gif highlighting the wonders of space. It’s a brave new world out there, and with AVOW, we strive to distill ‘em down to the very ‘best of the best’ along with some brief commentary. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt For Beagle Part 7

…and here it ’tis: Part 7 of our Mars-spanning adventure The Hunt For Beagle. You can read the entirety of the tale, or start from Part 1 online. Expect more tales from the Solar Winds Universe to come!

[Read more...]

2015: The Year We See Pluto Up Close

An artist’s conception of New Horizons at Pluto. Credit: NASA.

The late American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh got a birthday present yesterday when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft released an image of Pluto and its moon Charon.

Born in 1906, Mr. Tombaugh would’ve been 109 this year. And although yesterday’s image snapped by New Horizon’s LORRI navigational camera wasn’t a spectacular one, expect that to improve drastically as the NASA spacecraft heads towards its historic July encounter. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt For Beagle Part 6

And here it is… our weekly offering of free and original fiction with chapter 6 of The Hunt For Beagle novelette. You can find lots more over at our Amazon author page!

Go here to start from Chapter 1.

The Hunt For Beagle

by

David Dickinson

Chapter 6

By Martian local noon, Andrea had begun to worry. Without communications, they only had T.I.N.A.’s internal navigation computer to go by, plus what her grandfather would call “stick-and-eyeball” reckoning. They should be near the Beagle 2 crash site, yet Andrea knew that due to their latest adventures, they weren’t even close. They had perhaps 60 more klicks to cover, and Zeke had noticed that their front axle was now slipping, no doubt due to their flight from the scavengers. “T.I.N.A. can’t repair her, not without her mobile unit,” Zeke explained. “I’ll probably have to crawl under and take a look when we stop.” [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt For Beagle Part 5

Here it ’tis; this week’s installment of our young adult Mars-spanning adventure. We’ve got lots more original science fiction available over on our Amazon author page!

 

The Hunt for Beagle

by

David A. Dickinson

Part 5

Andrea was amazed how clear the sky was, out from under the Saganopolis dome. The entire trail of the Milky Way could be seen, mottled with blackened scars. Earth was just off in the direction that the Sun had set, and squinting, Andrea could once again just pick out its solitary Moon. We all came from that improbable point in the sky, Andrea marveled. She tried hard to think of a place without pressure domes and air scrubbers. A place where they could walk free under the stars…but the thought made her dizzy. She wondered if they would ever go there. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt for Beagle Part 4

Here it ’tis… part 4 of our Mars-spanning adventure The Hunt For Beagle. This puts us neigh half-way through the tale… head back here to start from Part I. If you want to check out more stories in the Solar Winds universe featuring an older Ms. Makati  — and some original tales outside of it — head over to our Amazon author page.

And it’s rather ironic that news concerning the Beagle 2 spacecraft came out just last week! Clearly, there’s more to the tale to be told…

The Hunt for Beagle

Part 4

by

David A. Dickinson

Andrea kept watch over the virtual terrain as the Sun climbed higher in the Martian sky. Already, she felt the thrill of being out in the open Martian desert, somewhere she obviously wasn’t supposed to be. If her Mom had her way, she would go off to university just like her sister, without a whimper. But she didn’t feel suited for cubicle life. She wanted adventure…. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt for Beagle Part 3

Here’s this week’s installment of our Mars-spanning adventure set in the Solar Winds universe. Read it as a stand alone, or start back on Chapter I.  Or read The Hunt for Beagle in its entirety!

The Hunt for Beagle

Part III

by

David Dickinson

 

It wasn’t hard for her to summon up the time to approach Zeke between classes the next day. She slid coyly up to him as he munched on his sandwich.

“How’s things?” She said gamely. Zeke was taken back by her new found attention. The unspoken pattern between them was that he usually chased her, and then she chased whatever new unobtainable heart throb she currently fancied. [Read more...]

Now Reading temp post

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt for Beagle Part 2

As promised, here’s part II of our Mars-spanning epic. Also be sure to check out last week’s Part I, and read The Hunt for Beagle in its entirety.

The Hunt for Beagle

by

David A. Dickinson

Part II

They donned light excursion suits shortly after dusk and headed outside. The night was cool and calm and Andrea could feel the bite of the oncoming Martian winter even through her thermocycle, which was working overtime. Soon, men like her father would’ve been coming in from their months on the high plains. [Read more...]

Free Fiction Friday: The Hunt for Beagle Part 1

It’s here!

As promised in 2015, we’re going to start offering excerpts from some of our free scifi novelletes, all available on Amazon for a few shekels. This week’s first story is set in our Solar Winds universe, and hey, if you’re not careful, you’ll get a lesson or two on early space exploration history before we’re done… [Read more...]

Dark Skies 2014: The End of the Road… for Now.

Life on the road…

(All photos by the author).

The time has come.

Every alpha must have an omega, and this week sees us bringing our 2014 expedition to a close. Since June 1st, we’ve hit 37 of the 50 states in the U.S., and toured the four corners of the lower 48 contiguous states in search of stories, curiosities and dark skies. [Read more...]

Week 30: Closing the Circle in Macon, Georgia

A Grinch Xmas tree!

(All photos by the author).

We’ve done it.

This week sees us close the circle in our 2014 trek through the “lower” 48 contiguous United States. The auspicious event occurred in the state of Georgia just north of Macon, which was our final press stop for the 2014 tour. Fans of this site will remember our passage through the town of Macon earlier this year. But beyond just the southern rock music scene, Macon has lots to offer, and our re-visit taught us that it’s always worth giving any destination a second look. [Read more...]

Week 29: Rolling into Memphis

45s at Stax Records…

(All photos by the author).

The circle is almost complete.

This week sees us pass a crucial milestone, as we begin month seven on the road. We’ve now been continuously traveling longer than ever before, as we surpass our former record set back in 2007 when we completed our six month backpacking journey around the world. [Read more...]