O’Neill Cylinder from 1931

Buck Rogers adventure in Eros.

In its early days, the “Buck Rogers” comic-strip kept an eye on new developments in astronomy and tried for scientific plausibility based on the (admittedly shaky) facts of the day. The asteroid Eros was discovered in 1931 and appeared in a story that same year. A particularly prescient tale it featured a cylindrical habitat 20 miles long and 5 wide, with gravity produced by centrifugal force.


[1501.07573] Two restrictions in the theories that include G(t) and c(t) varying with time

[1501.07573] Two restrictions in the theories that include G(t) and c(t) varying with time.

If you want G(t) or c(t) – i.e. the Newtonian Gravitational ‘constant’ or the Speed of Light as functions of time – then you get their co-varying partner. The two are inextricably linked by General Relativity. Interesting short paper that discusses what that means. One eye-opener is that “dark energy” must be being produced by sources that are increasing in number as the Universe expands. Or it’s the “energy of space-time” thus more space-time means more dark-energy.

Gravity Balloons? For Living in Space, think BIG!

Colonising the Asteroids is typically imagined as either living in domes on the surface and/or living in excavated tunnels beneath. However, as our knowledge of asteroids has grown, a new location has become apparent – inside the natural cavities that (might) exist within the asteroids. Prior to extensive asteroid studies over the last 20 years, asteroids were conceived of as solid bodies, but as the masses and sizes of the asteroids have been measured by telescopic and radar studies of their shapes, mutual interactions, space-probe flybys and even the orbits of their moons, we’ve come to realise that many asteroids are very “porous”. Not the 1%-5% porosity we know of in soil, but much greater proportions of asteroid insides seem to be just empty space. What if we could use that space?

Gravity Balloons: Colonizing the Asteroid Belt

Gravitational Space Balloons

Sylvia habitat concept

Climate model exposes serious errors in complex computer models


Peer-reviewed pocket-calculator climate model exposes serious errors in complex computer models.

Something that has been noted before. The IPCC models are prone to exaggeration not supported by the evidence. But, note, it’s still getting f***ing hot and more CO2 is bad news for a lot of marine life. There’s still reasons to reduce fossil-fuels dependence (not least being dependent on their supply from oppressive regimes.) Lord Monckton has been a long-time opponent of Climate Alarmism – not denial that it’s happening, but that it’s as catastrophic as claimed. And he’s probably right. But – note this caveat – just because the global picture isn’t as extreme as portrayed, that doesn’t mean we’re not getting *more* weather chaos. Extremes come from perturbing the system and this is reason enough to wean ourselves off burning stuff for energy.

Galileo-style Uranus Tour (2003) | WIRED


Galileo-style Uranus Tour (2003) | WIRED.

Uranus deserves more attention. There’s something weird about its insides – it should be radiating more heat than it does, but something deep inside keeps it bottled up. Plus its moons are fascinating. An Orbiter, as Dave Portree ably discusses, should be able to use the moons for orbit changes just like the “Galileo” mission did during its 1995-2003 sojourn at Jupiter.

The paper outlining the mission is available here: Feasibility of a Galileo-Style Tour of the Uranian Satellites

Next Big Future: Aragoscope could achieve x1000 higher resolution than Hubble Telescope


Next Big Future: Aragoscope is space telescope system that could achieve 1000 times higher resolution than Hubble Telescope.

Hubble presently resolves Eris into a ~1 pixel wide image (Eris is 2,326 km across and Hubble resolves a spot 1,875 km wide at Eris’s distance), so an Aragoscope would image Eris to a ~1,000 pixel image – thus ~2 km/pixel resolution. Unlike Pluto, there’s no “New Horizons” winging its way to image Eris.


We could scan the moons of Jupiter at better than Galileo resolution. At just 4 AU, when closest to Earth, we’d see Europa to the ~0.1 km/pixel level. What does that mean? This is Europa at 1 miles (1.6 km) per pixel…


The moons of Uranus and Neptune would be imaged to the ~same level as the above image of Europa. What’s more they can be studied at leisure, rather than the frantic scramble of a high speed flyby.

Mars can be monitored at the 10 metre/pixel level. Not as good as the rovers on the ground, but a decent bird’s-eye view.

Finally the mysterious possible planets out beyond Neptune, at ~200 to ~250 AU, would be resolved in considerable detail – but first we have to find them.