Computer simulations suggest that Pluto might have as many as ten undiscovered additional moons.

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.

Computer simulations suggest that Pluto might have as many as ten undiscovered additional moons.

The planet already has five, so if this is true space is really crowded there, which might pose a problem for the New Horizons spacecraft that plans to fly past in 2015.


Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.

This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.

This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.

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  • Pzatchok

    They will have to come up with a rule on exactly what could be called a moon.

    The earth at times has more than one rock in orbit around it.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Good point – I was wondering about that myself. How big does a “rock” have to be to be considered a moon? And kind of ironic that Pluto, demoted from Planet to “Dwarf Planet”, leaves the Earth in the dust when it comes to moons. It would almost seem to me that any relatively large body orbiting the Sun which has moons of its own ought to be classified as a planet. But then I thought I read that at least one of the large asteroids has a “moon”. The whole issue is a bit murky…

  • Or another way to look at the New Horizon mission is that it will enter a target-rich environment.

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