Reviews and Blog Posts: space

Red Planet, Blue Moon: Resources for Skywatchers

Map of the Moon, Mars, and Saturn for May 20-22. From

Living in the city can make it hard to get a good view of the night sky, but once in a blue moon the stars and planets put on a show you can see through the city lights. No, seriously...there's a blue moon this weekend! Plus, Mars will be as close as it's been in a decade, so it's going to be shining like a beacon. If you look to the southeast after sunset, Mars, Saturn, and the bright red star Antares will all be hanging out together in the constellation Scorpius, and the full moon will be passing through and joining them over the weekend.

How we'll live on Mars

by Stephen L. Petranek

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I’ve wanted to go to space basically my entire life. One thing that’s always interested me is how we’ll live there- what you can eat, how a different gravity will feel, and if a human could really handle never being outside in the open air again. How We’ll Live on...

Happy pluto flyby, new horizons!

This morning at about 7:50 a.m. eastern time, the New Horizons spacecraft flew within 7,800 miles of Pluto at a speed of 31,000 mph. We probably won't get to see pictures and data until tomorrow because it's not communicating with Earth right now while it gathers data. It's supposed to re-start communications at about 8 p.m.

Forget Mercury Retrograde. Solar Storms are the Real Deal

Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun (NASA image)

Did you know Mercury is in retrograde right now? I didn't, until I saw people posting about it on social media sites. When I looked it up, I discovered that the planet Mercury sometimes appears to move backwards across the sky. People who believe in astrology think that when this happens, communications of all kinds--technological, interpersonal, you name it--go haywire (Mercury was the Roman god of messengers, after all, and he was a bit of a trickster).

Earth from space

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This amazing documentary explores the use of satellites and their myriad uses.  Satellites are mapping the floor of the ocean, collecting data about glacier melt and identifying weather patterns.  Many of them are nearing their end of life -- will the U.S. be renting space from China's satellites in the near...

Neil deGrasse Tyson is back!

oh my gosh he's back!

I’m not sure about you, but I miss seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson on NOVA. Good news! He revamped Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and it is airing on Fox (KDVR 31) starting this Sunday at 8. It’s been a great year and a half for science documentaries and books, so if you need more geek in your week, here’s a list:

Some of my current favorite documentaries:

Final fantasy the spirits within

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This movie is better than you’d expect. It seems like video game related movies are ill-received, but the story and the imagery are enchanting.  The animation is done well, at times seems a little dated, but doesn’t take away from it being a good story and the important parts of...

Revelation space

by Alastair Reynolds

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Just so you know where I stand as a reviewer: if you start off your book with a deadly "razor storm" bearing down on archaeologists at a dig site on an alien planet, I'll probably follow your story wherever it goes from there. I just can’t get enough of that...


by Warren Ellis

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Orbiter is a short and fantastical story about the mysterious return of the shuttle Venture. After Venture and its crew disappeared ten years ago, the world favored safety over curiosity and abandoned the idea of manned space flight. Now, the seemingly underemployed veterans of the space program must investigate Venture’s...

49th Anniversary of 1st American in Space

Today (May 5, 2010) is the 49th anniversary of Alan Shepard's 15-minute space flight - the first space flight by an American.

At 10:34 a.m. Eastern Daylight time on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard was the first American launched into space. The story was front-page news in the New York Times, and probably every other paper in the land. Check out the NYT front page story.

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