Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Astronomers discover “comet” bigger than the largest comets approaching inner solar system

Astronomers have discovered an object 80 to 100 miles in diameter, larger than the largest comets, approaching the inner solar system and coming from the theorized Oort Cloud of material thought to exist between a tenth and a third of a light year from the Sun.

The object is probably rich in ice like a comet and is currently around three billion kilometres from the Sun. It will reach its closest point, known as perihelion, in 2031. At that time, it will be positioned below the plane of the solar system, near the orbit of Saturn.

Part of the interest in C/2014 UN271 is that it may be something of a transition object. Astronomers believe that many of the long period comets, that occasionally appear with bright tails, actually come from the Oort Cloud. Stars wandering near the Sun can nudge these objects from their positions and over millennia they work their way inwards, with the gravity of the giant planets tweaking their paths on each visit until they reside where we see them today.

“The fact that [C/2014 UN271] has a perihelion so far away from the Sun might be telling us that it’s done this a couple of times but is still in that process of eventually becoming some of those long period comets we know and love,” explains Meg Schwamb a Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud expert at Queen’s University Belfast.

Initially astronomers thought because of its size that it was not a comet, but new observations have detected the first signs of a coma, suggesting that it will provide us a very interesting and extended show when it reaches its closest point in 2031. Because that perihelion is around the orbit of Saturn, the object will not be traveling very fast, so its passage through the inner solar system will take several years. Its size also suggests it will have a lot of material that can sublimate off to produce a tail.

The object was discovered by two astronomers, Gary Bernstein and Pedro Bernardinelli. If it turns out to be a comet it will then be named Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein, or Comet B-B for short.

UPDATE: It is official. The object is now officially a comet, and named Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein.

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4 comments

  • pzatchok

    Lets hope it doesn’t change course for the inner system.

  • Jeff Wright

    Scholtz’ Star passed us long ago…meaning that anything it perturbed may only now be coming near. Gliese 7IO is a star that may pass us less than 7OOO AU out in a million years.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Highly recommend Martin Sweatman’s book Prehistory Decoded. He discusses the Clube/Napier hypothesis that an Oort Cloud object in exactly this size range entered the inner Solar System 30 to 40 thousand years ago, eventually decaying into the Taurid meteor stream and Comet Enke—but not before shedding bits and pieces that periodically hit the Earth, possibly causing several abrupt climate changes, including the Younger Dryas “mini-Ice Age” that Sweatman thinks may have kicked off the rise of civilization. The hypothesis has long been dismissed as pseudoscience. Looks like vindication to me.

    Thanks for posting this news!

  • Max

    2031 gives us plenty of time to lunch not one but several sample return missions.
    Perhaps a beacon/seismic detector for permanent residence? With an observational satellite at a safe distance to watch the changes.

    If it turns out to be mostly ice, it might be worth the effort to land a nuclear powered thruster to change its orbit early enough to use one of the planets to slow it down and capture it for for future use/study.
    Some science fiction books have placed such an object from the outer solar system in the shadow of a planet for a refueling station for orbital installations and interplanetary travel.
    Just dreaming…

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