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.

The Oort Cloud: what little is known

Link here. This is one of the best articles on the theorized Oort Cloud, in that right off the bat the author recognizes this important fact:

We know so little about it that its very existence is theoretical — the material that makes up this cloud has never been glimpsed by even our most powerful telescopes, except when some of it breaks free.

The cloud’s existence is extrapolated from the arrival of long period comets, and seems to make sense. Yet, without any direct observations it remains a theory only, and an unproven one at that.

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4 comments

  • wayne

    “Konstantin Batygin: Planet 9 and the Edge of Our Solar System”
    Lex Fridman Podcast #201 (7-19-21)
    https://youtu.be/tm7poMupE8k
    2:39:53

  • Mark

    As the article states, the estimate is that it will take 300 years for Voyager to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud. I’ve read elsewhere it would possibly take 30,000 years to fly beyond the outer edge. That boggles the mind.

  • Steve (retired/recovering lawyer)

    The existence of the Oort Cloud seems to be entirely theoretical; no observational evidence has been reported, as far as I can tell. It was hypothecated in order to get around the problem arising from the incontrovertible fact that comets deteriorate too rapidly to support claims of “billions and billions of years” theory of the age of the universe. Again, this is as far as I can tell from a review of the literature.

  • Edward

    Steve (retired/recovering lawyer) wrote: “The existence of the Oort Cloud seems to be entirely theoretical;

    Hypothetical, yes. It and the Kuiper Belt were hypothesized as attempts to explain comets that have very high aphelions. Some comets that come from far away are well out of the plane of the rest of the planets (hypothetically from the Oort Cloud, a spherical volume), and some that are not quite so far away seem to be close to that plane (hypothetically from the Kuiper Belt, roughly a disk). Both are volumes of space around the Sun rather than known collections of comets, asteroids, planetoids, etc.

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