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.
 

Earth’s day was half hour shorter 70 million years ago

Using data from an ancient fossil shell, scientists have determined that 70 million years ago the Earth’s day was about 30 minutes shorter, and that a year comprised 372 days.

This result is not a surprise, as scientists have known for a long time that the day has been growing longer as the Moon’s gravity, producing tides, wears away at the Earth’s rotation. This data however is the most precise yet, and will allow scientists to better constrain not only the Earth’s changing rotation over time but the Moon’s orbit. As it slows the Earth’s rotation its own orbit around the Earth gets longer, pushing it farther away.

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3 comments

  • Edward

    A friend of mine, who studied under van Allen, once told me the tale of one of his exam questions. He was supposed to calculate the rate at which the Earth’s rotation is slowing. (Or was it the rate at which the Moon is getting farther from the Earth? Well, the rest of the story is more memorable, to me.) He chose to use conservation of energy between the Earth’s rotation and the Moon’s orbit.

    The proper method turned out to be conservation of angular momentum. The problem was that the tides take up some energy as well as the magma, which is heated as the Earth is warped by the tidal action, so energy is not conserved with the changes in the two motions. Tidal heating is why there are volcanoes on Io.

    The “war stories” that we get from scientists are a bit different than those from soldiers.

  • wayne

    “Why did the chicken cross the Mobius Strip?”
    (Big Bang Theory
    https://youtu.be/j9u42WSaF04
    0:07

  • Alex Andrite

    So, that is why my nap times seem to be getting longer.
    whew. I was worried that it was me.

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