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News from Brandon Q. Morris
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Welcome to the Fire Moon!

Io is a moon of giant planet Jupiter. It is full of dangers like volcanoes, hot sulphur lakes and lava flows. But is it also home to a great danger that threatens all of humanity? That’s what a surprise message from the life form discovered on Enceladus seems to indicate.

Do you dare to explore the secrets of the Fire Moon? The book is now available here:
hard-sf.com/links/405829

I wish you much fun while reading it.

May I also ask you a question? I would like to do a promotion for The Enceladus Mission, the first part of the series. In early January, the book will be visible on the start page of all Kindles in the US and abroad for two weeks. To make this promo super successful, it would be great if the book had lots of reviews. If you'd like to support an author, you could simply leave a review here (the link goes directly to the right page):

hard-sf.com/links/405831

You don't have to write a novel (as I'm doing right now), just a few sentences. I thank you very much.

Did you know you are not alone liking The Enceladus Mission? Kirkus Reviews wrote a great piece about it that I'm happy to share here.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/brandon-q-morris/the-enceladus-mission/

Kind regards from my nightly desk!

Brandon Q. Morris


 
A super-Earth orbiting Barnard’s Star
The closest individual star to the Sun is apparently orbited by a rocky planet. This was discovered by astronomers using the radial velocity method. This method is based on the fact that stars and planets affect each other. With each revolution of a planet around its host star, the star will also move a little, toward and away from the Earth. This produces a red-shift or blue-shift in the star’s light and this shift can be measured.
However, the effect is very small, so very precise observations are needed over a very long time period. In the case of Barnard’s Star, the discovery published in Nature is based on data that was collected over twenty-year time period using seven different instruments. This data indicates that there must be a planet orbiting the red dwarf and it must have a mass at least 3.2 times the mass of the Earth. Its orbital period is 233 days. That corresponds approximately to the orbital period of Venus. Continue reading →
Epsilon Indi C: a moon as massive as 70 Jupiters?

The star Epsilon Indi is just barely visible with the naked eye in the southern sky. It is at a distance of 11.8 light-years from the Earth and has approximately the same size as the Sun but is somewhat older. It has also turned the usual classification of star, planet, and moon upside down.

This is because what we see is only Epsilon Indi A, but the star is orbited by a brown dwarf with a mass of 75 Jupiters and this brown dwarf has, in turn, a companion with a mass of 70 Jupiters.  Continue reading →

The Titan Probe
The universe has gotten lumpier
Four-fifths of the matter in the universe is invisible. Nevertheless, this “dark matter” will determine the fate of the cosmos. But how is it distributed? That can be determined by measuring its gravitational effects. Gravity also changes the path that light takes as it travels from distant galaxies. The Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) of the Japanese Subaru telescope has studied these effects for approximately ten million galaxies. The farther away a galaxy is, the longer it takes its light to reach us, and the farther back we can see into the past. This allows us not only to measure the distribution of dark matter today, but we can also make statements on its distribution in the past. Continue reading →
Can gravitational waves be used to transmit data?
Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, but these rhythmic changes in the structure of space-time were not proven until 2016. Could it be possible to impress information on them – like with electromagnetic radiation – and to read this information back without distortion or loss of information?  Yes, a team of Russian mathematicians has now shown. This is not obvious, because space-time, as a “medium,” appears to have special characteristics that are not handled by the theory of general relativity. The important question is thus: do these characteristics mean that transmitted data will always be distorted? Continue reading →
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