Maybe soon we’ll get to Mars!

For today:
A sobering look at being an author and getting published: from Ian Irvine.
And, on a happier or perhaps more optimistic note, here’s what we’d need to Mars to make it habitable!  

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Heidi out.

Advertisements

Why Hello There, Kepler 452b!

I was very excited to hear NASA’s press conference this morning that announced the discovery of the most-similar-to-earth planet yet!  Kepler 452b (I wonder when we’ll get a proper name and what it will be?) orbits a G-Type star like ours and orbits at a very similar distance to earth.

There you can see the previous earth-like planets. Notice that they’re closer to the bottom of the graph, indicating that they are orbiting stars that are cooler than our own.

Notice the position of Kepler 452 and how close it is to Earth on this graph!

Amazing!

What we know about Kepler 452b so far:

  • Kepler 452b has about 5 times the mass of Earth
  • It has about twice earth-normal gravity
  • It is about 1400 light years away from us
  • We don’t know if there are other planets in that solar system yet (we haven’t observed any, though there could be other planets that haven’t orbited between us and their sun yet, or they could be orbiting off-axis)
  • Kepler 452b orbits its sun in 385 days, quite similar to earth’s 365 day year
  • It receives an amount of energy on its surface that is similar to what earth gets
  • Kepler 452b will be in the optamistic habitable zone for quite a long time to come, about another 3.5 billion years.  Check it:

We know very little about its atmosphere so far, but the models we have suggest that it does have an atmosphere, though we don’t know its composition yet.

It will be exciting to see what else we can learn about Kepler 452b.

Here’s the news briefing materials from today’s announcement.

Learn more about Kapler’s mission here.

Thanks to NASA for sharing the live feed of the conference today.

I think I’ll start paying attention to when they’re making other announcements like this; what an exciting time for space discoveries!

Thanks for checking in.

Heidi out.

My book is coming true before my very eyes…

It is at once exciting and frustrating to see my sci-fi future coming to pass.  Exciting to see how things are progressing down the path I speculated they would- nice to know I can see into the future somewhat correctly sometimes.  Frustrating because, well, once all the things happen, my book isn’t going to be as topical.  I want it out in the wild soon, to stir the pot with all the questions that we’ll have to be asking once things get really serious.

And they are getting serious!  Check it: “Scientists want to bring 22 animals back from extinction.”  DE-Extinction.  I can’t wait!  I know I know, it’s going to be years, decades, before things start actually showing results.  But I’m still pretty excited.

As usual, relevant TED Talk.

And here’s the thread on Reddit about it (ignore all the “comment removed” posts; memes and jokes are simply not tolerated in the science subreddit).

So, I hope I can find someone to help me sell my book, and get it on the shelves, while its content is just starting to make it into the public awareness.  Also, it’d be pretty sweet to have current affairs to help me out in the publicity department…  🙂

Right!  Well, onwards.  I’m going to write a children’s short story tomorrow, one about dragons, for Spellbound.  And then, thinking of the next big project.  Something that’s started to just peek into my conscious thought is this desire to put my fantasy series on the big screen… and I have to resist for now.

…Because I’ve decided not to continue writing anything that could be a series until I sell it.  If I write the first book in a series, as I’ve done twice now, I will leave it be until I can actually publish it, and there’s an audience who wants more.

This is great, it’ll mean I can keep breaking new ground with new ideas and characters, and have the benefit of creating a huge body of work that I could continue at any time.  Once I “make it” I’ll have several series that I could choose to continue if there’s an audience for them.

I leave you with this picture, from another planet!  It absolutely blows my mind that we have something on another planet, and it’s sending us back pictures.

Thanks for reading.

Heidi out.

Checking in, Space, Baby Cakes

I have spent the morning reading over past short stories, seeing if can do any work on them, or perhaps adapt them for the screen.  Seems as though I’ve been infected with the screenwriting bug, and it’s addling my brain into wanting to write more scripts.

Good?  Bad?  I never wanted to write short stories; they were supposed to be a stepping stone for larger projects.  And now that I’ve had some success getting them published, what do?  :O

While I’m bandying that about in my head, I will see if any of my fellow writers need a second set of eyes on anything.  I’ve contacted a few of my writing-exchange peeps, and maybe I can help them out with whatever they’re working on.

Oh hey, did you ever want to know how many people are in space right now?

Heh.  Spoiler: it’s 6.  I can’t wait until we’re in the tripple digits for this.  I am ever excited to see how space exploration progresses in my short window of observation (another what, seventy years?).  🙂

And now, BABY CAKES!  Teeny, tiny cakes.  They were fun.  My friend and I made them before games day, and then the group feasted on the fruits of our labour.

Getting the components all laid out:

Cutting the mini-cupcakes to size:

Taking up the whole table:

Some of the finished products: (d20 for scale!)

So tiny!

The two-layer cakes were amazing.

Each one more adorable than the last!


Tiny LAYER cake you say?

Heh.  Sure was fun.

Bonus pic: our SUPER close game of Lords of Waterderp (this was before we scored our Lords mind you, but WOW!):

Good thing I’m back at the gym again!  Nice to be able to indulge every now and then.

Cheers guys.  Hope you’re feeling as good as I do right now.  😀

Heidi out.