It’s like an avalanche at the moment… So I’m going to do things in sections:
Phobos is breaking up: See here for more details. Given what is my short story Space Blind (unpublished, but a few people have seen it), this does not come as a surprise. What is interesting is the striations are a sign of imminent (in astronomical timetables) break-up. A useful snippet for a science fiction writer somewhere perhaps?
Pi and Quantum Mechanics Connection:
In 1655, an English mathematician, John Wallis produced the following formula for calculating pi – you know that pesky little number associated with calculating various properties of circles – which is:
Well, apparently a couple of clever physicists noticed this formula popping up in equations to do with the energy levels of an electron in a hydrogen atom. More details here.
This one has me particularly excited (no pun with electron energy levels intended) because I was working on a follow-on novel to my Miranda novel that involved quantum physics at this smidgen level, and it involved hyperspheres, which of course would involve pi…
[As I haven’t found anyone interested in publishing the Miranda novel, the follow-on novel has also quite naturally been laid to rest.]
Asteroid Mining Law: The senate has voted to pass the Space Act of 2015 that legalises asteroid mining. Details here. This of course is the USA. I’m not familiar with the details, but I hope that it takes due account of other countries’ interests. The question is: Why is this not being considered by our parliament in the UK?
New Dwarf Planet at Edge of our Solar System:
Up to now, Eris at 97 Astronomical Units (AUs) has been the farthest out of the dwarf planets in our Solar System [The other designated dwarf planets are Ceres, Pluto, Haumea and Makemake.] But they’ve found one at 103 AUs, about three times as far as Pluto is from the Sun. Estimated at between 310 and 620 miles wide, it is half the size of Pluto. More details here.
Again this does not surprise me. I have written a short story (which was subbed in 2013 and haven’t had a response yet – sigh) that touches on the legal implications of this. It makes for interesting thoughts all round, and would actually be a basis for some darned good science fiction novels.
Well, that should give you all something interesting to write about if you were short for ideas for science fiction stories.