Sci-Fi Weekly Round-Up: 3.26.16-4.1.16

April 2, 2016

SCIENCE NEWS:

LIGO Gets a Facelift: Remember when the "chirping" sound of two black holes colliding broke the internet last month? LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory that detected the sound waves is getting an upgrade, and will be able to detect distant black hole collisions in as little as three years. Scientists originally thought this type of technology wouldn't be available for decades...so you can imagine how euphoric our country's top astronomers must be feeling right about now.

 

Japanese X-Ray Space Telescope...Radio Silence: AstroH, Japan's brand new Space X-Ray telescope, is having some problems. Launched in the middle of Feb, only a little over a month later, the machine is silent and has stopped communicating with Earth. Pieces of debris were reported seen floating next to the device, but so far, an exact explanation for the malfunction has yet to be defined.

 

Mount Wilson Observatory Is Dirt Poor - Is This the End of An Era? It seems like only yesterday, Edwin Hubble used the Mount Wilson Observatory to discover the galaxy, Andromeda. But now, the site, particularly the 150-foot Solar Telescope, has lost funding, and threatens to be shut down completely.  As is the cycle of telescopes, it would seem. Anyone still investing in space observation technology, has moved on to bigger, newer, projects, leaving observatories such at Mount Wilson to the upkeep of volunteers.

 

Telescope Crowd Funding: Antonio Paris, an astronomer at St. Petersburg College in Florida, is looking to recreate Jerry Ehman's "Wow!" moment from the 1977 Big Ear telescope recording. The fascination of many a Sci-Fi lover, the "Wow!" moment was speculated to be indicative of alien life in the universe. At the same time, there were two Sun-orbiting comets in the sky...and Paris believes they were the culprits. In January of 2017 and 2018, the comets are coming back. But Paris is short on funds for the telescope needed to observe the comets, so he's started a GoFundMe page. Looking for a way to invest in space observation? Well, here's your chance!

 

Synthetic Cells! The New Scientific Frontier! Craig Venter, and his team of scientists, have created the first synthetic cell. With only 473 genes (compared to humans who have 20K+), it's a cell capable of life at its most basic form. Venter, a biologist who famously mapped the human genome, notes that the most interesting aspect of the synthetic cell creation is discovering how little we still know. 

 

Found - Missing Earth Mineral: A meteorite that crashed into Australia 135 years ago contains a mineral that until now, has been missing from Earth. A variety of majorite, arranged in a deformed cube, the mineral contains 32 magnesium atoms, 96 oxygen atoms, and 32 silicon atoms. Mineralogists believe this mineral may be bountiful in Earth's sinking tectonic plates, and thus, could help geologists better understand what lies far beneath the surface of our planet.

 

It's Getting Hot In Here, Super-Earth: In a galaxy only 40 light-years away, super-Earth 55 Cancri e, is sizzling. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope's recent observations of the planet have provided scientists with their first heat map of the rocky planet, almost twice the size of Earth. The map reveals that the planet is unable to efficiently spread heat around the surface, resulting in hot nights and even hotter days. The planet is in a tight orbit around its star, taking only 18 hours to completely revolve. In addition, the planet is tidally locked by gravity to the star, just as our Moon is to Earth, meaning one side of the planet is forever blinded by light, while the other side is eternally shrouded in darkness.

 

Earth's Young Copycat? Of all the galaxies, in all the universe, this planet just happened to copy Earth. This week, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) released images of a planet-forming disk around a star 175 million light-years away. What's so interesting about this star and this newly developing planet (estimated to be only 10 million years old) are the similarities to the Sun and its relationship to Earth. The star is very similar in size to the Sun and the planet's orbit is excitingly similar to Earth's. The space between this star and this baby planet is almost exactly the same as our distance to the Sun. 

 

 

SCI-FI BOOK RELEASES:

Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy

Author: Chuck Wendig

Release Date: 3.29.16

 

"As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders."

 

 

 

Javelin Rain

Author: Myke Cole

Release Date: 3.29.16

 

"Javelin: A code denoting the loss of a national security asset with strategic impact.

 

Rain: A code indicating a crisis of existential proportions.

 

Javelin Rain incidents must be resolved immediately, by any and all means necessary, no matter what the cost...

 

Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded "Javelin Rain." Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not."

 

 

 

Destroyer
(The Void Wraith Trilogy Book 1) 

Author: Chris Fox

Release Date: 3.28.16

 

"Mankind’s outer colonies are disappearing. Without warning. Without a trace. Fleet command chalks the attacks up to pirates, but Captain Dryker of the UFC Johnston isn’t buying it.

 

Defying command, he leads his misfit crew into hostile territory in search of answers. They encounter the mythical Void Wraith, an unstoppable legend whispered by the first race. After 26,000 years the Void Wraith have returned to begin the next Eradication. Their technology is superior, their motives unclear."

 

 

 

Merciless

(V Plague Book 11)

Author: Dirk Patton

Release Date: 3.27.16

 

"John is in the hands of the Russian military as the conflict escalates. His only hope is to escape as those he loves are threatened by nuclear attacks. When a new Russian plot is revealed, the survivors must battle to save the last vestiges of humanity from final annihilation."

 

 

 

The Blood Red City

Author: Justin Richards

Release Date: March 2016

 

"The alien Vril are waking, and the Never War is heating up. Colonel Brinkman and his team at Station Z desperately need answers - they have to discover exactly what they are facing and how the attack will come. But the information doesn't come easily. With a major Vril offensive imminent, the Nazis step up their own project to exploit Vril weapons and technology.Leo Davenport finds himself fighting with the Greek resistance as he struggles to solve an ancient mystery. Major Guy Pentecross must travel to the ruined deathtrap of the most dangerous city in the world to track down the one man who can help.From a spaceship crash in Bavaria in 1934 to the rat-infested devastation of Stalingrad, from the ancient ruins of occupied Greece to the bombed-out streets of London, the second book of the Never War series continues a secret history of the Second World War in which humanity itself is fighting for survival..."

 

 

 

The Weather

Author: Caighlan Smith

Release Date: March 2016

 

"In the middle of a barren wasteland, a small town goes through the motions as if nothing's changed. Lolly has school, a part time job, a senile grandmother that needs looking after. But everything has changed, and Lolly's always one storm away from facing that."

 

 

 

 

Transgalactic

Author: James Gunn

Release Date: March 2016

 

"When Riley and Asha finally reached the planet Terminal and found the Transcendental Machine, a matter transmission device built by an ancient race, they chose to be "translated." Now in possession of intellectual and physical powers that set them above human limitations, the machine has transported them to two, separate, unknown planets among a possibility of billions.Riley and Asha know that together they can change the galaxy, so they attempt to do the impossible--find each other."

 

 

SCI-FI FILM RELEASES:

None this week.
 

 

 

SCI-FI TV PREMIERES:

None this week.

 

 

Please reload

EBOOK & PAPERBACK
ON SALE NOW!

THE FARMED

A dystopian, action-adventure trilogy set in San Francisco.

favorite posts

CRISPR: The Update You've Been Waiting For.

September 30, 2017

1/10
Please reload

Categories

Please reload

ARCHIVES

Please reload

Let's Ride This Crazy Social Media Train Together...
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Snapchat Icon
writer | author | sci-fi storyteller

Lisa Caskey

writer | author | sci-fi storyteller
© 2016 by Lisa Caskey
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon
  • White Instagram Icon