2nd in a series of posts inspired by Elite Dangerous, a space video-game that I’ve been playing; full of images, cool astronomy & science facts, and associated sci-fi & pop culture trivia.
Sol Region Sight-Seeing Tour – Stop #2:
Pollux / β Geminorum
Pollux is 34 lightyears from Sol, and the closest giant star to our sun. Pollux is 18 ly from Stop 1 on our tour, it’s “twin” Castor. Pollux is the 18th brightest star as seen from Earth (including the Sun) and the brightest star in constellation Gemini. Pollux is an orange-hued “evolved giant” star in a special spectral class, called Class KO-III. Earlier in its life it would have been a Class A (hot white or blue/white dwarf star), but Pollux has exhausted the hydrogen in its core, and expanded and cooled as a result. As such the star has moved off the line of main sequence or “adult” stars and entered it’s old age “giant” phase, and is estimated to be about 724 million years old. It is about two times the mass, and almost NINE times the radius of our Sun. Continue reading Sol Region Sight-Seeing Tour #2 – Pollux
The Tour? Why that’s a geeky idea I had to dig up all the fact and fiction about the stars around and including our Sun, known as Sol in science and science fiction. Ostensibly, as a bit of a learning experience while I go about the playing a video-game.
You see, I’ve been playing a “space flight simulator” video game I really love called Elite Dangerous that has excited my long interest in Astronomy. The game is set in the future where humanity has moved out to begin to settle and explore our galaxy. As such the game includes a 1 to 1 online mock-up of our Milky Way Galaxy with as much as we know to be true added to it, and fairly realistic algorithms for what we don’t know, and a lot of fictional future-history and lore added to give it all some drama, and all kinds of different ways to “play” depending on your interests. From exploration, pvp & pve combat, mining, commodity trading, power play politics, passenger liner business, bounty hunting, and much more.
I wanted to explore some of the famous stars we know in our real night skies.
The Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction is pretty great. It provides lists of newly created words and ideas that appeared in science fiction with examples of when asked by whom they were first used, and others who used and helped popularize the words.
This dictionary and its creation and some of the many interesting things it has helped reveal about the history of the genre and our language’s evolution are discussed in detail in this great Wired Magazine post too!
I’d like to see more tech like this developed, tested, and put into regular use. It’s not, say, an Epstein Drive from The Expanse; but as a certain character from a geeky science fiction western would say, “This is the way.”
Am I concerned about the nuclear power source? I lived and worked on a nuclear powered submarine for years that has continued to safely plow the seas carying new generations of sailors for decades; so the answer to that question would be a, “No.”
I wish I could find this somewhere else than on Twitter, but the actress who plays the character in The Expanse posted this supercut from the first 4 seasons of The Expanse of some of Avasarala’s best lines and potty mouth moments. I’m glad the show left broadcast tv so that her character could be fully realized just as shocking as it was in the books. If anything her grandmotherly looks and no shit taken out-spoken personality comes out even better in the tv series where the visual and audio juxtaposition is more effective than printed word and imagination.
(Initially posted 8/24/20) I only heard about this upcoming flick awhile back. A new trailer just came out, and needless to say I want to see it, preferably in a movie theater now that Covid nonsense allows, and not a year later on DVD.
I love these kind of articles that combine my favorite geeky sci fi show with nerdy hard core numbers. Not to spoil it, but the answer is, “Yes, it’s entirely feasible she could.” I had actually questioned the physics of this scene, but this guy does the math and I believe his results. Check it out. Great stuff!
NASA is targeting a two-hour test window that opens at 5 p.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 16, for the hot fire test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket core stage at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Live coverage will begin at 4:20 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website, followed by a post-test briefing approximately two hours after the test concludes.