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News from Brandon Q. Morris
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At the dark side of an alien planet

You witnessed Eve, Adam and Marchenko discover a new world. But they are not finished yet, not having found what they came for. So they venture into the darkness – the cold side of Proxima Centauri. What they will find is not exactly bright either. My new book, Proxima Dying, got this title for a reason. Are you brave enough to follow the crew?
 
If yes, click here: hard-sf.com/links/652182

As always, the book ends with a bonus, and it is dark as well. I'll introduce you to dark matter.

More news: The audiobook for The Hole goes live the day after tomorrow. You can already preorder it on Audible or Amazon, the publisher told me.

You may have heard this from me already, but if you like my books, you could do me one favour. The most important thing for an author are reviews. To make it easier, here are eight links you can just follow by clicking through from your e-mail inbox:

Enceladus Mission: hard-sf.com/links/301085
Titan Probe: hard-sf.com/links/301640
Io Encounter:  hard-sf.com/links/343772
Return to Enceladus: hard-sf.com/links/397097
The Hole: hard-sf.com/links/454488
Silent Sun:  hard-sf.com/links/521420
The Rift: hard-sf.com/links/534345
Proxima Rising: hard-sf.com/links/610639

I thank you very much.

What about the future? There will be a third "Proxima". Also, "Jupiter", set after the ice moon books, is already finished. In October, "Mars Nation" will be released simultaneously world-wide. So you can expect at least four more books from me this year.

Do you speak Spanish? Hablas español? The spanish version of The Enceladus Mission, Encélado, is nearly ready. Have a look at it here: hard-sf.com/links/709448 If you like, I can send you a review copy.

Sincerely yours
Brandon Q. Morris

Terraforming Mars
In the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers have presented an exciting method for transforming Mars into a fertile planet: they want to cover our neighbor with a thin layer made of silicate aerogels. How is that supposed to work? The Red Planet has two properties that make the existence of life on its surface more difficult. First, it is significantly too cold there, and second, life can be destroyed by the cosmic radiation that is incident on the Mars surface in much higher amounts than on the Earth due to Mars’s thin atmosphere. If we wanted to create Earth-like conditions, for example, liquid water on the surface of Mars, we’d have to raise the average temperature by approximately 50 degrees Celsius. Continue reading →
Tungsten as radiation protection for life

Tungsten is a heavy metal with impressive properties: the white, shiny material doesn’t melt until the temperature is at 3422 °C and doesn’t boil until 5930 °C. It is resistant to almost all acids and has approximately the density of gold. It is also interesting that all its natural isotopes are theoretically unstable. Their half-lives, however, are on the order of trillions of years, so their decomposition is not measurable on our time scales. Humans have used tungsten to construct light-bulb filaments for incandescent and fluorescent lights. In the carbon compound, tungsten carbide, it is almost twice as hard as diamond, which is why it is indispensable in tool manufacturing and design. But even microorganisms seem to know there’s something useful about this stuff. Some organisms, for example, thermophilic archaea and akaryote organisms, have adapted to the extreme conditions of tungsten environments and have found a way to assimilate tungsten. This has been studied in more detail by a team led by Tetyana Milojevic from the Chemistry department at the University of Vienna.  Continue reading →

Did you miss one?
The Rift: Buy for $3.99
Silent Sun: Buy for $3.99
The Hole: Buy for $3.99
The Enceladus Mission: Buy for $2.99
The Titan Probe: Buy for $3.99
The Io Encounter: Buy for $3.99
Return to Enceladus: Buy for $3.99
Proxima Rising: Buy for $3.99
Proxima Dying: Buy for $3.99
Old and young at the same time?
At the end of their life, main sequence stars (which also include our Sun) develop into red giants. This fate is predestined for them. However, it’s not so easy to figure out the true age of a red giant. This is because there are many individual factors that can accelerate or slow down their development. Astronomers have gotten rather good at this in recent years, but there are always exceptions. Four years ago, researchers of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy discovered red giants whose age estimates differed by up to four billion years depending on the estimation method. “The stars appeared to be old and young at the same time,” recalled Dr. Saskia Hekker from MPS and the University of Aarhus in Denmark, who was a member of both teams at the time. The researcher was never able to let go of the paradox, and now, with her colleague Dr. Jennifer A. Johnson of Ohio State University, they’ve solved it. The giant stars are only faking their youthful age. Continue reading →
Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card
With a few SF and fantasy writing colleagues, I'm doing a little sweepstakes that you might be interested in. Until July 31, you can win one of two Amazon gift cards by clicking here to win →
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