Oh, wow. Look, and ye shall see all the science spread out before thee.
I’m a big fan of John Bonner’s Comic Crits, and in his latest installment, he’s reviewed Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel, Aurora. As usual, he has some astute observations about the book.
We’re excited to colonize space—but are we really prepared for what we may found out there? Author Kim Stanley Robinson talked with us about some of the things that may come up as we move out into the cosmos—and the big hurdle we still have yet to clear to get to that point in the first place.
This month, io9 read Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel Aurora. Today, from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. (Pacific time), he’ll be joining us to answer questions about lives lived amidst interstellar travel, artificial intelligences, the familiarities and eccentricities of terraformed planets, and anything else you want to know.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking at. And then things started to make sense, you can see the city lights outline the US and the geographical footprint of other places and then this swirl mixture that basically takes over Canada. It’s the Aurora Borealis at night.
The gentle red glow of aurora and the richness of a star-filled sky make a picture-perfect backdrop the International Space Station.
At the very southernmost point of Earth is Concordia Station, a joint French-Italian inland Antarctic research station with isolation, long stretches of darkness, and low oxygen levels that allow research into the adaptation of human psychology and physiology. Despite all this, it is beautiful.
Brown dwarfs are not quite stars. Some aspects of them resemble planets, like the fact that they have their own versions of “northern lights,” which can be seen from very far away. One of these distant auroras has been captured in the video above
“As the 21st century unfolds, science fiction increasingly comes to seem like a realist rather than a speculative genre,” says one essay/book review in the L.A. Review of Books. It’s just one of a few great pieces up at the LARB site right now, about the choice of futures we face: Mad Max versus Star Trek.
The aurorae here on Earth are a pretty impressive sight to behold, but, just like Earth, it turns out that Mars also has aurorae visible to the naked eye — with one pretty startling difference.
Kickstarted feature film Aurora takes place in the future after an robotic alien invasion that has left our Earth pretty much totaled. The first-ever trailer for this low-budget feature is out, and it's pretty impressive. Check it out.
Taken on March 1, this shows the always-gorgeous aurora casting its spell over the crashing waves of the Reykjanes Peninsula Sea Stacks in Iceland.
In order to better understand the impact auroras have on Earth's atmosphere, NASA launched four rockets carrying experiments were launched on January 26, 2015. This is part of a composite image of all four rockets, done in 30-second exposures. See the full image below.
While beautiful, auroras can also be the harbinger of the collapse of civilization. If a sufficiently large flare and coronal mass ejection spawns a massive solar storm that hits the Earth, the geomagnetic storm could be capable of knocking our electrical infrastructure offline for a long, long time.
The dancing lights of an aurora can be awe-inspiring down here on Earth, but when seen from the International Space Station they take on a magical quality. Astronaut Alex Gerst describes it as swimming through a living ocean of glow; I'm just happy they send us photographs.
Aurora are beautiful, but the fire and smoke of Bárðarbunga step it up to gorgeous. The weekend kicked off with the Earth putting on a glorious display of green, blue, purple, and red, and countless photographers braved varied terrain to capture the ephemeral light for your viewing pleasure.