Recent astronomy news gave us word of a planet around a double star system. This is the first ever planet around a binary star that has been positively identified (outside of tataouine – but that was in a galaxy far, far away). This is encouraging both because it looks like a habitable location, but also…… Continue reading Spec Tech: The Habitable Zone
Fictional universes can be strange places, but to my endless fascination the real universe — the one you and I actually live in — is a pretty strange place too. Over countless years of looking up astronomers have discovered some very, very strange things in the sky. Here are some odd places that really exist.…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Weird Places in the Universe
Every day throughout the universe old stars are exploding in fantastic, trembling concussions of mass and energy. Suffice it to say that you wouldn’t want to be next door when this happened. But just how close is too close? Is there a minimum safe distance from supernovae for an Earth-like planet? The exact answer is—of…… Continue reading Spec Tech: How Close is too Close for Supernovae?
White dwarfs are the fossilized remains of once proud stars. Just because they are past their prime doesn’t mean they are boring by any means. Many humans, and presumably other creatures out there too, find them among the most interesting objects in the universe. Stellar Life Cycles Evidence is growing that most stars form the…… Continue reading Spec Tech: White Dwarfs
Why is it that we see light the way we do? Or, rephrased slightly, would we expect creatures from other worlds to see the same way we do? The answer to the first question is part biological, part chemical and part astronomical. The short version is a combination of the convenient chemistry of the molecules…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Seeing Green