Neighbours in SF terms!

I’m absolutely delighted with the SFSignal review of my short story Flex and Flux in the Aphrodite Terra anthology.  All the stories in this collection were themed on our neighbouring planet, Venus and edited by Ian Sales.

The review includes the soundbite (is this the right word? Maybe it should be textbite!) is:

“Flex and Flux” by Rosie Oliver, the anchor and perhaps my favorite story, is a wondrous hard science fiction story of solar sailing and desperate measures to try and make the trip from Venus back to Earth.

In the meantime there is a galaxy not so far far away that has been discovered. In fact a galaxy that orbits our own Milky Way has been discovered only 380,000 light years away from Earth. It is being called Crater 2. More details can be found here. Just to give you an idea of how close it is in galactic terms, our Milky Way has a diameter of 100,000 light years. Yep, that’s close.

Which of course brings up a couple of interesting questions.

The first is just how many galaxies are there close by?

Actually quite a few. Those galaxies that are closer are:

  • Canis Major Dwarf
  • Sagittarius Dwarf
  • Large Magellanic Clouds
  • Small Magellanic Clouds
  • Ursa Major Dwarf II
  • Ursa Minor Dwarf
  • Draco Dwarf
  • Sculptor Dwarf
  • Sextans Dwarf Spheroidal
  • Ursa Major I

Phew! This sounds quite crowded!

However, what it does mean is that if we humans find a way of transiting our own Milky Way, it will only be a matter of time before we do some serious galaxy hopping!

The second question is why didn’t we notice this and other close by galaxies before now?

The answer is that they are so faint in our night sky or so spread out that they appear like small stars. But it does give rise to the natural question of what size or luminosity does an object have to be at a given distance before we notice it? If we extrapolate such questions, we can come up with some interesting ideas for science fiction stories… go write…

Local_Group_Satellite_Galaxies

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