5 Places in the Solar System Where Life Might Be Found

Science fiction of the past was filled with little green men from Mars. What locations in our solar system might possibly support life?

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Cosmic Trailblazers

"Alexander Pope wrote, 'Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night. / God said, Let Newton be!'" As soon as I flicked the lighter, the spherical flame danced near my thumb. I touched it to the end of the rolled paper, then brought the other end to my lips and inhaled. "And all was light."

Resonant Cavity Thrusters

EmDrive. Q drive. Cannae drive. All of these are a class of devices known as resonant cavity thrusters, and for the past few years they've been popping up in the media from time to time. What's the big idea? Take an ordinary household magnetron (you'll find one in every microwave oven). Use it to pump... Continue Reading →

6EQU–

It was too late to turn back -- for all of them. Three weary explorers stared out the porthole as the spacecraft A Shot in the Dark hurtled toward Comet 266P/Christensen. "Collision course set," announced Michelson as the main rocket engine died. "That's the last of our fuel." Dr. Grigori stared out at the stars.... Continue Reading →

X One

Target acquired... To my optical sensors it's invisible, but nothing could conceal the heat signature from its engines. Another human pilot is about to make a run at the quarantine zone.

Split Decision

Against the backdrop of stars, Comet Spencer Jones glowed like the surface of the Sun. Giordano knew this was an illusion: her spacesuit HUD interfaced with the shipboard computer to project a false-color image. Though the comet shone brightly in gamma frequencies, it was dark as the black sands of Maui in visible light. She tried to focus on calibrating the railgun, rather than the eerie glow that constantly hovered in her peripheral vision.

Quaoar

On Quaoar, Kuiper Belt Objects, and the controversial demotion of Pluto. Quaoar arrived on the astronomical scene during a period of turmoil. You see, it was not alone...

O’Neill Cylinder

For day fifteen of the A-to-Z challenge, I thought I would take a brief break from fiction and take a look at a type of space station. O is for O'Neill Cylinder, which some may know it as "Island Three," where Island One and Island Two are the comparatively much smaller Stanford Torus and Bernal Sphere. Interior... Continue Reading →

Making Out in the Main Belt

Halfway through the A-to-Z challenge! M is for mothership, a large ship that carries smaller ships. Flying saucers and bug-eyed monsters are not necessarily involved, though they certainly make things more fun. Through the porthole, the stars spun in slow, lazy circles. Jako tried to ignore them, and the queasy sensation of microgravity. Instead he focused his... Continue Reading →

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