To celebrate the opening of Avatar 2, I made a series of slides to give a little more astrophysical context to Pandora. And, like the movies, it’s all about the visuals… … More Astrophysics of Pandora, the moon-world from Avatar
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
This post starts off with some world-building, jumps into eclipses and moons’ orbits, and finishes with a brand new Kalgash system that Isaac Asimov would be proud of (dropped into darkness every 2000 years!). More than one planet can share the same orbit around a star. This is not big news: the concept of Trojan … More Cohorts of stars orbiting black holes (with planets, moons, and eclipses!)
Where are those Trojans? Just where are they hiding?
Are they at the store, or maybe hang-gliding?
We think they exist — just what have we missed?
Well, every good story should end with a twist… … More The mystery of the missing planets
Sometimes removing the outer atmosphere from a Neptune-like planet can reveal an ocean paradise! … More Second chance planets 2: Pre-terraformed, habitable evaporated cores of mini-Neptunes
Planets orbit stars. Moons orbit planets. But no moons have their own moons (let’s call them submoons). Why is that? … More Can moons have moons?
One star. Two planets share an orbit, with one following a horseshoe-shaped path around the other. Boom! … More Real-life Sci-Fi World 14: A horseshoe planetary system
Welcome to what might very well be the culmination of the Building the Ultimate Solar System series. Teaser: the system built in this post could also be called the Ultimate Engineered Black Hole Eyeball Ringworld Solar System (if you’re really not into the whole brevity thing). Our Solar System has one habitable planet. A few … More The Million Earth Solar System
Let’s find out what it takes to build a system in which a planet remains in perpetual daylight, except for once every few thousand years…. … More Asimov’s Kalgash: a planet in permanent daytime (for real this time!)
Isaac Asimov‘s sci-fi stories are one reason I wanted to become an astronomer (I talked about this in a recent interview). So I’m a little sad to shoot down a classic…. Nightfall is a classic Asimov story (and later, novel). The residents of a planet called Kalgash live in system of six stars that leaves … More Real-life Sci-Fi world 11: Kalgash, a planet in permanent daytime (from Asimov’s Nightfall)