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Guide to Space, Planets and the Rest of the Universe


More Rogue One Character Names Revealed 5/17/2016 7:22:20 PM

Whether by design or unintentionally, we now know the names of some of the new characters in the Star Wars universe who will make an appearance in the new film due out at Christmas 2016. The two most important ones are Captain Cassian Andor who we suspect as being the lead male character, maybe even Jyn Erso love interest. Batting for the Galactic Empire is Director Krennic, the man in the white cape in the trailer. What we don`t know yet is what Forest Whitakers character is and who Mads Mikelsen plays, however the later is suspected to be Jyn`s father.

Alan Tudyk, most well known for playing Wash Warren in the short lived Firefly is playing K-250, an enforcement droid that used to be a Galactic Empire robot before being reprogrammed and working for the Rebel Alliance



Rogue One Trailer has been released 4/7/2016 11:39:56 PM

The first trailer has been released showing the first legal footage from the first anthology film, Star Wars - Rogue One has gone public. I say legal, as there have been a few scenes on the web showing what is a non-legitimate leaked release of the film. The film shows the main antagonist, Jyn Erso and gives details about her. Jyn is played by British actress Felicity Jones who was recently seen as Prof. Stephen Hawkins wife in Theory of Everything. After the sorts of comments that followed Star Wars - The Force Awakens about Rey being a female lead, the trolls are going to be working overtime again. There is already speculation that because the descriptions of Rey and Jyn are similar, that they are in fact related as characters.

The character Jyn is a thief, a con-artist and a forger who is sent by the Rebel Alliance on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. The film is probably going to end with the plans being secreted about the Tantive IV which is where Star Wars IV - A New Hope begins. There`s seven months and a few days to go before the release but it looks like its going to be worth it. Hopefully, it won`t borrow any storyline from other films like what Force Awakens did. The trailer is below, click and it`ll open the trailer in a new window.



First full trailer to Star Wars - Rogue One



New Warcraft Poster 3/25/2016 11:58:57 AM

As we get closer and closer to the release of the first Warcraft movie which is expected to be the first of a trilogy, another poster has been released. It shows the lead protagonists on either side split by a sword as we`ve seen in previous films and also of newer characters which are believed to be Medivh and Khadgar, the two main wizards or as they call them in the game, Warlock and Mage. Medivh, the Human warlock responsible opening the Dark Portal on Azeroth is the one wearing the hood.

There is another poster that is doing the rounds that shows Garona with a midriff showing. In the game, Garona does show her midriff but I haven`t seen it yet in the film trailers that I`ve seen so far. You have to wonder if that one is official or not. The main poster below was shown on their Warcraft Facebook page. In the other poster, Garona is not green which makes you wonder if its actually official. It could well be the earlier was official but they thought it might not attract the wrong type of publicity.

The film only contains two females, Garona and Lady Taria Wrynn, notable females missing include Mage Jaina Proudmore and Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind. Lady Sylvanas Windrunner doesn`t count in this because as the Forsaken have yet be created as the Scourge virus had not yet been devised.



New Warcraft poster has been released as we get closer to the release date.



Dwarf sighting in Warcraft Movie 3/20/2016 11:18:48 AM

Up until now, all we`ve seen in the trailers for the Warcraft movie has been humans and Orc but now a new trailer has been released that shows another of the races from the game and that is the Dwarves. In the short clip, we see Anduin Lothar talking to a dwarf. This opens the question as to whether there will be other races such as whether the Night Elf or Tauren will appear. If the Tauren appear, they won`t appear until the end once the Orcs have made a foot hold on the planet. Also in the clip was Gul`dan, the Orc warlock who manipulates the Orc chieftians to attack Azeroth.

One thing that I can be sure of is that they`ll be no Forsaken in the movie. The reason is that in the lore, the Forsaken came about because a fragile peace came about between the Orcs and Humans and the Forsaken were created to continue what the Orcs had failed to do. You can`t exclude the possibilities of other races but one thing for sure is that they`ll be no Pandaren in the movie.



First glimpse of a dwarf in Warcraft Movie



First trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII 2/18/2016 7:47:49 PM

The first mini-trailer to Star Wars Episode VIII has been released. It doesn`t show much, it just shows what happened immediately after the credit rolled at the end of Star Wars - The Force Awakens after Rey finally catches up Luke Skywalker on the planet of Ahch-To. The name of the planet has also just been released. Unlike the previous films where the next in the series is set after a breather period, it looks like this one will set immediately after the events of Force Awakens.

All the leading characters from the previous four films (IV, V, VI, VII) are back with the exception of Han Solo who was killed by his son at the end of the previous film (Ben Solo/Kylo Ren). There is no flash back scenes with Han Solo expected within the film. Chewbacca will be back most likely, now partnering up with Rey.

Given how things have happened so far, a main character being killed off in the first film of each trilogy (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and then Han Solo), how a Skywalker lost his hand in the middle film (Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker), you could almost guess what will happen in the middle, another character loosing his hand. If Rey is the child of Skywalker then she`s got something not to look forward to. It`d be disappointing if that did happen.



Star Wars VIII Announcement Trailer



How big is the Universe? 2/17/2016 8:24:13 PM

The truth is we don`t know. The furthest object so far discovered is a galaxy known as EGS8p7 (EGSY-2008532660) which is located in the constellation of Ursa Major in the northern hemisphere. If you search the internet for furthest galaxy discovered, you may get a different answer. I base the statement on the most recent article that I could find on the subject which in this case is the article from Nature World which was written in October 2015. Scientists might find a further galaxy and in which case this article will be obselete.

The galaxy is 13.2 Billion years old and the light has been travelling at light speed since that time. It was born about 500-600 million light years after the big bang occurred, galaxies didn`t just pop into existance, they evolved. However as the universe is expanding, the galaxy will have moved away further from us since then and therefore will be further away than 13.2 billion light years. Theres most likely a galaxy that is even further away from us than that but its light has not reached us. If thats the case, the Big Bang happened a lot earlier than we thought.

According to Universe Today, the observable universe has a diameter of 92 billion light years across. The reasoning for this is the cosmic background radiation which is the left overs of the big bang. When you turn on an untuned television, you see static, that is radiation from the beginning of time.

The universe is expanding at the speed of light ref:Cornell University and light from EGS8p7 will one day disappear from our skies. The galaxy will still exist but any evidence to indicate its existance will have disappeared. There is a theory that if all the light from every galaxy, both local and distant was visible, space would be white not black.



What is the largest star? 2/16/2016 9:33:39 PM

This article is concerned with radius of the star rather than its mass. If you were to do a search on the internet for the answer to this question, you wouldn`t get a definitive answer as you would if you asked `What is the largest planet in the solar system?`. Which the answer to that question is of course, Jupiter. If however you did `What is the largest star?`, you will get a selection of answers. Some will quote VY Canis Majoris, other sites will champion NML Cygni and then finally others of which I am one will say that the largest star is UY Scuti. Why the discrepancy, well, if you look at the dates when the articles were put on the system and then look at when UY Scuti was announced as the biggest star, 2012. ref:wiki You`ll understand why the discrepancy. The more recent the article, the more likely to say UY Scuti.

All those and plus a few others are gigantic stars, many thousands of times bigger than our own Sun. UY Scuti is rated at being 1,700 times the size of our own Sun. If UY Scuti was placed at the centre of our own solar system, the Earth would be inside. UY Scuti reaches to out past the orbits of Jupiter and even Saturn. These stars are all red hypergiants, most likely at the end of their lives at a point when nearly all their fuel is used up and is about to explode. Most of these stars are variable stars, these are stars that pulsate, their size changes over time. For example, VX Sagittarri, another hypergiant star pulsats over a period of 737 days according to the Hipparcos Star Catalog.

The universe is so vast, there could well be a star that would make UY Scuti look insignificant as UY makes the Sun. We have just not spotted that star yet. The problem with star size is that the larger the star, the shorter it lives for. Our own Sun has a lifetime of 10 billion years of which we are half-way through but Proxima Centauri, a small red dwarf star which is a mere 4 light years away and our closest star neighbour is expected to have a very long time, one that could be trillions of years. If we ever leave Earth, we should hope for a hospitable planet orbiting round Proxima to continue the human race.

We may never find actual biggest star in the universe because it is so vast and that there are so many galaxies out there that we couldn`t measure all the stars in each galaxy. For the time being we should be content with UY Scuti as the largest for the answer until a bigger star is considered. A special mention should go to Betelgeuse, in the constelaltion of Orion is a giant, not as big as the others but still big and is expected to go supernova in the next million years. When the other stars will go pop so to speak, I haven`t discovered anything yet.



The Search for the new Planet X or should that be Planet IX 1/22/2016 8:50:19 AM

A new story has been doing the rounds now that there could in fact be a new nineth planet out there. If you recall, Pluto used to have the title of the nineth planet in the solar system until it was unceremoniously downgraded to that of a dwarf planet. The grounds for downgrading was that the object had not cleared the orbit round the sun of other objects. It had passed the other two requirements, large enough to be spherical in shape and be in orbit round the Sun, Caltech have released an artists impression of what the planet could possibly look like, it is in no way what it actually looks like because its not been located yet. N.A.S.A. are being open-minded on the news at the moment.



Artists Impression of the New Nineth Planet

What had caused the downgrading was the discovery of an object in the kuiper belt that was bigger than Pluto. However on closer examination, the object Eris was found to be not bigger than Pluto but not by much. One of the scientists that had discovered Eris is now proclaiming that there might well be a nineth planet out there, Dr Mike Brown, aka PlutoKiller which is also his twitter account name.

The new planet hasn`t been confirmed, it is theorized as being out there somewhere. The theory is based on the fact that objects in the kuiper belt are not behaving as they should be based on the laws of physics as we know them currently. A nineth planet could help explain their paths. Neptune was first theorized and calculated before it was actually discovered so there is every possibility that the planet is out there. The planet would be too far from the Sun to sustain life as we know it. The planet is possibly a gas giant like Neptune. The new planet is highly elliptical and would possibly take something like 10,000 to 20,000 years to do an orbit. The picture below shows the believed path of the orbit of the planet. It is so far away that we would never be able to send a probe to like we did with the New Horizons mission to Pluto probe because of the distance unless we developed faster than light technology.



Orbit of the New Nineth Planet

Its not the first time there`s been a theory of something out there. There is a theory that there is a brown dwarf star called Nemesis that orbits near our Solar System. It is responsible it is alleged for sending comets and asteroids that are in the Oort cloud our way and say one of those displaced objects was the cause of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.

Names for the planet have been bounded around on the net as Nibaru and New Pluto. Whatever it is, it will be named after an old god like all the planets except Earth. When the IAU ran a competition to name planets and stars, they chose god names for those stars such as Ran (previously known as Epsilon Eridani and to a certain extent Sadira).



Forget Skywalker and Solo, how about Rey Palpatine? 1/13/2016 8:44:47 AM

Ever since the new characters in Star Wars were revealed, there`s been speculation as to their past, there`s been Finn Calrissian, son of legendary Lando Calrissian and Rey Solo, daughter of Han Solo. However we now know that are unlikely true but have not been fully disproved as yet.

Finn was conscripted into the First Order from a very young age and was only known by his FN-2187 until he freed Poe Dameron who rewarded the stormtrooper deserter with the nickname of Finn. Its unlikely that he was ever connected to Lando in anyway apart from possibly hailing from the same planet as him and I`m not talking about the gas giant of Bespin. Also he could be a relative of Mace Windu given his light sabre skills or at least his attempt at them. Whereas the original trilogy was father vs son, this new trilogy could be about grandchildren.

Most speculation on Reys background has been on Luke Skywalker and the Solos (Han Solo and his wife Princess Leia). If Rey was a child of one of those three, she would therefore be related directly to (sister) or closely related (cousin) to Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren. If Rey was a Solo why was she deserted on Jakku? However, there`s a new theory in that she is the daughter or granddaughter of Palpatine, the Emperor who oversaw the Galactic Empire. At the end of Star Wars - The Force Awakens, both Luke and Rey stared one another out in the last shot of the film, it could be that he knew who she was. If she was Luke`s daughter, where`s Mara-Jade who in the expanded universe is Luke`s wife. Why would Luke hide his daughter and then go away from her, why not hide with her?

Palpatine theory is a possiblity, although in the films, he isn`t seen to have a wife or a relation but that doesn`t mean he didn`t have a secret wife or girlfriend. There are rumours that he could`ve caused the virgin birth of Anakin Skywalker by trying to experiment with midi-chlorins when Palpatine visited Tatooine. A relation of Palpatine would definately be a twist.



2016 - A Year To Look Forward To 1/1/2016 5:43:52 AM

Real Space

The first item of interest in the new year is comet Catalina, which should be viewable at the very start of the year, i.e. literally 1st of January. The Comet can be located going from Centaurus, through Virgo and then finally in Bootes where it will be visibly near Arcturus, the brightest star in Bootes. If you`re hoping for a 1997 Hale-Bopp bright comet, you might be disappointed.

On March 8/9th, there will be a Total Solar eclipse that can be seen by Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and from locations in the Pacific ocean. A partial eclipse will affect people in India, North Western Australia, Japan and Alaska.

All the Meteor Showers will appear as expected starting with the Quadrantids in the constellation of Bootes. None are expected to produce out of the ordinary heavy showers this year sadly, they should all perform as usual.

Fictional Space

The first big "space" film will feature alien Clark Kent as he faces competition from Bruce Wayne - Batman in the first Justice League film. The film sees the two iconic DC Comic characters beat each other up until they decide its unwinnable and decide to work together to defeat a bigger enemy, rumoured to be Doomsday. Too much information in trailers these days.

After having been shunted and moved because of Star Wars - The Force Awakens, the film of the MMORPG World of Warcraft finally gets a release in June of the year. It should be noted that this film is based primarily on the earlier Warcraft game, the RTS Strategy and not the MMORPG game which currently has five million users. Warcraft is currently the only paid subscription based game of its type. It has been hemorrhaging over the years as the producers Blizzard Entertainment seemingly getting disinterested when you look at the fact that the amount of content you get per expansion is getting less and less all the time. The new expansion, simply named Legion is due to come out some time before 21st September, most likely to coincide with the release of the new expansion.

We will see the new Star Trek film, simply called Star Trek Beyond and this time we get to see Capt. James Tiberius Kirk face a new alien threat and finally leave this solar system for adventure futher afield. Yes, they did go to other worlds in the previous two reboot films, but they both ended up coming back to Earth so lets hope they don`t make the same mistake. The director has changed, its now Justin Lin of Fast and Furious fam instead of the previous J.J. Abrams. The new film was co-written by Simon Pegg who plays Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scotty Scott, the ships engineer but I doubt the adventure will focus on him.

One year on from the release of Force Awakens, come a standalone film to the Star Wars franchise called Star Wars - Rogue One. Its not so much a standalone but a prequel to Star Wars IV - A New Hope so you could say it was Episode 3.9 because it is set immediately before the events of Episode 4. The story focuses on totally new characters on the Rebel Alliance side plus also appearances from Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. The lead antagonist is expected to be Tarkin with C.G.I. doing the "acting" for Tarkin who played him sadly passed away.

As a parting shot, I saw this that popped up on my facebook and thought it quite appropriate.



Happy New Year from Captain Jean-Luc Picard