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Guide to Space, Planets and the Rest of the Universe

Largest Exoplanet in Relation to Star Discovered

Scientists have been finding Extrasolar Planet(Exoplanet) left, right and centre across the galaxy. Scientists have even discovered a planet in orbit round the nearest star to us, Proxima Centauri. You`d now think that nothing would catch many people`s attentions. Now along comes NGTS-1b, a catchily named exoplanet named after its star.

It is a Hot and Super Jupiter. The planet orbits close to the planet and orbits in 2.6 Earth days and therefore it is quite close to its star, in fact, it is only 3% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The star is a red Dwarf Star, a star type that comprises of up to 70% of stars in the galaxy. The dwarf gives it away, it is a small star, much smaller and cooler than our own sun.

An artists impression of NGTS-1b

An artists impression of NGTS-1b, credit: University of Warwick, Mark Garlick.

Although exoplanets have been discovered around small stars such as Trappist-1, what makes this unique is that the exoplanet is nearly as big as the star it is orbiting. The planet is bigger than our biggest planet, Jupiter. There probably no chance of there being any form of life on the planet because it is too close to its star.

The team that discovered it was the University of Warwick in the U.K. It was discovered using the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) in Chile from where it got its name from. The star is located about 600 light years away in the constellation of Columba the Dove.

Further reading : C.B.C., Fox, National Geographic

Comments11/5/2017 8:52:00 AM

Whats in the space between stars and galaxies?

The obvious answer to this is nothing, emptyness and a large void. The truth is not that simple. In the immediate vicinity of a star is its solar system. Each star will have its own solar system with its own set of planets, asteroids and possibly a kuiper belt. For purposes of this question, the solar system ends at the Heliopause, the point at which the star`s solar winds meet the winds from other stars. The area between a star and the heliopause is known as the Heliosphere which our planet, Earth resides in. Other places will say the end of the of the Solar System is past the Oort Cloud which may or may not exist.

The Voyager 1 space probe broke through the Heliopause in August 2012, the exact date is debatable so it is now in Interstellar Space travelling towards Gliese 445 in the constellation of Camelopardalis. It should encounter the Oort Cloud in 300 years time. Unfortunately, it`ll have stopped transmitting back to Earth by then. Hopefully, we`ll have Interstellar travelling by then and overtaken it.

The space between stars will include radiation from other stars, dust, asteroids, comets and any far travelling space probes. The distance between these items will be immense. You would have to travel large distances in order to see any.

Between the stars will be rogue planets, asteroids and comets to name some. Rogue Planets for example are those that have broken free or been ejected from their solar systems. They`ll also be brown dwarves, failed stars because they don`t have enough mass to start nuclear reaction. These stars are dark and not very easy to spot. Dwarf Star

In addition to those above, they`ll also be nebulas, supernova remnants and other deep space objects. What you won`t find between stars are quasars as they are galaxies in their own right. A Quasar is an active galactic nucleus which is a supermassive black hole that spews out streams of gamma rays.

The difference in the space between stars and the space between galaxies (Intergalactic Space) is not much except you`d also have Intergalactic Rogue Stars, Rogue stars are stars that have escaped the gravity of the galaxy that it used to be a part of. It won`t be just stars that are between galaxies, they`ll be rogue planets, planets that no longer orbit planets. In addition to stars and planets, there will be the usual suspects again, asteroids, comets, dust etc.

Comments11/4/2017 12:33:22 PM

Battle for Azeroth

Its Blizzcon 2017 and as is customary, news of the next expansion has been revealed. The expansion is not as some had said it would be called i.e. `Tides of Vengaence` but `Battle for Azeroth`. Two trailers have been released, the first trailer is a cinematic showing the Alliance attacking the home of the Lady Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen, leader of the Horde. The other gives more information aout the expansion.

Cinematic video for Battle for Azeroth Expansion

Features video for Battle for Azeroth Expansion

Comments11/3/2017 8:36:22 AM

MCM London Comic Con 2017

If you`re into your comics and science fiction, did you visit the MCM London Comic- Con 2017 held between the 27th and 29th of October at the Excel Centre, East London? It`s a different management team to the other major Comic-Con that is held at Olympia, Kensington, West London. If you missed that one, there`ll be another one in London year plus there`s one in Birmingham between 18-19 November.

For some, it was a time to meet their on-screen heroes, others to show off their Costumes or just buy comics or other paraphernalia. I went there to meet Anthony Lemke aka Marcus Boone to find out about Dark Matter. Awesome bloke, spoke to him for a while. The series isn`t dead yet, more hibernating, the sets are in storage. The series could come back most likely for a mini-series or even a film like what they did with Firefly to tidy everything up if the powers that be can get to some sort of agreement. Fingers crossed. Look out for him as a guest star in the non-space Blindspot.

I didn`t dress up unless you class wearing a NY Yankee`s cap as dressing up as a Yankees fan? Also bumped into this chap....

Kylo Ren Fan

Wasn`t Adam Driver but the costume was good tho. It wasn`t just Star Wars people dressed up as but there were also lots of D.C. Comics character, Harlequin, Batman, Robin etc. Apart from Starlord and a few Captain Americas, I don`t think I saw that many Marvel characters.

Comments10/29/2017 3:26:28 AM

Green Lantern in Justice League

It looks like that Green Lantern is joining the others in the new Justice League movie due out in November if whats being said on the internet is correct. Just which Green Lantern will be appearing is the question. Its been noted that Idris Elba who played Heimdall in the Avenger films had expressed an interest. He could quite easily play John Stewart. He would if he appeared upset a few die hard Marvel fans who hate the idea of an actor changing from one comic to the other.Gamespot

We know that Henry Carvil will be back as Superman but we we don`t know exactly how. In the previous film, he was killed or seemingly killed by Doomsday, having a Justice League film without Superman wouldn`t really work. Superman is bigger than all the other except probably Batman which I`d say they were equals. In the comics after Superman was killed by Doomsday, he came back with another costume, a darker one so it`ll be interesting to see what he wears. I know in the picture below it does show the familiar red and blue but that could just be a distraction. The only shots we have seen of Henry in the new movie is in the memory of Lois Lane. We know from trailers that Meera, Aquawoman and wife of Aquaman will be playing a role but as to how big is unknown.

Early reviews have been saying that the new Justice League, now directed by Joss Weddon is the best yet. Lets hope so as a lot is riding on this movie. At a running time of 2hrs 50 according to Google, it`ll should hopefully give us our moneys worth, if not, be a lot of disappointed people. In fact, it needs to be a long film to cope with so many characters, not just those but also Diana Prince - Wonder Woman and Cyborg.Express

Justice League

Comments10/28/2017 4:07:08 AM

Star Wars - The Last Jedi Second Trailer

Contains Spoilers if you haven`t and don`t plan to watch any trailers before the film comes out. The second trailer for the Star Wars VIII - The Last Jedi trailer has been released. In a word, Awesome. Hopefully, the film will build on and improve on the previous episode which to some including myself looked like a remake of the first film Star Wars IV - A New Hope. For example, both heroes in both films are orphans from desert planets. People jokingly refer to it as The First Order Strikes Back in reference to the second film Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back with good reason as in both films, the orphan heroes are undergoing training by a Jedi Master, this time its Luke Skywalker.

We also see Snoke a little more clearer rather than just a hologram as he was in the previous film. Who we don`t see are the new characters, DJ and Rose Tico for example. We see Finn back in First Order outfit which we believe is because he`s undercover as an Imperial Officer rather than as a standard Stormtrooper. Although we don`t see Captain Phasma with her mask off in the clip, its rumoured we will in the final film.

Rumours are of Rey may turn to the dark side given that she`s asking for help with the Force and Kylo Ren is hold out his hand for her. Fingers crossed its a corker of a movie.

The Last Jedi 2nd Trailer

Comments10/10/2017 7:52:19 AM

Cassini Mission at an End

The Cassini-Huygens mission has come to an end after 20 years. The Cassini spacecraft was directed to crash into Saturn, the giant ringed gas planet that is sixth on order from the Sun. The probe had been ordered to crash into Saturn to prevent it from crashing into one of the moons and possibly contaminating it with any virus that may have hitch-hiked onto it.

The mission had been a collaborative effort between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) of the United States, the European Space Agency and the Italian space agency. The project cost about $4 Billion (£3 Billion) pounds and helped with our understanding of the giant planet.

It had been launched by N.A.S.A. at Cape Canaveral in Florida, 1997. During the journey, it spent six months studying Jupiter before heading onto Saturn before eventually reaching the ringed planet in 2004.

The craft had two parts, the Cassini part which examined the planet and moons and Huygens which was released into the atmosphere of Titan to study the atmosphere. Titan along with Enceladus are two moons that show promise as to supporting life. Future Jupiter missions will delve further into the atmospheres of these moons. Titan stands out from all other moons in the solar system including our own because it is the only one with a thick atmosphere.

Top 10 Cassini and Huygens Discoveries and Events

For more information and details about the above events, visit N.A.S.A. JPL

Comments9/16/2017 11:22:29 AM

Dark Matter comes to an End

The Canadian sci-fi series Dark Matter will not be renewed for a fourth series and has been cancelled. The show followed a group of amnesiac criminals plus an orphan as they traverse the galaxy to survive. It had been running for the past three years. The cancellation had been due to falling viewer numbers I presume. The press release was released on Joseph Mallozzi, producer and artist`s Official Blog.

The group was led by Portia Lin, who it turned out to be a synthetic female, not created in the same way as you me. In the last episodes, it was discovered that she had a child but we don`t get to see them be reunited. Portia was played by Melissa O`Neil who won the Canadian Idol in 2005 and slimmed down and got fit since that time.

The series also starred Antony Lemke and Roger Cross, both not new to science fiction, both had starred in Andromeda albeit in different episodes and not together. Zoie Palmer played the role of Android, the female artificial robot, Zoie played her character like a robot and not as a real person unlike for example Rommie was too human.

Alex Mollari Jr, played the role of Ryo Tetsuda, an Emperor of Zairon who was unseated by his mother-in-law and having his brother put in place instead. Ryo would manage to regain his crown at the end of the second series, only to loose it again in an uprising at the end of the third series.

The girl with the green hair, Emily Kolburn was an orphan but we learnt in the last ever episode who her mother was and it was a surprise. We also learnt and briefly through a memory of her sister but we never met her in the storyline.

The man to the left of Emily was Derrick Moss who had come onboard the Raza in the hope of finding a murderer. Derrick was killed at the beginning of the second series and made a few guest appearances throughout the series.

The series also featured guest appearances from two actors who appeared in Stargate Atlantis, an offshoot series of the main one. The only thing that the series didn`t have was Aliens, however this was being rectified if you can say that at the end of the third series but we didn`t get to see much of them. The aliens were able to control the minds of other people. At the very end, we see a massive seemingly alien spaceship coming through a wormhole.

The science fiction show could still have a reprieve but at the moment, the series has been offficially cancelled by Space T.V. in Canada. Another network could pick it up and run with it but we`ll have to see. Its not the first time a series has been taken over by another network when one has dropped out. Although not science fiction but the first such series to spring to mind is Ripper Street. Ripper Street was first produced by B.B.C. but when the BBC didn`t want anymore to do with it, Amazon Prime took over the show and produced a few more in conjunction with B.B.C. who would later show it on terrestial television. Fingers crossed.

Group picture of the characters from the Dark Matter series

Comments9/2/2017 10:46:16 AM

Star Wars Indentities at the O2

If you`ve been planning on seeing Star Wars Identities at the O2 stadium in London, England then you`ve only got a week left to go. The show finishes on the 3rd September to make way for a Prince exhibition. Prince as in the musician and not any member of any royal famly. The show will then move to Utrecht, in The Netherlands so if you miss it and want to catch it elsewhere, you know where to go. All the major character models from the originals and the prequels are there such as Princess Leia and Darth Vader. There is no Jyn Erso and the sequels were limited to the androids (BB8, C-3PO and R2-D2). Its not just characters, there are vehicles such as the Star Destroyer on display too.

The worst thing about the identities is the positionining of the information boxes, right in front of the exhibition. It makes for taking photos very difficult, however, if you move to the side slightly then you can a nearly perfect shot.

In addition to information about Star Wars, there`s also real world information which can be a bonus if you`re trying to persuade someone to take you. :)

As you go round, there are information boxes that tell you how characters were designed. For example, Chewbacca might have looked more like a walking monkey than he does now with long pointed ears. Chewbacca`s character was developed over a number of designs to what we like now.

Don`t go expecting to seeing real-life face versions of characters because the emphasis is on the customes and vehicles. If you wanted life like looks of the characters then Madame Tussauds is your better bet which I talked about here albeit in minor detail. Before going you should check its still which it was at the time of writing.

Darth Vader at the Star Wars Identities at the O2

Comments8/28/2017 9:59:18 AM

Great American Eclipse 2017

Not being in America myself to confirm it, I expect there to be a lot of news coverage of the event. It is quoted as being the first eclipse in a hundred years to grace the United States. If you miss it, bad luck but you won`t have to wait as long for the next Great Eclipse. The next one in the United States is due on April 8th 2024. Great American Eclipse. Southern Illinois will be the place to see both eclipses at totally as the path of the eclipses will cross at that point.

People in Northern Eastern U.S.A. such as New York will get a better totality of about 85% in 2024 whereas in 2017, it`ll be about 76%. Totality is expected to last about two minutes when its all goes dark and the temperature drops. Auto-sensory street lights will come on so if you want perfect vision for the event, move away from any street lighting that might be close by. Make sure you know where your eclipses glasses are, its no good using sunglasses as they won`t provide the protection that you need. If you don`t have any, don`t cross your fingers and hope you don`t damage your eyes because you will.

The Eclipse will start about 10:00 am P.D.T. on the west coast where it will be dark for about 2 minutes as it moves across the United States. Casper, Wyoming where rumours are that it will be best place to see it will be dark at about 11:45 MDT. St. Louis, one of the biggest city in the path will see darkness at about 1:15pm. Nashville, Tennessee will get dark roughly an hour later. The last American city to see the eclipse is Charleston at 2:45pm EDT. I`ll keep my fingers crossed for you that its not cloudy.

Only people in Western Europe will have a chance at seeing the Eclipse before it finishes for good. In the UK, the Sun will be 2% covered at about 8pm in the evening. Its hardly worth watching unless you`re an ardent eclipse watching in which case, good luck.

The next major European eclipse will be on August 12th 2026 where Barcelona will get totality with the UK getting about 95% which will be something worth watching.

Comments8/20/2017 8:54:09 AM
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