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. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Dione’s global geology

Dione

Cool image time! The picture of Saturn’s moon Dione, taken by Cassini in April 2015 and reduced in size to show here, shows a range of global tectonic geological features. The impact craters we of course understand, but the white linear features are more puzzling. They are probably related to a heating and cooling process, but the full nature of that process is at present not fully understood. Tidal effects and the planet’s cooling over time both contributed, but to what extent is not yet known. Add on top of that the violent effect of impact and the process gets even more complicated. Moreover, do the linear features suggest present geological activity, or are they evidence of past events? Your guess is as good as mine.

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2 comments

  • Localfluff

    Dione is one of the Saturn moons which are thought to have been formed recently, just 100 million years ago (2-3% of the age of the Solar System). This deduced from the orbital mechanics of the moon system.
    http://www.seti.org/weeky-lecture/orbital-dynamics-suggests-recent-formation-saturns-moons

    As material from the rings move beyond the Roche limit, they are able to accrete to a moon. Tidal interaction with the rings makes the moon move outwards, until it gets trapped by already existing moons out there. Dione should be about as old as the Rocky Mountains. Still under construction.

  • Perhaps the crust is water ice that is covered by a darker layer of dust from the rings. Tidal forces would cause cracks exposing the underlying lighter colored material?

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