Just like a doofus with the remote control bouncing between two TV shows, planets can bounce between stars in a binary system… … More Star-hoppers: planets bouncing between binary stars
Here’s something brand new – we made a big splash!
A pile of free-floaters just dropped with a crash!
A hundred new rogue planets! Yup, we just found ‘em
They orbit among stars instead of around ‘em. … More A flock of free-floaters
Just one stretched-out orbit takes up lots of space
Can’t add any planets, there just isn’t space
Now, circles are best. And trust me, I’ve tried
Eight or ten orbits fit nicely inside. … More We’re in the cosmic 1%
Planets and bread may have something in common. The starter. Some of the best breads use a yeast starter. A starter is just a small piece of dough from an older batch of bread. The starter provides the yeast for the next batch. Each batch builds on the last one. An essential ingredient for today’s … More ‘Oumuamua: the gift that keeps on giving
Just like people, planets are born and they die. We know how people die. But google “how planets die” and you’ll get the wrong answer. … More How planets die
Gas giants are the bullies of planetary systems. They are hundreds of times more massive than small rocky or icy worlds, so when gas giants throw a tantrum, their whole planetary system feels it. Giant planet moons are among the innocent bystanders swept up in the chaos. Giant planets around other stars have different orbits … More Exo-moons: Innocent bystanders during gas giant instabilities
Systems of super-Earths may form as long resonant chains, most of which go unstable. … More Super-Earths: breaking the (resonant) chains!
This planet and star, now, you really should know ‘em.
And that’s why I’m bothering writing this poem. … More Is our closest neighbor an Eyeball planet? A Proxima poem
Carl Sagan famously called Earth the “pale blue dot”. Viewed from a large distance, that is what our complex, vibrant, living planet looks like. In the search for life around other stars, we should be looking for other pale blue dots, right? Maybe not. There is some reason to think that not all habitable planets … More The colors of other worlds
Welcome to Real-life Sci-fi worlds. I use science to explore life-bearing worlds that are the settings for science fiction stories. Up today: can the moon of a gas giant planet — like Pandora from the movie Avatar — really be habitable? Pandora is one of the coolest-ever settings for a science fiction story. The life-bearing … More Real-life sci-fi world #6: Pandora (from the movie Avatar), the habitable moon of a gas giant planet