Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

A fast radio burst that beats every sixteen days

Astronomers have now added to the mystery of fast radio bursts (FRBs), of which about a hundred are known, by discovering one in a nearby galaxy that has a regular outburst every 16.35 days.

Earlier this year CHIME worked with astronomers in Europe to pinpoint the origin of a particular FRB emission — called FRB 180916.J0158+65 — to a galaxy located 500 million light years from Earth.

Now CHIME has determined that FRB 180916 pulses at predictable intervals more than two weeks apart. “It tells us that the origin of at least some FRBs is astrophysically regular in nature, but on long enough time scales that they may be tied to something different than a rotating, compact object — perhaps something like an orbiting system,” said Newburgh, whose lab builds instrumentation for collecting data about the history of the cosmos

Or to put it another way, they really haven’t any idea yet what exactly causes these bursts. The new data however will help formulate better theories, that I guarantee will be contradicted by subsequent new data. At the moment there is so little known about FRBs that any theory must be looked at with great skepticism.

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