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.
 

The Massive February 15, 2011 X Flare on the Sun

An evening pause: On February 15, 2011, the Sun emitted its strongest flare in four years. Though the Sun continues to act relatively wimpy as it ramps up towards solar maximum, this flare was spectacular, mostly because we now have some amazing instruments in space to image and study it. This video does an excellent job explaining what was happening, as it happened. Watch, and enjoy.

And note, as powerful as this flare was, and despite the fact that it was pointed right at the Earth, it represented a relatively minor threat to our technological society, despite what some doomsayers might be claiming. A very active Sun can cause us problems, especially with power systems and electrical grids, but based on past experience during previous solar maximums, most power companies have taken careful steps to protect themselves from this risk. And with the Sun as weakly active as it is, the risks are further reduced. The doomsayers are simply shilling for more government research dollars.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over
 

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.


Thank you again!


Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
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Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

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