Cohorts of stars orbiting black holes (with planets, moons, and eclipses!)

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!)

Real-life Sci-Fi World #2: the Hot Eyeball planet

Welcome to Real-life Sci-fi worlds.  We use science to explore life-bearing worlds that are good settings for science fiction.  Up today: the hot Eyeball planet. Planets very close to their stars are too hot for life, right?  Well, not always! Take the Earth and move it closer and closer to the Sun.  It gets hotter … More Real-life Sci-Fi World #2: the Hot Eyeball planet

Something amazing will happen on June 15th but no one on Earth will see it

I discovered something spectacular completely by accident.  I was getting ready for the announcement of the discovery of the extra-solar planet Kepler-186 f.  You remember, the Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone?  It was all over the news (even in French) just a couple months ago. I made an animation of the Kepler-186 system.  The … More Something amazing will happen on June 15th but no one on Earth will see it

Building the ultimate Solar System part 5: putting the pieces together

We are building the ultimate Solar System.    In Part 1 we chose the right star.  In Part 2 we chose the right planets. In Part 3 we chose the right orbits for the planets.  In Part 4 we learned two ninja moves about how more than one planet/moon can share the same orbit. Today’s … More Building the ultimate Solar System part 5: putting the pieces together

Building the ultimate Solar System part 4: two ninja moves — moons and co-orbital planets

We are building the ultimate Solar System.    In Part 1 we chose the right star.  In Part 2 we chose the right planets. In Part 3 we chose the right orbits for the planets. Today’s job: Discovering two ninja moves that will allow us to pack way more worlds in the habitable zone. The … More Building the ultimate Solar System part 4: two ninja moves — moons and co-orbital planets

Building the ultimate Solar System part 3: choosing the planets’ orbits

We are building the ultimate Solar System.    In Part 1 we chose the right star.  In Part 2 we chose the right planets. Today’s job: choosing the right orbits for the planets. Let’s get started.  Our goal is simple.  We want to pack as many planets into our star’s habitable zone as possible.  We … More Building the ultimate Solar System part 3: choosing the planets’ orbits

An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star

In the spirit of last week’s poetic post, here are two more stanzas for your reading pleasure…. There is a new exoplanet in town. This planet has only just now been found. Why should you care?  It’s only one more. Well this is one planet we’d love to explore. This planet’s orbit is really just … More An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star