Breathtaking Goodbye to an Amazing Mission #Cassini #Saturn

Cassini's Grand Finale - artist's conceptionCassini’s last transmission arrived on Earth at 1146 GMT on September 15 as it plunged to a fiery end in Saturn’s atmosphere. The spacecraft had run out of fuel, but only after orbiting the ringed planet for an incredible 13 years. NASA sent it to burn up in Saturn’s atmosphere rather than risk contaminating any of the moons – which may harbor life.

We know more about Saturn than ever before – its storms, hexagonal jet streams, rings, and a seemingly endless supply of moons. We also know that an American agency can cooperate with the European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, and astronomers around the world for two decades on a single mission (more if the design phase is included.)

Cassini’s mission lasted over twice as long as expected. The Huygen probe that piggybacked along made the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System and the first landing on a moon other than our own.

Along the way, Cassini confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity, measured the length of Saturn’s day, studied its fantastic rings, and discovered the amazing variety of its moons – including water geysers from warm water oceans and lakes of liquid methane. It showed scientist and citizen alike that the Saturn system is beautiful – a beautiful pinpoint in a beautiful universe.

If you think the money could have been better spent – tell me, do you believe humanity’s problems come from a lack of money? More likely, they arise from a lack of heart – or maybe from a lack of soul. Cassini gives us wonder, joy, and beauty. It feeds our souls. If you don’t feel that, if you don’t look up in wonder, I’m sorry for you.

One of the greatest legacies of the mission is not just the scientific discoveries it makes, and what you learn about, but the fact that you make discoveries so compelling, you have to go back. space.com

Read more at wikipedia, watch for ongoing discoveries as scientists study Cassini’s data, and hold your metaphorical breath until we return.

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Focus on what happens when an icy rock meets the sun #meteor #astronomy #poem #poetry

4 hour time lapse of a meteor shower against the stars

Once a comet passed this way,
Falling in for centuries,
Only to swing away again,
Beyond living memories.

Inward past the planets
Where there are none to see,
From frozen space to solar flame,
Seared and torn by gravity.

Scattered now along its path,
Shattered to debris,
The dusty bits of comet core
Streak over land and sea.
By Kate Rauner

Thanks to space.com and the recent Lyrid Meteor Shower, but many other comets have been shattered into meteors. BTW, a “shower” with one or two meteors a minute is considered pretty intense. So pull up a lounge chair, settle in, and watch the sky.

First Image of Dark Matter Looks Familiar #space #darkmatter @henderob

Astronomers have captured the first image ever of the mysterious dark matter that makes up most of the universe (maybe) but we can’t see. And it looks like…

The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sorry – it’s goingto take me a while to turn that into a poem. :\

 

Absolutely Free Collection Short Science Fiction/ Fantasy limited time so this is your chance #shortstory #free #flashfiction #bookworm

jupiter-diving-web-ebook-24feb2017-267x400From a ship mining helium-3 in Jupiter’s atmosphere, Kelly launches a probe to search for life in the ocean of a Jovian moon. In the title story, Jupiter Diving, she finds more than she expected. If you missed out on ebook week earlier in the month, here’s another chance. I’m about to offer Jupiter Diving and other Short Reads on Amazon but you can download an advance copy for free.

Visit colorful and dangerous worlds in short stories and flash fiction. From an angel’s photo op on Mars, to the agony of a berserker warrior, a tiny craft’s interstellar mission, and an astronaut’s cries for help, you’ll find many new tales plus opening chapters and vignettes from my On Mars series, the multi-generational story of the first colony on Mars. Plus a few pieces of microfiction too 🙂

Perfect to fill a break in your day or an afternoon curled up in your favorite chair.

I’m going to offer the ebook on Kindle Select (I never used that outlet before but it’s supposed to be a good idea) but you can grab your free copy now. Sign up before March 31st to receive your book in April, before I let Amazon get its hands on it. Hurry – limited time offer.

You’ll receive a coupon code to download the book in your choice of formats, and to receive an occasional email from me with offers, a piece of flash fiction, and news about my writing projects. No spam and you can unsubscribe any time.

The code goes out April 1st (no fooling) so sign up before you forget and download your free book of short reads. I hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

Flailing Towards a Deadline #amwriting #scifi

I am absolutely determined to publish my next book in the On Mars series by the end of the month, so my creative

New cover is nearly done

New cover is nearly done

brain cells and writing time have been dedicated to the project. If you’re a regular reader you know my other postings have suffered – hope you’ll forgive me, but I’m obsessed.

I’m playing with a blurb for the book. Would this catch your interest? Is “dangers lurk” too much of a cliché?

Maybe Mars’ largest city isn’t all fun.

Welcome to the third book of the On Mars series, a hundred years in your future. Bliss wants the fun and excitement of life in the colony’s biggest city – a village by Earther standards but a city on Mars – and is happy to take the first intern job she finds, even if it takes her out on the planet’s hostile surface. But dangers lurk inside the colony, and even cargo arriving from Earth – the first shipment in generations – may bring disaster. Join her to discover if humans can survive on a hostile planet and make it a home.

4-books-on-mars-white-backgroundAll my books, including the On Mars series, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords. Catch up now.

 

 

Star Sugars #poem #space #star #chemistry #poetry

Eagle_nebula_pillars

Pillars of Creation, a famous stellar nursery

Via photosynthesis,
Plants store solar energy
In hydrated aldehydes,
Organics formed so cleverly.

Add nitrogen or phosphorus
For an acidic amide,
Defining protein molecules,
Solvents, enzymes, muscles, hide.

So why do interstellar clouds
Contain organic molecules,
Ubiquitous in dusty space
Where life can hardly be the rule?

There is compelling evidence,
Despite cold in extremity,
That cosmic rays are driving
An out-of-balance chemistry.

Unborn stars and planets,
Laced with heavy elements
Are interstellar nurseries
For compounds biorelevant.

By Kate Rauner

Thanks to http://www.pnas.org/content/113/28/7727 and A study of interstellar aldehydes and enols as tracers of a cosmic ray-driven nonequilibrium synthesis of complex organic molecules

Poetry of Science #poetry #geek #poems #nature #read #amwriting #amreading

Poems inspired by science https://books2read.com/u/bOrE99Hurray.

After working through several versions with problems like, the page numbers are missing, Rhyme and Reason Three is available now in a digital edition at Amazon and other major on-line book-sellers. The paperback edition is on Amazon and Create Space.

No matter how many notes I take, I learn something new with each book I publish – darn it. So I’ve also updated the formatting for Rhyme and Reason and Rhyme and Reason Two.

Now’s the time to collect all three.

My poetry is inspired by the real, objective world we all share and by Richard Feynman – one of the most important physicists of the 20th Century and certainly the most interesting. He wrote that

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination – stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern – of which I am a part… It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?”

Spheres of methane and ammonia make me rhyme, and so does earthbound science. Rhyme and Reason Three includes the popular Desert Watermelon. Here’s an excerpt:

Ruby slabs of watermelon
Decorate my table,
While in the wild deserts
Its ancestral stock is stable.

Civilization could collapse,
There could be Armageddon.
But in five thousand years,
Survivors could
-Again –
Have watermelon.

Be the first poetry lover, science lover, or geek to own R&R3.

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