Tag Archive | Astronomy news

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Tonight: Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream 2016

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This evening at 10:00 p.m. EDT airs the annual Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream at whro.org/madblood. This year’s movie will be the director’s cut of the original Night of the Living Dead.

Zombies! The Shambling Dead! How cool is that??



To me, the skits involving the Madblood gang are the best part, but the movie is okay as well if you like the quintessential film by George Romero! The skits take place at Madblood Manor, the home of retired mad scientist Doctor Maximillian Madblood and his monsters.

Pungo Virginia’s resident vampire, Count Lacudra (Dracula spelled sideways 🙂 ) makes an appearance, as Madblood characters lighten the movie segments with humor.

A certain Ninth Doctor impersonator does not appear in the skits, only during the costume party scenes, which are very brief. There are Daleks though, thankfully not encountered by said Ninth Doctor impersonator, as being exterminated by an angry Dalek with only the Sonic as a defense would have been unpleasant. They were made of wood, and the Sonic doesn’t work on wood!

The other cosplayers, though, were brilliant, funny, and very nice people who made the early evening of September 25 enormously fun and memorable.

Enjoy the movie!

Cylindrical Mountains on Venus

An Atlas V Rocket Launches OSIRIS REx

The Antlia Cluster of Galaxies

M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster

The Tulip in the Swan

Full Moon in Mountain Shadow

Cerro Tololo Trails

Eagle Aurora over Norway

HI4PI: The Hydrogen Sky

Clouds Near Jupiter’s South Pole from Juno

Propellor Shadows on Saturn’s Rings

A Giant Squid in the Flying Bat

Haunting the Cepheus Flare

Moonset at Whitby Abbey

Zoom into The Center of Our Galaxy:

The Astrognuz:

MIT Programs Humanoid Robots to Explore Mars

MRO Sees Impact Site of ESA Mars Lander

New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Reddish

Historical Records May Underestimate Sea Level Rise

Seasonal Change on Titan is Dynamic Business

September 2016 is 12th Month in a Row for Record Breaking Temperatures

Space Station Crew Gets Special Delivery from Virginia

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Moral’s Law

Can We Get Space-Madness?

Three Stars Illuminate NGC 6188

Evidence Mounts for Planet Nine

Colliding Galaxies, Black Holes in X-Rays

xkcd: Rosetta

Caturday’s Astrophenia | Lyapunov’s Children: In Transit

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This fortnight I thought I’d do something a long time in coming, my first piece of Lyapunov’s Children fiction. I think it would be best if I build the setting piece by piece, one story at a time. It’s a far cry from Gods of Terra, with almost none of the Lovecraftian in it, but better for it still.

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Laksima stood at her watch-station on the old vessel, a sublight colony ship sent out from the sacred mother planet thousands of cycles ago. She was not one of the old humans, but those were few and far between now. No, she was something different, something new. The conditions of deep space had altered the genome of the descendants of the original crew, creating another daughter species of now-archaic Homo sapiens.

Humans, that ancient species whose technological developments led to the full flowering of post-human descent, spreading from beyond sacred Earth to the stars.

Laksima was to keep watch at the monitor for any signs of cometary bodies, chunks of rock and dirty ice that could pulverize the rickety, ancient vessel on impact. The ship had just entered the Oort cloud of the target system, tail-first while decelerating since mid-journey.

There was something wrong with the virtual display, icons dancing across her vision as the ship slipped between distant icy fragments this far out from the system’s stellar primary. There was something wrong because ice fragments were not supposed to move this way. There were laws of orbital mechanics they had to obey, and yet they were not.

A quick scan revealed a dense core to one of the bodies, tens of thousands of kilometers out, and closing quickly. Whatever it was, it was not a chunk of comet, nor did it seem to approach at an attack vector, and it was slowing down. Laksima ran through the checklist of options available, chose to scan it for signs of alien tech.

Humanity’s descendants had encountered the remains of alien civilizations before, at least twice, both in ruins, with one of them reduced to savagery and the other mercifully extinct.


The object, whatever it was, was radiating strongly in terahertz frequencies, and in bursts of shortwave radio, an ancient but workable communications medium. It was some kind of artifact, and it was transmitting. Ship’s dedicated computer systems, optimized for linguistic analysis, were engaged. It was ancient, but human in origin. And this was its message:

We were the colonists of New Hibernia. Whoever you are, if you get this, welcome to what was once our home. May you make it a better one than we did, squandering its bounty in our greed and stupidity.

Mercury on the Horizon

The Orion Nebula in Infrared from HAWK I

Color the Universe

Dark Dunes on Mars

Falcon 9: Launch and Landing

Galaxy Cluster Abell S1063 and Beyond

Summer Planets and Milky Way

M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula

Deep Magellanic Clouds Image Indicates Collisions

Puzzling a Sky over Argentina

M13: A Great Globular Cluster of Stars

Herschel’s Eagle Nebula

Blue Danube Analemma

Ripples Through a Dark Sky

Image of the Fortnight

NASA’s Hubble Looks to the Final Frontier

The Astrognuz:

The Constellation Caleum

Video of a Chinese Rocket Re-Entering over Western US

Big Picture Science Radio Show | Musical Universe

Five Years Post-Launch, Juno is at a Turning Point

What is Bohr’s Atomic Model?

Red Dwarf in a Binary Gets Zapped with Companion Star’s Deathray

A New Look for SETI

‘We Conquered Jupiter’ Juno Enters Orbit

Carnival of Space #468-469

Ceres Lacks Really Big Craters, Which is Weird

Are Microscopic Martians Buried Here?

Chorus of Black Holes Sings in X-Rays