Time for an astro-thought experiment. You belong to a super-advanced civilization with the ability to shape the cosmos as you wish. You can move around black holes, stars, planets, comets and moons (like the builders of the ultimate planetary systems). What would your civilization plan for big celebrations? What are their ‘fireworks’? What astronomical phenomena … More Cosmic fireworks!
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
If too many rocks hit a planet by chance
It breaks up the system’s whole resonant dance! … More Bombardment of 7 orbs
The time capsule must serve as a beacon. Any other civilization that detects it should immediately suspect that it is of artificial origin. And it needs to survive for countless billions of years. … More A cosmic time capsule
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!)
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%
The Sun will puff up to gargantuan size
As big as Earth’s orbit. And fill up our skies
The red giant Sun will eat Venus alive
But Mercury’s first. It will not survive. … More Reading Earth’s Destiny in the “Blood Spatter” Around Other Stars
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
Some people like to call Jupiter and Saturn the “architects” of the Solar system, as though they had a clear plan for how our system should turn out. Not us. We think of the gas giants as bullies that pushed Earth around and made a lot of decisions for us. … More Behold Jupiter and Saturn, the bullies of our Solar System
This post is an adventure in world-building. I use N-body simulations to find orbital configurations of planetary systems that (I think) are completely new, pretty awesome and unexpected. It involves cohorts of co-orbital planets… … More Cohorts of co-orbital planets