on The Force Awakens (major spoilers)

I want to discuss the entire movie, but I also recognize (and seriously appreciate) the internet’s commitment to avoiding discussing spoilers. I won’t be the one to ruin that, so all my spoilerriffic comments are below this cut. Advertisements

on The Force Awakens (no spoilers)

It is a good movie. It is, most importantly, definitely a Star Wars movie, and a downright fun one at that. It feels like the original trilogy, (the only trilogy, as my wife would say, and now that we have better Star Wars to look forward to I don’t feel any need to perpetuate any…

on Vertical Landing

One of the most iconic sci-fi images is the gleaming rocket landing vertically, at which point our intrepid heroes step out onto that brave new world and… well, probably get shot at by the natives. It’s in Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, it’s in The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon; it’s in The…

on the Closest “Habitable” Exoplanet

This week, an planet orbiting Wolf 1061 (aka GJ 628, aka LHS 419, aka HIP 80824, aka a bazillion other names because astronomers are like that) was announced. The planet Wolf 1061c is notable for three important reasons. It’s potentially only 4.25 Earth masses, and is therefore likely to be a rocky world. It’s found…

on alpha Centauri

2015 (October 12, to be exact) marks the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of Proxima Centauri by the Scottish astronomer Robert Thorburn Ayton Innes, the director of the Union Observatory in Johannesburg, South Africa. Proxima was quickly recognized to be the smallest member of the alpha Centauri star system, and is now known to be…

on Protostellar Disks

My wife made me this new quilt for the door of my office: It’s a star called DG Tau B, and she made an incredible likeness. But what, exactly, are we looking at here? If you’d like to know more about how the quilt was made, take a look at my wife’s blog. Read on…

on the Kepler KIC 8462852 objects and things they might be (Part 2)

Back when I first posted about the star KIC 8463852*, the star many news sources decreed was hosting alien megastructures, I said that further work would need to be done to figure out just what those objects are.  Well, those studies are already coming in. The first two published follow-up studies make for an interesting…