August Eclipse May Be Most Crowded Ever #solar #summer #travel #solareclipse #camping

I’ve never been a fan of crowds, so I’ve been planning my eclipse trip as a

Pick your spot

self-sufficient campout. Traditional camping venues are full but some private landowners are opening up for a fee – often with added enticements like live music.

Rural areas may be overwhelmed. Consider Oregon.

The first place to experience total darkness as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth will be in Oregon and Madras, in the central part of the state, is expected to be a prime viewing location. Up to 1 million people (!) are expected in Oregon for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years and up to 100,000 could show up in Madras and surrounding Jefferson County. Officials are worried about the ability of the rural area to host so many visitors and are concerned about the danger of wildfire from so many people camping on public lands…

In this vast expanse of ranches and farms, rural, two-lane roads could mean traffic jams of cosmic proportions. Every hotel in Madras is booked, some residents are renting their homes for $3,000 a night, and campers are expected to flood the national forests and grasslands during peak wildfire season… first responders will prepare to respond as they would for a natural disaster. Cell towers could be overwhelmed, traffic will be gridlocked, and police and fire stretched to the max managing the crowds… businesses are being told to use cash only, to avoid bringing down the wireless network.

As a volunteer firefighter I appreciate the danger – something most people won’t be familiar with. โ€œJust driving off-road – having that contact with a hot muffler or a catalytic converter – could start an ignition. And in these fine fuels, it could spread very quickly.โ€

Even if you’ve already got reservations, plan to be as independent as possible – pack food and water. And toilet paper.

It’ll be worth it.

If you’re not sure what I’m talkig about – look here.

When Earth Coalesced, Was There Nemesis? Interesting Research Revisited #astronomy #galaxy #stars #poet #poetry #science

 

Sol,

Binary stars are seldom identical

A main sequence star
Out in a spiral arm,
Light from your nearest brethren
Falls dimly in your realm.

Bits of rock,
Scraps of gas,
Hydrogen and stone,
Remnants of your origin,
But otherwise
Alone.

It seems that in
Your early phase,
Four billion years ago,
You would have spun a coiling dance
With a twin aglow.

Half such pairs,
Such triples,
More,
Cling and orbit tight,
But others,
Looping, twisting far,
Are lost into the night.

Where does your mate,
Your other half,
reside?
That none can say.
Your splendid self looks down on Earth
The only star
That lights our day.

by Kate Rauner

About 40% of stars have stellar partners, so being alone is not unusual.

2nd edition now available! Expanded!

But recent studies indicate that all stars may have been born with companions. Sol’s may have been paired once, but the fancifully named Nemesis is far away, if it ever existed, “out there mingling with other stars in the region of the Milky Way Galaxy we call home.” newsledge

Don’t feel sorry for our Sun. Only you and I can feel loneliness.

Visit my blog for a new science inspired poem, every other post or so. Or read one of my collections – available as ebooks on all the favorite on-line outlets or paperbacks at Create Space and Amazon.

Total Solar Eclipse Amazing Treat for North America #solareclipse #astronomy #nature #travel

Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC

Have you planned your trip to the center line? A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. The path will cross the mainland United States and I’ll be traveling across three states to reach it. Motels, RV parks, and campgrounds are already full, but I like to be mobile to chase clear skies anyway. Hello BLM land ๐Ÿ™‚

This will be my third total eclipse – I had to travel farther for the first two.

As the great day approaches, expect to see more articles on eclipses. There will be the usual warning not to look directly at the event with your unprotected eyes – and you should never stare directly at the sun anyway! You risk eye damage if you do. The eclipse isn’t special this way. It’s just that the glare and pain usually keep people from trying.

Space.com has a contribution this week. Temperatures will drop in the shadow of the moon as it blocks the sun – a larger drop than you might expect from a passing cloud – about the difference between noon on a clear day and sunset.

During a total eclipse i 2015, researchers recorded the temperature

… at a height of about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the ground, and found that the lowest daytime temperature occurred 2 minutes after the end of totality…The Earth’s atmosphere is a good insulator, meaning it doesn’t exchange heat easily… This delayed transfer of heat could explain the slight delay in the cooling of the air during totality.

Expect lots more stories over the summer, and view the eclipse in person if you can. It’s a great thing to stand in the shadow of the moon.

Listen to Berserk-Norse Tale of Terrible Magic #Fantasy #podcast #listening #today #story #fun

Eirik joins a raiding party led by invincible Berserkers, terrorizing coastal villagers with sword and axe. What’s the secret to their strange magic?

Listen to Eirik’s story – episode now live.

Go to 600 Second Saga now!
Listen on your favorite platform:

Then scroll through the archive. There are lots of science fiction and fantasy stories, each one perfect for a break during your day. You’re sure to find something you love.

You can read Eirik’s story in my latest collection, Jupiter Diving and Other Short Reads in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Enjoy short stories, flash fiction, and microfiction – a crew mining Jupiter’s atmosphere finds more than they expected, an angel has a photo-op on Mars, sea level rises for an island nation, excerpts from my On Mars series, and more. Take a break with one story or curl up in your favorite chair with the whole book.

Available on Amazon in ebook and paperback – read for free with Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Prime’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Do you write stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy? 600 Second Saga is now accepting flash fiction! Check them out on iTunes. It’s a lot of fun to hear your story – it has been for me.

In a Dry Forest #haiku #nature #poem #poetry #flower

In my yard

Agave flowers
Lift their blooms above the trees
Reaching for the sun

by Kate Rauner

Find more poetry inspired by science and nature here – every other blog or so. Or read one of my collections of rhyming poetry and a few haiku too.

IKEA in Space – Spinoffs from Mars and We Aren’t Even There Yet in Person #Mars #NASA #colonization

Since Apollo, space technology on Earth

We’ve all heard about the technology spinoffs from NASA to our everyday lives. Things like memory foam, freeze-dried food, firefighting equipment, emergency “space blankets”, DustBusters, cochlear implants, various computer and medical technologies, turning trash into oil, and putting better bubbles in our beer. (Oddly enough – not some things you’ve often heard mentioned – not Tang, Velcro, or Teflon.)

In this age of budget cuts, NASA wants you to know these spinoffs contribute to America’s economy by generating billions of dollars in revenue and creating thousands of jobs.

Now IKEA, the maker of cheap and chic furniture, is sending some of its designers on a trip to the Mars Society’s simulation habitat in Utah.

Truthfully, this sounds more like hype than research. The designers will only spend three days playing colonists. If they really want a feel for living in cramped quarters with little privacy or comfort, I’d recommend at least a month. But maybe contemplating a few conveniences for future explorers will help today’s apartment dwellers.

Less trendy but more important spinoffs are coming too – exploring farming on Mars may help us get more nutritional bang for our energy buck in drought-stricken regions on Earth. In the meantime,

…if IKEA can design a clothing storage system that works well inside a Martian habitat, it can certainly design a clothing system that works well inside your horrible apartment in Brooklyn.

Watch for their new collection in 2019.

Until humans step foot on the Red Planet, science fiction is your only route to Mars. Try my on Mars series – the first colonist take a one-way trip in the near-future. Start with Glory on Mars – Emma wants to explore and make a home on Mars with the first dozen colonists, but something is terribly wrong on the Red Planet.

You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords.

White Bread, Wheat Bread – Depends on Your Gut #poem #poetry #health #healthbenefits

Never
are you alone,
You’re like a little world
Where flocks of fungi, viruses,
And bacteria lay curled.

No matter what you think of them
They’ll always live with you,
Will pay their rent with vitamins
And help digest your food.

Your levels of blood sugar
Depend on what you’re eating,
Also on microbes that you host,
Essential to well-being.

The zoo that you contain
Is practically unique,
So it’s your inner swirling mob
That says what’s best to eat

By Kate Rauner

As I’ve rhymed before, It can be surprising to learn we human beings are part of nature whether we like it or not – host to a world of critters – some bad but lots good. Thanks to Popular Science for their article on the glycemic response to white and wheat breads, and especially for pointing out that one study should never change what you eat.

What the study does suggest, however, is that if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic and notice that certain nutrient-rich foods causes your sugar levels to spike, you might be better off avoiding them and finding other, also nutrient-rich foods, that don’t send your sugar levels soaring.”

2nd edition now available! Expanded!

All my books, including collections of my science-inspired poetry, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. All major digital formats are available at Smashwords, and paperbacks are at Create Space and Amazon. Read one today.

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