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News from Brandon Q. Morris
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A mysterious object threatens our civilization

A mysterious object threatens to destroy our solar system. The survival of humankind is at risk, but nobody takes the warning of young astrophysicist Maribel Pedreira seriously. At the same time, an exiled crew of outcasts mines for rare minerals on a lone asteroid.

When other scientists finally acknowledge Pedreira’s alarming discovery, it becomes clear that these outcasts are the only ones who may be able to save our world, knowing that THE HOLE hurtles inexorably toward the sun.

Would you like to come with me to a lone asteroid mine? I invite you to get on board now. Your ticket is available here:
hard-sf.com/links/524825 (e-book or print)

I wish you much fun while reading it!

Oh, and what's next? Silent Sun is next. 
hard-sf.com/links/524828

You will meet several cast members from the Enceladus series in both books. They are stand-alone novels though.

What can you expect next? In "The Rift" a rift appears at Earth's sky. I looks innocent, but ... And then we will have the Proxima trilogy that is set on nearby Proxima Centauri. I promise: no magic, just technology as the laws of nature are permitting.

Kind regards from my nightly desk!

Brandon Q. Morris


 
No ninth planet after all?
Since around the start of this millennium, astronomers have been actively searching for a planet somewhere out beyond the orbit of Neptune. When Pluto was demoted to a minor planet, “Planet X” became “Planet IX.” At the same time, however, more evidence has been discovered that suggests it does exist. According to the data, a ninth planet should have a mass approximately ten times the mass of the Earth and should orbit the Sun with a semi-axis between 400 and 1500 astronomical units (distance from the Sun to the Earth). Scientists have derived its existence from the discovery of trans-Neptunian objects, such as Sedna, the so-called distant detached objects, which move on highly elliptical orbits that are significantly inclined relative to the ecliptic. Continue reading →
Patterns in the clouds of Venus

Venus is often called “Earth’s hot sister.” It is called “sister” because it is similar to our home planet in size and shape. But its atmosphere is characterized by extreme pressure and high temperatures. On the surface, temperatures can reach up to 460 °C (860 °F). The planet needs 243 Earth days to make one revolution about its axis, while Earth needs only one day, but the Earth always takes its atmosphere along with it like a good, well-behaved planet. On Venus, however, a fast, 360 km/h (224 mph) easterly wind roars at an altitude of 60 kilometers (37 miles), which completely circles the planet in only four days (called “atmospheric superrotation”).  Continue reading →

Did you miss one?
The Enceladus Mission: Buy for $3.99
The Titan Probe: Buy for $3.99
The Io Encounter: Buy for $3.99
Return to Enceladus: Buy for $3.99
Heavy stars die in a cocoon
When it’s time for particularly heavy stars to die, they don’t go without a lot of fireworks. If a star that has run out of fuel has a mass greater than 25 times the mass of the Sun, its core will collapse and form a neutron star or a black hole, and gigantic jets of matter will be emitted at its poles. These jets penetrate through the outermost layers of the star and generate so much gamma radiation that astronomers can observe these jets as flashes (Gamma Ray Bursts, GRBs). Continue reading →
A cosmic beacon
The Hubble Space Telescope has succeeded in imaging an especially bright quasar from the dawn of the universe. As astronomers report in a paper, J043947.08+163415.7 is 12.8 billion light-years away. That also means that we can see 12.8 billion years into the past. When the light that is reaching us today was emitted from the quasar, the universe was still in its epoch of reionization. Continue reading →
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