Blue Origin brings Science Fiction to Life

Blue Origins after its historic landing back at the launch site in Texas. Courtesy Blue Origin.

The Reusable Rocket is Now a Reality The folks at Blue Origin made science fiction come to life  on November 23rd with the launch of the New Shepard space vehicle. It’s designed to launch, deploy its crew capsule payload, and then land safely back on its retractable legs. The test, … Continue reading

Alien Merry-Go-Round Discovered?

An artist's concept of a Ring World around a star, a concept written about by SF writer Larry Niven. Image Courtesy Hill, CC By-SA 3.0.

Nope. But, there IS a Star with Something REALLY Cool! Alien hunters in the mainstream media were delighted to hear that the Kepler mission to search out distant exoplanets found what they thought was unmistakeable evidence of life elsewhere in the universe — preferably little green beings with medical instruments … Continue reading

In Memory of A Sunspot Watcher


Rest in Peace, Daddy My father, John H. Collins, Sr., died recently after a lifetime of raising a family, serving his country, working hard, and being a stargazer. In particular, he loved to watch for sunspots. He counted them, he sketched them, and through his observations, tracked the cycles by … Continue reading

Snakeskin Pluto

In this extended color image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, rounded and bizarrely textured mountains, informally named the Tartarus Dorsa, rise up along Pluto’s day-night terminator and show intricate but puzzling patterns of blue-gray ridges and reddish material in between. This view, roughly 330 miles (530 kilometers) across, combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) on July 14, 2015, and resolves details and colors on scales as small as 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers).

New Horizons Images Continue to Dazzle Okay. I am officially surprised. Pluto just got even MORE interesting than ever! Not only is it a colorful-looking icy world, but it’s got the weirdest snakeskin surface features I think I’ve ever seen. As soon as I saw this image, I thought immediately … Continue reading