Universe Guide

Guide to Space, Planets and the Rest of the Universe

Juno Space Probe successful arrives in Jupiter`s Orbit 7/5/2016 10:13:08 AM

After a journey of 1.8 billion miles taking five years to complete, the Juno space probe has finally reached its target, the gas giant planet,the biggest in our solar system, Jupiter. Its mission is to study the planets gasses and hopefully answer as to whether the centre has a core like our own planet or it is fully gaseous. It is the second major probe to reach its target in as many months, after the New Horizons mission to Pluto reached it target last year. New Horizons flew past Pluto as it was unable to slow down compared to Juno which had thrusters to slow itself down to be captured by Jupiter`s enormous gravity. Juno was a slower probe to get to its target than New Horizons because it had to be slowed down to be grabbed by gravity. After the satellite has finished being useful, it will be directed into Jupiter to prevent it from contaminating Jovian moons that might contain life.

It took a thirty minute burst of its rocket to slow itdown. Although the United States paid for most and built most of the probe, The rockets that were used to slow it down were built in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. Other countries probably had an involvement as well but they haven`t had as much recognition as the Americans. The information about the rockets was first reported in the Standard newspaper, in the U.K.

The picture below is an artists impression of what the encounter would look like if you was looking out of a spaceship window. If you want to know more, visit the official Home for the Juno project. To those distractors, the Juno probe might not find something useful for our survival as a species but spin-off technology very well may do.

N.A.S.A. artist impression of Juno Probe in orbit round Jupiter


Anton Yelchin has Died? 6/19/2016 8:09:28 AM

Anton Yelchin the Russian born U.S. actor has been reportedly killed in a freak accident involving his car in the early hours. He is best remembered for playing Pavel Chekov in the Reboot version of Star Trek. Before that he was remember for playing a young Kyle Reese in the four Terminator film, Terminator Salvation. Police were alerted when the actor didn`t turn for rehersals.

It was reported on the highly regarded Guardian newspaper amongst others. However Mediamass is reporting it as a death fake. When you look at Mediamass on the internet, its clear that the Guardian is more highly regarded plus also its now been reported on Star Trek twitter feed that has died.

Post of Anton Yelchin as Pavel Checkov on the sad news of his death.


Warcraft Movie Review 5/30/2016 6:58:47 AM

SPOILER WARNING After many years in the planning and stop and starts, the Movie has finally arrived. The film`s subtitle, `The Beginning` is a hint of things to come and that there could be more films in the works if this one does well. Its no surprise that this film concentrates on the arrival of the Orcs from Draenor to Azeroth. If you`re coming from a non-Warcraft background, you won`t know the plot or storyline but those of us that do come from that will have a more demanding expectation of the film.

Those who know the lore will expect to see Mannoroth to appear like we saw in the Warlords of Draenor trailer but sadly that the lumbering Pit Lord has not appeared. It starts with an expeditionary group going through the portal and attacking villages in Azeroth. Only the Draenor portal had been built at that time, on the Azeroth end, the portal leads out to a large lake. We only see a brief glimpse of the Draenei who have been captured as Fel-Fuel and we don`t see any part of Draenor except a brief part of Hellfire Peninsula.

The best bits are the recreation of Azeroth, of Stormwind and the Dwarven kingdom of Ironforge but no other kingdom, there`s no Darnassus and the Night Elves or were they Blood Elves were quite laughable in their look to be quite honest. I was expecting a better presentation of the elves. They got the Dwarves right and the Orcs spot on as well. There`s no druids or hunter but there is a scene where Khadgar shows off his mage power. The film does stay faithful to the lore but I just felt it should`ve started with an introductory narrative that so many films do start with and that it should`ve been longer, pushing over 2 and a half hours. That was the weak ponts and also how King Llane Wrynn is killed is also a weak point for me.

If you`re wondering, the film does pass the Bechdel Test where the two leading female characters do talk to one another. There are more females than the Lord of the Rings films and have bigger parts. Lady Taria Wrynn although she doesn`t fight, she does some talking. Garona is the action female of the female characters.

The next film, I`d like to see the creation of the Forsaken , of the Scourge and the rise and subsequent fall of the Arthas Pendragon, better known as the Lich King. Given the level of detail that the designers have put into the game, seeing the Zombies of the Forsaken could push the age restriction up a notch but as the Forsaken and their lore is well known, they have no choice. In the game, the Forsaken aren`t that terrifying because the graphics are poor but if the film is to any justice then zombies need to be realistic.


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

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 AM

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 AM

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 AM

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 AM

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.


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