Sunday, October 4, 2015

"The Martian" and Other News of the Solar System

If you've seen, read, or heard about "The Martian" film or novel, you may know that it's a story by an engineer about survival on Mars. If you'd like some background on how author Andy Weir tried to make the story realistic, using known science, check out his talk at NASA's Ames Research Center at:

The image accompanying this post is a selfie of a real "martian" -- the Curiosity Rover on Mars, which took the pictures from which this great Mars image was assembled in August. If you click on the picture, you get a bigger version.

For a listing of other Mars science fiction stories with reasonable astronomy, you can download my one-page resource guide at:

A fantastic new image and movie of Pluto's giant moon Charon (with its mysterious red polar cap) can now be seen at: 

For those of you who are in the Northern California area, or have friends there, there are two exciting events coming up this week:
1) Dr. Carolyn Porco, the head of the imaging team for the Cassini mission at Saturn, is giving a free public lecture (with fabulous pictures) at Foothill College Wednesday night:

2) The Astronomical Society of the Pacific and Chabot Space Science Center are sponsoring an all-day Family Astronomy Festival in Oakland Saturday Oct. 10. See:

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